The second half of the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship kicks off this weekend with the inaugural running of the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 on Saturday. The brand new event isn’t just a point-scoring round in the four-race championship season, though: it will also determine starting positions for this November’s 52nd SCORE Baja 1000.
Of the 173 teams entered in this weekend’s event, 28 will tackle the race in UTVs. 17 will run in the Pro UTV Forced Induction class, making it the third-largest class in the event, while seven will run Normally Aspirated, three will compete in Unlimited, and one will compete in Pro Stock UTV. Cars, trucks, and UTVs will launch into the 400-mile course starting at 10AM PT.
The headline Pro UTV FI class is led by defending SCORE World Desert Champion Wayne Matlock, who will occupy his traditional position as the first rear-starter on the grid. With a win in the season-opening San Felipe 250 and fourth place in the Baja 500, Matlock holds a three-point lead over Marc Burnett, who will start fourth and has class podiums in both races. Cory Sappington drew the first starting spot and will look to build on a top-five result in the Baja 500.
Adrian Escandon will roll off first in Pro UTV NA, but the battle to watch is between Kaden Wells (starting third) and Kristen Matlock (first rear-starter). They’re tied at 168 points apiece after finishing 1-2 in the first events of the season, with Matlock winning in San Felipe and Wells returning serve in the Baja 500.
In the Unlimited class, Josh Herzing will look to extend his points lead over Jesus Mendez Jr. after both racers failed to finish the Baja 500. Pro 2 short course racer Rodrigo Ampudia will be the lone Pro Stock UTV competitor this weekend, and the second driver to take on the class after fellow short course veteran Brad Lovell made it to the finish at the Baja 500.
As always, the Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 can be streamed from score-international.com or the SCORE International Facebook page. Full entry lists, via SCORE, are below:
PRO UTV FI (two-seat Forced Induction, OEM engine UTVs)–
2903 Juan Martinez, 40, Monterrey, Mexico, RZR XP4 Turbo
2904 Cory Sappington, 54, Peoria, Ariz./Scott Sappington, 54, Glendale, Ariz./Jason Flanders, 38, Phoenix/Dan Sprague, 42, Colorado/Ryan Johnson, 29, Tempe, Ariz., Can-Am Maverick X3 Max
2905 Marc Burnett, 48, Lakeside, Calif., Can-Am X3
2907 Erik Davis, 47, Burbank, Calif./Bo Davis, 15, Burbank, Calif., Textron Wildcat XX
2910 Scott Trafton, 38, Alpine, Calif./Dave Price, 62, Alpine, Calif., Polaris RZR Turbo
2912 Tony Riggs, 51, Newhall, Calif./David Clay, 36, St. George, Utah, Polaris RZR Turbo
2914 Malcolm Mitchell, 61, Vista, Calif./Martin Christensen, 50 Escondido, Calif. (Denmark)/, Can-Am Maverick X3
2919 Brandon Schueler, 30, Phoenix/Pat Stone, 50, Payson, Ariz./Miles Martin, 31, Peoria, Ariz., Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo
2926 Christine Giampaoli Zonca, 26, Redondo Beach, Calif. (Italy/Spain)/Paul Kraus, 48, Los Angeles/Jason Farrel, 40, Las Vegas, Can-Am X3
2930 Sean Cook, 53, Twain Harte, Calif./Matt Davis, Twain Harte, Calif./Shelby Hall, Sparks, Nev./Alex Baker, Sparks, Nev., Can-Am X3
2931 Craig Scanlon, 45, Helena, Mont. (Yorba Linda, Calif.)/Keith Redstrom, 51, Glendale, Ariz., Polaris RZR Turbo
2940 Erick Kozin, 41, Yorba Linda, Calif./Manuel Carranza, 44, Can-Am X3
2960 Mitchell Alsup, 28, Bakersfield, Calif./Drew Stanton, 21, Ventura, Calif., Can-Am Maverick X3
2971 Wayne Matlock, 41, Alpine, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo
2983 Nicholas Gurries, 34, Fremont, Calif./Kyle Mclaughlin, Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo
2987 Edgar Garcia Leon, 32, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Nancy Garcia, Can-Am Maverick X3
2989 Wes Miller, 49, Henderson, Nev./Donny Powers, 31, Morgan Hill, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4Turbo
PRO UTV NA (two-seat Normally Aspirated, OEM engine UTVs)–
1905 Adrian Escandon, 43, Tijuana, Mexico, Polaris RZR XP1000
1908 John Andrew Entwistle, 21, Austin, Texas/Daniel Matthews, 29, Round Rock, Texas/Andrew Entwistle, 60, Austin, Texas (New York), Textron XX
1954 Kristen Matlock, 38, Alpine, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4 1000
1958 George Felix, 62, Houston/Felipe Santoyo, 53, Houston, Polaris RZR XP1000
1977 Darin Harvey, 56, California/Tanner Harvey, 16, California, Textron Wildcat XX
1978 T. Bradley Millner, 50, Yuma, Ariz./Ty Rogers, 30, Yuma, Ariz./Pat Bell, 48, Anchorage, Alaska/Kolt Bell, 46, Atlanta, Ga., Polaris RZR XP1000
1995 Kaden Wells, 20, St. George, Utah/Ivan Gutierrez, 33, San Felipe, Mexico/Travis Wells, 47, St. George, Utah/Rory L’Hommedieu, 36, Mesquite, Nev., Polaris RZR XP1000
PRO UTV UNLTD (two-seat unlimited UTV open-displacement)–
1850 Jesus Mendez, Jr, 21, Mexicali, Mexico/Felix Garcia, 20, Mexicali, Mexico/Jesus Mendez Sr, 52, Mexicali, Mexico/Francisco Pimental, 38, Mexicali, Mexico, Can-Am XRS
1851 Herman Johnson, 47, Rio Rancho, N.M./ Austin Johnson, 47, Albuquerque, N.M./Sean Lynch, 45, Los Lunas, N.M., Can-Am XRS Turbo X3
1877 Josh Herzing, 32, Cypress, Texas/Travis Herzing, 27, Cypress, Texas/Ryan Blagrave, 19, Cypress, Texas/Josh Parker, 30, Cypress, Texas, Polaris RZR XP1000
PRO UTV STOCK (Stock UTVs, FI or NA)—
3936 Rodrigo Ampudia, 34, Ensenada, Mexico/Melida Ampudia Ibarra, Ensenada, Mexico, Can-Am X3 Turbo
Words by: Chris Leone // UTVUnderground.com
Photos by: Ernesto Araiza // UTVUnderground.com