After a somewhat disappointing DNF at least year’s Baja 1000, the Ford Bronco R Race Prototype was back this weekend for another shot at one of the world’s most grueling races. And while it didn’t win its class, the Bronco R did manage to not only finish the race but also score a second-place class finish and place 70th overall out of 99 vehicles that managed to complete the course.
The Ford Bronco R Race Prototype, piloted by Cameron Steele, Shelby Hall, and a team of veteran Ford off-road racers including co-drivers Johnny Campbell, Curt LeDuc, and Jason Scherer, finished the 53rd SCORE-International Baja 1000 in Class 2 in just over 32 hours.
“When Bronco returned 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, Ford Performance motorsports.
Powered by a fully stock Ford 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and Ford 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, the Bronco R Race Prototype serves as a testbed for Bronco Built Wild Extreme Testing durability regimen and for the final the Baja Mode calibrations for the Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. Modes on the production versions.
A pre-production 2021 Ford Bronco two-door Outer Banks equipped with the Sasquatch off-road Package also made its first appearance in the Baja Mexico desert.
The successful finish underscores the Bronco brand’s performance legacy at Baja, which includes the first-ever overall production 4×4 class win in the 1969 Baja 1000 – a feat no other manufacturer has accomplished since.
Overall, the first-generation Broncos claimed five Baja 1000 class wins (1967, two in 1969, 1971, and 1972) and two overall Baja 500 victories in 1970 and 1973. Later model year Broncos (1978-95) continued the legendary winning streak with nine Baja 500 Class 3 wins from 2004 to 2015 and 15 Baja 1000 Class 3 wins between 2002 to 2019.
Ford is the Official Truck and SUV of SCORE-International Off-Road Racing and the lead sponsor of the SCORE World Desert Challenge Series, which includes the 2019-22 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Ford is also the official vehicle of the Ultra4 King of the Hammers competition.