The Raptor then drove seven hours home to Phoenix

Ford can mark another completed race in its Baja 1000 history book thanks to the 2017 F-150 Raptor. The 49th running of the SCORE Baja 1000 concluded on November 20 after a grueling 854-mile race from Ensenada, Mexico down through the unforgiving deserts in the Baja peninsula and back again. The Raptor team scored a third place victory in the stock full class competition, crossing the finish line with only 52 seconds to spare. The official time was 35:59:08.151.

For those unfamiliar, the Baja 1000 is a race against the clock, navigating the terrain, and to simply finish. The time to beat is 36 hours. Though the Raptor barely squeezed by, it still finished the race. What’s more, the truck when drove some seven hours and another 400 miles east to Phoenix, Arizona – the home base for the team from Foutz Motorsports.

“That’s why the new Ford F-150 Raptor is bad-ass!” said Greg Foutz, the team leader of Foutz Motorsports. “It’s a race-proven off-road monster that can race off-road an entire weekend, then take you and your friends on a road trip the next day.

Two of the five competitors in the stock full class didn’t finish. Second place with to a Toyota Land Cruiser with a time of 32:28:37.068 and first place with to the legendary Rod Hall and his Hummer H1 with a time of 32:13:58.914.

It’s a good thing the 2017 F-150 Raptor finished the race since Ford has hinged the Raptor’s marketing on the truck’s ability to tacked desert terrain at high speeds. Don’t forget, the Raptor even has a Baja mode performance setting. It would have been hard to patch that public relations image hole.

Anyway, congratulations, Ford and the guys from Foutz Motorsports on the Baja 1000 finish.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

Ford undoubtedly put a lot of stock into the Raptor finishing the Baja 1000. It was the ultimate test to prove this production truck could handle the rigors of high-speed desert racing. Thankfully for Ford, things paid off and the truck crossed the finish line with no major damage or reported injuries.

The Raptor in question truly is a production truck with very little modifications. In fact, Ford released details about the truck before the race began. We’ve got a full write-up here.

For those who might want a quick run-down, the truck came off the F-150 production line and uses all the factory parts. The guys at Foutz Motorsports had to install the requisite safety and computer equipment in order to pass the SCORE inspection.

The Raptor uses its factory 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that generates an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. The new 10-speed automatic and high-tech 4WD system were present as well. Even the wheels, tires, and suspension components were all stock, though with one minor exception. Ford engineers retuned the factory shock absorbers to account for the extra weight of the safety cage, extra fuel, spare tires, and tools needed on board.

This certainly won’t be the second-generation Raptor’s last race, so we’re definitely looking forward to more news in the future.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Baja 1000

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Baja 1000 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review in the Ford F-150 Raptor Baja 1000 here.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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Press Release

As Ford starts sales of the all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor, the Ford Performance team completed one final grueling endurance test – running in the 49th SCORE Baja 1000 across the famed desert in the Baja California peninsula in Mexico.

Led by Greg Foutz and the team from Foutz Motorsports, the 2017 F-150 Raptor finished the race in 35 hours, 59 minutes and 8 seconds to place third in the stock full class. Then, the crew decided to toss their tools and spare tires in the back of the race truck and drove it back to their home shop near Phoenix.

“That’s why the new Ford F-150 Raptor is bad-ass! It’s a race-proven off-road monster that can race off-road an entire weekend, then take you and your friends on a road trip the next day,” Foutz said. “That and the $49,520 starting price make it a clear winner on the showroom floor.”

Powered by an all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, plus an all-new Ford-built 10-speed transmission, the F-150 Raptor race truck showcases the level of performance this purpose-built off-road vehicle will deliver to customers once it goes on sale in December.

Given the 2017 F-150 Raptor’s extreme all-terrain capabilities, the race truck utilized its factory equipment across all 850 treacherous miles, including its stock engine, transmission, brakes, wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires – and even its factory air conditioning, satellite radio and windshield – often unheard of in race vehicles. The Foutz Motorsports team only added a chromalloy steel safety cage, puncture-resistant fuel cell, racing seats and full race harness to meet SCORE rules. The factory-spec Raptor springs and Fox Racing shocks were adjusted to accommodate the added weight from the safety cage and fuel cell.

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 said the team drivers quickly adapted to the performance of the Raptor engine and drivetrain, which was entirely stock. “We used the Raptor Terrain Management System to select Baja Mode and just tweaked two-wheel versus four-wheel drive depending on the terrain we were on,” Foutz said. “When we hit the road for home, we dropped it in the Sport Mode and took off for the highway.”

Ford Performance engineers used the Raptor 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 raise the performance bar, they deliver Built Ford Tough capability and durability.

“We’re completely thrilled at how well the all-new F-150 Raptor performed throughout the Baja 1,000 race as it’s one of the most brutal environments you can ever compete in, “Hameedi said, “Having race-proven, real-world performance experience and data to validate – further solidifies Ford’s truck leadership position and Raptor as the ultimate from-the-factory high-performance off-road truck.”

Ford Performance Expands as Brand Halo
Set to deliver 12 new vehicles by 2020, Ford Performance leverages its racing efforts and expertise to speed innovations on dedicated performance models and performance parts. The group works to quickly iterate the latest technologies that can ultimately be applied across Ford Motor Company’s entire passenger vehicle lineup.

The performance segment is a growing business for Ford, as the company recognizes a customer desire for vehicles that offer fuel economy, leading technology and a great driving experience. Along with F-150 Raptor, the Ford Performance lineup includes the Ford GT supercar, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R Mustang, Focus RS, Focus ST and Fiesta ST.

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