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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Oshkosh Diesel Series-Hybrid Tackles 1,000-Mile Off-Road Desert Race

Oshkosh Corporation announced today its Extreme Racing team has completed the 43rd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race course in Mexico. The Oshkosh Extreme Racing team ran its Light Concept Vehicles (LCV) through the rugged 1,061-mile desert course and one crossed the finish line in La Paz today.

“Off-road racing teams compete in the Baja 1000 to push the limits, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see our vehicle overcome the difficult desert terrain,” said Chris Yakes, Oshkosh Corporation vice president of Advanced Products Engineering and Oshkosh Extreme Racing team leader. “Our team’s performance on this world-renowned course speaks to both the quality of our technologies and the expertise of our drivers and technical crew. I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

The two Oshkosh Extreme Racing vehicles, numbered M1 and M2 for the race, were driven by members of California Gold Racing (CGR), led by legendary race driver Glenn Harris. M2 reached speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour and completed the course at 4:20 p.m. PST – approximately 6.5 hours over the limit for scoring purposes.

According to Harris, “There are so many unknowns going into the SCORE Baja 1000 race because of the extreme nature of this event. By finishing one of the toughest off-road races, Oshkosh is demonstrating that this new powertrain and suspension technologies are ready for almost anything.”

“Approximately 58 percent of all vehicles that start the race, are able to finish the race,” said Sal Fish, SCORE International’s President and CEO, which has sanctioned and produced the event since 1975. “I know I speak for the entire SCORE staff and race officials when I say we are impressed with how well the Oshkosh Extreme Racing team performed during their inaugural run.”

Oshkosh Extreme Racing ran two vehicles in the 1,061-mile off-road race. The Oshkosh LCV M1 was unable to meet a checkpoint time requirement, causing the vehicle to receive a “did not finish” result.

The LCV includes the next-generation of TAK-4® independent suspension systems. The new system expands on Oshkosh’s patented TAK-4 suspension by increasing off-road mobility, improving vehicle maneuverability and providing a smoother ride. The Oshkosh ProPulse® diesel-electric powertrain design delivers improved fuel economy and can export significant levels of electrical power.

“I’ve been off-road racing for 30 years now, and this was hands down my favorite race,” said Harris. “SCORE put on another great point-to-point run from Ensenada to La Paz. It was extremely challenging and the vehicles out-performed my expectations. This vehicle thrived where most vehicles have the toughest time in the adverse terrain. We didn’t get stuck once – and the LCV cruised over the silt beds and powered through flooded washes that got deeper and deeper with each passing vehicle.”

“Participating in a competitive event like the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was an amazing experience for our team. The race allowed us to assess the performance of our technologies under extreme conditions and we learned a lot,” Yakes said. “This development milestone was a huge success and our engineers and maintenance experts are eager to apply what we learned to ultimately improve military vehicle fleets for decades to come.”

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