SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal-September 2019

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 20 of 97

READY FOR SCORE The Sourapas boys make their debut in SCORE as a family owned team at the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 By Dan Sanchez Photos by Dan Sanchez By the time Brett and Christian Sourapas got involved in professional off-road racing, their dad Steve Sourapas had cast a large shadow by being a two-time SCORE Overall Points Champion. But as the two young racers grew from racing Trophy Carts as kids, to a Trophy Lite in their teens, and ultimately driving with the Herbst/Smith racing team in a full SCORE Trophy Truck, they always wanted to compete on their own terms and bring back the Sourapas name into the winner’s list in SCORE International. “I kept these boys around closed-loop courses for a long time, mostly to keep them safe,” said Steve Sourapas “After purchasing a Trophy Lite truck we had to decide whether to stay with short course racing or move to desert racing. The boys wanted to move into the desert and an opportunity came to put Brett in the #88 Coors Lite SCORE Trophy Truck in 2016, and started racing with the Herbst team. At the same time, Christian was a Division 1 college track athlete and his racing was restricted to when he wasn’t competing, but he eventually got some good experience with the Herbst team as well.” The Sourapas family says they’re testing the waters in Baja, but dad knows how difficult it can be. “Baja throws different challenges at you,” says Steve Sourapas. “The terrain that can take you from the desert to the mountains and the ocean all in one day requires knowledge of how to tackle that. There’s also the combination of the unexpected too, but I think they are now ready for it.” Steve, Brett, and Christian are excited to compete against racers like Bryce Menzies, Andy McMillin, Rob MacCachren and others, but they are also taking their family’s return to SCORE very seriously. “We have two trucks that we’re taking to the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400,” says Steve. “One is my old Geiser truck, the Corona Extra number 6, and a new Mason All-Wheel-Drive truck. We’re very excited about the Mason truck and think it’s one of the best AWD trucks out there. These trucks just keep getting faster and the only question is if they will live.” According to Steve, it’s the same truck as what Andy McMillin is also debuting at the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, and the Sourapas truck will also have a new transmission that will be tested at the race. “The AWD truck is very different from what we’re used to,” said Christian. “There’s a common misconception that you’ll be faster in an AWD truck but you have the same brakes as a regular Trophy Truck.” “It’s only an advantage when you know where the truck has the advantage,” added Brett.  “If we didn’t think we were ready, we wouldn’t be racing in SCORE yet, but some of that confidence comes from the fact that my brother and I will both be co-driving together. It will be the first time that Brett and I are sharing driving duties in a SCORE Trophy Truck.” Brett and Christian’s decision to race in SCORE is starting from a position of respect, knowing the cost and effort it takes to win from their dad’s experiences. “We have a lot of confidence but there’s always some pressure to be under dad’s shadow,” says Christian. This being the team’s private effort, both Brett and Christian also appreciate what their dad is doing for them. “He’s put such a huge effort to make everything happen and in a way, it would seem like a waste if we were not going to take this seriously,” said Brett. “We always wanted to race more in SCORE and be where all the best competitors are, and you have to go in and do it right.” “We’re testing the waters to see where we fit in with guys like Bryce Menzies and Andy McMillin, but no matter what happens during the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, it will be a learning experience and we eventually want to transition into competing in more SCORE races in the future,” says Christian. “SCORE is where all of the exposure is and where all of the opportunities are. We’re very grateful and appreciative that our dad and our sponsors are behind us in this effort.” The Sourapas effort into SCORE is also aided by Cameron Steel and the Desert Assassins who will be helping with pitting during the race. “Cameron offered to help with our pits and wanted to win some races together,” said Christian. “Cameron and the Desert Assassins will be a great help for our race effort, and we also believe they will help us to truly explore and appreciate the beauty and landscape of the Baja Peninsula. Like Cameron, we also want to give back to the area and the people that make Baja such a great place.” Brett and Christian Sourapas seem to have all the cards landing in their favor, but they know the road ahead is difficult. “We want to do well at the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400, and see it as a test of the first 400 miles for the SCORE Baja 1000, as well as getting a good starting position,” said Christian. “We want to win the SCORE Baja 1000 and let people know that the Sourapas boys are serious.” With Brett having raced three SCORE Baja 1000’s and Christian two SCORE Baja 1000’s with the Herbst team, they know it’s important to not over-drive their AWD Trophy Truck and finish both races. “We know we have the speed from point A to point B,” says Christian. “We know, however, that there are also many other points along the way that require completely different driving tactics and we can’t risk it all by going all-out at the Lucerna race and not making the SCORE Baja 1000.” To help them in both efforts, Brett and Christian looked to get help with some experienced co-riders but as they noted, it’s difficult to get someone to help out on a new team. Despite the odds, they both ended up with some veterans that were eager to help the two young drivers. “I was able to get Robert Llewellyn to co-ride with me,” said Brett. “Llewellyn has so much experience with the Baldy Racing Team and with Jorgensen Racing, as well as being on the Class 10 champion team with RPI racing.” “I wanted someone who could speak the language, work on the car and knew the Baja terrain well,” said Christian. “I was fortunate to end up with 2014 SCORE Pro Moto Champion Ricky Brabec as my co-rider. I direct messaged him on Instagram and by the end of the day, he got back to me and said he would be honored. I was the one who was humbled and honored to have such an experienced person next to me, and am super excited to have him as a part of our team.” At the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 Live Drawing, the Sourapas team got the first starting position for the race. SCORE fans and teams are happy to witness their debut family effort and watch Brett and Christian begin making their own history within SCORE International Off-Road Racing. SJ

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