We’re all stoked to see what the 2017 Ford Raptor is really made of. So is Ford, which just put a close-to-stock truck through the infamous Baja 1000 off-road race. It finished with less than 52 seconds to spare, then immediately got driven another 400 miles to its home base in Arizona.
Life revolves around Baja for damn near all off-roaders west of the Mississippi. The new second-generation Ford Raptor has a “Baja Mode” which puts the truck in its most aggressive configuration for high-speed sand driving.
I can only imagine the kind of pressure driver and builder Greg Foutz must have felt to get this thing across the line. His outfit Foutz Motorsports effectively runs Ford’s factory off-road racing program right now, and surely the company knew it was going to have a tough time marketing “Baja Mode” on a truck that couldn’t finish Baja should he fail. And not finishing is always a very real possibility, even for the best drivers in the fastest trucks.
The 2016 Baja 1000 was a 854.8 mile loop starting and finishing in Ensenada. Drivers had to get it done in 36 hours to get an official finish. The Raptor’s time: 35:59:08.151.
The Raptor was beaten in the Stock Full class by off-road legend Rod Hall driving his Hummer H1 (32:13:58.914) and some privateers in a Toyota Land Cruiser (32:28:37.068.) The two Cummins diesel Dodge trucks sponsored by Valvoline that made up the rest of the class did not finish.
For a little more context on time, overall winner Rob MacCachren got it done in a Trophy Truck Ford in 17:12:57.480.
I’m going to go ahead and let you commenters rag on the Ford fans for losing to an ancient army truck and a Land Cruiser (I mean, you could probably find more sloth-like trucks but it’d be hard.) But reality is, for one thing nobody should feel bad losing to Rod Hall. For another I think it’s safe to assume the Raptor was being driven conservatively to prioritize preservation. But most impressively– after the race the truck gassed up again and got driven another 399.87 miles to Foutz Motorsports HQ in Arizona.
So this truck literally went racing on Saturday and then drove to the office on Sunday. Respect.
We’re finally going to get our hands on the new Raptor ourselves December 4, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it shortly after that.