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Robby Gordon Is Baja Ready A New AWD Trophy Truck Will Be His BaJa Ride This Season By Stuart Bourdon Robby Gordon is busy these days, in-between a string of engineering meetings and patent consultations to talk about his strategy for the upcoming 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The racecourse is centered around San Felipe, and there’s no doubt it will affect the outcome of the race. The “monkey wrench” in this year’s SCORE International World Desert Championship racing season has been Covid-19, and the series cut down to two races, creating fewer opportunities for drivers to rack up championship points. “I haven’t raced for a SCORE Championship in at least a decade,” said Gordon. “We just don’t have the time with Stadium Super Truck Series now, and with NASCAR and other races, we were so busy. Ironically, we had intended to run this entire year (2020) with our new AWD truck, but that got cut short.” Regardless of the now abridged SCORE International race schedule this year, Gordon’s overall strategy for this season is simple and hasn’t changed. Fewer championship points opportunities aside, he made clear his connection to and motivation for running these two races, “The SCORE Baja 500 and the SCORE Baja 1000 are the iconic races that I really love,” he says. I have been racing in Baja for three decades now and I enjoy the competition. Baja is my favorite place to race. I love the people and the place. What can I say, it’s Baja.” This year, a course change and a complete move of race headquarters location have flipped the normal race tactics upside down. For Gordon, that’s all part of racing in Baja. “It’s that unknown that I look for in Baja, that’s not found in other motorsports,” says Gordon. “In NASCAR, our longest track is 4.5 miles at Road America (you learn it quickly and it doesn’t change) but the SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000 are always changing. This year the ‘500’ is on roads we haven’t been on in 20 years, and some we’ve never been on before.” The importance of the SCORE Baja 500 race and its direct influence upon the SCORE Baja 1000 becomes apparent when you consider that finishing order in the “500” determines a driver’s starting position in the “1000” in November. Gordon highlighted the importance of starting position with a tale of his most recent desert race. “Starting position determines which dust pile you were in,” he says. “The leader created the first dust pile, the next driver (or drivers in a tight group) created the second, and so on. You could only drive so fast through one, so chasing and passing someone was difficult. If you could safely run two minutes behind the guy in front of you for example, and every two minutes apart you had a dust pile, but cars started every one minute apart, then that means that the fifth car is already five minutes down in corrected time.” Gordon is hopeful his new AWD Trophy Truck will give him an advantage. “There’s a lot of sand washes in Baja and our AWD drivetrain package gives us a big advantage in that. We’re looking forward to it.” Some of the pit organizations relied upon by many racers have decided not go to to this race due to the pandemic, but that will not affect Gordon’s efforts. “It’s unfortunate and understandable that they will not be there,” he said. “But our team is self-contained with our pit personnel and systems, as we have been for 25 or 30 years. Most of the SCORE Trophy Truck teams also operate their own pit and support teams. We can’t control what’s going on with this COVID situation, but we are looking forward to getting back to Baja and doing some racing.” SJ

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