Ford enters (almost) stock Ranger Raptor into Baja

Ford has a long history with the Baja 1000, which makes entering its new V6 pickup a no-brainer…

By John Howell / Tuesday, 1 November 2022 / Loading comments

The Baja 1000 starts in a couple of weeks, and there’s also a new Ford Ranger coming. Well, guess what? There’s a development version of it entering the race to showcase its talents. Ford’s entered it into SCORES’s (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts, which is the sanctioning body) stock class. This means the engine, suspension and body must be of the same basic design as the road car.

The truck’s been developed by Ford Performance in cahoots with Kelly Racing in Australia, which was tasked with building it and carrying out the initial development work. Once that was done, it was handed over to Ford’s long-time off-road partner in the US, Lovell Racing, led by off-roading champion Brad Lovell. It did the final development work and will be running the racing team. The car’s fuelled by a one-third-biofuel mix produced by Shell. This contains a mix of ethanol and bionaphtha, which is obtained from vegetable oils, exhausted food oils or other types of organic waste.

Ford’s not new to the Baja 1000, of course. It took its first overall win in 1968. Since then, it’s won multiple times with various versions of the F-150 Raptor and Bronco. It even entered stock F-150 Raptor in 2017, which finished on the podium and then drove the 400 miles home. The Baja became an official event in 1967. It’s the last part of a four-round series run on from Ensenada in Mexico. It’s either a timed point-to-point run or a loop, and is considered one of the toughest off-road challenges.

Brian Novak, Off-Road Motorsports Supervisor, Ford Performance, said “The Baja 1000 is a demanding event and a well-known proving ground for off-road vehicles. We are excited to compete in this extreme event with Ranger Raptor.” If you want to get excited, click on the promo video. It’s under a minute long but packed full of dust clouds and a tasty sounding engine.


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