After going back and forth in the SCORE World Desert Championship season-opening San Felipe 250, Luke McMillin and Bryce Menzies were back in top form on Saturday in the 3rd SCORE Baja 400. This time, it was Menzies coming out on top, overcoming the loss of all-wheel drive to win the series’ newest event for the second year in a row with a time of 7:59:26—just over three minutes ahead of McMillin in second.
Dan McMillin completed the podium in both the overall and Trophy Truck classes with a time of 8:08:30, two and a half minutes ahead of fourth place Alan Ampudia. Completing the overall top five was the Australian all-star duo of Paul Weel and Toby Price, who edged out Mike Walser for the spot by just four tenths of a second.
The fastest finisher outside of a Trophy Truck came in the TT Spec class, as Christopher Polvoorde placed 10th overall with a time of 8:26:05. Polvoorde, the incoming class points leader, gained a handful of points on closest challenger Jorge Sampietro, who finished third on Saturday; only Ryan Hancock split the two of them in the class. Also scoring premier car and truck class wins were Gustavo Vildosola, who is now three for three in Trophy Truck Legends this season, and Brian Parkhouse, who earned his first win of the year in Class 1.
In the Pro UTV classes, Austin Weiland and Kaden Wells defended their Forced Induction and Normally Aspirated class wins from last year, respectively; Mike Cafro, meanwhile, moved up from his Pro Stock win last year to take the Open class victory. For Weiland, the win was also his second straight on the season after taking the Baja 500 checkered flag in June. The FI class will see a close points battle after top-five finishes from Wes Miller, Matt Burroughs, and Marc Burnett closed the single-digit gap to incoming leaders Edgar Garcia Leon and Justin Lambert.
On motorcycles, Juan Carlos Salvatierra’s switch from Pro Moto Ironman to the premier Unlimited class has now paid dividends with three straight wins this season. The Bolivian led a four-rider team, including American rider Shane Logan, to a winning time of 8:27:47. Luis Ernesto Villafana led the top Pro Quad team, making it to the finish in 8:51:35.
Just one race, the most important of the season, remains: the 55th SCORE Baja 1000, returning the series to Ensenada on November 15-20. As always, expect many of the sport’s top drivers, especially in Trophy Truck, to form superteams as they go after the most prestigious race win in the series. In the meantime, coverage of the 3rd SCORE Baja 400 will air on Sunday, November 6 on ESPN2’s World of X Games.
Check out Ernesto Araiza’s full gallery from the race here!