The Ford Bronco has a legacy of greatness. For 33 years it proved to the be the best adventure vehicle on the market and the 2021 Ford Bronco continues to carry on the incredible Bronco legacy. Part of the Bronco's legacy is racing, specifically racing in the grueling Baja 1000. Currently the Ford Bronco and its driver Rod Hall are the only ones to claim the title of overall win in a 4x4 vehicle at the Baja 1000. This overall win happened in 1969 and we can't wait to see what the Ford Bronco R can do in this year's SCORE International Baja 1000.

While the Baja 1000 is one of the most well-known races in the off-road racing community, many people might be wondering what exactly is the Baja 1000 and why is it so important to the 2021 Ford Bronco?

 

What is the Baja 1000?


The Baja 1000 is one of the hardest, most treacherous and most dangerous off-road races in the world. Many have attempted this race, but few have conquered it. In fact, this race conquers most of the drivers that attempt it. Tons of drivers have to stop mid-way through the race because they're vehicle can't keep up, they were injured, or worse they died out on the course. This race is not for the faint of heart and for many racers is the ultimate test of grit, strength and riding/driving ability.

The Baja 1000, that is run by SCORE International, always starts in the remote deserts of Ensenada, but the racecourse and even the total mileage change every year. Some years the course is only 800 or 900 miles and is one big loop, other years its closer to 1,000 or 1,200 miles and extends all the way to La Paz. Aside from the rocky mountainside and dusty roads, the remoteness and lack of visibility of this race make it incredibly dangerous. Racers can be 100's of miles from the nearest town with a hospital and they're usually out on the course alone driving through all hours of the night. Often drivers comment how the dust kicks up at night making visibility even more constraining than it is during the day. No matter what the conditions are, hundreds of racers from all over come out each year to compete in the ultimate off-road race, the SCORE International Baja 1000.

In fact, one of the most interesting things about the Baja 1000 is that you don't have to qualify to race it. As long as you have a two or four wheel vehicle, you can sign up for the grueling Baja 1000. There are also tons of different classes of vehicles that can compete in this race including trucks, cars and buggies, combination, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.


Ford Bronco and the Baja 1000 Legacy


While the Baja 1000 originally started as a 950-mile timed test run for a Honda motorcycle in 1962, Ford has made a name for itself at this race. This legacy of the Bronco and the Baja 1000 started in 1969 with legendary driver Rod Hall.

Originally the SCORE International Baja 1000 was called the NORRA Mexican 1000 and its first official run was in 1967 and ran from Tijuana to La Paz Mexico. The Mexican 1000 wasn't much different from the current Baja 1000 in that cars, trucks and motorcycles all competed on the same course with mandatory check points along the way. This race was (and still is) the ultimate off-roading race for adrenaline junkies and car and motorcycle enthusiasts. At this time, Ford had just come out with the Bronco and was starting to come onto the racing scene. Coincidentally, Rod Hall was also starting to make a name for himself in the racing community and Ford jumped on the opportunity to have him drive the Ford Bronco in the 1969 Mexican 1000.

This decision ended up being the best decision for both the Ford Bronco and Rod Hall because that year they won the Mexican 1000 overall. Not only did they win the Mexican 1000 that year, but no other 4x4 has been able to replicate their victory. After this 1969 race, Rod Hall went on to secure his legacy as an off-road racing icon and the Ford Bronco continued to outperform its competitors as the best sport utility vehicle on the market.

Ford and the Baja 1000


Over 50 years after the legendary 1969 victory, Ford continues to secure its legacy with the Baja 1000 by becoming the Official Truck and SUV of Score International Off-Road Racing. As part of this sponsorship Ford will be the lead sponsor of 13 SCORE International Races including the Baja 1000. Not only will they be a lead sponsor, they will also be competing in some of these races and we can't wait to see how these Ford vehicles perform, especially the Ford Bronco. While the Bronco Type R's 2019 debut run ended prematurely, we're excited to see its comeback in 2020.