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A RACER’S STYLE OF RACING The Wilsons Are One Of SCORE’s Most Competitive Class 1 Teams Story by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo One of the foremost racing families in SCORE Off-Road Racing, the Wilsons, have been competing since the very beginning of the world’s most exciting form of motorsport. Brothers Rick and Randy Wilson started back in 1976 on motorcycles like many other desert off-road racers, and eventually moved to buggies in the early 80s. They ultimately earned two Class 10 buggy championships, (1989, 1992). Ronny Wilson, the youngest of the three brothers, also began seeing success racing buggies of his own. Coming into the 1995 racing season, the Wilson family decided it was time to move up into the most competitive of the buggy classes – Class 1. This was at a time when SCORE Trophy Trucks were just coming on to the scene, running separately, and Class 1 buggies were still taking a lot of overall race wins. Ronny’s son Brad, also got into buggy racing and is the current driver-of-record of the Number 153 Wilson Motorsports Jimco Hammerhead. He has already won numerous races and championships, and is going into the 2022 SCORE Baja 400 third in class points. “After two championships in Class 10, Class 1 was the itch we needed to scratch,” said Brad Wilson. “The team decided to field two Class 1 cars in 1995.” Buggy Guys “We’ve never really had any desire to go into trucks,” Wilson continued. “We’ve always been buggy guys. Buggies are what we know and what we’ve been doing for a long time. We’re happy in buggies. We have a good time– it’s what we love.” Class 1 cars have become faster and more competitive over the last 10 to 15 years due to some major advancements in buggy design. The two Class 1 cars the Wilsons were running prior to moving into the new Jimco buggies were considered the “standard” in the class for a long time. “Then Jimco started bringing back the concept of a mid-engine car. We saw it and wanted it,” said Wilson. The team knew they could go a lot faster and get more wheel travel (especially in the rear) with a mid-engine buggy. According to Brad, “the mid-engine design really centers the car and makes it much easier to drive faster and turn easier. And now, there are guys running AWD systems in the buggies. I think Class 1 cars have really taken up a notch in the last few years.” Shocking Speeds For the Wilsons, shock and suspension development have been keys to success lately. “We run King shocks and have always had very good performance from them,” said Wilson. “But late 2021, we went testing and tuning with Todd and Jason of Suspension Development Group (SDG), and what they have done to our shocks has allowed us to get more speed and better handling. This works especially well in the really rough stuff like the heavy whoops along Zoo Road on the San Felipe 250 racecourse.” At the 2021 SCORE Baja 1000, they won their class after the fine-tuning. Brad Wilson talked about future plans and praised the team mechanics. “There’s still lots of potential in this new car we have yet to explore. Every race we learn something and make the car better. We plan on winning many more races with the new car. And I have to give credit to Chris Ramey and Ben Wright, our two full-time mechanics. They always have great ideas that work, do all the race prep and teardown afterward, and are responsible for making our cars as reliable and fast as they are.” In an effort to improve the class, the Wilson team has joined with several other Class 1 racers to enter into a side-purse that now totals $25K. The teams that have entered this coalition of racers, hope to encourage up and coming teams to get into Class 1 and add to their high level of competition. SJ

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