Robby Gordon Tops Baja 500
With racing continuing in the elapsed-time race until 10:02 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday, both the start and the finish line were located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It was the sixth straight year that both the pre-race activities and the finish were all held on this historic boulevard. SCORE released the official results following complete data tracking review Monday morning after the course closed.
The total number of starters (276) was the 19th highest total in the 45-year history of the popular race. The starting list included 176 cars and trucks and 100 motorcycles and ATVs. The total of 162 finishers is the 16th-most number of finishers in the event’s 45-year history, for a 58.71 percent finishing rate.
With Honda, Kawasaki and KTM all bring factory-supported teams to the dance, Johnny Campbell’s JCR Honda team enabled Honda to earn its 17th overall win in this race.
With both the Kawasaki and KTM teams surviving crashes with injuries (Kawasaki-Steve Hengeveld, KTM-Kurt Caselli), riding error-free in a methodical march around the Mexico’s Baja California Norte state of the peninsula, JCR Honda rider of record Weigand split the riding time and the victory with Colton Udall, San Clemente, Calif. and David Kamo, Caldwell, Idaho. The trio covered the boulder-strewn course in an overall winning time of 9:46:50, averaging an impressive 51.33mph on the No. 1x Honda CRF450X.
Clyde Stacy, 68, Bristol, Va., is co-leader with Justin Matney, 27, Bristol, Tenn., of the powerful RPM Racing team that featured seven entries and four class wins in their year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
With SCORE Trophy Truck winner Robby Gordon’s team prepping the RPM Off-Road vehicles, Matney won the unlimited Class 1 and finished 10th overall among four-wheel vehicles in a Chevy-powered Geiser Bros. open-wheel desert race car and Stacy brought home the bacon in both Class 5-1600 (VW Baja Bug) and SCORE Trophy Truck Spec (Chevy Colorado) classes. Stacy now has five career class wins in this SCORE Baja race.
Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va., gave RPM racing its fourth class win in Ensenada by winning Class 8 in a Chevy Silverado.
Experience helps in all sports and Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif., proved it again in this race earning his ninth win in Class 3 in a Ford Bronco. Mike Cafro, Fallbrook, Calif., was part of the overall winning ATV team where he picked up his sixth win in Class 25.
In Class 7SX, Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico, won for the fifth time in a Ford Ranger. Second driver for SCORE Lites winner Rafael Navarro IV, Temecula, Calif. (Jimco-VW), Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif., picked up his fourth career class win in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Mike Johnson, Santa Monica, Calif., won Class 10 in an Alumi Craft-Chevy finishing 17th overall among 4-wheel vehicles as he defeated a class with 22 starters, second highest total in this year’s race.
Among the other class winners in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 were Ernesto Arambula, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 1/2-1600, Romo-VW), Cody Kellogg, Upland, Calif. (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), Arturo Alvarez, Mexicali, Mexico (Class7, Ford Ranger), Dave Boynton, Toms River, N.J. (Class 7200, BajaLite-Chevy), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), Chelsea Magness, Desert Hot Springs, Calif. (Protruck, Ford F-150), and Matt Parks, Newport Beach, Calif. (Class 19, Polaris XP900-4.
Among the other motorcycle class winners were teams led by Francisco Arredondo, Guatemala (Class 30, Honda CRF450X) and Mike Prunty, Temecula, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) while the Class 24 ATV class was won by the team led by Thomas Wright, Tabernacle, N.J. on a Honda TRX450R.