El Cajon, Calif. – Regardless of the venue or discipline, some of the world’s top off-road racers share one thing in common—on the same weekend, these FOX athletes took multiple class wins and the overall victory in Baja, were triumphant at a short course rock race in California, and swept the podium at Australia’s biggest desert race, the Finke.
South of the United States border, Bryce Menzies won the 41st SCORE International Baja 500 last weekend in a hard fought battle against his teammate Jesse Jones. It was Menzies’ third Baja 500 victory in four years. Cody Parkhouse won Class 1 and finished 10th overall in his buggy, while Mike Johnson beat a field of 28 competitors in Class 10 at the Baja 500.
Menzies qualified second for the Baja 500, putting him at the front of the pack on a technical racecourse that was plagued by numerous bottlenecks throughout the day. “I think the reason I like the SCORE Baja 500 so much is because it’s an endurance race, but it’s also a sprint race. You get every type of terrain—paved roads, mountains, silt, and rocks—that’s what draws me to the 500. You go from the coast all the way over to the mountains and back,” Menzies explained after the race.
While Menzies and Jones were battling it out in Baja, on the other side of the globe Shannon Rentsch was winning the Finke Desert Race in Australia. Finke is a point-to-point race held over two days from Alice Springs to Finke on Day 1 and then back to Alice Springs on Day 2. Along with Rentsch’s win, FOX drivers also swept the rest of the podium at Finke and nine of the top ten overall positions in the grueling Australian race.
Back in the United States, the Ultra4 season continued with the first Western Region event since King of the Hammers. Shannon Campbell, Jason Scherer, and Tom Wayes battled it out in triple digit weather at the Ultra4 Stampede short course event near Sacramento, California. In a true Cinderella story, Wayes barely made the main event via the Last Chance Qualifier before going on to pass every other competitor on the track in his FOX-equipped rock racer to take the checkered flag. Wayes now sits in first place in the Ultra4 National standings.
“I stuffed the car into a ditch during a practice lap, beat it up pretty good, and my crew did a great job getting the car back together,” said Wayes. “I certainly had my work cut out for me starting in the last position, but the car felt great and I’m excited to have pulled off the win.”