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 BLOOD OF CHAMPIONS Ruvalcaba Overcame All Obstacles To Win The Class 10 Title  By Gabriel García Photos by Gabriel Garcia José David Ruvalcaba’s life has been linked for several decades to off-road, first as a motorcycle champion and now following the same path on four wheels as the 2022 SCORE Overall Buggy and Class 10 Champion.  Ruvalcaba and the Las Lomitas Racing team began their adventure in the 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship at the SCORE San Felipe 250, debuting an AlumiCraft buggy with a Honda engine in Class 10. During the race, they had a problem with the engine belt tensioner, which almost left them out of the race. With the support of a friend from San Felipe, however, they replaced the part but finished in sixth place. In the SCORE Baja 500, Ruvalcaba joined forces with Esteban Cruz but made a mistake when he punctured a tire at the Summit. This cost him the lead, but it was Cruz who pushed to get back into first place. During the final part of the route, at the Ensenada bypass, the buggy had a problem with the rear wheel hub and they had to try and jerry-rig it the best way they could to get it to the finish line. In Mexico, they call that having to use “chicanadas”. At the next race, the SCORE Baja 400, David Ruvalcaba started with a clean race and handed it off to Cruz who then passed the leader on the course, Ivan Tangle, in Santo Tomas while he was at a pit stop. From there the team kept the lead to the finish line to take first place.  In the final race of the season, the SCORE Baja 1000 the team realized the class championship was within reach. But during the race, Ruvalcaba lost his brakes around the Ejido Saldaña and had to drive that way until they reached San Felipe. They were battling with Tangle for the lead. Co-driver Esteban Cruz kept trying to push the pace, but Tagle had a lead greater than 20 minutes over them. Then a mistake, the team landed on some rocks near Mike’s Sky Ranch which slowed them down even more. Knowing they couldn’t win the race, the team focused on maintaining a place to finish and earning enough points to become the Class 10 Champions. They avoided making any mistakes and crossed the finish line in third place, giving them a total of 479 points, nine more than Tagle in a very close battle. AZTEC PRIDE IN THE DESERT Jose David Ruvalcaba was very excited to be Class 10 Champion, something that fills him with pride as a Mexican driver and with a great team effort. Although he would have liked to have won the SCORE Baja 1000, he had to decide to go for the championship. Swapping out the standard EcoTec engine for a Honda, the team also highlighted the work of Andy DeVercelly IV, who has prepared the engines for this team for a long time, ever since they were racing in SCORE Class 1/2-1600. Now the challenge will be to defend the number 1000 during the 2023 season. “Those are the plans,” says Ruvalcaba. “To prepare to defend the championship, starting with the SCORE San Felipe 250 and especially the SCORE Baja 1000. This is something that excites us a lot”. Ruvalcaba and the Las Lomitas Racing team thanked the support of their families, the volunteers who were with them throughout 2022, the sponsors, and the mechanics who were an important part of the SCORE International Championship. Ruvalcaba believes they have the blood of champions behind the wheel in the Baja.SJ

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