SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 23, June 6, 2013

Racing News: Toyo Tires Captures First and Second Overall in the Baja 500

Compiled by SEMA Editors

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Robby Gordon, driving his #77 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy CK1500 trophy truck, won the Baja 500 with a time of 10:04:36.
   

Toyo Tires Captures First and Second Overall in the 45th Running of the Baja 500
Toyo Tires captured a first and second overall in the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 this past weekend. Robby Gordon, driving his #77 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy CK1500 Trophy Truck, won the 501-mile race with a time of 10:04:36. Finishing second was BJ Baldwin, piloting his #1 Monster Energy/Toyo Tires Chevy Silverado Trophy Truck in a time of 10:13:51.

For the first time, pre-race qualifying was held a few days earlier on a section of the Baja 500 race course near Ojos Negros. Gordon qualified the fastest, ensuring a number-one starting position.

During the race, Gordon was the first Trophy Truck on course and was challenged by surprise obstacles throughout the loop around the Baja California peninsula. An early spin off-course nearly changed the outcome of his race, but Gordon managed to return to the lead position.

Toyo Tires has won two Baja 1000 races, most recently in 2012 with Baldwin, and in 2006 with Gordon.

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Mike Johnson earned a Class 10 victory during the 45th Annual SCORE International Baja 500.
   

Radar Tires Racing and Mike Johnson Win Class 10 at SCORE International Baja 500
Radar Tires Racing and Bronson Motorsports driver/owner Mike Johnson finished the 500 miles of Mexico’s Baja California Norte terrain last Saturday to earn a Class 10 victory during the 45th Annual SCORE International Baja 500.

This class win marks the first victory for Radar Tires in SCORE International off-road competition. Johnson and the No.1031 Radar Tires Racing Buggy finished 43 minutes ahead of the closest Class 10 competitor.

The SCORE victory marks the second win for Radar Tires Racing in its first-ever racing season. In January, Radar Tires and Bronson won overall at the Mojave Off-Road Racing Enthusiasts (MORE) New Years 200 race in Barstow, California.

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Returning Glen Helen Champion Nick Nelson won at the recent 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix. Photo: Thom Kingston
   

Nitto's Nelson Wins Again at 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix
The recent 4 Wheel Parts Glen Helen Grand Prix marked the third annual ULTRA4 race held at Glen Helen Raceway and the second annual win for 2012 Nitto Tire National Champion Nick Nelson. It was the largest regional ULTRA4 race to date with 80 cars registering, 66 of which competed in the unlimited four-wheel-drive class known as ULTRA4.

Over the course of two days, drivers competed in a series of qualifying and preliminary races on a three-mile course filled with hill climbs and tight turns, which also featured the Lucas Oil short course at Glen Helen. Ultimately, 66 drivers were narrowed down to the top 40 cars for the main event. Many drivers were not only looking for a win, but also hoping to earn a qualifying spot in the 2014 Griffin King of The Hammers (KOH) Presented by Nitto Tire. Only 13 of the 66 drivers registered for the event were already qualified for next year's race KOH.

Ultimately, first would go to returning Glen Helen Champion Nick Nelson, followed by the youngest ULTRA4 driver to date, Wayland Campbell, in second, and third place would belong to Nitto Tire's Loren Healy, who fought his way through lap traffic to make it onto the podium. Healy and Campbell swapped their podium positions from the Nor Cal Stampede, which was the first race in the Trail-Gear Western Regional series where Healy finished second and Campbell finished third.

The next race in the 2013 ULTRA4 Trail Gear Western Regional series will take place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, July 12–13, and the second race in the ULTRA4 4WD Hardware Eastern Regional Series will take June 28–29, in Attica, Indiana.

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Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez drove the #00 Visit Florida Racing SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Mazda6 to the GRAND-AM GX class win in Detroit.
   

Visit Florida Racing Mazda6 Takes Motown Grand-Am GX Win
Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez drove the #00 Visit Florida Racing SKYACTIV-D Clean Diesel Mazda6 to the GRAND-AM GX class win in Detroit. Miller made the pass for the win after a late race yellow.

SpeedSource teammates Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long finishing third in their #70 Mazda6. It was a three-way battle for most of the race with a Porsche Cayman splitting the two Mazdas.

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Though it didn't win, the fastest car was the #4 Team Prototype Development Group’s Factory Five Racing GTM ES class car.
 
   

Team Hankook Tire-El Diablo Wins Round 3 at Buttonwillow
The National Auto Sports Association (NASA) hosted race number three in the six-event Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) Series, June 1, at Buttonwillow Raceway in Buttonwillow, California. The field consisted of six classes that ranged from low-horsepower/showroom stock (class E3) to anything goes that has four wheels and meets the safety requirements (ES/ESR Classes).

Twenty-eight cars took the green flag, and five teams chose to run the new “tag-team” format, which allows beginners to avoid doing labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous pit stops by having the previous driver/car combination “hand off” their position to the next car in their team.

The fastest car at this event was the #4 Team Prototype Development Group’s Factory Five Racing GTM ES class car. Although it turned the fastest lap time of the race, an early pit stop to repair a broken rear brake cooling fan cost the team an overall win. The team never gave up though, and came back from a seven-lap deficit and a 27th position to finish first in class and sixth overall. This sets the stage for the team to win this year’s championship in class ES if they can podium finish in one of the three races left in this year’s series.

The real battle took place in class E0 where 11 cars were entered and there were multiple lead changes throughout the course of the three-hour event. The final winner of that battle was the #31 car of Team Hankook Tire-El Diablo, which was also the overall winner of the race.

Round four of the NASA WERC series of endurance races is scheduled for August 10, at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

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