The 51st running of the Baja 1000 is in the books, and Cameron Steele took home the win in the Trophy Truck class, despite not crossing the finish line physically first.
Steele ran the 806.76-mile race in a total of 16 hours, 24 minutes and 02 seconds, averaging 49.19 miles per hour. Rob MacCachren crossed the finish line physically with the lead, but was later penalized for a “course infraction,” which apparently involved him racing trucks on a speed-limited highway section. A video showing this surfaced on social media. MacCachren nor SCORE commented on the penalty any further.
Steele has been racing in the SCORE Trophy Truck series for 13 years now, and this is his second race win in that time and second in a row after finishing first in Tijuana back in September.
Second overall was Andy McMillin and Tavo Vildosola, running a penalty-free time of 16 hours, 28 minutes and 51 seconds. Rob MacCachren landed in the thirs spot after his penalties were assessed, completing the course in a total of 16 hours, 32 minutes and 57 seconds. Fourth was Andy’s cousin Dan Macmillin, while the fifth place truck was Bryce Menzies.
Menzies had a hell of a race when co-driver Toby Price took over, and less than five miles into his run rear ended a spectators Ford Bronco that was stuck in the silt beds. Luckily no one was hurt, and Price managed to get away from the issue with only minor damage to the truck, but then later on in his leg, power steering cut out. Menzies got the truck back and managed to make up tons of time, finishing in the fifth spot. You’re never out of it in Baja.
In the Pro Moto Unlimited class, the 7x of Justin Morgan took the win, capping off a perfect season in the 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship. The winning time, and fastest for any vehicle in the race, was 16 hours, 23 minutes and 26 seconds, with an average speed of 49.22 mph.
Class 1 Unlimited was won by Morgan Langley and COPS racing with a time of 19 hours, 35 minutes anf 21 seconds.
A total of 285 starters left from Ensenada, while this year’s race had 178 total finishers.
“We ran the entire thing with no first gear. They told me it would make it and they were right,” said Cameron Steele, after the race. “The race started off wacky, we had a competitor come up from behind us and catch us on the pavement and then ram us in the dirt and kind of set a weird tone for the beginning of the day. We lost first gear about that time so for us it was about persevering until the end. And we did and we able to win the most amazing race on the planet.”
The SCORE TT Legend division, which is a class-within-a-class for drivers 50 years of age and older, was won by Clyde Stacy.
The PRO UTV overall winner was Wayne Matlock in his Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo, running a time of 20 hours, 25 minutes ad 18 seconds.
Legendary Mexican veteran Francisco Septien of Ensenada rode to victory in the Pro Moto Ironman division, completing the race solo in a time of 22 hours and four minutes.
[Photos: SCORE Facebook]