Alumi Craft Racers Go Big Winning COR Pro Buggy Championship And SCORE Baja 500
September 30, 2020
Crandon, WI – San Felipe, Baja California Mexico
Off Road Racers thrive on competition and rely heavily on their equipment. On any given weekend, Alumi Craft Racers will be out beating on their race cars at motorsports events all over the world. While competing for a privileged win, only the best are capable of finishing at the top and only the select elite will ever taste complete victory. Over the weekend, Michael Hester reigned in the inaugural Champ Off Road Pro Buggy Championship while Class 10 Racer Ivan Tagle captured the SCORE-International Baja 500 win.
Champ Off Road (COR) hosted the final rounds of mid-west short course racing, concluding it’s very first initial season, which featured 10 rounds and 5 weekends with the final events being hosted at Crandon International Raceway. Alumi Craft Pro Buggy Racer, Michael Hester picked up a Round 9 win and a 2nd place finish for Round 10 to clinch the points title and the championship. Fellow Pro Buggy Racers finished at the top of the grid as well for an all Alumi Craft podium sweep with the aforementioned being Hester in 1st, Mike Kirkham in 2nd, and Ryan Schwalbe placing 3rd.
Staying consistent throughout the series, Hester earned five 1st place victories and one 2nd place podium to fend off opponents to win the COR Pro Buggy Championship. “Going into Rounds 9&10 at Crandon, we had a slim 6 point lead over second place,” Hester explained. “Crandon has never been good to us. Our best previous finish was 3rd place. On Saturday, after the land rush start, we were already in 3rd and quickly worked our way up front where I held it for the entire race and the win! We won at Crandon and broke our “Crandon Curse!”
Hester continued, “For Sunday, from the start, I dropped into 5th during the land rush and began to work our way back up to 2nd place after the competition caution. We tried pressuring Mike Kirkham but he held on to the top spot and we ended the weekend in 2nd place but finished the season with our Alumi Craft taking (5) 1st place wins and (1) 2nd place out of 10 races. We successfully captured the point’s championship for Pro Buggy and we’re at 99 career wins! We are looking forward to next year and getting win #100.”
Mike Kirkham in the #56 Alumi Craft Pro Buggy had a pretty great weekend finale with the 2nd place finish on Saturday and the victory on Sunday. “Coming into this last weekend, I felt we had some good momentum from the Labor Day event and a 3rd place finish and a 2nd in the Cup Race. With practice being canceled due to heavy rain, and Saturday also still being very muddy, we knew we would have to be patient and try to run our lines. I was able to pull a good hole shot and start weeding through traffic. With Mike Hester leading and me sitting in 2nd, I just wasn’t able to capitalize and make a move for the lead. I am happy with a 2nd place finish.”
“Sunday I knew most guys would be on radials with the track starting to dry up,” Kirkham went on. “We felt the Yokohama A/T would be the tire of choice for the conditions. We came out of the land rush start in 2nd and I was able to get around JD Koran within the first lap. I listened very closely to my spotter Zack Baron and I knew I was gaining ground. The competition caution restart was a little nerve-racking, but we were able to hold our ground and pull off the win. My first career win in Pro Buggy felt great. I want to thank Yokohama Tires for helping us out and also I would like to thank Alumi Craft Race Cars, Wiks Racing Engines, Steve Downing, and most importantly my wife and family.”
Ryan Schwalbe, in the #2 Alumi Craft Pro Buggy, rounded out the Round 9 podium in 3rd place and caught a Top 5 4th place finish for Round 10.
Back in the deserts of Baja, SCORE International managed to host the 2020 Baja 500 through much political maneuvering and rescheduling. Having the event re-located to San Felipe instead of its typical venue of Ensenada was not a first but taking place in September made it very warm in the lovely sea-side village. The layout featured an incredibly rugged 493-mile course starting and ending in San Felipe. 131 total vehicles officially registered. There were 7 Class 1 Unlimited Buggies and 7 Class 10 Buggies that started the event.
Ivan Tagle in the #1087 Alumi Craft Class 10 defeated his division competitors, as a solo driver, with a finish time of 13 Hours, 37 Minutes, and 31 Seconds and averaged 36.18 Miles Per Hour. “This years Baja 500 was very difficult. It was by far the hardest, yet the best race we’ve had to date. We focused on preparing for the race and any obstacle that Baja could throw at us. Our strategy was to go fast where others would slow down. As we began to pass cars we kept increasing our pace. Our first flat was at Race Mile 180, and it took a CV boot as a casualty.”
“This set us back some time but we quickly passed all the cars that had gotten ahead of us,” Tagle proceeded. “We had 2 more flat tires after that, but quickly changed them and kept pushing. By Race Mile 360, we knew we were far ahead of 2nd place and maintained a consistent pace that the car could handle to the finish line. All in all our team and our Alumi Craft car worked hard for the win. SCORE did a great job at making this event happen and have to thank all the family and friends that helped make this possible. Now we start getting ready for the Baja 1000 which I am very much looking forward too.”
Alumi Craft Race Cars also saw Ruben Torres in the #163 Class 1 Unlimited Buggy take a 3rd place podium.
From the radical extremes of the Baja Desert to the groomed lush dirt of Wisconsin, you will find off road racers pushing themselves and their equipment to the limits. Most often you will also find the racers on the podium with Alumi Craft Race Cars. If you need a reliable and competitive vehicle capable of winning, call Alumi Craft Race Cars for an expert consultation on what it takes. Give Alumi Craft a call at 619-596-9841 or go to: http://alumicraft.info/ to find out more about our race products and services.