Lalo Laguna Wins SCORE Baja Sur 500

Apr. 20, 2015 By Art Eugenio,
The Baja Sur 500 is the first race SCORE has held that is entirely in the southern part of the Baja Peninsula.

The second race in the 2015 SCORE International series headed even further south of the border than usual to Cabo San Lucas for the inaugural Baja Sur 500. This is SCORE’s very first venture holding a race solely in the southern half of Baja California.

If there is anywhere you can call the “best of Baja,” this is it. A destination city known worldwide for its wealth of beautiful scenery, SCORE off-road racing has now added a lifestyle element to its plethora of activities and events.

The top names in off-road racing decided to tackle this new adventure to battle for points in the highly coveted SCORE championship, and several well-known local race teams entered the event as well. The course started just off the beach at the tip of land’s end and traversed the southern Baja north to Loreto, hitting both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez coasts with endless high-speed roads, water crossings and canyons in between. It was truly a course to be remembered.

Fans mobbed tech and contingency for the Baja Sur 500.

“The course runs through some of the greenest and most remote and picturesque sections in all of the Baja California Peninsula,” said Rob MacCachren before the race. “We go through arroyos, ranches, valleys, hills and even down the ‘mini summit’ that we have run many times during the SCORE Baja 1000.”

Friday’s tech and contingency proved to be a fan favorite getting to meet their favorite drivers and see the race cars up close.

Colton Udall earned the win in Pro Motorcycle.

The racing started early Saturday morning, with the bikes leaving the starting line a few hours before the trucks. Colton Udall not only solo-ed this race, but he managed to come away with the victory at the inaugural race.

“I iron-manned this race and that's the biggest milestone for me,” said Udall at the finish of the race. “This inaugural Baja Sur 500 was an awesome experience, but I wish I had a helicopter because there was a lot of scary stuff out there. One exciting moment in the race for me was when Justin Morgan (Ricky Brabec No. 1x co-rider) and I were racing just after La Paz (approximately race mile 160) and we battled back and forth and we both had the bikes wide open. It was a battle for the power of the dust. I'm happy that I'm here and I didn't put the bike on the ground once. We used a different strategy for this race by using a four-gallon tank that is nearly a gallon bigger than our normal race tank.”

Udall took the win aboard his Honda CRF450X with a fininishing time of 7 hours, 42 minutes and 58 seconds, more than 25 minutes quicker than the next closest finisher.

“When you are starting in Cabo it is a different game because it is harder to stay focused because it is a party town,” Udall said. “I love it down here. There was a lot of the terrain similar to races starting in Ensenada but not so many whoops and the course is very fast. I'm holding the bike wide open a lot down here.”

Udall also said he is excited about the television coverage for SCORE’s races in 2015.

“I really like the fact that SCORE races are being televised because that is huge for our race team,” he said. “We are running this race team on heart and that is pretty much all. We have some key sponsors like our new deal with Michelin Tire that are getting the job done, but it is a lot of work and a huge investment that I hope will pay off in the end.”

Lalo Laguna earned the Trophy Truck win.

Besting all the veterans in only his second start in Trophy Truck was Lalo Laguna of Mexicali, who becomes only the third Mexican national to earn the overall win at a SCORE race.

“This was just my second race in a SCORE Trophy Truck and I'm proud of the win and to be representing Mexico and winning in Mexico,” Laguna said. “We caught our teammate Carlos Lopez, who was the leader at about race mile 310, but [we] had a hard time getting around them. We decided about race mile 160 to skip our scheduled tire change in favor of track position. One tire shredded and we finished the race on the left rear rim. But these BFGoodrich KR2 tires are made for desert racing and they are tough to beat. RPM Racing has helped me so much and let me race in several classes – it’s an honor to race for them.”

Click Here for Complete 2015 SCORE Baja Sur Results

Steven Eugenio and Armin Schwarz finished in the runner-up position in Trophy Truck.

Last year’s SCORE Trophy Truck Champion Steven Eugenio pulled in second across the line. Eugenio and teammate Armin Schwarz were able to fight up from the seventh starting position.

“We had a flawless run but fought the dust all day,” said Eugenio. “Armin drove the first 160 miles and handed off the truck in perfect condition. From there we ran down Rob (MacCachren) but we stuck in his dust for probably 80 miles; that really held us up. I tried a couple of sketchy passes but he made that truck wide. If we had got around him earlier we could’ve won this. In the end we were closing on Lalo but just ran out of road to race. My hat’s off to Lalo and the RPM crew; they ran a great race.”

Rob MacCachren apadted to the quick pace of the race nicely and rounded out the podium in Trophy Truck.

Rounding out the top three overall was Rob MacCachren in the #11 Trophy Truck.

“Our day went fairly well,” MacCachren said. “We started fourth and got tied up behind B.J. (Baldwin) for a while. We had a good clean run but had a flat on the way in after we clipped a rock. The race was awesome. Racing from Cabo San Lucas to Loreto and seeing the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez is incredible. When do you get to finish with a picture like we have here with the ocean being 100 feet away?”

MacCachren also echoed the sentiments that the course was very fast.

“It was not an easy race and the pace was very fast,” he said. “When I first started pre-running I thought it was going to be very slow, but the more I pre-ran the more I started picking up the pace. The SCORE Trophy Truck competition is so tough and everybody is pushing hard to try and win. Five of the top 10 Trophy Truck guys were here running the race and the pace was as if none of them were missing.”

Carlos Olmos earned the victory in Class 1.

Winning Class 1 was Cabo San Lucas local Carlos Olmos, who was able to use his local knowledge to fend off the competition.

“I kept the car in good shape and we didn't change tires the entire race,” said Olmos. “I pre-ran the course four times so I did my job. We had some problems with the throttle so we lost about 15 minutes but that is all.”

Shelby Reid finished in the runner-up spot in Class 1.

Finishing behind Olmos in Class 1 was Shelby Reid, who was able to avoid engine trouble at this race to finish on the podium.

“At the SCORE Baja 1000 we blew a motor and then put a spare in,” Reid said. “We went to the Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250 and we went three miles on the spare motor and it blew up. The new motor is done and we came here to test it out. I'm mad at myself because I would have finished higher if I hadn't screwed up a few times. I was told that at the beginning of my section there would be some silt and in the middle of it there is a tree. When we did the driver change I got passed so I was right in that guy’s dust and I drove right into the tree. I had to back up through the silt and get going again. I missed a corner in another silt bed and went through some trees and cactus. We had a flat tire that killed us.”
Victor Barreda finished in third place in Class 1.

Rounding out the top three in Class 1 was Victor Barreda.

“It was a pretty tough day and pretty tough race. We had a problem with cars in front of us creating a lot of dust. I had a flat up in the mountains about 20 miles from the finish line that cost me two places. The last 50 miles of the course was really slow and rocky. It is winding, you are tired and you want to get to the finish line so it seems like it takes forever.”

The SCORE season continues on to the 47th Baja 500 in June. Expect the competition to be in full force as the racers continue to pursue the series championship. Stay tuned for ORC’s coverage of the event.

Click Here for Complete 2015 SCORE Baja Sur Results

Inaugural Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500
April 18-19, 2015—Round 2 of five-race SCORE World Desert Championship
Cabo San Lucas to Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico (424.52 Miles)

Pro Cars & Trucks
1. Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico, Chevy Silverado, 7:35:41 (55.90 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

2. Steven Eugenio, Carlsbad, Calif./Armin Schwarz, Austria (Germany), Chevy Silverado, 7:39:30 (55.47 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

3. Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 7:47:15, (54.54 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

4. Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico/Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va./Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, Luis Ramirez, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Chevy Rally Truck, 7:54:46 (53.65 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

5. Carlos Olmos/Nicolas Ambriz, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Jefferies-Chevy, 8:30:31 (49.89 mph) (Class 1)

6. Gus Vildosola Jr/Gus Vildosola, Mexicali, Mexico, Ford Raptor, 8:38:36 (49.12 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

7. Gary Magness/Devin Housh, Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Ford F-150, 8:47:31 (52.13 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

8. Cody Reid, Apple Valley, Calif./Corey Goin, Clovis, Calif., Custom-Chevy, 8:52:32 (47.83 mph) (Class 10)

9. Aaron Ampudia/Alan Ampudia, Ensenada, Mexico, Alumi Craft, 8:52:47 (47.81 mph) (CLASS 1/2-1600)

10. Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif./Darren Ebberts, Corona, Calif., Custom-Chevy, 8:53:09 (48.49 mph) (Class 1)

11. Steve Lawler, Upland, Calif./Joel Liska, Barstow, Calif./BeauMorton, Mentone Beach, Calif./Ray Griffith, Downey, Calif., Lawrence-Chevy, 8:53:52 (47.75 mph) (Class 10)

12. Larry Connor, Miamisburg, Ohio/Jason Ruanme, Temecula, Calif./Neal Mason, Chevy Silverado, 9:10:28 (47.70 mph) (Trophy Truck Spec)

13. James Bult, Monee, Ill./Jacob Bult, Sandpoint, Idaho, Dodge Ram 1500, 9:10:57 (46.67 mph) (SCORE Trophy Truck)

14. Greg DiStefano, Cory Fowler/Cameron Steele/Jeff Richardson, San Clemente, Calif., Kreger, 9:20:17 (45.46 mph) (CLASS 1/2-1600)

15. John Langley, Santa Monica, Calif./Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 9:41:23 (43.81 mph) (Class 10)

Pro Motorcycles
1. Colton Udall, Oceanside, Calif./Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif./Ray Dal Soglio, Scottsdale, Ariz., Honda CRF450X, 7:42:58 (55.18 mph) (Open MC)

2. Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif./Colton Udall, Oceanside, Calif./Ray Dal Soglio, Scottsdale, Ariz., Honda CRF450X, 8:09:24 (52.19 mph) (Open MC)

3. Collie Potter, Las Vegas/Sterlyn Rigsby, Temecula, Calif./Dave Glass, Menifee, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:43:19 (50.22 mph) (Class 40) Newsletter
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