Report: Toyota to Race 2010 4Runner in Baja 1000
Toyota has announced that the all-new fifth-generation 2010 4Runner will compete in the grueling off-road Baja 1000 race. The truck will compete in the “Stock mini” class, meaning that it will receive minor modifications in order to compete.
Toyota isn’t fooling around either and has hired Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, a 22-time Baa winner and member of the Off-Road Motorsorts Hall of Fame, to pilot the truck, along with along list of other qualified drivers. The race covers 672 miles and takes approximately 31 hours to complete.
“Historically, only half of the racers finish this incredible test of man and machine, but we’re confident the Fifth Generation 4Runner will be a major contender in the stock mini class and can handle the grueling course”, said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager.
The 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 kicks off November 20-21, in Ensenada, Mexico.
Official release after the jump:
Toyota 2010 Model Year 4Runner Slated for the SCORE Baja 1000
The Fifth Generation 2010 Toyota 4Runner to run in the “Stock mini” Class
TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2009) – Toyota will make history by entering its 2010 Model Year Fifth Generation 4Runner in the internationally renowned SCORE Baja 1000. With over 672 miles in length and a time limit of 31 hours, the Baja 1000 is one of the toughest desert races in the world.
Over 325 entries are expected from around the world to compete in the 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 – the last desert race of the season scheduled for November 20-21, in Ensenada, Mexico.
Toyota will test its newest 4Runner and showcase the SUV’s capabilities and durability in the Mexican desert’s treacherous terrain. “Historically, only half of the racers finish this incredible test of man and machine, but we’re confident the Fifth Generation 4Runner will be a major contender in the stock mini class and can handle the grueling course”, said Les Unger, Toyota’s national motorsports manager.
One of the scheduled drivers will be the legendary Ivan “Ironman” Stewart – 22-time SCORE Baja race winner. Stewart has successfully conquered the toughest obstacles in off-road racing and was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006. “I’m thrilled to have been chosen to be one of the drivers to once again prove the toughness and durability of Toyota vehicles. I’m sure the Fifth Generation 4Runner will be tough enough to survive even my Iron foot”, said Stewart. Co-driving the 4Runner will be the teams of Bob Ditner/Zach Zwillinger from the start line to Borrego Junction, Ken Ziesemer/Mark Sasaki throughout the San Felipe loop, Joe Nolan/Paul Williamsen from Borrego to Valle De La Trinidad, and Ivan Stewart/Bob Ditner from Valle De La Trinidad to the finish line. The 4Runner will run on General Tires and utilize the famous Baja Pits Organization throughout the course.
The 2009 Baja 1000 will be a single loop race – starting and finishing in Ensenada on the Pacific Ocean side of the magnificent peninsula and run through Mexican villages — luring in tens of thousands of spectators.
The Fifth Generation 4Runner
The fifth generation 4Runner has an improved V6 engine with better fuel economy and 34 more horse-power than the previous V6. It also adds 17 inch wheels and two additional airbags-for a total of eight, providing buyers more than $1,700 worth of added content. However, the price of the popular four wheel drive V6 SR5 remains unchanged at $30,915. Vehicles will begin arriving at dealerships in late-November.