Wilwood Engineering was started because there was a need in racing for better brakes than currently available - and to this day, that is one of our driving principles. You may know about our racing brakes for circle track, road racing, and the drags, but did you know we have off-road brakes as well? From trophy trucks and buggies on down to UTVs and quads, Wilwood brakes stop nearly anything that goes off-road.
Here are a few of the class winners at the 2020 SCORE Baja 1000 that were using Wilwood. You can catch highlights of the race on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, on ESPN2 at 8 pm Eastern time/11 pm Pacific, and streaming on ESPN+.
SCORE Pro UTV Forced Induction - Bomb Squad Racing
Bomb Squad Racing won the Pro UTV Forced Induction class and took the overall UTV win, with Wes Miller and Jason Luburgh sharing driving duties, with co-drivers Donny Powers and Jeff Hoskins, respectively.
The side-by-side UTV market has exploded in recent years, with turbos and long-travel suspension making them as fast as just about anything off-road, except on terrain where the V8 powered trucks can overpower them. The consumer version of the Polaris RZR Pro XP that Wes Miller’s race vehicle is based on has a turbocharged 925cc twin with 181hp, in a 740lbs package. Right from the factory, it has a top speed that could get you a ticket on the freeway, so it is plenty fast off-road. The race version has been tweaked and tuned, and their top speed and power output are a closely guarded secret.
When racing off-road for nearly 1000 miles, the ability to slow quickly is crucial because you never know what is around the next bend; broken down racers, wheel swallowing holes, and booby traps are common. Point to point, long-distance races require the ability to panic-stop repeatedly, accelerate quickly, run flat out for extended periods, and not break anything; Of course, luck also plays a significant factor.
To upgrade the RZR’s braking to match the power increase, Bomb Squad Racing utilized a Rhys Millen engineered big brake kit. The kit features Wilwood calipers, pads, and rotors, but the hats and mounting brackets are only available through the Rhys Millen Racing website. This is the largest kit that will fit the stock RZR wheels, and even then, the flanges need to be machined for clearance.
SCORE Class 2 - Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus
In Class 2, once again, it was the Ford Motor Company versus niche manufacturer Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, and once again, the Glickenhaus Baja Boot won. In their second matchup, even with another year of development work, the Dearborn engineers still couldn’t build a version of the Bronco that could beat the Boot. Even more impressive, the Boot off-road supercar was driven to and from the race from L.A. - it is fully street and emissions legal.
The Boot, as raced by off-road rally expert Darren Skilton and team, is actually a detuned version of the vehicle sold to the public. Power comes from a practically bulletproof GM sourced LT1 V8 making 450hp, mounted in the back. The Baja race version has more ground clearance and suspension travel, with added safety and long-distance race equipment. The street version retails for more than $250,000 and is powered by the supercharged version of the same V8, with 650hp. Both the street version and the race version of this uniquely American supercar feature Wilwood disc brakes.
The modern Boot was inspired by the original Baja Boot of 1967 designed by off-road pioneer Vic Hickey, which raced competitively for 15 years. Another vehicle Hickey had a hand in (some say also inspired by that original Baja Boot) was the military’s High-Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheel Vehicle, the Humvee. Wilwood is the OEM brake supplier for the AM General Humvee as well.
SCORE Hammer Truck Unlimited - Paul Horschel
King of the Hammers (KoH) is a unique type of off-road racing event that combines rock crawling with high speed open desert racing. The folks at SCORE took notice and created a class just for these unique trucks. Paul Horschel, after an unfortunate DNF in the KoH event, went on to dominate the class at this year’s Baja 1000, his first.
What separates the KoH vehicles from the rest of the trucks, buggies, and UTVs is the articulation they are capable of when the going gets technical. However, at Baja, they are more likely to need their 100+ mph top speed and nearly 500hp V8 to cover lots of ground. Paul’s 24:44:00 total course time would put him fighting top ten in the Trophy Truck class; the fastest class at Baja.
At the 2020 King of the Hammers in February, the Horschel team broke a differential and qualified 30th. Working quickly, the team replaced it for race day, only to once again suffered a broken differential, now miles from help. They were able to get a replacement and tools to fix it in the field, but unfortunately, they still were scored a DNF. To make things worse, when they returned with the chase truck afterwards, their broken diff had been stolen.
Paul shared driving duties with Loren Healey, and Mitchell Sweatt, Zig DeGroot, and Josh Markham providing navigation. After the first 440 miles, Paul handed the car off to Loren, who inherited the class lead in the night, when competitor Shannon Campbell’s transfer case failed. The Horschel team had their own issues, though, losing hours with a destroyed CV joint that had to be replaced in the field, but still managed to be the first in class to cross the finish line.