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ON POINT Brad Wilson and the Wilson Motorsports Team Return To Win In BaJa By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo One of the biggest names in Class 1 is the Wilson Motorsports team, which took a hiatus in 2020 but returned in 2021 to compete again in one of the toughest classes in SCORE. Brad Wilson, in the No 153 Jimco mid-engine buggy, had a DNF at the SCORE Baja 500 but was determined to win the 54th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts. “I raced the last peninsula run in 2017 and had the last run in the car to cross the finish,” said Wilson. “This year, I started, so it was a bit different for me. Overall, I thought it was a lot slower, as I was in the car for about eight hours.” Helping Wilson drive was his dad Ronny Wilson, along with drivers and co-driver's Brian Bowles, Justin Munyon, and Ricky Hardy (pictured below). “We started the race sixth out of a field of ten, and we caught up to our first competitor within the first ten miles,” said Wilson. “We then battled with Mason Cullen in the No. 105 car and we stuck to my game-plan.” Wilson said he planned a conservative race and stuck to the plan even after he was gapped by Cody Parkhouse in the No. 100 car. “Pacing Mullen was my gauge for the race,” said Wilson. “Although Parkhouse had increased his gap ahead of us, we didn’t get passed by anyone behind us.” As the race progressed, the Reid Motorsports team and the Gaughan team had issues, and by the time Ronny Wilson got into the driver’s seat, the team was in second place on the course. “Dad got into the car and made up time on Parkhouse,” said Wilson. “Around race mile 1,020, we were within five miles of Parkhouse, and that’s when our alternator failed. We fixed it within 20-minutes and the team got back into racing.” Munyon got into the car at race mile 750 and drove it to the finish. “After about 24 hours of racing, we were physically nine minutes behind Parkhouse,” said Wilson. “We put in our best effort and crossed the finish line second.” After penalties were applied to the Parkhouse team, however, Wilson found that they had actually won the race. “It’s not the way you want to win a race like this, but it is what it is,” he said. “Making sure you run a clean race has become very important now as any of the competitors in Class 1 have the potential of winning any race.” Wilson recalled when he nearly missed a check-point that possibly could have cost them the race. “Along the beach section of the course, my co-driver called out a right turn and I didn’t hear him and I went off course,” said Wilson. “He told me we needed to get to the right and we missed a checkpoint. I stopped, turned around and got back on the course to make the checkpoint.” For Bryan and Ronny Wilson, it was worth sticking to their game-plan and hitting all their marks at the pace they wanted to drive. For their co-driver Munyon, it was his first time driving a peninsula run to La Paz. “It was a great race,” he said. “It was very tough and there was one point where we were in the dust and we came over a rise. We hit it fast and flew off it. We launched like 40-feet in the air. The car nosed-in and somehow, we pulled it off. Then the throttle cable ended up getting stuck, so I pulled into one of our pits and bungee corded it back from race mile 1,120 to the finish. I appreciate the Wilsons giving me the opportunity to drive for them.” The Wilsons hope to be returning to race the entire 2022 season and to try for another Class 1 championship. “We appreciate SCORE for putting on such a great race and all of the fans who support us,” said Wilson. “We could not have done this without the great group of volunteers, 72 in all, and some were doubled up into trucks, but it helped to have more eyes on the vehicle.” SJ

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