The Early Days
If you're a fan of off-road racing, you've undoubtedly heard the name of the Hall of Fame off-road racer, Brad Lovell. Brad Lovell's journey into the world of off-road racing began with a deep-seated love for the outdoors. Growing up surrounded by the rugged landscapes of Colorado, he developed a keen sense of adventure from a young age. The call of the wild and the allure of uncharted terrains became the foundation for what would later evolve into a remarkable racing career.
The Road to Victory
Lovell's journey into off-road racing was a blend of luck and determination. His childhood passion for off-road exploration, sparked by adventures in the Colorado Rockies with his brother Roger in their father's Ford Bronco, laid the groundwork for his future success.
After college, Lovell took a job as an engineer, allowing him to purchase a Ford Ranger and transform it into a competition vehicle (little did he know, years later he'd become apart of the Ford Performance Racing Team, racing the all-new Ford Ranger in the Baja 1000). The brothers entered their first rock-crawling competition in 2004, winning four events in their debut season. This marked the beginning of a series of accomplishments, including six rock-crawling championships.
Ford Ranger and Global Off-Road Racing:
The Next-Gen Ford Ranger Raptor's return to the SCORE International Baja 1000 marked a significant global effort by Ford Performance. With a rich history of Baja dominance in the '80s and '90s, the Ranger's nostalgia was reflected in its livery design paying homage to past victories.
The Next-Gen Ranger Raptor, a global collaboration in design and engineering, debuted at the iconic Baja 1000. It adhered to SCORE's stock category, showcasing stock street truck capability with minimal modifications for safety and performance.
The race-prepared Ranger Raptor featured an all-star team, including Baja veterans Loren Healy, Jason Hutter, Brad Lovell, and his son Byam. Notably, it wasn't the only father-son duo; ARB 4x4 Accessories founder Andy Brown and his son, ARB Managing Director Danny Brown, joined the team.
Collaborating with Kelly Racing in Australia, Ford Performance transformed the Next-Gen Ranger Raptor for Baja within a tight 10-week window. Danny Brown, ARB's Regional Export Manager, contributed his off-road racing experience to the project, emphasizing ARB's the significance of incorperating ARB Air Lockers.
Andy Brown, ARB Managing Director, joined the race as a driver, showcasing the enduring partnership between ARB and Ford. Their collaboration symbolized the benefits of testing products in extreme environments, aligning with the tough conditions of the Baja 1000.
Lovell, a key figure in Ford Performance's off-road racing teams, and his son Byam navigated the challenging terrain, showcasing the Built Ford Tough nature of the Ranger Raptor.
The Ford Ranger is not the only stock-class race car in Brad's arsenal. Being apart of the Ford Performance racing team, Brad has also been chosen to race the latest generation Ford Bronco at King of the Hammers for the past several years. This year, Brad and his son Byam, will take on the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge in the Ford Performance Ford Bronco.
The Hall of Fame:
Brad Lovell entered his first rock-crawling competition in 2004, marking the beginning of an illustrious career that spans almost two decades. His versatility in off-road racing is unparalleled, with championships in Ultra 4, short-course, and off-road desert racing. Lovell boasts nine season championships and over 35 race victories, earning him the esteemed title of Dirt Sports Racer of the Year in 2012.
In 2020, Lovell claimed the Every Man Challenge title at King of the Hammers, solidifying his status as one of the best in the sport. Lovell officially earned the right to be known as a 'Living Legened" as he became an inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2020, a testament to his enduring impact on the off-road racing landscape.
But retirement is not on the horizon for Lovell; instead, he continues to pursue victories with the same determination that fueled his early career.