Baja 1000 winner challenges Elon Musk to take Cybertruck off-road racing, says it 'wouldn't have a chance'
- Jim Glickenhaus, founder of boutique car and race company Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, challenged Elon Musk on Twitter to enter the Cybertruck in 2023's Baja 1000 off-road race.
- Glickenhaus said his company will build a hydrogen-powered version of its SCG Boot off-road racer in order to compete with the Cybertruck.
- Glickenhaus told Insider: "The Tesla Cybertruck is not a serious off-road vehicle. It wouldn't have a chance."
Elon Musk promises the yet-to-exist Tesla Cybertruck will do many things - specifically, "kick butt in Baja" with its "dynamic air suspension travel."
Those are words lifted directly from a Musk tweet from last April.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2020
Musk is, of course, referring to the series of intensive desert off-road races that take place in Mexico, with the biggest and most serious one being the famed Baja 1000. The Baja 1000 is especially known for how grueling and dangerous it can be.
The claim didn't go unnoticed by boutique car company Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and its founder, Jim Glickenhaus, who challenged Musk to enter the 2023 Baja 1000 race in the Cybertruck to compete against a hydrogen-powered version of its Boot off-road racer.
—Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (@Glickenhaus) December 30, 2020
SCG is no stranger to racing in the Baja 1000. It beat the Ford Bronco R last November for its second-straight class victory.
"The Baja 1000 would be a great test for your [Cybertruck]," Glickenhaus tweeted. "That brings us back to Hydrogen. We are thinking about offering a Hydrogen version of our Boot and racing it at The Baja 1000 in 2023. This would be a great time for you to join the race with your [Cybertruck].
"As we may race 1,000 miles on one tank of hydrogen we may not need refueling stations. Either way we say bring it. Best Jim."
In a call with Insider, Glickenhaus said Musk has not yet responded.
"Sure, the Boot is a polluter," he said, referring to his truck's use of a General Motors-sourced V8 engine. "But we'd be very happy to show up in a liquid hydrogen vehicle and race the entire Baja 1000 on one fill-up."Glickenhaus is a supporter of hydrogen-powered cars. Car and Driver reported that the company believes "hydrogen fuel cells are superior to battery-electric vehicles ... that today's battery technology has limitations: they're heavy, prone to loss of range in cold weather, and there's the recharge time."
SCG's managing director, Jesse Glickenhaus, told the outlet: "If electric battery vehicles cannot compete against gasoline-powered vehicles in the most extreme racing environments - the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Baja 1000 - then they cannot compete against gasoline engines in the most extreme uses, many of which are the most polluting."
Jim Glickenhaus told Insider both his son and his wife drive Teslas, and that "Musk has made some fantastic vehicles."
"But to say that these things can go through the Baja is a joke," Glickenhaus said. "The Cybertruck annoys me because they say they're gonna prove it on the Baja and they have no idea how the Baja works. With the air suspension and that amount of suspension travel - it would have zero chance on the Baja.
"We design things for the road and for serious off-roading and off-road racing. Jeep and Bronco - they design things for the road and the off-road. The Tesla Cybertruck is not a serious off-road vehicle. It wouldn't have a chance."
Should Musk take Glickenhaus up on his challenge, it would be a true display of hydrogen- and electric-car capabilities under the most extreme conditions.
We've reached out to Tesla about whether it ever intends to compete in the Baja 1000, but we do not expect a response.
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