500 Miles of South-of-the-Border Fun
The 54th running of the SCORE Baja 500 will go down as one of the wildest races in the last few years. From bottlenecks to vehicles stuck on the side of a cliff, to the blistering heat, this year’s 500 had it all. Before the race started, the racers were saying that this would be a very tough race, with the course being one of the most technical in recent years.
The course would claim top runners early and wouldn’t let up the whole 463 miles in Baja. At the end, Baja Designs supported racers would finish at the top of the charts in each class, while also fighting for the overall race victory.
Tech and Contingency took over downtown Ensenada the day before the race and open to the public this year, a first since the pandemic shutdown. Once the race vehicles hit contingency, the crowds showed up and a huge party broke out celebrating everything about Baja and the race. Music from live mariachi bands filled the air as the Baja Designs team worked their magic to make sure all BD-supported (and even non BD-supported) racers’ lights were ready to go for the 500-mile race.
It was a fight to the finish for Baja Designs-supported racers, as they would claim 16 of the 1st place class victories this year. The highlight of the race came from a hard-charging Brock Dickerson in the Trophy Truck Class, as he spent the whole race chasing down and almost catching Rob MacCachren for the Baja 500 overall victory at the end of the race.
This year’s race was also special for the Baja Designs crew, as the company’s CEO Trent Kirby would be racing in the Cornwell racing UTV, and aiming for that first race finish. The BD team would also spend the race as chase support for the Cornwell team, making sure they kept the wheels rolling to the finish. At 6:30am Sunday morning, after a grueling 20 hours on course, the 3930 UTV crossed the finish of one of the toughest races in the world.
Honda Off-Road’s Zack Sizelove celebrating his win. Photo: Honda Off-Road/Bink Designs
BD supported Honda Off-Road Racing dominated the Pro UTV NA class, with Zack Sizelove executing the team’s plan flawlessly to score the class win for the Talon.
“My plan for this race was to charge early and get past as many cars as possible,” Sizelove said. “I knew the last 50 miles of the race was going to be extremely rough and technical. I was able to get the lead by mile 60, and from there I kept a steady consistent pace. I was able to maintain a 20-30 minute gap over second place for the majority of the race to take the win.”
The Pro Moto 40 team of 400x bike with Ryan Liebelt, Justin Shultz, and Jason Tureby would take their Yamaha to a 1st place class finish. The 300x team Greg Bardonnex, Shane Schorno, and Andrew Puckett would bring their bike home 2nd in class.
As the dust settles on another successful weekend, the sights are now set on the big daddy race that ends the season, the SCORE Baja 1000 in November.