You know it’s a pretty grueling race when out of a total field of 328 vehicles, only 185 even cross the finish line. Team HUMMER and Rod Hall Racing’s two H3s were not only in the group that made it through all 672 miles of the Baja 1000, their first place finishes have now been made official by Score-International.
After two failed steering racks in the early part of the race, it didn’t look too promising for the #761 stock-mini HUMMER H3 race truck. The team battled on, and after racing nearly 30 hours, managed to edge out the Toyota 4 Runner driven by Ivan Stewart by a mere 9 minutes.
The #860 HUMMER H3 Alpha drove a near-perfect race and finished in just under 23 hours – over four hours before the nearest competitor, the Lexus LX570 driven by Joe Bacal.
Congrats to Rod Hall Racing and Team HUMMER on two great wins!
HUMMER’s full release after the jump.
DETROIT – Rod Hall Racing once again demonstrated the inherent off-road capability of the HUMMER H3 as the team secured both the stock full and stock mini class wins at the 2009 SCORE International Baja 1000. The #860 H3 Alpha, piloted by Chad Hall, captured the stock full class victory, while team owner Rod Hall partnered with Emily Miller and Mike Winkel to earn the stock mini class win with the #761 H3.
With the combined wins, Rod Hall holds the record of 21 Baja 1000 class wins and remains the only racer to have competed in all 42 Baja 1000 competitions.
The 2009 SCORE International Baja 1000 marked the 42nd anniversary of the grueling off-road race and covered 672.85 miles, starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. It ran from November 20-21, 2009.
“Off-road motorsports is an integral part of HUMMER’s vehicle development process and a cornerstone of the brand’s DNA,” said James Taylor, HUMMER CEO. “We’re extremely proud of the team’s resilience to earn these stock class victories and congratulate the Rod Hall Racing program on another successful Baja 1000. Race after race, they continue to prove the rugged nature of HUMMER vehicles.”
In the stock full class, Chad ran a trouble free race in the #860 H3 Alpha, finishing in 22:48:40 hours and averaging 29.50 mph. While the team won the class by more than four hours, they battled the nearest competitor’s Dodge Ram 2500 for the entire race until the Ram suffered a broken front axle less than 30 miles from the finish. The victory marked the third consecutive Baja 1000 in which the H3 Alpha was the first stock class vehicle to finish the race and was Chad Hall’s eighth Baja 1000 class win.
“These production trucks are the right size. They’re fun, take a lot of abuse and just keep running and running,” said Rod Hall. “You’d be surprised at how much abuse the H3 can take.”
In stock mini, the team suffered an early 100-mile deficit as a result of a broken steering rack seal caused by a significant impact to the front end of the #761 H3 near race mile 40. Despite the odds, the team battled back to pass the class leader less than 30 miles from the finish line and post a winning time of 28:53:30 hours.
One of the three Halls has been the driver of record behind the wheel of a HUMMER on a class-winning team in the SCORE Baja 1000 for the ninth straight year and 13 th time in the 16 year-history of the stock class. With 33 class wins, the Halls continue to be the winningest family in the history of the race.
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