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Cummins Diesel and Valvoline Oil "Bid For Baja", OFF-ROAD LIVE!
Cummins engineer Roger England didn’t have much time to admire the view driving up the winding, 12.42-mile course at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colorado (U.S.A.).
As if the treacherous mountain road, with its 156 turns, wasn’t challenge enough for the truck he was driving assembled by employees from Valvoline and Cummins, the temperature started rising in the high-performance engine they were testing.
The crew thought they could keep the windshield on for the run, but now it seemed to block too much of the thin mountain air from reaching the radiator in the bed of the truck. That wasn’t all, the power steering pump started objecting loudly to the turns and steep climb.
But there was one benefit to those challenges.
“I was busy the whole time,” said England, when asked if he ever thought about the long drops waiting just beyond the edge of the road. “I’d see people waving and I’d try to wave back, but after a while I was looking at nothing but the asphalt.”
England reached the 14,115 foot summit in just under 17 minutes, completing the first exhibition run up the mountain on June 25, the biggest day of the world’s second oldest motor sports race. His time, in fact, was about three minutes faster than the team expected.
“This was a shakedown cruise,” said England, Director – Materials Science & Technology at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana. “The last thing I wanted to do was wrinkle the truck.”
“We were very excited about the performance of the truck,” added Michael Wedding, Lead Build Engineer for Valvoline, who shares England’s passion for racing.
The first-gen Dodge RAM pickup truck was developed to celebrate Valvoline’s 150th anniversary and the extensive research and development history between Valvoline and Cummins. It is one of two trucks Valvoline expects to enter in the 49th SCORE Baja 1000, the legendary off-road endurance race scheduled for Nov. 16 to Nov. 20, starting and ending in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
“Several Valvoline employees wanted to demonstrate our hands-on expertise by showing that we not only work at Valvoline, but also embody the spirit of the brand and understand how to get under the hood and create a competition vehicle,” said Jamal Muashsher, Valvoline’s Vice President of Marketing.The trucks are using custom built 5.9L common-rail remanufactured Cummins engines, similar to the 2003 vintage offered as an option in the RAM pickup truck. RAM introduced the Cummins mechanical 5.9L Turbo Diesel in the 1989 model year and that engine evolved into the 6.7L Turbo Diesel available today.