Chris Atkinson, known by fans as “Atko,” might be joining…
Ford announced their return to the 2016 Baja 1000 with the newest and baddest-ass F150: the 2017 Raptor. The best part about this announcement? They are running in the Stock Full class, which is intended to limit what can be done to the truck.
And, because rules are rules, they did just that. According to the release:
“Given the truck’s unmatched all-terrain, all-condition capabilities, the Foutz Motorsports team only had to add a chromalloy steel safety cage, puncture-resistant fuel cell, racing seats and full race harness, along with LED lighting courtesy of Rigid Industries to meet SCORE rules. The factory-spec Raptor springs and Fox Racing shocks were revised to accommodate the added weight from the safety cage and fuel cell.”
Obviously, some other changes were likely made, but at least they aren’t trying to mess with the rules, liking moving the engine around or doing something crazy like changing out differentials with something heavier duty.
Full press release below (Photos and YouTube video credit Ford Motor Company):
LAS VEGAS — Ford, America’s truck leader for nearly 40 years, will enter its all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor in the 49th running of the SCORE Baja 1000 off-road endurance event, Nov. 16-20. Four-time Baja 1000 winner Greg Foutz will pilot the truck. Ahead of the race, the Ford Performance-supported F-150 Raptor will be on display at the 2016 SEMA show, Nov. 1-4.
Powered by an all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, the Baja-bound F-150 Raptor race truck showcases the level of performance this purpose-built off-road vehicle will offer straight from the showroom floor.
Given the truck’s unmatched all-terrain, all-condition capabilities, the Foutz Motorsports team only had to add a chromalloy steel safety cage, puncture-resistant fuel cell, racing seats and full race harness, along with LED lighting courtesy of Rigid Industries to meet SCORE rules. The factory-spec Raptor springs and Fox Racing shocks were revised to accommodate the added weight from the safety cage and fuel cell.
Foutz has run the new Raptor in several Best in the Desert events in 2016, including the most recent 645-mile General Tire Vegas to Reno race in August, which he completed in 15 hours.
Foutz says this all-new Raptor is the most production-based truck he’s ever raced. “The stock engine, transmission and powertrain calibrations are phenomenal,” he says. “Suspension-wise, everything else – including its wheels and BFGoodrich K02 tires – is carried over from the 2017 production model.”
Other production vehicle updates that carry over to the race truck include the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame, all-new six-mode Terrain Management System™ and advanced four-wheel-drive torque-on-demand transfer case.
Foutz says having raced the first-generation F-150 Raptor at Baja in 2008, the new truck’s multiple innovations and advanced technologies make it not just easier and better to drive, but also to race. “There are an extra two inches of wheel travel, plus the all-new 10-speed transmission never has to hunt for the right gear,” he says. “The new Baja mode keeps the turbo spooled up – it’s miles better than the previous off-road mode.”
Along with running its first-generation Raptor in the grueling desert endurance race in Mexico, Ford’s long history at Baja includes racing its F-Series Super Duty as well.
Ford Performance engineers use the race truck program as a platform to share technology and prove out their trucks in the real world. Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer, says the testing helps to create exciting products that not only perform, but deliver Built Ford Tough capability and durability. “We take what we learn in off-road competition with a factory stock truck to further refine our design and engineering attributes,” he says.