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READY FOR BATTLE Can-Am Teams Are Preparing For The SCORE San Felipe 250 By Larry Saavedra Photos by Get Some Photo The 2023 SCORE season will bring new challenges for the many UTV racers, but manufacturers such as Can-Am are constantly developing and working out methods to improve their vehicles for the factory teams that are running them. 2022 SCORE Pro UTV FI Champion and Can-Am factory racer Matt Burroughs is one, and he’s feeling confident about his chances for a podium finish at the SCORE San Felipe 250. That level of confidence, some might say, comes from capturing two SCORE Pro UTV and FI Class Championships for Can-Am. But in truth Burroughs says he just loves the terrain there. “I really like San Felipe because it’s the type of desert I’m comfortable with,” he said. “I just really love racing in that part of Baja.” Burroughs says he will be once again racing the Monster Energy No. 2948 Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo RR two-seater this season. “It’s the same platform we ran last year, but we’ll made some small modifications to it using factory components,” said Burroughs. “The frame will likely be strengthened, too, for the rigors of Baja racing at speed.” Because he understands the whoops of San Felipe, and what they can do to a vehicle, Burroughs wants to set up the suspension differently. “All of the race courses in Baja have gotten rougher than previous years, but definitely San Felipe is the roughest.” Although Burroughs had raced the four-seater Maverick from Can-Am prior to 2021, he said the change to a two-seater was both good and bad. “I go back and forth,” he said. “It runs great in certain types of terrain and not as good in other types of terrain. I really like the two-seater now that I’ve spent more time in it. It works really well when the terrain gets rougher.” What he really likes about San Felipe, is all about him being a true desert guy who loves being present there and racing that particular course because of the atmosphere. “The first 30 miles of leaving town are challenging,” he said. “There are mammoth whoops to contend with, and not many lines to get out of them. You have to prepare yourself for the first and last 30 miles of San Felipe.” Burroughs said he attacks the whoops, but he mostly relies on being patient and waiting for the 30 miles of punishment to end. BLURTON AT SPEED Another Can-Am factory team member is Phil Blurton Jr. who drives the No. 2944 Maverick X3 RR. He agrees on how challenging the SCORE San Felipe 250 can be for UTV racers and the idea of racing across whoops. With his experience in SCORE racing, Blurton knows a thing or two about the terrain. In his rookie season in 2021, he took home the SCORE Overall Points Championship and the Pro UTV FI Class Championship. But unlike Burroughs, Blurton has only raced San Felipe once in 2021 and finished in fourth Place. Still, he thinks that was enough seat time to set him straight on what to do and not to do when facing obstacles there. “It seems to me that San Felipe is one of the races where experience really matters most,” he admitted. Of course, Blurton is specifically talking about the notorious whoops section that is the bane of nearly every racer who takes on the challenge. “It’s just whoops the entire time, but it’s fun,” he laughed. “Then the course can be 10 lanes wide at times, and if you have experience at San Felipe you have the advantage.” Blurton Jr. will be campaigning two Can-Ams for 2023, each one set up differently depending on the race. “These race cars are being rotated throughout the season,” he said. For the SCORE San Felipe 250, the Can-Am Maverick will be lighted about 250 pounds due to the terrain. “We won the SCORE Baja 1000 with that same race car, but it will be much lighter for San Felipe.” Because of this, Blurton believes he’ll be able to drive it harder in the whoops with the lightened platform. The team is also lowering the center of gravity and raising the ride height of the vehicle. “A higher ride height will help at San Felipe,” he added, and he has also been working directly with FOX Shocks to avoid the dreaded “shock fade” that can happen on tight technical courses there. Blurton thinks the positive outcome about courses like San Felipe, come from what he learns as a factory racer. That information gets passed on to the manufacturer Can-Am, and then changes get made for the average buyer that wants a well-performing UTV that’s been Baja proven. SJ

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