Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus Beats The Ford Bronco To Win The Baja 1000—Turning The Tables 50 Years On!
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has turned the tables on the Ford Bronco 50 years on, in the Baja 1000. As its Glickenhaus Boot, a modern high-performance V8 reincarnation of the famous 1960s Baja Boot piloted by Steve McQueen in the Baja 1000, has won the 2019 running of the longest continuous off-road race in the world. It did so straight out of the box and, unlike in 1969 when Rod Hall took an iconic win in a ‘69 Bronco ahead of the Boot, this time it was SCG’s Boot which triumphed, beating Ford and its new Bronco to win in class.
SCG noted that winning the classic event, straight out of the box, having driven the SUV to Ensenada to take part in the off-road race, “is something no-one has really done”. What’s more SCG had to beat Ford “despite them assembling a renowned team and providing factory support,” as SCG described it. Little wonder SCG described overcoming all this to both finish and win the 800.5-mile single loop race, which takes place on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, as “nearly an impossible task”. Adding to the vast challenge, this year’s event even among Bajas one was considered of the most grueling of recent times, due to heavy rainfall beforehand.
The Bronco—the Boot’s only Class 2 rival—didn’t make the finish, stopping some 220 miles short with a parts failure. It’s yet to be revealed what exactly took the Bronco out, though it’s thought that a cooling fan problem ultimately stopped the machine, while Ford also revealed the Bronco had been suffering from skid plate damage and a resultant gearbox oil leak.
Even so the Glickenhaus Boot’s route to the end was not free of drama, as with just nine miles to the finish and an hour to go before timing out a brake caliper cracked, seizing the front wheel. “After racing and crewing for 33 hours straight we chased to the car, hammered and pried the wheel,” SCG added. “Broke two wrenches trying to unbolt the wheels, and still managed to tear the wheel off, get it drivable, and on the road to the finish line.” It completed the 800 miles plus in 33 hours and 59 minutes, just inside the 34-hour time limit to finish.
And although the Boot’s only rival dropped out, the Baja 1000 is as much about reliability as speed with on average more than half those starting not making the end. Further underlining what an unforgiving event the Baja 1000 is, Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, taking part in the event in a spec Trophy Truck, sporting the colors of his Brawn car from his F1 title-winning season, was stranded in the desert for 17 hours after a differential broke.
SCG paid tribute to all involved, including the project and race manager Darren Skilton—who also did some the driving alongside Viry Felix and Jon Krellwitz—as well as Armada Engineering which did the engineering and race support. “[They] could not have done a better job,” SCG said of Skilton and Armada. “We also could not have won this race without the tremendous effort and passion poured in by all the drivers, the co-drivers, and all the media and chase support.”
Images courtesy of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus/Boyd Jaynes