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LA DAMA DE OFF-ROAD Carolina Sanchez Is Making Her Mark In SCORE Off-Road Racing by Stuart Bourdon Photography courtesy Carolina Sanchez Carolina Sanchez has been racing off-road since 2018, but in just that short time, the Calexico, California resident has already made a name for herself in off-road racing. Sanchez spent a couple of years racing other events in Baja California, and during those initial competitions, she learned how to handle a race car as well as any other driver. Those early races built up her confidence and helped sharpen her off-road racing skills. Her race car of choice has always been a modified UTV. “I bought my first UTV five years ago and started driving for fun with groups of friends and going to races as a spectator. That’s what got me interested in racing a UTV,” said Sanchez. After running her first race-prepped UTV in Class 29 for a year, Sanchez decided to drive a Can-Am X3 because “It worked better for me,” she said. “I have always been inspired by racers like Kristin Matlock, and I dreamed of running the SCORE Baja 1000 one day.” Sanchez continued to improve her driving, and in 2020 she was finally ready. The Big Time The 2020 SCORE Baja 1000 was Sanchez’s first big off-road race. The course was not only tough on cars but exhausting for drivers. It was one of the roughest in memory and the longest loop race ever run for the SCORE International season finale at 898.4 miles. Out of the five SCORE Pro Stock UTV Class competitors to start the race, Sanchez was first to take the checkered flag. Finishing the race in her Can-Am X3 with an elapsed time of 34 hours, 11 minutes, and 48 seconds, Sanchez bested her nearest Pro Stock UTV class competitor Dave Davenport by almost two hours, proving she could compete and win in the toughest off-road race in the world. Coming into the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship season, Sanchez and her team had their sights set on winning at the BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 Presented by Ford. The race covered a total of 280.2 miles and ran over mountains, across the wide-open desert, huge dry lake beds, and through five incredibly rough and infamous Baja washes in the area. “Ironwomen” Sanchez Sanchez drove the entire San Felipe 250 race by herself. “I like driving and have already driven solo in four races. I wanted to ‘Ironwomen’ the 250,” she said. “We spent about 10 hours (10:43:48.689 to be exact) getting to the finish line. In that race, we had three flats because the racecourse was so tough, but what gave us the most trouble was an overheated intake plenum that had us stopped for about two hours.” The team finished seventh in class, but that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. “We’re going to run the entire 2021 SCORE season, and are already planning our race strategy and getting ready to start pre-running the SCORE Baja 500.” SJ

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