At a recent event hosted by BFGoodrich in the Nevada desert, four-time Baja 1000 winner Rob MacCachren explained to Motor1.com the myriad of duties his custom pre-runner faces when it’s hard at work.
Baja teams use pre-runners to scout off-road courses prior to race day. It’s not unlike the recon trips rally teams undertake ahead of competition. But in addition to providing vital data to the race team, the car must also survive the same obstacles and brutal conditions as the race vehicles themselves. All this means a good pre-runner is built with both agility, speed, and durability in mind.
MacCachren’s pre-runner features a monstrous Chevrolet LS3 V8, but it’s mounted in back. With 450 horsepower moving a lightweight body, the rugged pre-runner will happily run at 100 miles per hour without breaking a sweat. I witnessed this first-hand during a ride along on a dry lake bed that saw the pre-runner reach triple-digit speeds in a matter of seconds.
Other highlights include a set of massive 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires and Fox shocks, which help keep the car stable over jumps, bumps, rocks, and just about anything else the course might throw at it. In the cabin (if you can really call it that), there’s a three-seat configuration with racing harnesses to keep passengers safe. A complete suite of navigation and telemetry provides real-time data as the team scouts the unknowns of the race courses.
Sadly, MacChachren has no plans to mass produce his bespoke pre-runner. Nonetheless, those with enough time and money can surely build a similarly capable machine on their own.