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2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Series Headed to Baja 1000

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/6/2014 Benson Kong, Erick Ayapana
2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000

Toyota is very familiar with the SCORE Baja 1000 race, so it’s no surprise that it will enter the 2015 Tundra TRD Pro Series truck in the grueling desert event. The truck will run in the Full Size Stock Class, backed by a team that includes top engineers and veteran racers.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000

Among the group headed to the Mexican race will be team coach Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, who had a successful, decades-long career as a Toyota off-road racer and is a 22-time SCORE Baja 500 and 1000 champion. The team navigator will be Mike Sweers, who is the Chief Engineer of Toyota Trucks. Sweers said in a release that the race, which covers over 1000 miles, will also double as an important research and development study for future trucks.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Baja 1000

The team of drivers includes TRD design engineer Ted Moncure, Toyota Athlete and Baja 500 Champion Andy Bell, Toyota Athlete and professional BMX rider Jamie Bestwick, and Baja 1000 and 500 competitor Ryan Millen, son of off-roader Rod Millen. Associate online editor Benson Kong recently met with the team for a brief chat and to check on the status of the race truck:

Much work still needs to be done in the three months leading up to the 2014 Baja 1000 (although it wouldn't be a racing vehicle if preparation wasn't taken down to the wire) but Toyota is off to a good start. We took a closer look in person at the race-ready Tundra TRD Pro and learned one of the objectives was to retain a relatively stock exterior so it wouldn't appear too far removed from a Toyota truck you'd see on the street. That meant making sure the rear Bilstein 9300 Series Black Hawk shock absorbers protruding through the truck bed wouldn't be visible from a side profile view (or through the cab windows). No, the 4.5-inch shocks aren't found on a factory Tundra TRD Pro, but this truck is actually going to compete in a real race.

The exhaust system, roll cage, and airbox are among the components that still need to be finished. Packaging the hefty shocks into the front suspension has proven to be difficult, where OEM control arms and uprights (as mandated by SCORE Stock Full class rules) make fitment a bit tight. Mike Sweers, chief engineer of Toyota trucks, is particularly interested in learning how the race truck deals with the Baja 1000's unpredictable course conditions. We'll learn more technical specifications about the truck as it nears its test and tune dates, when the suspension will be dialed in.

Ted Moncure, TRD, F-Sport & functional accessory design engineering manager and TRD Pro Desert Race Team driver, tells us:

"I think the Baja 1000 will be a great durability test for the TRD Pro Tundra. I'm looking forward to experiencing how the TRD Pro suspension tuning will smooth out the whoops and ruts, and get us 1100+ miles down the Baja peninsula. I'm sure it will be an adventure!"

The race starts in Ensenada, Mexico and runs from November 12-16.

Source: Toyota


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