After battling difficult terrain and a stable full of the world's best off-road drivers for nearly 20 hours, Gus Vildosola Jr. came away with his second overall victory in three years at the 2012 SCORE Baja 1000.
The race, a grueling 1,121-mile trek through one of the toughest courses in all of motorsports, was a gripping test of willpower for these drivers. Though racers on Thursday had their adrenaline pumping, that quickly began to wear down as nightfall hit and the trek got harder.
Nonetheless, Vildosola came through with what can only be deemed as one of the best performances in his storied career.
Of course, it didn't exactly start that way.
In four-wheel action, Thursday saw a thrilling battle at the top of the standings between B.J. Baldwin and Bryce Menzies. Both men traded the lead at different points in the day with Menzies taking a commanding lead early before falling behind Baldwin, who was leading at the 500-mile checkpoint.
However, championship glory was not meant for either man. Vildosola came roaring back after a slow start and had overtaken Menzies for second place at the race's midpoint. From there, it was a two-man battle between Vildosola and Baldwin.
In the end, Vildosola's time of 19 hours, 44 minutes and 51 seconds was nearly 16 minutes faster than Balwin's. Still, the dominance of the two drivers becomes more evident when looking at the remainder of the Top 10. Third-place finisher Mark Weyhrich finished a whopping 29 minutes and nine seconds behind Vildosola.
The legendary driver also found a way to capture his second overall crown in the past three years. We're still awaiting confirmation on all the motorcyclists' times, but Motorcycle-USA.com's Byron Wilson is reporting that the motorcycle team led by Kurt Caselli came in second overall.
On the brand-name side of things, Fox Racing was all over the leaderboard in four-wheel action. Seven of the Top 10 drivers were sponsored by the racing juggernaut, though Vildosola is not one of those drivers (he is sponsored by Red Bull).
The Baja 1000 was also a special race for the McMillin family. Dan, Andy and Luke were all in contention at certain points and each driver finished inside the Top 10.
With final overall standings still yet to be fully reported, here are all the latest updates from the 2012 SCORE Baja 1000.
When: November 15-17
Start: Ensenada, B.C.
Finish: La Paz, B.C.
Route Length: 1,121.55 miles
Cars & Trucks
|1||Gus Vildosola Jr.||21||19:44:51|
Full motorcycle standings are unavailable at this time due to lack of tracking devices.
However the team of Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramierez, Mike Brown and Quinn Cody are known to have won the two-wheel championship, per Motorcycle-USA.com.
For a little taste of why Vildosola came away victorious, here is look at him flying through the difficult off-road terrain. Let's just say I'll be keeping the off-roading to professionals from now on.
One of the bigger stories coming into the race was the partnership between Juan Lopez and Robbie Gordon. Though the duo finished in just 14th place in four-wheel racing, here is a look Gordon finishing, amid cheers from the crowd.
As an underrated force in the racing community, the folks at Monster have a ton of drivers in the field at the Baja 1000. With the race underway, their team put together a nice highlight package for sponsored drivers.
With the off-road community always coming out in droves, there were also bound to be solid fan-made videos from the race. Here is a look at both the rough terrain these drivers had to navigate and the droves of fans in attendance.
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