Round 2 of the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship season featured a course over 466 miles of challenging terrain. The Class 10 division was conquered by the #1006 of Freddie Willert, with Alumi Craft racers sweeping the Baja 500 podium and taking eight positions out of the Top 10. There were 22 starters and 14 finishers in the division.
This year’s course was brutal. After taking the green flag, competitors would race in a clockwise direction west to Ojos Negro, then south down the middle of the peninsula and then up the Pacific Coast side of Baja California.
The first-place winner of Class 10, Freddie Willert, raced his Alumi Craft buggy to the finish for a total time on course of 12 Hours, 23 Minutes, and 30 Seconds for an average speed of 37.61 miles per hour.
Willert recalled the race action with these comments, “Our plan was for Stan Potter to start and drive to Race Mile 275 and then for me to go from there to the finish. We were 5th off the line, but things didn’t begin well as we lost power steering 8 miles into the race. We made repairs and got back up and running in 25 minutes. At that point, we were behind all the 10s, the 7s and the 2900 UTVs class. We were patient and passed when we found opportunities but the traffic made for a long day with lots of bottlenecks, and on uphills, and silt beds.”
“By Race Mile 185, we made it back to the front of the 10’s and with just a few UTVs in front of us. From that point, the course was quicker, and we could take advantage of the handling and suspension on our Alumi Craft. Since we drive a single-seater, our car shines when you can drive without the GPS. At the finish, it was very close on time, but we managed the win by just over 3 minutes.”
“We’ve only owned our Alumi Craft for a little more than a year. We had a few podiums stateside last year, but this is our first win in Class 10 since moving up from Class 12. Alumi Craft has been instrumental in getting our car updated from the previous owner and allowing us to run the pace required to win in Baja. We genuinely value our close partnership with the Alumi Craft team. They build incredibly fast, strong, and winning cars. Our next race is the SCORE Baja 400 in September, and we will be ready! ”
– #1006 Alumi Craft, Freddie Willert
2nd place finisher in the #1009 Alumi Craft was the car of Jose David Ruvalcaba and Las Lomitas Racing. They were able to finish in 12 Hours, 27 Minutes, and 1 Second making for a very close race.
Behind the wheel of the first leg was the driver of record Jose David Ruvalcaba and co-driver, Albert Cruz. The duo immediately started gaining positions through the thick dust of competitors and advanced into the Top 5 by Race Mile 140. Which was their first scheduled pit stop for fuel and a co-driver change.
Rogelio Pando joined David for the next tough, loose, and silty miles of the course. At approximately Race Mile 171, they encountered a bottleneck of cars stuck in a silt-ridden canyon. Fortunately, their pre-run homework, team experience, and reliable Alumi Craft race car all paid off. The #1009 was able to exit the troublesome area in 2nd place. The vehicle reached the second scheduled pit, Race Mile 273, for fuel and swapped out the driver and co-driver.
Driver Esteban Cruz and co-driver Leonel Ruvalcaba left the San Quintin area in 2nd place, 4 minutes behind the leader Freddie Willert. “Staying focused and avoiding mistakes was the objective as we knew we had the lead on adjusted time,” Esteban stated. “All we needed to do was stay within the target time behind Freddie. The intense dust of a vehicle between Freddie’s and ours made it challenging from Race Mile 300 to 400. Luckily, the car in between us had to stop, and we finally pushed the Alumi Craft race car to its limits. Let me tell you that the vehicle handled very impressively through some pretty gnarly stuff from the area known as Acambaro to Ojos Negros.”
“We were able to close in on the lead vehicle before the finish line, and our Las Lomitas Alumi Craft arrived at just 4 minutes behind Willert but 1st place in class by adjusted time. Unfortunately, the unofficial results were posted the next morning and we were penalized 10 minutes for one virtual checkpoint towards the end of the race that we missed by just 5 meters due to the thick dust. The adjusted time now sent us to 2nd place.”
“The team is still thrilled with the result on our Class 10 debut and excited with the performance of the Alumi Craft race car; it handled like a charm through the rough terrain from start to finish with no issues.”
– #1009 Alumi Craft, Esteban Cruz – Las Lomitas Racing
Other notable Alumi Craft Class 10 finishers was the #1027 of Artuuro Malo, who took 3rd, 6th place was Bruce Yee in the #1014, Chase Warren placed 7th in the #1088, the #1021 of Eric Duran in 8th, 9th place was Oliver Flemate in the #1001, and rounding out the Top 10 was Ethan Hagle in the #1046.
It was another wild Baja 500 and another confirmed victory for Alumi Craft Race Cars. If you are a racer charging for the win or looking to secure your first finish, call Alumi Craft Race Cars for an expert consultation on what it takes to get behind the wheel of a championship-caliber race car. Give Alumi Craft a call at 619-596-9841 to find out more about our race products and services.