The 2023 Baja 1000, marking the 56th edition of the prestigious SCORE World Desert Championship race, presented a unique challenge to participants with a 1,310-mile route extending from La Paz to Ensenada. This route, a first in the event’s history, offered a diverse array of obstacles, including substantial sections of silt. Out of 335 entries, only 178 managed to reach the finish line, with seven of the 17 SCORE Trophy Trucks leading the overall order.
Bryce Menzies emerged as the Baja 1000 champion, a notable achievement in his decade-long pursuit. He, along with Andy McMillin and Tavo Vildosola, navigated the #7 Mason Motorsports Trophy Truck to victory, achieving a Baja Triple Crown and claiming the season-long championship. The team’s close victory, with a margin of just one minute and 19 seconds over Luke McMillin and Rob MacCachren, marked a remarkable accomplishment. Other significant performances in the Trophy Truck category came from Mike Walser, Christopher Polvoorde, and Ray Griffith, completing a podium lockout for Mason-built trucks.
In the motorcycle segment, Juan Carlos Salvatierra and his team, facing pre-race adversities, secured their first SCORE overall motorcycle victory. The Bolivian rider, along with his team members Shane Logan, Diego Llanos, Carter Klein, and Corbin McPherson, completed the race on a KTM 450 SX-F in over 26 hours. The team led the entire race, finishing a little over 13 minutes ahead of their closest competitors.
Polaris Factory Racing celebrated a triumphant first year in the Pro UTV Open class, with Cayden MacCachren clinching the race win. MacCachren, joined by Justin Morgan and Rhys Millen, completed the challenging route in just over 27 hours. The team’s victory, along with two additional podium finishes, earned them a class title. Other notable achievements in the UTV classes included wins by Jason Murray in the Pro UTV Forced Induction class and by the mother-daughter duo of Lucy and Lia Block in the Pro Stock UTV category, honoring the family patriarch Ken Block.
In Class 1 cars, Kyle Quinn and Wilson Motorsports repeated their success from the previous year, conquering a difficult season to clinch the top spot with a time of 26:14:49. They were closely followed by Brendan Gaughan and Casey Mears, with Cody and Shelby Reid completing the podium.
The race also witnessed impressive performances across various categories, including 17-year-old Nicolas Velez securing the Pro Quad championship and J. David Ruvalcaba claiming a victory in SCORE Class 10 by a substantial margin.
The 2023 Baja 1000 not only tested the endurance and skill of its participants but also highlighted the spirit of resilience and teamwork, with each class witnessing remarkable feats of perseverance and tactical prowess.