Tire maker has swept last two SCORE International Desert Racing season; 87 total wins in Baja
Ensenada, Mexico, June 3, 2016 – Eleven consecutive races over the last two years. That is the current run of overall race wins for BFGoodrich Tires in SCORE International races. Since the SCORE Baja 1000 in November 2013, racers on BFGoodrich Tires have claimed the overall win in every race held.
BFGoodrich® Tires is focused on claiming its third consecutive and 32nd overall SCORE Baja 500 win. The race is held in Ensenada, Mexico starting Saturday, June 4.
Last year, in one of the closest finishes in recent memory, Mexican native Carlos Apdaly Lopez claimed the overall win at the 47th running of the SCORE Baja 500 by just 50 seconds over BFGoodrich Performance Team member Rob MacCachren.
Storylines for the 48th Running of the SCORE Baja 500:
· Not only has BFGoodrich taken the overall win in the last 11 SCORE International Desert races, it has also collected 22 of the last 24 major North American desert races, including the Best In The Desert series.
· In the Baja peninsula, BFGoodrich Tires dominates, collecting a total of 87 overall victories.
· The BFGoodrich Tires Baja T/A® KR2 race tire has 21 overall desert race wins.
· Taking into account the last two and a half years of races in Baja, BFGoodrich Tires has claimed 80 percent of the overall top finishers (88 of 110) and an astounding 99 class wins.
· 2016 is a milestone year for BFGoodrich Tires, marking 40 years of Baja racing and of the introduction of the Radial All-Terrain tire. It was in 1976 that BFGoodrich first ran in a SCORE Baja race and brought a new category to the tire industry.
BFGoodrich racers load front of pack
After a strong qualifying session, racers on BFGoodrich Tires captured seven of the top 10 starting spots for the SCORE Baja 500. BFGoodrich Performance Team member Bryce Menzies will start just behind Robby Gordon, followed by Carlos Lopez, MacCachren and Justin Matney. In the Class 1 qualifying, Cody Parkhouse leads the pack off the starting line, followed by three additional racers on BFGoodrich Tires: Justin Davis; Jaime Huerta and Paul Keller.
BFGoodrich Performance Team member Bryce Menzies has captured the overall win at the SCORE Baja 500 in three of the last five years. He has also won two of those in even numbered years (2012 and 2014), with the other occurring in 2011. Menzies is poised to drive his No. 77 Red Bull Ford F-150 seeking that fourth overall title at this race and join an elite group of just five racers who have four overall SCORE Baja 500 wins. KR2 Stands Out Once Again
Since being run as a developmental tire in 2013, the BFGoodrich Baja T/A®KR2 tires have gained popularity among desert racers. It has been run on the vehicles that won 21 total desert races overall. The KR2 tire, originally designed for the Trophy Truck class, has become so renowned that it now has been developed, with subtle adjustments, for several classes. Racers in Class 1, Class 7 and Class 10, as well as the UTV class, will be running KR2 tires and joining those in the Trophy Truck and Trophy Truck spec classes. It is anticipated that roughly 75 percent of the Trophy Truck field will be running on BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 tires.
This tire development has gone even beyond desert racing. The core structure of the KR2 has also been used on the winning entry at the King of The Hammers race in California. The BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2-S was specially designed to handle the speeds and rock crawling demands of that unique race.
But if desert sand and rock wasn’t enough to prove its mettle, the BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR2 tire was also used as the race tire for the Red Bull Frozen Rush competition over the past three years. This event features trophy trucks racing up snow covered ski slopes, using the specially prepared tire renamed BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A FR2 for the event.
But wait, there’s more
“We are using this year’s Baja 500 as another milestone in our new product development process as we anticipate completing work on the successor to the current Baja T/A KR2,” says BFGoodrich Motorsports Director, Chris Baker. “It is no secret that our final stages of development for new products often involve strategic placements in certain races and that is where we are at the moment.”
The historic desert tires
The BFGoodrich® Radial All-Terrain T/A® tire invented the all-terrain category and just like many off road tires, used the Baja peninsula as a proving ground for its toughness and performance. Launched 40 years ago, this tire claimed its first victory in 1977 at the Baja 500. Several years later on the next iteration of the tire it claimed it’s first of many overall Baja 1000 wins in 1986 in an entry driven by Mark McMillin and Ralph Paxton. That started a run that witnessed the BFGoodrich Tires company claiming 20 consecutive overall Baja 1000 titles.
From there the BFGoodrich Baja TA KR tire became the tire of choice for more race teams in Baja than any other tire. Starting in the early 1990s, the KR tire helped evolving, faster and heavier Trophy Trucks to victory. The BFGoodrich Baja KR and KRT tire has taken home more overall Baja 1000 wins than any other tire combined. And with the new iteration of that tire, the KR2, the success story continues.
40 years of heritage in Baja
In 1976, BFGoodrich Tires officially began a legacy in desert racing right here in the Baja peninsula. With its first entry in the 1976 SCORE Baja 1000, the company knew they were entering new terrain but may not have known it would become four decades of dominance in desert racing.
A year prior, in 1975, a group of BFGoodrich Tires engineers went down to the Baja peninsula with an experimental tire, a new radial light-truck tire. Their mission was to determine if these tires could stand the test of the most grueling off-road challenge, the Baja desert. One year later, the BFGoodrich Radial All-Terrain T/A tire was in Baja ready to compete. Fritz Kroyer in a production class 6 Oldsmobile Starfire and Frank “Scoop” Vessels, a recent SCORE rookie of the year, in a class 8 Ford F-100 pickup took the mantle and ran BFGoodrich Tires in a Baja race for the first time. The results were positive by the spring of 1977, the company introduced a new Radial All-Terrain T/A in a 12R15-c 3 ply version and captured its first class win in Baja at the SCORE Baja 500 with Scoop Vessels in a Class 8 Ford. A few months later, to provide it wasn’t a fluke, Vessels won the class on a single set of Radial All Terrain T/A’s at the SCORE Baja 1000.
This was when BFGoodrich discovered the Baja peninsula as a proving grounds and laboratory for its tires. The results of the tests, and the entrance next year into Baja desert racing, led to an off-road motorsports program second-to-none.
A tire company that at the time had one product line, with one size (12R15) and virtually no market share in the light truck category, now boasts 10 product lines for light truck with seven that can claim Baja class victories and has the largest market share in the recreation light truck category.
Unparalled Race Support
In addition to supplying tires to a number of SCORE Baja 500 competitors, BFGoodrich Tires will continue to lend unparalleled pit and communications support to teams through its fleet of off-road motorsports vehicles, and will provide accommodations and supplies at the media center. This immense undertaking involves more than 80 off-road enthusiasts and volunteers who donate their time in order to help make the race an overwhelming success.
Follow along with this year’s SCORE Baja 500 with race stories, images and videos as well as images at www.bfgoodrichracing.com.
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 40 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in nearly every type of racing, including sports car, rally, desert, dirt, short course and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Motorsports site at http://www.bfgoodrichracing.