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SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 115 of 129

MORE MAYHEM PER MILE Four-Wheel Classes Clash And Struggle For Survival By Dan Sanchez, Paul Hanson, Isaac Flores, John Gonzales, Ariana Medrano, and Guilherme Torres Photos by Get Some Photo  The four-wheel classes started off strong and with many competitors within a variety of classes. However, the long distance and increasingly deteriorating course would end the race for many of them. Only those who knew how to manage their time and vehicle survived long enough to win in their respective classes. Among those in Class 7 left to finish was Mike Shaffer in the No. 710 Chevrolet Colorado, who was able to hold off 2020 Class Champion Dan Chamlee in the No. 700 Ford Ranger for the class win. Finishing in third place was Gasper Espindola in the No. 716 Ford Ranger. Chamlee had “ironmanned” the race (drove it solo) and commented on the tough course.  “I don’t think they could have made the SCORE Baja 1000 any rockier and bumpier,” said the 18x Class Champion. “It was insane. The last 70 miles, it was rainy and so foggy. I couldn’t see the ground in front of me. I was picking my way in, trying not to go off a cliff. I tore off a fender on a tree going through the silt beds, but what complicated things for us was the big stop we had to make to get stuff fixed. Starting in La Paz was great; I had a great time there, and I hope we can do it again soon.” SCORE LITES The course presented an even more significant challenge for the VW-powered SCORE Lites vehicles. Out of the seven starters, only two finished. The first was Jeremy Sundt in the No. 1220 car, with Jim Anderson, Rick Boyer, Craig Stanton, and Drew Stanton co-driving. “I love VWs and I always wanted to race Class 2, and this is the closest to it,” said Anderson. “For me, this is the best class. We had a lot of problems— three alternator failures and a couple of batteries, we put it on its lid once, and I tore off the whole corner. We took off the front of another car to put on this one. As a team, we had a good performance.” Class 1/2 1600 Within a large group of 22 competitors in Class ½ 1600, Pablo Jauregui from Ensenada, Mexico, in the No. 1685 car, took the win. Helping him were co-drivers Edson Cruz, Saul Zoto, and Marco Antonio. “The LA Bay was very fast and fun— I liked it,” said Jauregui. “The last section from San Felipe to the finish was more challenging because of the water puddles and the mud, but we made it here. We had no flat tires and had only a little issue with our brakes, but nothing big.” CLASS 5 AND 5-1600 The Unlimited and water-cooled VW Bug Classes faired the course much better, but it was still difficult for teams due to the various challenges. Finishing first was the No. 512 car of Mike Belk in Class 5. “We’ve done every Peninsula run for 20 years and this was by far the most challenging mentally and physically,” said Belk. “This car has been buried in silt for two hours and rolled over for another two, and every single time we thought for sure we were done. But the members of our team stepped up and got us back going. The emotional rollercoaster over the last two days has been just unbelievable. This one means a lot— we’re thrilled.”  Finishing first in 5-1600 was Luis Herrera in the No. 558 car. “It was a very challenging race,” said co-driver Michael King. “It was fast in the first half, and then the rain started at the Catavina Loop, and we just worked hard to get through the mud. We did our best to take good care of the car and get here— that was the most important thing.” BAJA CHALLENGE The Baja Challenge class had five groups of competitors, all looking to beat 2020 Class Champion Edward Muncy in the BC4 car. Among them was the BFGoodrich Tires team of tire engineers and other staff, who all managed to take the BC1 car to a class victory. The team included Kyle Tucker (DOR), Brian Finch, Brandon Sturgis, Andrew Comrie-Picard, Jay Jackupca, Shelby Hall (granddaughter of the late Rod Hall), Lance Clifford, and Charlene Bower. Michael Brodeur’s BC2 team finished second, followed by Muncey’s BC4 team, which finished in third place. “I want to thank Joe Duryea— he is the rockstar of this group,” said Muncey at the finish. “Hats off to VP Racing Fuel’s Bruce Hendel and John Remington, too, for driving a sensational race. Thank you KeeKee for jumping in and making it happen. You are such a big part of it. But this is Joe’s show today. He did it. We broke down and made our way the easy way but you guys did it all. We are so proud of you. Thanks to the Wide Open team. It’s an arrive-and-drive program; anyone can do it. Just like this experience— they were taken care of the entire way. That’s what this program is about. These cars are made for Baja. These BFGoodrich tires look brand new. Shout out to the SCORE team out there in the rain. All the volunteers— thanks to them for making such an epic race. We are so lucky to be here. It’s a big week and memorable for everyone.” CLASS 7F After two podium finishes at the start of the 2023 season, Justin Park, in the No. 714F Ford Ranger, had a disappointing SCORE Baja 400 with a DNF. He and his team, including Eduardo “Pako” Martinez, Cole Andrews, and James Tiglio, drove the Bilstein-sponsored truck to a well-deserved victory. “We had some issues with the car, and it was starting to heat up,” said Park. “I got nervous as it was hot outside, and I knew what was coming with such a long race. The final section was tough. We couldn’t go past second gear because it was so slippery. We knew we could end the whole race there if we missed a corner at that point. Every section of the race was amazing, the people were so happy, and the scene was just incredible.” CLASS 7SX Rodrigo Martinez in the No. 753 Ford Ranger took the win among nine other tough competitors. Helping Martinez were co-drivers Rodrigo Martinez Jr, Ronaldo Martinez, Alfonso Cisneros, Romualdo Ficher, Hector Mayoral, and Eduardo Yee. “We had good and bad things in this race,” said Rodrigo Martinez. “We won the race but had too many issues with our engine and needed about 100 liters of oil to make it here. It was a great race; it attracted a lot of racers, and I’d like to thank everyone who supported us.” CLASS 11 In what would seem improbable to anyone driving a Class 11 car in a SCORE race, Oliver Flemate and his No. 1105 Bug won the class to finish an amazing perfect season. In second place was Geovany Alucano’s No. 1150 car, followed by Eric Brandt’s No. 1143 Baja Vida car. “We had a few issues, starting early with one of the spindles at race mile 125,” said Brandt’s co-driver Armando Ventura. “We also had to make a few other stops to replace parts and fix little issues and got stuck in a silt bed for a while. It was an eventful race, but we finished it.” SPT TRUCK The long and extremely tough course devastated the Sportsman Truck Class. Out of the nine competitors, only Chris Greenwood in his No. 1435 vintage Ford Bronco finished just before the cut-off time (48:44:22). Helping with driving duties were photographer Boyd Jaynes, Terry Hawkins, Mike Root, Ryan Blaire, and Cory Pratt. OFFICIAL FINISHERS CLASS 7  (unlimited, six-cylinder, production-appearing trucks or SUVs) (5 Starters, 3 Finishers) 1. 710 Mike Shaffer, 50, Union City, CA/Eric Strom, 45, Vancouver, WA/Gordon Brown, 59, San Diego/John Bowers, 58, San Felipe, MX, Chevy Colorado, 35:25:07 (37.01 miles per hour) 2. 700 Daniel Chamlee, 61, San Felipe, MX (Montecito, CA), Ford Ranger, 37:56:22 3. 716 Gaspar Espindola, 45, Ensenada, MX/Carlos, Cotry, 27, Ensenada, MX, Ford Ranger, 46:19:15 SCORE LITES  (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc) (7 Starters, 2 Finishers) 1. 1220 Jeremy Sundt, 48, Huntington Beach, CA/Jim Anderson, 59, Reno, NV,/Rick Boyer, 66, Bakersfield, CA/Craig Stanton, 61, Bakersfield, CA/Drew Stanton, 23, Redondo Beach, CA/Erick Kozin, Custom, 41:49:54 (31.34 miles per hour) 2. 1211 Oscar R. Alvarez, 47, McAllen, Texas/Doug Satterfield, 45, San Diego/Adrian Guerrero, 36, Ensenada, MX, OSO, 44:51:12 CLASS 1/2-1600  (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) (22 Starters, 8 Finishers) 1. 1685 Pablo Jauregui, 27, Ensenada, MX/Edson Cruz, 27, Ensenada, MX/Saul Zoto, 37, Ensenada/Marco Antonio, 37, Ensenada, MX, Wereloco, 33:38:02 (38.98 miles per hour) 2. 1656 Raul Ojeda, 53, Ensenada, MX/Ernesto Medina, 54, Ensenada, MX/Alonso Angula, 49, Ensenada, MX, Custom, 34:32:30 3. 1628 Leonel Orozco, 39, Mulege, MX/Jose Valles, 40, MX City/Marcos Robles, 52, Ensenada, MX/Pedro Avalos, 33, Ensenada, MX, Penhall, 37:47:03 4. 1665 Odulia Delgado, 58, Ensenada, MX/Alfredo Balbuena, 29, Ensenada, MX/Eliat Cabrales, 37, Ensenada, MX, Lothringer, 42:14:54 5. 1606 Matt Willert, 18, El Cajon, CA/Daniel Goodrich, 28, Chula Vista, CA/Michael Goodrich, 31, Chula Vista, CA/Scott Reams, 56, San Diego/Will Arterga, 33, Chula Vista, CA, Bunderson, 42:57:25 6. 1644 Roman Pereyra, 47, Tijuana, MX/Julio Morales, 40, Mexicali, MX, Garibay, 43:35:48 7. 1617 Francisco Escareno, 52, Mexicali, MX/Javier Rochin, Mexicali, MX/Luivan Volker, Mexicali, MX/Enrique Escareno, 56, Mexicali, MX/Guillermo Escalante, Mexicali, MX, DYM, 44:56:27 8. 1625 Eric Pavolka, 54, Sonoita, Ariz./Andy DeVercelly, IV, 36, Jamul, CA/Mario Alcala, 21, Mexicali, MX/Jean-Paul Cyr, 55, Vermont, Foddrill, 48:22:24. CLASS 5  (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed)-- (5 Starters, 2 Finishers) 1. 512 Mike Belk, 38, San Diego/Ben Swift/Corey Anderson, /Mike Terry/Doug Imhof /LJ Kennedy, Orange, CA, Seagrove-Chevy, 40:45:12 (32.17 miles per hour) 2. 523 Travis Chase, 44, La Crescenta, CA/Don W. Chase, La Crescenta, CA/Errol Hamlin/Chris Schweers, Yorba Linda, CA, Jake’s-Chevy, 47:30:25. CLASS 5-1600 (1600cc water-cooled VW Baja Bugs) (3 Starters, 1 Finishers) 1. 558 Luis Herrera, 42, Granada Hills, CA/Cristian Ortiz, San Ysidro, CA/Jim Yourdon, Bend, Ore./ Michael King, Boise, Idaho, 47:34:40 (27.55 miles per hour). BAJA CHALLENGE  (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich Tires)(Total distance: 1197.04 miles)  (5 Starters, 5 Finishers) 1. BC1 Kyle Tucker, 54, Sherrils Ford, N.C./Brian Finch, 53, Hermitage, Tenn./Brandon Sturgis, 45, Greenville, S.C./Andrew Comrie-Picard, 52, Los Angeles/Jay Jakupca, 42, Easley, N.C./Shelby Hall,  36, Reno, NV/Lance Clifford, 51, Hurricane, UT, Charlene Bower, 47, Moab, UT, 36:40:54 (32.63 miles per hour) 2. BC2 Michael Brodeur, 53, Leland, N.C./Kevin Schmidt, 54, Wilmington, N.C./Ivor Stanbrook, 45, Leland, N.C./Richard Sznurkowski, 50, Wilmington, N.C./Greg Leed, 41, Wilmington, N.C./Chris Kenny, Wilmington, N.C., 37:30:15 3. BC4 Edward Muncey, 52, San Diego/James O’Keefe /Joe Duryea/Bruce Handel/Damian Clapper, John Remington, 41:15:57 4. BC3 Keeley McGarity, 55, Houston/Ken Blackman, 40, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla./Michael Coumanis, 42, Houston/Dean Coumanis, 40, Fairhope, Alabama/Ian Megarity, 26, Houston, 45:12:07 5. BC6 Joshua Strebel, 45, Tucson, Ariz./Sally Strebel, 47, Tucson, Ariz./Michael Roberts, 45, Scottsdale, Ariz./Scott Jefferson, 50, Tucson, Ariz./Dinny Spicer, 42, Portland, Ore./Brian Shaler, 37, Tucson, Ariz., 47:18:32. STOCK MID-SIZE (Total distance: 1197.04 miles)  (1 Starter, 1 Finisher) 1. 766 Brad Lovell, 47, Colorado Springs, Colo./Jason Hutter, 49, Snowmass Village, Colo./Bailey Campbell-Crofts, 26, Gilbert, Ariz./Roger Lovell, 49, Colorado Springs, Colo., Ford Bronco, 40:37:48 (29.27 miles per hour). CLASS 7F  Stock frame, 2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-size trucks)--(4 Starters, 1 Finisher) 1. 714F Justin Park, 48, Encinitas, CA/Eduardo “Pako” Martinez, 35, San Quintin, MX/Cole Andrews, 27, Ramona, Calif/James Tiglio, 43, Oceanside, CA, Ford Ranger, 46:53:39 (27.96 miles per hour). CLASS 7SX  (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks) (Total distance: 1197.04 miles)  (10 Starters, 7 Finishers) 1. 753 Rodrigo Martinez, 56, San Ignacio, MX/Rodrigo Martinez Jr, 28, San Ignacio, MX/Ronaldo Martinez, 24, San Ignacio, MX/Alfonso Cisneros, Santa Rosalia, MX/Romualdo Ficher, San Ignacio, MX/Hector Mayoral, San Ignacio, MX/Eduardo Yee, 27, Ensenada, MX, Ford Ranger, 43:02:17 (27.81 miles per hour) 2. 740 Armando Duron, 55, Mexicali, MX/Alfredo Aubina, 36, San Quintin, MX/Israel Duron, 31, Mexicali, MX/Armando Duron Jr, 30, Mexicali, MX/Juan Padron, 35, San Diego/Shane Raub, 39, San Diego/Pedron Duron, 43, Mexicali, MX, Ford Ranger, 45:36:26 3. 752 Jorge Mendez, 40, Ensenada, MX/Alex Vazquez, 38, Ensenada, MX/Alex Romero, 30, Ensenada, MX/Joel Jimenez, 37, Ensenada, MX/Ricardo Pulido, 25, Ensenada, MX, Ford Ranger, 48:34:25 4. 743 Rodolfo Romo, 38, San Quintin, MX/Daniel Romo, 27, San Quintin, MX/Rodolfo E. Romo, 15, San Quintin, MX/Jose R. Carrera, 53, San Quintin, MX/German Encinitas, 47, Ensenada, MX/Jonathan Metz, 21, Ensenada, MX, Ford Ranger, 49:04:35 5. 751 Arturo Bravo, 36, Maneadero, MX/Sergio Muniz, 37, Ensenada, MX/Gonzalo Valdez, 42, Ensenada, MX/Javier Echeverria, 41, Ensenada, MX/Ruben Luna, 44, Ensenada, MX/Francisco Somola, 32, Ensenada, MX, Ford Ranger, 49:59:59. STOCK FULL (Total distance: 1197.04 miles)  2 Starters, 1 Finisher) 1. 8152 Loren Healy, 42, Famington, N.M./Eric Davis, 45, Sanford, Texas/Jason Scherer, 47, Danville, CA/Jason Berger, 52, Truckee, CA/John Williams, 46, Murray, UT/Nate Williams, 43, Smithfield, UT/Curt LeDuc, 68, Cherry Valley, CA, Ford F-150 Raptor, 41:44:46 (28.67 miles per hour). CLASS 11  (stock VW sedans, safety modifications) (Total distance: 1197.04 miles) (9 Starters, 4 Finishers) 1. 1105 Oliver Flemate, 45, Ensenada, MX/Antonio Espinoza, 29, Ensenada, MX/Valentin Marcado, 45, Ensenada, MX/Oscar Flores, 30, Ensenada, MX/Ricardo Gomez, 30, Ensenada, MX/Ana Paula Flemate, 18, Ensenada, MX, 33:33:17 (35.67 miles per hour) 2. 1150 Geovany Alucano, 36, Cabo San Lucas, MX/Antonio Camacho, 64, Tijuana, MX/Alan Alucano, 31, Cabo San Lucas, MX/Jose Lopez, 36, Cabo San Lucas, MX/Kent Thygerson, 48, San Diego/Raul Gonzalez, 35, Cabo San Lucas, MX/Jose Ochoa, 66, Ensenada, MX, 37:50:08 3. 1143 Eric Brandt, 48, El Centro, CA/Tim Sletten, Palm Springs, CA/Alex Gonzales, Palm Springs, CA/Armando Ventura/Edgard Romero/Clyde Stires, 38:02:01 4. 1100 Hector Sarabia, 62, Ensenada, MX/Porfirio Gutierrez, 71, Ensenada, MX/Esteban Ruiz, 55, Ensenada, MX/Salomon Salvatierra, 37, Los Cabos, MX/Hector Martinez, 21, Ensenada, MX, 48:07:33. SPT TRUCK (9 Starters, 1 Finisher) 1. 1435 Chris Greenwood, 50, Montrose, Colo./Boyd Jaynes, 52, Aliso Viejo, CA/Terry Hawkins, 54, Montrose, Colo./Mike Root, 51, Two Rivers, Alaska/Ryan Blaire, 39, Gardnerville, NV/Cory Pratt, 40, Grand Junction, Colo, Ford Bronco, 48:44:23 (24.56 miles per hour)

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