Baja Recap: Class Winners from the 2013 SCORE Baja 1000

Nov. 21, 2013 By Josh Burns

More Baja 1000 Highlights

Photo: Josh Burns

Class 11: Rene Rodriguez, Roberto Robles, Jesus Jimenez
(Stock VW Sedans)
Race Time: 35:14:13 (25.1 mph)

Class 11 is for Stock VW Bugs, and let’s just say there may not be a tougher class to compete in at the Baja 1000 – and not purely because of competition, but because of how much of a beating the racers take with the limited modifications for this class. The 1101 car of Rene Rodriguez, Robert Robles and Jesus Jimenez not only earned the class win, but they were the only vehicle of the six who started to complete the race.  “We have an incredible team,” Rodriguez said after the race. “We had a few issues but got them fixed.”


Score Lites (Class 12): Rafael Navarro IV, Vic Bruckman, Patrick Long
(VW-powered, Limited single 1776cc to 2-seat 1835cc)
Race Time: 25:01:24 (35.3 mph)
The SCORE Lites class, a.k.a. Class 12, only had a few entries at this year’s 1000. But as we’ve heard from racers over the years, your true competition isn’t really the other racers; it’s Baja. The 1209 car earned the win in Class 12, taking just over 25 hours to complete the race with an average mph of 35.3.

“Twenty-six hours in the car and a very tough course but that's the way it has to be, it's off road racing,” said navigator Simon Perez. “We ran in zero visibility and got high centered on a rock the size of the car. It took us about 45 minutes to get it out but luckily Cameron Steele came by and gave us a little tug. From then on, it was one thing after another and she (the car) acted like she didn't want to finish.”


Stock Full: Joe Bacal, Payton Wilson
(Stock, Full-sized trucks)
Race Time: 29:21:42 (30.1 mph)

Cancer survivor Joe Bacal has been tackling the Stock Full class in recent years in a very unique vehicle for Baja – a Lexus. Bacal and teammate Payton Wilson tackled this year’s race and were first of two finishers (five started) at this year’s race (the other being off-road legend Rod Hall). “Everything went as planned and we had zero problems,” Bacal said. “We had a little bit of a GPS issue early on but it fixed itself.”


Baja Challenge: Terry Earwood, Andrew Comrie-Picard, Brad Lovell, Brian Finch, Larry McRae, Roger Lovell (Subaru-powered, Spec, open-wheel cars)
Race Time: 28:43:44 (30.8 mph)

The Baja Challenge class features spec buggies powered by Subaru engines to level the playing field. The BC-2 that won the race featured a bevy of BFGoodrich Tires team racers, some of which weren’t necessarily off-roaders. The BC-2 drivers included Terry Earwood, Andrew-Comrie-Picard (a.k.a. ACP), Brad and Roger Lovell, Brian Finch and Larry McRae.

After the race, ACP talked about the course and his experience in the race. “We saw uphill silts beds, we saw high-speed stuff and we saw rock crawling,” he said. “This was a very diabolical and interesting Baja. The great thing is that the team did an amazing job and all the drivers played to their strengths. The car ran perfectly. The only problem we had was that somebody rear-ended us so hard that they pushed the cage into the engine. We were stoked with our result in the race and it just shows how strong these Baja Challenge cars are. It's such a competitive class. Everybody just drove great.

Class 7: Dan Chamlee, Tom Chamlee
(Open, production mini trucks)
Race Time: 35:07:27 (25.7 mph)

Dan and Tom Chamlee battled through the elements to earn the Class 7 win with a time of 35 hours, 7 minutes and 27 seconds – a long day in the truck for sure.  “When we were moving we were putting down some good time and having a lot of fun,” Dan explained after the race. “Unfortunately we weren't always moving. I flipped the truck on its lid, broke the transmission and took a long time to get through the silt and stuck it in a ditch. Most of the race I ran with no clutch and had to speed shift because the clutch was packed with silt and wouldn't disengage. We would blow it out and then we would hit another silt bed. My car is thrashed.”

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