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

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Page 42 of 124

DIGGING OUT Buggy Classes Dig Deep To Finish A Tough Course By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Jose Vazquez, and Guilherme Torres Photos by Get Some Photo The technical and silt-laden course of the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts was slow going for many of the buggy classes. Except for a few that managed to avoid getting stuck in the silt, getting caught in a bottleneck, or hitting a rock that took them out of the race, only about half of the racers in these classes managed to finish the 466-mile course. The group of Class 1 racers is stacked with experienced championship-level veterans and young racers who are stirring up the class. For Broc Dickerson, he managed to fly down the course to finish seventh overall and win the class. This race was also welcoming back the Wilson racing team that had Brian Wilson in the No. 138 car finish second after being away from SCORE competition for more than a year. Their performance was up to the expectations of fans and competitors alike. “The car ran really well and I’m really happy with how it performed today,” said co-driver Kyle Quinn. “It’s our first time back after a year and we’re happy we managed to finish it today. The first part of the course was really tough and technical, but the second was really nice, flat and fast, definitely different from the start. It was a really nice course, very fun, and BFGoodrich Tires took us all the way home.” Mario Fuentes in the No. 179 car finished in third place, which will help the team towards a class championship after finishing third at the SCORE San Felipe 250. “There were some mud puddles out there and we just had to take our time and splash through them and try to keep the lights as clean as possible,” said co-driver Jason Dudley. “Overall we had a good day. We got stuck on silt a couple of times but just dug ourselves out and kept going. Our BFGoodrich Tires were awesome and we had no flats at all.” The Torres family who entered two buggies, the No. 163 of Ruben Torres and the No. 103 of Gabriel Torres finished fourth and fifth in class. “ It was an interesting day as Baja oftentimes is,”said co-driver of the No. 163 buggy Dave Mason. “We had a good run going with Ruben taking the start. He was pushing hard but a belt fell off and that put us behind a little bit. We had to deal with small issues like this the entire day but just kept it going. Overall it was a good effort and we’re happy to be here safe and sound.” CLASS 10 All 22 of the Class 10 racers who competed at the SCORE Baja 500 are some of the best drivers of whom many are race winners and former class champions. Among them was Chase Warren in the No. 1088 buggy, who won at the SCORE San Felipe 250 and started first, followed by Hiram Duran in the No. 1016 buggy, who started in second place. With the silt areas and bottlenecks on the course, only the best and luckiest racers made it to the finish. Unfortunately, Warren wasn’t one of the lucky ones and sat for two hours waiting at a bottleneck for TT Spec and Class 1 cars to get through. It was much the same for Duran who also dealt with bottlenecks that pushed his second place position back within the pack. For Freddie Willert in the No. 1006 buggy, he had both luck and skill on his side, finishing first in class with co-drivers Stan Potter and Dan Worley. The team started in fifth place and managed to stay out of trouble, but also quickly make repairs on the course to win. “We had a long day, and our power steering line came off. That gave some time to the field but Stan was able to get around the bottleneck and brought us back to the game,” said Willert. “It was a tough course. They just keep getting rougher and rougher but this car just kept going. Everyone that beat us in the SCORE Baja 250 San Felipe we beat today, so that’s good news. Finishing in second place was J. David Ruvalcaba who with his team of drivers, Lionel Ruvalcaba, and Esteban Cruz, started way in the back of the pack in 18th place. “It was a rough course and we had to drive it intelligently,” said Cruz. “We were one of the rear starters and had a little bit of traffic to move along. David did great in the first section despite the silt and everything. He gave me the car in San Quintin in the physical lead, but Willert passed us while we were pitting. I was in his dust until the end but I had to play it safe.” Arturo V. Malo in the No. 1027 buggy finished third with co-drivers Gustavo Pinuelas, Arturo Vazquez Malo and Ricardo Malo. SJ

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