Off Road

Baja 1000 lineups finalise as online registration closes

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Credit: Bink Designs

Online registration for the Baja 1000 closed on Wednesday (though on-site applications are permitted through Friday) with two weeks until race time. As teams pre-run and gear up to make the trip to Baja California, they are also in the closing stages of revealing their full driver lineups, which range from a few shuffling to new alliances.

Those teaming up in the Trophy Trucks include reigning winners Rob MacCachren and Luke McMillin renewing their partnership, as are Bryce Menzies and Andy McMillin. Tavo Vildósola and Alan Ampudia are joining up, while the latter’s brother Rodrigo is with defending Dakar Rally T4 winner Austin Jones in the Pro UTV FI class.

Cayden MacCachren, 18-year-old son of Rob, has been taking the desert racing world by storm since moving from UTVs to trucks as he won the inaugural California 300 and the Laughlin Desert Classic last week. The younger MacCachren made his SCORE driving début in the Baja 400 as a replacement for Christian Sourapas in the #219 Trophy Truck Spec while Sourapas is away on business, and the two will team up for the 1000.

“To be able to split the driving duties with a driver like Cayden makes me really confident in our chances this year,” said Sourapas. “2022 has presented a lot of adversity and challenges, but winning the 1000 would be an amazing way to honor the effort and support of all those involved with our team.”

Kaden Wells, who won the Pro UTV NA class twice in 2021 and finished runner-up in that year’s 1000, will partner with J.D. Marsh. Marsh won said class at the 2021 UTV World Championship and ran the NORRA 1000 in May alongside RJ Anderson, where they finished sixth overall.

“They (Wells and Risq Racing) have won more races than most people have entered so to have them trust me in their race effort is pretty rad,” wrote Marsh. “Hopefully Baja is one our side and we can bring home a win and a @scoreinternational championship! Let’s do this!”

Honda Factory Off-Road Racing will field a three-car effort as owner Jeff Proctor leads the #709 Ridgeline in Class 7 while Zach Sizelove and Elias Hanna are respectively the Drivers of Record for the #1925 and #1920 Talons in Pro UTV NA. Sizelove won the class at the Baja 500 in June, while Hanna did so at the 2021 1000. Ethan Ebert, who drove a #1999 Talon at the 500, will support Sizelove’s car alongside Wayne Lambert. Bobby Smith stays with Hanna in the #1920.

Richard Glasczak returns to Proctor’s team alongside Chip Prescott. Although Alexander Rossi helped the Ridgeline win Class 7 in the 2021 1000, he left the Honda family after the 2022 IndyCar season for McLaren and Chevrolet.

56-year-old Keith Cayton makes his SCORE return in the Pro Moto Ironman class, having first competed in the 1000 when he was 22. He co-owns High Desert Adventures alongside The Checkered Flag interviewee and Baja 1000 alumnus Ace Nilson.

The 2022 Baja 1000 is scheduled for 15–20 November.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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