SAN FELIPE, Mexico — Mexico’s vastly popular father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola/Gustavo Vildosola Jr powered past a talented field of 250 starters Saturday to capture the 27th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race in San Felipe, Mexico.
Driving the No. 21 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division, Vildosola, 59, and Vildosola Jr, 30, covered the rugged and technical 253.0-mile course over much of Mexico’s Baja California Norte in four hours, 13 minutes, 39 seconds at an amazing average speed of 59.85 miles per hour.
The victory was the third career win for Vildosola and second for Vildosola Jr in SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. The Vildosolas, with Vildosola Jr starting and driving the majority of the race, defeated Las Vegas’ Bryce Menzies who drove the No. 70 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 by just four minutes, 57 seconds the elapsed-time race.
From Mexicali, the Vildosola father/son team, whose last SCORE Trophy Truck victory was in 2010 when they earned the overall victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 peninsula race from Ensenada to La Paz, becoming the first Mexican nation team to capture the granddaddy of all desert races.
The Vildosola duo paced a race-record 35 SCORE Trophy Trucks battling through the tantalizing terrain that caused SCORE Trophy Truck racer Nick Vanderwey of Phoenix to say, “there were almost as many rocks on this race course as there spectators along the sides of it.”
With racing continuing among the slower classes until past midnight Saturday, the season opener of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series was held this weekend in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
With the exception of two classes, results were declared official early Sunday morning following review of the data tracking devices used by each vehicle that resulted in numerous time penalties being imposed by SCORE officials for course violations in the race. Still pending additional review are the results for two open-wheel car classes–the unlimited Class 1 and Class 10. Class 1 had 14 starters and Class 10 had 21 vehicles take the green flag.
The 250 starters from 23 US States and 12 countries are competed in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.
As new owner of the world’s foremost desert racing organization, San Diego’s Roger Norman, who himself is a SCORE Baja 1,000 overall champion, began his legacy in 2013 as SCORE Int’l celebrates its 40th anniversary season. SCORE was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
With SCORE Trophy Trucks capturing eight of the top 10 overall finishing positions in the race, third overall was another Las Vegas racer Rob MacCachren, two-time San Felipe defending champion, with a time of 4:22:23 (57.85mph) in the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150. Fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez of Tecate, who finished in 4:23:11 while averaging 57.68 mph in the No. 18 Speed Energy RPM Racing Chevy Silverado.
Rounding out the top five overall finishers Saturday was Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., who started first in the race, who drove the No. 9 TSCO Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck to a finishing time of 4:24:09, averaging 57.47 mph.
Coming from behind to win the overall motorcycle and Class 22 title in the race was the Johnny Campbell Racing team of Timmy Weigand, 34, Valencia, Calif./Colton Udall, 26, San Clemente, Calif., with a time of 4:37:41 with an average speed of 54.67.
SCORE Trophy Trucks have now won 17 overalls in San Felipe in the 20-year history of the class.
In the first 27 years of this race, Honda has earned 17 overall motorcycle victories (including 15 of the last 17 years), Kawasaki has six, KTM has three victories and Husqvarna has one.
The fastest overall ATV and Class 25 winner in the field was a team led by Adolfo Arellano, 30, of Tijuana, Mexico, with a time of 5:43:39 on a Honda TRX450R, for an average speed of 44.17mph.
The 250 starters from 23 US States and 12 countries competed in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. A total of 176 adventurers officially completed the challenging course within the 12-hour time limit for an outstanding 70.04 finishing percentage. The starting total is seventh most and the finishing total is the fourth most in the 27-year history of the event.