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Page 43 of 78

Mr. Perfection Gus Vildosola Sr. Keeps His SCORE TT Legends Crown Story by Stuart Bourdon Photos by Get Some Photo Gustavo “Gus” Vildosola Sr. is the 2023 SCORE World Desert Racing Champion in the SCORE Trophy Truck Legends class. Vildosola won all four races in the 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship series, for a perfect season that secured the TT Legends class crown. Even more impressive is that this is the second year in a row for Vildosola, having won the TT Legends class in all four races and the class champ points chase in 2022. Take a moment to reflect on the enormous odds against a streak of eight straight wins. While his team made it look easy at times, Vildosola told us, “It was a very difficult thing to accomplish this year. I won the SCORE TT Legends Championship in 2022 with Scott Bailey. All we had to do for the championship was start the SCORE Baja 1000. We had enough points. This year, even though we won three races again, because of the new way points are distributed, we had to finish the 2023 SCORE Baja 1000 in order to win the TT Legends Championship.” “Our dedicated team and our strategy this year was the key to finishing the 2023 Baja 1000 as high as we did. We not only won the class again, but the truck ran so well that we placed seventh overall, well ahead of most of the unlimited SCORE Trophy Trucks. Our crew members, many who are volunteers, are constantly training. They learn every side of the operation and the truck, practicing over and over again to make sure they can do their jobs right at the right time. They want the win as bad as I do.” “We also had a secret weapon,” Vildosola continued, “The team was trailering Tavo’s (Gustavo Vildosola Jr.) TT race truck (since Tavo was helping Menzies) ahead of the Legends race truck. The two trucks are nearly identical, and Tavo’s TT could be cannibalized to repair the Legends truck if it had any mechanical issues.” The team never needed this rolling parts bin, but having it there kept their minds at ease. “Late in the race we heard that our nearest competitor was down and hours behind us,” said Vildosola. “At that point, we figured we had the win and the class championship, but that’s when the really difficult part comes in. You have to balance going fast and keeping the truck together for a finish in a decent position. Ricky (Johnson) did a wonderful job getting the truck to me in one piece and in a good spot. I keep it there. That has been our formula for success.” SJ

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