The Baja 1000 result is a glowing advertisement for the capabilities of the midsize pickup.
Shortly after announcing its 2022 Baja 1000 running, the Ford Ranger Raptor claimed a class win at the famous off-road race in Mexico. Ford Performance announced the win via Twitter last weekend. The Blue Oval's performance arm had been providing live updates in a thread, which ended with the winning announcement you see below.
On top of that, Ford says the Ranger Raptor was still road legal after competing in the race, so the team was able to drive it back across the Mexican border and home to American soil. Ford entered the truck, set to come to America in 2023, in the Stock Midsize class, completing the race in one day, 11 hours, and 43 minutes. As confirmed by Ford's Mark Levine, the truck promptly began driving back to the US, proving that it's almost completely stock and is very reliable.
However, it appears there is an asterisk to Ford's win. The Ranger Raptor appears to have been the only vehicle entered into the Baja 1000's Stock Midsize class. Still, finishing the race is a feat in and of itself, and the truck was 83rd outright in a field of 276 entrants, of which only 137 completed the Baja 1000.
We've included a screengrab of the Score Baja 1000's official class summary standings above. You can find the #773 Raptor halfway down the page on the right-hand side.
Ford entered the car with Lovell Racing out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Australia's Kelly Racing. Lovell is headed by its founder, Brad Lovell, who also drove the Raptor this time around.
"They've done a great job with it," says driver Andy Brown. "It just takes anything in stride. Fantastic." Loren Healy, another driver, remarked on conditions during the race's first section, saying, "It was a battle. Just so tough, so technical."
The thing to remember here, finishing position ambiguity aside, is that Ford managed to not only finish the race, which had scores of DNFs, but it did so on experimental biofuel with a truck that had a stock engine, transmission, and driveline. In its class, vehicles are allowed to add safety gear (including a roll cage), new tires and wheels, additional lights, and underbody and vehicle protection. A 160-liter (42.3-gallon) fuel cell is also necessary to complete the 1,000-mile non-stop sprint through the Mexican desert.
With the Ranger Raptor set to hit American dealers next year, buyers at least know they're getting into a truck they could take Baja conditions in its stride without breaking a sweat.