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RISING UP Damen Jefferies Surfaces To The Top Of Class 1 By Dan Sanchez The 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship season has been an uphill climb for Class 1 racer Damen Jefferies. He began with a fourth place at the SCORE San Felipe 250, then a second place finish at the SCORE Baja 500. Finally, everything worked out for Jefferies at the K&N 4th SCORE Baja 400 Presented by VP Racing Fuels, and took the Class 1 victory. “I loved this race!” said Jefferies. “This to me felt like a traditional old-school Baja 500. The terrain was technical, which I liked when I was racing in Class 9 and 1600.” Jefferies started last in his class, which he likes because one doesn’t get behind slower SCORE Trophy Trucks. “I still had issues with a slow truck in front of me,” said Jefferies. “But around race mile 80 I was able to get around the truck and make my way to the front of the Class 1 leaders.” During the race, most of the Class 1 competitors had some kind of problem, but Jefferies had a clean run with some minor brake problems but nothing else. “It was a clean and perfect race,” he said. “I never had to stop, back up around an obstacle, and I didn’t have any flat tires! This year I switched to the 40-inch BFGoodrich Tires and had no issues. In my 32 years of racing these are the best tires I have ever used.” Known for building race buggies, Jefferies was planning on racing this season in a new build he had developed. But he hasn’t fully tested the car yet and instead raced this season in another vehicle he built. “This car was one that I built for a customer, and I ended up building my new car,” said Jefferies. “Then he wanted to sell it so I bought it back to race this season. It’s been a good car and it’s been good all season.” With the win, Jefferies is three points behind Cody Reid to take a class championship. Winning it depends on how they finish at the BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by K&N in November. “The SCORE Baja 1000 is going to be a long race, but we can’t give up,” he says. “We’re trying to make these cars last and we are leaning on the parts pretty hard. So we are going to pay attention to where our competitors are and know when to speed up or slow down. Once the cars get to Loretto, it will be hard for chase crews to catch up to their race cars on the course. We have to stage crews going north so you don’t have to have a mad scramble up the Peninsula. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be a great race.”

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