BFGoodrich® Tires Brings the Spirit of Baja to every Tire It Makes
In 2010, BFGoodrich® Tires is proud to mark its 35th year of competing in Baja with SCORe International. The company anticipates another year of exhilarating competition in the desert, drawing even more racers to the best desert race in the world.
Back to the Beginning
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 - SCORe International's Baja desert races. One year later, the BFGoodrich Radial AllTerrain T/A tire was in Baja ready to compete. In 1977, product development had led to the Three-ply TriGuard® construction resulting in the first of hundreds of SCORe class victories for BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich Tires was initially referred to as "the other guys" as the engineers gave tires out to select drivers to test. It didn't take long for "the other guys" to become "the go-to guys" and their single truckload of rough and rugged tires was not enough to meet the growing demand. Now, 35 years later, "the other guys" have established a reign in Baja that is indisputably unmatched, winning the overall four-wheel title 68 times, and the overall SCORe Baja 1000 title 23 of the past 24 years, including a stretch of 20 consecutive victories.
Support the Sport
While it has long been the official tire of SCORe International's Baja races and continues to dominate, BFGoodrich Tires' support and dedication to the race goes far beyond sponsorship and tires. Perhaps more famous than any of BFGoodrich Tires' partnerships or desert racing technology is the unparalleled support BFGoodrich Tires provides for desert racers. The BFGoodrich Tires pit and radio relay network set up at every SCORe desert race allows numerous teams to participate in desert racing by providing them free logistical support. The only requirement needed to have access to this all-encompassing pit support network is a requirement to run BFGoodrich tires at all SCORe races. "Our goal with the pit and radio network is to ensure that drivers choosing BFGoodrich tires have access to our 35 years of experience racing with SCORe in Baja," said Roberts Kukainis, BFGoodrich Tires Motorsports Manager. "We take this promise we make to racers very seriously. The BFGoodrich Tires pit and radio system is an integral part of the SCORe racing series. We're honored to be able to be there for decades of races, in the middle of the desert with pit stops, and to be that voice on the radio for SCORe racers in Baja."
"With the BFGoodrich Tires pit crews, teams who never could have taken on a desert race can compete with only one or two chase vehicles for support and use BFGoodrich Tires' support for everything else - this is a level of support not offered by any other company, in any other form of racing," added Kukainis.
BFGoodrich Tires also supports the SCORe series with course mapping assistance and pit support at pit locations along the Baja California racecourse. Drivers depend on the BFGoodrich Tires team to support them and get them to the finish line. The BFGoodrich Tires pits are an indispensable tool as they offer services like fueling, vehicle welding, tire changes, mechanical repair, bottled water and much more.
"For 35 years, the SCORe International Baja races have been the off-road focus for BFGoodrich Tires," said Vilija Grazulis, brand manager for BFGoodrich Tires. "every off-road tire that we sell to consumers today must first stand the test of this tough race. Racers benefit because they get a tried and tested tire that is sure to tackle the demanding terrain of the desert, that we in turn build into all of our off-road tires."
Over the past three-and-a-half decades, a great number of drivers have taken top overall or class honors in desert races on BFGoodrich tires. Legendary names, including Bob Gordon and son Robby Gordon, Mark McMillin, Larry Ragland, Rod Hall, Rob MacCachren, Troy Herbst, Larry Roeseler, Roger Norman and, most recently, Andy and Scott McMillin, have helped create and extend the BFGoodrich Tires legacy of desert domination by taking the overall win at the granddaddy of off-road races, the SCORe Baja 1000.
Track the Race
The 42nd SCORe Baja 500 will be available to follow online starting Friday, June 4, through Sunday, June 6, at http://www.trackinginternational.com/news/score courtesy of SCORe International, BFGoodrich Tires and Tracking International (TI). The project, launched at the SCORe San Felipe 250, was designed to upgrade the race experience for fans and the racing community. In addition to an enhanced live satellite tracking page that will monitor all of the vehicles expected to start, Tracking International's site will provide actual race course pre-run video and photography; streaming audio channels webcasting live event coverage; and unofficial timing and scoring in 50-mile intervals. In addition, TI will set up a special remote WiFi service in ensenada at Friday's pre-race and Saturday's start-finish line to provide race teams with the ability to monitor their vehicles.
Share the Fun
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of BFGoodrich Tires in Baja, BFGoodrich Tires is preparing a special opportunity for current on- and off-road racers to drive the 2010 Baja 1000 in the BFGoodrich Tires Wide Open excursion vehicle for the 43rd Annual Tecate SCORe Baja 1000.
First, a special Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) contingency program has been created, whereby those who win their road-course racing class using BFGoodrich tires at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in September will get seat time in the Wide Open excursion "Baja Challenge" class racer running the SCORe Baja 1000. All of Wide Open's Baja Challenge racers are equipped with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A® KM2 tires. Additionally, a special group of racers, vehicle builders and industry influencers known as "TeamBFG" will also compete during the summer for the chance to drive a Wide Open excursion buggy in the SCORe Baja 1000.
Further information about both programs will be released within the next couple of weeks.
Drive Vehicle and Tire Design
Since the very beginning and many times over the last three-and-a-half decades, BFGoodrich Tires engineers have created tires that outperformed the top off-road race vehicles of the day. In response, racers would create new suspension components, use more powerful engines and add beefier components to their vehicles, which would trigger further tire engineering and a continuous, mutually beneficial development cycle that continues today. The technology and design techniques developed through this cyclical process have been shared across the BFGoodrich light-truck tire family every step of the way. Three-ply TriGuard® construction and ShoulderLock™ upper-sidewall traction bars - two features prominent on BFGoodrich Tires' current lineup - trace their roots to this cycle. There's a little bit of desert in every BFGoodrich tire.
Create Winning Partnerships
Along with race vehicles, another important catalyst for BFGoodrich tire development, and therefore the development of desert racing, was a series of partnerships between BFGoodrich Tires and leading automotive manufacturers. In the late 1980s and through the mid-1990s, BFGoodrich Tires partnered with Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford. In addition to overall wins in numerous major desert races, these partnerships resulted in the development of the tire known today as the BFGoodrich Baja T/A® tire which is found on most off-road racing vehicles today.
Map the Course
BFGoodrich Tires does more than just support teams at each race. In the months before major races, BFGoodrich Tires pre-runs courses to help SCORe officials map the race route, prepare driver instructions, find any and all access routes from the pavement to the race course and set up the infrastructure of the BFGoodrich race communications network. All of this information is compiled with printed course maps and pit stop location diagrams and distributed free-of-charge to all teams using BFGoodrich tires. Over the years, this resource the BFGoodrich Tires team assembles has become known as "The Desert Bible."
Throughout its three-and-a-half decades of desert racing, BFGoodrich Tires has seen tire competitors come and go. At the height of tire competition in the mid-1980s, nine tire companies fought their battles off-road. Many companies and brands have tried to stake their claim in off-road racing, using the desert as a way to promote their products and gain notoriety. Through it all, BFGoodrich Tires has passionately and consistently delivered the tires that teams need to win, the support they need to compete, and the experience synonymous with desert racing.
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 35 years, BFGoodrich® Tires is involved in every type of racing, including oval, sports car, drifting, drag, desert, dirt, rally 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 Tires at www.BFGoodrichTires.com.
BFGoodrich Tires' enthusiasm has extended online as well, with a gathering place for auto enthusiasts to upgrade their passion for driving through Nation of GO, where people can celebrate and share what they love to do best at www.NationofGo.com.
BFGoodrich Tires is dedicated to providing high performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 50 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, www.BFGoodrichRacing.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BFGoodrichTires.