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A DEDICATED BUGGY MAN Rob Archibald Believes Class 1 Has History And Challenges Story By Mike Vieira Photos by Get Some Photo In Rob Archibald’s long history of racing, dating back to 1993, he’s competed in a number of classes but says Class 1 buggies are his favorites over 1600s, Class 12, or Class 10. “They’re all fun,” Archibald says, “but the horsepower to weight ratio of a Class 1 car makes it a good time. On the right course, it can be extremely fast.” Although the size of the entry list for SCORE’s Class 1 has ebbed and flowed over the years, it always remains competitive with well-prepared cars and skilled drivers. He admits some people may view Class 1 as simply a rung on the ladder towards the SCORE Trophy Truck class, it’s not that way for everyone. With the class being at the top of the buggy field, some teams that could be running SCORE Trophy Trucks choose to stay in Class 1 because of the fun and challenges it presents. “There’s also a lot of tradition and history there, from when Class 1 was the big deal,” Archibald says. “The fans and the other drivers all know that you’re working a lot harder. You’re driving something that’s not going to get through the whoops as well as a SCORE Trophy Truck and we’re beating the shit out of ourselves. It’s definitely a driver’s class, and to be competitive, you’ve got to be on your toes because it’s real easy to make a mistake.” With the high horsepower and speeds, the risk factor is greater in Class 1. “I could be on somebody’s back bumper doing a hundred miles an hour in Class 1.” he says, “If I was in a Limited class, I’d be on their bumper doing maybe forty or fifty. That’s a huge difference. They can kick the dust up to where you can’t see anything, and if there’s a turn coming up, you might be at a higher speed than you might want to be. You’ve got a lot of horsepower at your fingertips.” While SCORE Trophy Trucks have become the “glamor” vehicles in Baja, Archibald feels that the buggy teams are sometimes more dedicated and focused. There’s some talk of SCORE TT Spec trucks being moved ahead of Class 1 for the race start, and while Archibald says the issue is more about reliability than speed in the two classes, he’ll willingly accept whatever decision is made despite the difficulties in passing the TT Spec trucks on the course. “They’ve been talking about Class 1 dying off for years, but it’s not going anywhere, says Archibald. “There are a lot of people that are really enthusiastic about it, and I like that it’s a lot more attainable when you’re budget-minded and just want to have a good time. For me, it’s a hobby, and it always has been. I’ve never tried to make anything more than that. I’m just happy that there’s a place to race, and that SCORE is there for us and has been for so many years.”SJ

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