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March 2009 4x4 Truck & Automotive News - RPM

Posted in Project Vehicles on March 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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March 2009 4x4 Truck & Automotive News - RPM

Raptor R Takes Podium In Baja 1000
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck, based on the production version of the upcoming 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor and powered by a specially calibrated version of the available 6.2L V-8 engine, making 500 hp, survived the grueling 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, finishing the 631-mile race in 25:28:10, earning a third-place finish in Class 8. Long considered one of the toughest off-road races in the world, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck that participated in the Baja 1000 was a collaboration between the Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT), Ford Racing, and Foutz Motorsports. The pickup was entered into the race to test the durability and performance of the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, which goes on sale in the summer of 2009. Ford engineers will analyze all of the data recorded in Baja and apply lessons learned to the production vehicle. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000 also served as a test bed for the development of a lineup of race-proven, desert-tested, off-road performance parts that will be available through the Ford Racing catalog. Ford brought some of the best stock class off-road truck drivers together to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000. Drivers of record were Steve Olliges, Randy Merritt, Greg Foutz, Bud Brutsman, and SVT Vehicle Development Engineer Gene Martindale.

Team Hummer Takes Three Baja Podium Spots
Team Hummer once again demonstrated the inherent off-road capability of the Hummer H3 as Chad Hall piloted his stock-full class No. 861 H3 Alpha to become the first stock-class vehicle to finish the 2008 SCORE International Baja 1000. Hall's race in the H3 Alpha was virtually trouble-free with only one flat tire to repair during the entire race. Hall finished the race in 19 hours, 22 minutes, 47 seconds, averaging a speed of 32.58 mph. Hall's victory marked his seventh Baja 1000 class victory and secured his first-ever SCORE International stock-full season points championship. Hall's victory marks the second consecutive Baja 1000 in which he and the H3 Alpha were the first stock truck to cross the finish line.

Team Hummer owner and off-road legend Rod Hall celebrated his 71st birthday by piloting the stock-mini No. 760 Hummer H3 to a second place finish, securing his third consecutive stock-mini season points championship. Hall partnered with Mike Winkel and sister publication's Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road's Rick Pw to finish the race in 22:51:17, despite two flat tires and a steering seal failure caused by an impact with a large boulder. Josh Hall, along with regular co-driver Sam Cothrun, were joined for a leg by Four Wheeler's Sean Holman and piloted Team Hummer's third entry, the No. 863 stock-full Hummer H2 SUT to a third-place finish after battling the desert and mechanical problems throughout the race. Hall and the H2 crossed the finish line in 24:50:06.

One of the three Halls has been the driver of record on a class-winning team in the SCORE Baja 1000 for eight straight years and 12 times in the 15-year history of the stock class. With 30 class wins, the Halls continue to be the winningest family in the history of the race. Be sure to check out next month's issue for our exclusive Baja 1000 coverage.

For $2, This Jeep Could Be Yours
Just when the economic outlook seems bleak, the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC) steps up to the plate with a $2 Jeep. Each year, CA4WDC buys a brand-new Jeep, tricks it out with everything a died-in-the-wool four-wheeler could dream about, and then raffles it off at their annual February convention...for two bucks! This year's rig, a 2008 Jeep Unlimited Wrangler, is outfitted with an Atlas II transfer case, 35-inch BFGoodrich tires along with a Fabtech lift, a Warn 9500 winch on a Hanson bumper, a K&N intake and Banks Power exhaust, a Body Armor rear bumper, a Tuffy Security console and rear slide-out, PIAA and Warn lights, and an Off Road Unlimited roof rack...and the list goes on. It also sports heaps of other cool stuff from Premier Power Welder, Jeepers Jamboree, Spidertrax, Rockhard, Staun, and Hi-Lift. And because we off-roaders often camp out, or get stuck in the mud, the $2 Jeep Unlimited also comes with recovery gear and camping gear. Runner-up prizes aren't bad, either: second is a Premier Power Welder, third is two tickets for the 2009 Jeepers Jamboree, and fourth is an 11,000-pound Pull-Pal and case.

How to enter? Tickets are $2. Buy 10 and get a special seller's raffle ticket for a set of four BFGoodrich tires (your choice). This year's $2 Jeep will be raffled on February 14th, 2009, at the CA4WDC convention in Primm, Nevada, and you don't have to be present to win. Order tickets at 800/4x4-FUNN or point your browser to www.cal4wheel.com.

BFGoodrich Tires Takes 22nd Overall Win In Baja
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of the SCORE Desert Racing Series, conquered Mexico's Baja peninsula by earning its 22nd overall four-wheel victory at the 41st Annual SCORE Baja 1000. Facing a talented and diverse field of 347 starting entrants, BFGoodrich Tires drivers Roger Norman and Larry Roeseler mastered the rugged terrain of Mexico's Baja peninsula to capture the overall four-wheel title. The Norman Motorsports Ford F-150 Trophy-Truck outfitted with BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR off-road tires completed the race in 12 hours, 40 minutes, and 33 seconds after logging an average speed of 49.81 mph despite blinding dust and heavy fog near the end of the race. This was Roeseler's fifth straight class win in the SCORE Baja 1000, having won the last four years driving with Troy Herbst in Class 1, all five occurring on BFGoodrich tires. Roeseler's overall win gave him a race-record of 13 overall race wins, including three in the four-wheel division to add to his previous 10 motorcycle titles. It was also Roeseler's 17th career class win in this race. Out of a field of 26 SCORE Trophy-Trucks, the top six overall finishers for the class and the race were equipped with BFGoodrich Tires. In addition to supplying its renowned Baja T/AKR tire, Baja T/AKRT tire, and all-new Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tire for the race, BFGoodrich Tires was on-site, providing extensive pit and communications support to more than 100 teams through its fleet of off-road motorsports support vehicles. More than 150 off-road enthusiasts/volunteers donated their time to help make the race happen.

The following is a complete list of BFGoodrich Tires 2008 SCORE Baja 1000 class winners:

* Trophy Truck-Roger Norman/Larry Roeseler
* Class 3-Darren Skilton
* Class 5-Pedro Brassea
* Class 10-Lobsom Yee
* Class 11-Ramon Fernandez
* Stock Mini-Gavin Skilton
* Stock Full-Chad Hall
* BC Class-Chris Kemp
* Sportsman Buggy-Jerry Smith

General Tire Solidifies Return To Competition
General Tire capped off its triumphant return to off-road competition with a stellar showing in the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. When the dust finally settled on the unbelievably grueling desert course, General had scored two class wins, two Second Place and two Third Place class finishes. Marc Burnett, driving his Ford Ranger "Ironman-style" through the entire course, took the win in Class 6 with a time of 27:02:31 (23.35 mph). In Class 9, First Place went to Cisco Bio and his co-drivers Jorge Martinez/Pancho Bio/Francisco Guerrero, with a time of 21:51:40 (28.88 mph). The team of Mike Horner, Cory Susag, and Ted Hunnicut piloted their General Tire/Synergy Motorsports Toyota Tundra to the Second Place podium in Class 8, with a time of 24:57:05; and Kent Kroeker and co-driver Rudy Iribe took the General Tire/KORE Dodge Ram 2500 to a Second Place podium finish in Stock Full. Rounding out the Third Place position Ernie Negrete, Oscar Venagas, and Gabriel Diaz-Peralata came in with a time of 20:52:27. All of the teams raced on General Tire's Grabber competition tire or the Grabber AT2 tires. Grabber competition is designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions; the Grabber also features a newly-developed competition-specific tread compound. The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37x12.50R17 for class 8 and trophy truck/trick truck and 35x12.50R17 for class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, stock mini, and ProTruck. General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light-truck market.

Land Use Notes

2008 SEMA/SAN Legislative Victories
The most powerful tool in protecting the hobby continues to be an informed and active enthusiast. This was demonstrated in full force as SAN members from across the United States and Canada voiced their opinions to lawmakers considering hobby-related legislation. Here is a brief look at some of the legislative victories in 2008.

State Issues
California
Gas Guzzlers: SAN members defeated a bill that would have required the California Air Resources Board to impose a fee on the sale (or lease of one year or longer) of a new passenger motor vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less; a manufacturer's suggested retail price of more than $80,000; and a federal fuel-economy rating of 15 miles per gallon or less.

Emissions Inspections: The SAN defeated a bill that would have required biennial emissions inspections in all areas of the state, while retaining the existing exemptions.

Annual Inspection: SAN members in California defeated legislation to require annual smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older. The bill would also have required that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which could be used to scrap older cars. Pre-'76 motor vehicles would have remained exempt under the bill.

Hawaii
"Gas Guzzlers": The SAN defeated legislation that proposed a new-car surcharge tax, which would have escalated based on carbon emissions. Depending on the vehicle purchased, this surcharge could have required owners to pay up to $2,500 more for the vehicle and affected consumers' ability to purchase the vehicle of their choice.

Engine Tax: SAN members defeated legislation to establish a progressive fee for state motor vehicles based on engine size. These fees would have been collected by the state at the time of initial vehicle registration and at subsequent renewals of registration. These fees would have been in addition to fees and taxes normally required for registration or renewal.

Exhaust Noise: The SAN defeated a bill that sought to ban vehicles equipped with an exhaust system "that has been modified to make more noise or sound than the vehicle made when manufactured." The measure would have allowed law enforcement officers to seize and impound a vehicle upon making a subjective determination that the vehicle was in violation.

Kentucky
Project Titles: SAN-supported legislation to create classic motor-vehicle project titles was signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear. The new law applies to vehicles at least 25 years old, not road-worthy, and currently without a title or with a title from another state. Under the law, a classic motor-vehicle project title would prohibit the use of vehicles bearing these titles on the highway but, once restored, a regular title could be issued.

New York
Emissions Tax: The SAN helped defeat legislation which attempted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a new-car surcharge tax which escalates based on carbon emissions. Depending on the vehicle purchased, this surcharge could have required owners to pay up to $2,500 more for the vehicle.

Grilleguards: New York SAN members defeated legislation to prohibit the use of grilleguards attached to a motor vehicle's chassis. The measure relied on unsubstantiated claims that grilleguards create the potential of greater harm to other vehicles in the event of a collision and obstruct airbag sensors, rendering the airbags useless in an accident. The bill would have required owners of vehicles currently equipped with grilleguards (including those purchased with this equipment from a dealership) to remove these guards.

Tennessee
Custom Vehicles: A version of SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration and titling classification for custom vehicles was signed into law by Governor Phil Bredesen. The new law defines a custom-built car as a vehicle that is built for private use and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. Under the law, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle it most closely resembles.

Vermont
Scrappage Program: The SAN defeated a bill that would have implemented a vehicle scrappage program and financed it with a progressive purchase and use tax and higher registration fees for some new motor vehicles based on fuel-efficiency ratings. Funds collected under the program would have been used to dismantle vehicles deemed by the state to be "clunkers," regardless of their historical value or collector interest.

Washington
Greenhouse Gas Taxes: The SAN defeated two bills that sought to tax vehicle owners in an attempt to reduce motor-vehicle emissions. The first bill would have established two separate progressive fees for state motor vehicles based on (1) engine size and (2) calculations of carbon emissions. These fees would have been collected by the state at the time of initial vehicle registration and at subsequent renewals of registration. The second bill sought to establish a progressive annual excise tax for all passenger motor vehicles based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) fuel-economy ratings. This tax could have required some vehicle owners to pay up to $240 each year.

West Virginia
Inoperable Vehicles: For the third time, SAN members defeated a bill that would have further restricted the ability of vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The measure would have redefined "abandoned motor vehicles" to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building, and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property. The bill would have made violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service, and jail.

U.S. Federal Issues
Wilderness Legislation: Congress embarked on an aggressive push to designate as much as 2 million acres of land as "wilderness." Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited on wilderness lands. The issue is consequential to SAN members as less riding areas will be open for off-highway vehicle (OHV) use. President Bush signed into law a SAN-opposed bill creating the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington state. The SAN supported an alternative to preserve existing roads and trails on about 13,000 acres of the land. A number of other bills were being considered to designate new wilderness areas in California, Idaho, and New Mexico, among other locations. The SAN has recommended that the pending legislation protect OHV use by excluding "cherry-stemmed" roads and trails.

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