Gustavo Vildosola Jr. Wins 2015 SCORE San Felipe 250
Kicking the year off for the SCORE World Desert Series, the 29th annual SCORE San Felipe 250 moved from its traditional calendar date in March to start up the SCORE five-race season. Aside the change of date, the San Felipe 250 held its allure continuing the small Baja town’s famous hospitality and traditions. Also unchanged were the miles of four-foot whoops, endless sand washes, silt beds and vast fields of vehicle-killing rocks.
For the third consecutive year Tavo Vildosola took the overall win in San Felipe. Starting from the middle of the pack Tavo quickly made his way to the front plowing his way through the field in dominate fashion.
“We had an excellent day out there with no real issues,” Vildosola said at the finish. “We’ve consistently done well here and today was once again our day. The wind was in our favor most of the day keeping the dust moving except those times it was blowing down course. Overall it was great. We hope to carry this momentum to the Baja Sur 500.”
Coming second overall and in class was former champion BJ Baldwin, finishing just 2 minutes and 46 seconds behind Tavo.
“We had a decent day but second is much better than what we had here last year,” Baldwin said. “Tavo ran away with it. I feel we had one of the better working trucks but it wasn’t enough. Then I blew a turn towards the end and got a stick puncture – that cost us in the end.”
Rob Archibald was first across the line in Class 1, securing his first SCORE win in the class since moving up from the limited buggy ranks.
“We took it easy through the first half and tried to assess where the competition was,” Archibald said. “Then we drove 100 percent for the last 100 miles without hitting any rocks. It was typical San Felipe with super rough sections and rocky areas. It was a challenge. When it's your day, it's your day to get a win in Baja, and because it isn't easy to conquer you end up breaking a lot of times. This is my first win in Class 1 in the Bud Light SCORE series. We got here the day before the race and didn't get a chance to pre-run and have just two chase guys and one truck.”
The battle in the Pro Motorcycle class came down to the 1x and the 5x bikes, and it was one for the record books for the first half of the race until Max Eddie on the 1x had a bad get off around the halfway point. Max suffered a concussion in the crash and was unable to continue. The newest addition to the 1x team, Justin Morgan, continued for Eddie but could not make up the time lost. Eddie was flown to the States to be monitored for his injuries and is reported to make a full recovery.
Colton Udall and team aboard the 5x went on to earn a commanding win over second-place Mark Samuels.
“San Felipe is a funny thing; you've got to treat it with a lot of respect because if you don't then you end up crashing,” said Udall at the finish. “It's all about keeping the bike together and the riders together. The course was so gnarly because of the way it was routed – the rain and the number of pre-runners made it really difficult. I don't know if the other classes didn't pre-run enough because usually they pack down the rocks. In sections of the course where I'm used to running wide open instead it was fourth gear and on and off the gas today. I was tiptoeing around to make sure I didn't hit any big rocks. The washes out there are really scary. Losing a Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 is a big sting, and I was in a position where I was wondering if I should keep racing in Baja and all of a sudden we were full bore, put two teams together and we are down here racing. Every time I line up I want to beat everybody and that's why I race. It's the fire in me and I want to win. I feel comfortable in San Felipe and we always have a good time.”
Ironman champion Tony Gera kept his winning streak going into the 2015 season by dominating the class once again. “It was a pretty rough and long race,” Gera said. “I didn't have any major bike issues but I don't like the suspension on the bike. This was the first time I've ever ridden it and the suspension was really stiff and didn't want to move. It was set up for somebody heavier than me. I battled with a couple of the Class 40 guys along the way but I never saw any other riders in the SCORE Ironman class. I'm going to try and race the whole season in the Ironman class.”
The SCORE series continues to April where it will see its newest race, the Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500, which will start in Cabo San Lucas and finish in Loreto. This new race promises to bring new challenges to SCORE racers as well as a new audience and participants with the southern Baja crowd and racers. Stay tuned for ORC’s coverage.
MORE SCORE SAN FELIPE 250
2015 Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250 Results