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PREPARED FOR TRAFFIC Freddie Willert And Stan Potter Tell How They Talked Themselves Through To A Class 10 Win By Mike Vieria The Class 10 win at the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500 went to Freddie Willert and his co-driver Stan Potter, who overcame a problem early on to put together a great run in their #1006 single-seat buggy. Potter started the race fifth on the road, but almost immediately ran into trouble when the power steering went out at around mile 5. According to Willert, Potter got the car to the crew for service and they were able to fix the problem in about twenty-five minutes. By that time, however, many vehicles from all classes had passed them and left them in the dust. “We had quite a few silt beds that we had to contend with and bottlenecks that forced us to stop and investigate the best way through. Of course, we have a single-seat car, so it’s you, and you’re talking to yourself a lot,” said Potter. The self-talking must have worked, because he kept making up for the lost time. “Around Mile 180, there was a significant hill climb, and we found a line that was marked to the left that we hadn’t taken before, and at that point, we got in front of all the Class 10 cars,” said Potter. “Then I drove it through the dust to Freddie at Mile 272 without any other problems. The car was perfect after we got the power steering line fixed.” At that point, the team decided to skip a planned tire change because the race was so close, with the second-place car on their heels. Willert got behind the wheel and held off the challenger. “I passed them when they were pitting and I knew they had started several minutes behind us, so I knew I had to put some distance on them,” said Willert, who said he had clean air ahead and opened the gap until he began to catch up to the UTVs that were in front of him. “I got in their dust, and I couldn’t make a move on them at night in the dust through that section, so I just basically followed those guys into the finish. It was pretty uneventful for me because Stan had done all the hard work.” Looking back at their early race troubles with the power steering, Potter said, “Perhaps it was an advantage for us having some of that downtime because I think a lot of people got into the bottlenecks and got jammed up. I had pre-run quite a bit the week before, so I knew where they were going to be and had looked at all the potential lines, so I was prepared.” The team’s cruise to victory was in a vehicle that started life in 2010 as a Class 12 racer, built by Alumi Craft as a single-seater. It was later modified for Class 10 use and passed through several hands before its current owners picked it up in 2019. It took some significant damage in last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 and the team did a top to bottom restoration that has kept it competitive with later model vehicles and able to handle the tough SCORE Baja 500 course. “In the first 275 miles, I’d rate it as very rough and technical,” said Willert. “I admire the work that Jose G. and all of SCORE do, who find creative ways to put together really excellent courses. You can’t find this kind of racing anywhere else in the world. It’s not just desert racing– it’s a combination of desert racing, extremely technical terrain, and very varied terrain that’s tremendously challenging.” “The second half of the race was very fast in the first portion, then you come on to the extremely rough section. It doesn’t necessarily get more torn up, but it’s just rough and technical.” The SCORE Class 10 Championship is the team’s focus, so they plan to run in both the SCORE Baja 400 and the SCORE Baja 1000. “It’s an extremely competitive class, and I think everything is going to come down to the 1000 for the Championship,” said Willert. There’s about a half-dozen of us right now in a pretty tight points race.” The team thanks Dan Worley for his vehicle preparation and say they couldn’t do it without him. “His attention to detail, focus, and dedication to our team makes it all possible,” said Potter. The team is also grateful for the help and support from BF Goodrich Tires, Raceline Wheels, King Shocks, and Baja Designs. SJ

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