2012 Baja 1000
SCORE has completely reviewed all available evidence relevant to the Trophy Truck class protest submitted by #97 BJ Baldwin against #21 Gustavo Vildosola, Jr. The protest alleges that the #21 race vehicle performed a pit service on the highway in violation of SCORE rules within Speed Zone 4 on Highway 5 south of Puertecitos.A video indicates that a black pickup truck with two male occupants moved directly in front of the #21 race vehicle on the highway and one of the occupants crawled out the sliding rear window and into the open bed. This person reached out and made physical contact with the #21 race vehicle in order to manipulate the front lightbar by using both hands with the intention of adjusting it upward into the correct position. This person then attempted to adjust the lightbar upward with a metal leverage tool.
The #21 Vildosola race team responded to these allegations by stating that the black truck and its occupants were not associated with Vildosola Racing, but could have been fans trying to help out.
SCORE is unable to conclusively determine whether the black truck occupants were in fact associated with the pit support team of Vildosola Racing, but this issue is not relevant to a resolution of the protest.
The issue to be resolved is whether the #21 race vehicle received a pit service from the black truck occupants by allowing and accepting their actions. Receiving assistance from spectators, fans, locals, and other pit teams has always been a part of SCORE Baja racing, but such assistance must be performed within the rules.
SCORE believes the video provides sufficient evidence to conclude that the #21 race vehicle allowed, accepted and received a pit service on the highway. The SCORE rulebook defines a pit service as any service performed on the race vehicle. Therefore, attempting to adjust a lightbar is a pit service. The fact that the pit service in question may have been unsuccessful, and therefore accomplished nothing, is irrelevant.
Since the 2009 SCORE Baja 500, three competitors have been penalized 90 minutes each for pitting on the highway, so in accordance with this past precedent the #21 race team will be penalized 90 minutes.
The 2012 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Trophy Truck results will be adjusted and finalized as follows:
1 - BJ Baldwin - 20:00:59
The Factory FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM Team earned 2nd overall at the SCORE/Baja 1000 in only their second straight attempt as a Factory Team at the prestigious event. The four rider team of Kurt Caselli, Ivan Ramirez, Mike Brown and Quinn Cody has been training throughout the year in preparation for this event. “We are glad to finish on the podium, but we are all pretty bummed that we couldn’t get closer to battle for the win,” remarked Caselli.
Brown also commented, “This is one of the craziest and scariest races I have ever competed in. You are wide-open the whole time just flying through the desert. Our team is a strong team but we are still learning each time and experience is key in the SCORE/Baja Series. Not taking the win here just motivates us to come back and fight harder next year.”
It was Mexico native, Ramirez, who started off on the famous 5X bike. He made the transfer to Mike Brown right before the 40 mile marker and Brown took it to mile 265 where Ramirez jumped back on. The KTM team was in 2nd place early on but lost a little time when they ran into a small mechanical problem that was fixed in the first half of the race.
Caselli jumped on after the halfway point and was able to gain 5 minutes back to help close the deficit to the lead team. He switched the bike off to Quinn Cody in the night time hours and Cody rode consistent for the next 200 miles. Twelve miles before his check Cody suffered a crash that resulted in a broken femur. While Cody was being transported to the hospital Caselli worked as quickly as he could to get transferred to the scene of the crash in order to get back on the race bike and finish the event. Caselli found the bike approximately 45 minutes after the crash. Despite his best efforts, Caselli was unable to close the large gap that was left after the crash. He eventually crossed the line in 2nd place, a remarkable feat considering the injury of one team rider.
“We are very sad that Quinn crashed,” remarked Caselli. “He was riding really well and is a strong member of this team. We are grateful that he received help and will be treated by the best doctors. Unfortunately, crashing and injury is part of racing. We wish him a speedy recovery and we are thankful we were still able to finish the race with a strong bike that helped us earn a 2nd place result.”
Content and image credits: Team FMF
Kurt Caselli, No. 5x (Second in class and second overall motorcycle. Ivan Ramirez rode the start to Ojos Negros. Mike Brown rode from Ojos Negros to Puertecitos. Ramirez rode from Puertecitos to Vizcaino. Quinn Cody from Vizcaino to Ciudad Constitucion. Kurt Caselli rode to the finish.) – Caselli said: My first Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was pretty eventful. Obviously there was a lot of hype coming into this race between KTM and the Honda team and Kawasaki team as well. We did a lot of homework coming to this race. From the outside looking in, this was a big accomplishment for KTM, for myself and the team. We got the bike to the finish with no major issues besides some rider issues.
Quinn Cody went down, and from what we know has a broken femur. He was fine and just in a little pain but disappointed. It was obviously a big hit to the team. Ivan did a great job starting and we had a little technical problem early on and we fell back a little bit in the dust. It's a long race and we didn't give up anywhere. I'm not disappointed at all. I'm very happy to be sitting right here in second place in my first Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. I have no regrets and this was a good race for us. Honda brought a better program to the table and we are going to go home and do our homework.
Co-Rider Ivan Ramirez said: The first section went pretty good but I was a little bit in the dust. I relaxed a little because I was kind of tight. I gave the bike to Mike Brown being second overall. We had some problems and then Honda and Kawasaki passed us. The whole day we've been behind Kawasaki and Honda. I got on the bike in Puertecitos again for my longest section to Vizcaino. It went pretty good.
FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM Team riders and tech crew talk about the 2012 running of the SCORE/Baja 1000 and the team's 2nd place result.
Colton Udall, No. 1x, first in class and first overall motorcycle to finish. Colton Udall rode from the start to El Crucero. David Kamo rode from El Crucero to San Ignacio. Udall rode from San Ignacio to Loreto. Timmy Weigand rode from Loreto to the finish. – In San Felipe I passed for the lead and I kept pulling it out and then I gave the bike to David (Kamo.) He pretty much held it or pulled it out more and then we pitted and lost some time. The I think he opened up the lead another three minutes. I got on the bike and lost a bunch of time because I only pre-ran my section three times.
We serviced our bike four or five times and changed tires. We had multiple rear wheels that were bald with no knobs. This course just ripped it all up, it was a very tough course. The section through San Felipe was probably one of the gnarliest workouts I ever had in my life. My whole body was locking up. I was just done.
It was nice to get to the paved section after that. The race was awesome. The only thing out of the ordinary was that I crashed at about race mile 14. It was super dusty this morning and I made a lot of mistakes. The speed of some of the racers in front of me was just a hair off my pace and they just ruined me.
Co-Rider David Kamo said: It helped us out being so far back from the start. That way we can be the hunters. We can see what they are doing and they have to turn around and see where we are. I think that helped us out. It helped Colton push a little bit harder. My stretches went by really fast. There were lots of cows and lots of cars and lots of people. Donkeys, horses, everything. Some were on the trail and some just stood there because we were going by so fast that they didn't move. It couldn't have gone any better. It's a pretty big win for us, this being the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Co-Rider Timmy Weigand said: We've been coming to Baja for years and years. We have three amazing teammates and we are the underdogs every race. We weren't the big guys to win and we don't have a star-studded bunch of riders but we've been down here and we have a great mentor in Johnny (Campbell) and a great bike in Honda. We've won this race before so we expected to do the same.
SCORE Statement on BJ Baldwin protest against Gustavo Vildosola, Jr. - On the morning of Wednesday, November 21, SCORE received a formal written protest from #97 BJ Baldwin against #21 Gustavo Vildosola, Jr. The protest contained a video and stated that the Vildosola team violated SCORE rules by pitting on the paved highway surface while the race vehicle was in motion within Speed Zone 4.
This was the first time that SCORE had been made aware of any accusations against the #21 Vildosola team. A complete tracking review of the #21 race vehicle at the La Paz Finish Line yielded no course or speeding penalties. However, this type of pitting violation accusation cannot be identified or resolved using IRC tracking data.
SCORE has accepted the #97 protest and is currently conducting a full investigation using all available video, audio and still photo evidence. SCORE will announce a decision as soon as all available evidence has been completely reviewed.
Following video is segments of the violation which are subject of the protest with SCORE Intl. and a first radio interview with Tavo Vildosola after the video surfaced. According to his statement the folks in the pick-up truck are "fans" helping out.....
Class 1 unlimited Openwheel Buggies driver quotes after the 45th running of the Baja 1000
Luke McMillin, No. 103 (First in class and ninth overall four-wheel vehicle. McMillin shared driving duties with Justin Smith.) -- To win the three Tecate SCORE Baja races in my rookie year, I couldn't even dream of that, especially the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 La Paz run... Unreal, I think I'm dreaming right now. I started the car and went to race mile 350 and we got to San Felipe and we had about a 20-minute lead there. That is where I decided to back it off and go for the class win and not try and chase the trucks. The whups were just nasty. I got it to Justin (Smith) with a 16-minute lead and he brought it back to me with an hour lead. About 100 miles before the finish we had a heartbreaker when the car just shut off. It was the wiring to the fuel pump. We hooked up my Parker pumper to the fuel pumps and got going again. I thought we were done right there.
Ronny Wilson, No. 102 (Second in class. Wilson shared driving duties with John Herder and Randy Wilson.) -- We rolled over at race mile 107 and we lost all of the lights and tore the right side and front arms off the car. We were down a little over an hour and after that everything worked okay. We were trying to pass a SCORE Trophy Truck and we moved to the right a little bit and hung a wheel in a ditch and flipped the car over.
Clyde Stacy, No. 106 (Third in class. Justin Davis drove start to mile 550. Justin Matney drove to the finish.) – Co-Driver Justin Matney said: We had some belt issues and lost a rear rotor. We got stuck with Herbst at race mile 595. We came around a corner and we slid into him. We helped pull him out. We worked together to get our car out and then we helped pull him out. We lost about an hour. That really killed us when we got stuck.
Jon Walker, No. 107 (Fourth in class. Walker drove the entire race) -- We rolled it at race mile 100 and I walked about two miles. We missed a turn and I decided instead of backing up, to take a motorcycle line. We got stuck in the tide. It was the complete Baja experience. There was some wicked silt.
Nils Castillo, No. 145 (Fifth in class. Castillo shared driving duties with Nils Castillo and Joe Custer) -- Co-Driver Joe Custer said: The tires were awesome. We had one flat but other than that the course was fast. It's the first time in our buggy. It was fabulous. Gene Haas did great, he put the car out front. We had a rear start and we were running fourth when he got out. We are going to have a nice off-season now. The last two years we broke. A new truck and it didn't break so we had a good run.
Tony Miglini, No. 105 (Sixth in class.) -- About four hours into it I got super tired. We had brake issues and we stopped and then we capped off our right rear caliper and decided to run with fronts and one rear. Before, we only had fronts. We were in a killer spot earlier in the race for a long time. We relinquished first during the first stint with Armin Kremer. Andy’s whole job was just to be cool and take it easy. He did everything he was supposed to. He brought the car in, in one piece. I think we were seven or eight spots back and then when the sun came up it was game on. Once I stopped being tired it was killer. We were flying. It's a big thing for my first year in Class 1.
Travis Chase, No. 113 (Seventh in class. Chase shared driving duties with Don Chase and Ryan Plowman.) Co-Driver Don Chase said: Ryan (Plowman) got stuck for about two hours in the silt. Travis (Chase) had two flats in San Felipe but only one spare. That kind of slowed it down. He had one flat and then 20 miles later, before he got to our pit he had another. We had a sticking throttle, flat tires and stuck in the silt but I had no problems at all, but the young guys struggled day and night.
Content credits SCORE - Image credits: Monica Bulong & All German Motorsports
Bryce Menzies, #1 Geiser Bros. Trophy Truck, SCORE Champion 2011, eighth in class and eighth overall four-wheel vehicle. Menzies drove from the start to race-mile 531, Jesse Jones drove to the finish in La Paz.
Co-Driver Jesse Jones said: Bryce Menzies had a really great run going and he stuck with B.J. Baldwin all day up until race-mile 531 at Vizcaino.
He smelled some oil burning and stopped and checked. We had a crack in an oil line so he had to sit there and wait. We threw one (an oil line) into a chase truck with some extra oil and got it out to him.
He got the truck to me but it took about an hour and a half. That was the only problem we had except for one flat tire in the middle of the night. I stuffed a rock. It was operator error.