Last year's Baja 1000 grueling off-road endurance race didn't go as planned for Ford, whose entry was a heavily modified prototype Bronco R. The vehicle failed to finish the race in part because of a rushed build time which didn't allow for proper pre-race testing. However, following last Friday's announcement regarding the Bronco R's second Baja 1000 attempt this year, it can now officially be reported the vehicle completed the race.
Piloted by Cameron Steele and Shelby Hall, the Bronco R Prototype competed in the Class 2 category and roared across the Mexican desert finish line in just over 32 hours. Co-drivers included Johnny Campbell, Curt LeDuc, and Jason Scherer.
Like the regular Ford Bronco, the Bronco R is powered by a stock 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford used this opportunity to test out the SUV's Bronco Built Wild Extreme Testing durability regimen. Final calibrations were also done for the Terrain Management System's Baja Mode.
"When Bronco returned (to Baja) we said it would follow in the legacy of the first-generation Broncos that forever changed the off-road landscape - and today's finish demonstrates we're continuing the 'Built Wild' pedigree of Bronco," said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance motorsports.
The first-generation Bronco took part in Baja 1000 way back in 1967 and went on to achieve five class wins and two overall Baja 500 victories. Subsequent Bronco generations won nine Baja 500 Class 3 wins between 2004 and 2005 and a total of 15 Baja 1000 Class 3 wins from 2002 to 2019. The new Bronco R is now continuing the racing legacy of its predecessors.
To remind everyone the new street-legal Bronco is now on sale, Ford displayed a pre-production 2021 Bronco two-door Outer Banks series with the Sasquatch off-road package for the first time at this year's race.