International Truck and Engine Corporation and SMD Motorsports Announce Two-Truck Effort for Desert Racing Classic
WARRENVILLE, Ill. (October 9, 2001) - This November, a new sound will rumble up to the starting line of the longest-running desert race in history. The unfamiliar engine roar at the 2001 SCORE Baja 1000 will not be the high-pitched scream of a motorcycle or an open-wheel buggy, but will instead be the powerful rumble of a high-tech turbocharged Power Stroke(r) Diesel.
As part of a continuing effort to communicate the performance of the Power Stroke Diesel engine to a wide-ranging enthusiast market, International will partner with SMD Motorsports to field two special entries at this year's 34th running of the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000. Complete with a newly created Power Stroke Diesel graphics treatment, SMD Motorsports will field the first Power Stroke Diesel-powered SUV entry this year with a full-size Ford Excursion SUV in the desert racing classic.
Scheduled for Nov. 8-10 in the seaside port town of Ensenada, Mexico, this year's Baja 1000 will provide an international field of trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and dune buggies with the off-road racing's most difficult challenge. The event, expected to be comprised of one large 750-plus mile loop laid out in the northern portion of the rugged Baja peninsula, will offer drivers a wide variety of highly-demanding terrain. With its origins traced to the early 1960s when the sport's pioneers began their record runs from Tijuana to La Paz, the Baja 1000 is considered the oldest and most prestigious off-road races in the world.
Based in Heber, Calif., the SMD team will prepare two special Power Stroke Diesel-themed vehicles for the Baja 1000, extending a formal engineering and promotional relationship between International and SMD Motorsports that began earlier this season. Team owner and race veteran Steve Scaroni will pilot the team's Ford F-150 in the highly-competitive Protruck division, while son Matt Scaroni and Tom Watson will share the driving duties in the team's unique Ford Excursion SUV. The Excursion, built in cooperation with International and Ford to test ruggedness and durability of chassis and drivetrain components, features a fully race-prepared turbocharged Power Stroke Diesel engine designed and built by International. The unique 7.3-liter powerplant produces in excess of 400-horsepower and a ground-pounding 850-lb.-ft. of torque.
"The Power Stroke Diesel has proven its performance one and a half million times over in Ford trucks, vans and SUVs. It is the leading diesel engine on the road, and now we hope to lead the pack off the road, as well," said Dan Ustian, president, engine group International Truck and Engine Corporation. "We have enjoyed working with SMD Motorsports to develop a Power Stroke Diesel powertrain package capable of desert racing. This race is ultimate test for engine endurance. Whether we come in first in the Baja 1000, Ford truck owners know they are the real winners on the road."
Power Stroke Diesel will join a distinguished list of SMD Motorsports team sponsors at Baja including Ford, BFGoodrich, American Racing Wheels, Nextel, Fox Racing Shox, Mastercraft and aFe Filters.
The Baja 1000 effort marks a continuation of an International marketing initiative created to align the Power Stroke Diesel brand with targeted groups of diesel enthusiasts. A large portion of off-road teams and spectators rely on diesel-powered trucks for towing race vehicles and RVs.
"We are very pleased to officially represent the Power Stroke Diesel brand in such a highly visible way for this year's SCORE Baja 1000," said Scaroni, whose agricultural operation owns a large fleet of Ford Power Stroke Diesel products. "The Baja 1000 is the most important off-road race in the world, and we are looking forward to taking on the event with a great list of corporate partners, beginning with International. All of us at SMD Motorsports are huge Power Stroke Diesel fans."
International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE:NAV), which is headquartered in Warrenville, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, which had year 2000 sales and revenues of $8.5 billion. International Truck and Engine is a leading producer of mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, school buses, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles and parts and service sold under the International brand by the industry's broadest dealer and distribution organization. The company also is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at www.InternationalDelivers.com.