Ensenada, B.C., Mexico—Arguably the most iconic race on the off-road calendar, the SCORE Baja 1000 is legendary for its washes, rocky ditches, and scenic passes along the Pacific. Though this year, Mother Nature threw in a twist. Three days of non-stop rain scrapped the strategies of teams who spent the previous weeks pre-running this year's 1288 km loop starting and finishing in Ensenada. The immense amount of water exposed rocks and created huge mud puddles, ruts and new hazards to a brutal course normally ripe with dust and silt.
Not your typical Baja 1000. For only the third time in history, the start of the race was delayed and many wondered if it would happen at all. The race eventually kicked off 24 hours late, but not without a twist. After a ceremonial start in Ensenada, vehicles were escorted through the streets and lined up at mile 3.5 to start the real race. In the end, the conditions took a heavy toll. Out of the 275 registered entries, only 145 managed to complete this year's race.
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Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, Weddle-equipped teams found their way to top podiums. Class 10 warrior Chase Warren in Weddle S5-equipped 1008 not only won his class but bested all Class 1 Unlimited vehicles on his way across the finish line. Not far behind in his first race driving a brand new Weddle S5-equipped RaceCo 10 car, 1075 Eliseo Garcia snagged second in class. Along with Warren, Weddle-equipped teams took firsts in three more Baja 1000 classes. In Class 7, Mike Shaffer topped the podium in Weddle-S5 equipped 710. 1609 Jose David Ruvalcaba finished first in Class 16 and 569 Ruben Garcia won Class 5/1600, both in Weddle Racing Gears-equipped vehicles.
More notable Baja 1000 finishes. Two Albins AGB-equipped entries, 129 Brandon Bailey and 105 Mason Cullen battled their way to second and third place respectively in Class 1 Unlimited. Despite the conditions that took out many of the top Trophy Trucks, five out of six Weddle HV24-equipped Baja Challenge entries managed to finished the race.
This year's Baja 1000 was a wild end to the SCORE season. We look forward to the 2020 SCORE kick off in San Felipe.
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Top Finishers at the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000
November 19-24, 2019. B.C., Mexico
1. 710 Mike Shaffer —Weddle S5
1. 569 Ruben Garcia — Weddle Racing Gears
1. 507 Greg Sullivan