The long-awaited start to the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship saw a massive fleet of Monster Energy athletes ready to take on the world’s most competitive off-road racers in the 34th SCORE San Felipe 250. When all was said and done, it was a hard-fought day on the 280.2 mile course, but one that saw a majority of the team start their chase for the championship on a high note.
The Trophy Truck field was led by Alan Ampudia, one of two Monster-backed racers to score a top 10 finish in the class. Ampudia finished fourth overall, coming within a minute of the podium after overcoming an early tire change. Although the stoppage kept him out of the top three, Ampudia will nonetheless have a strong starting spot when the series returns to action for the Baja 500 in June.
“We put our heads down and pushed and made up some time,” Ampudia said of the fight back from the tire change. “At the end, by the dry lake bed, the truck was heating up a little bit so we decided to just bring it home and get the top-five finish, giving us a good starting position for the SCORE Baja 500, which is what our main objective was. And here we are, a top four or five, definitely not where we want to be, we want to be further up front, but we will get our revenge at the SCORE Baja 500 in our hometown of Ensenada.”
Elsewhere in Trophy Truck, Tim Herbst added a seventh place result, coming in just six minutes behind Ampudia, as only 25 minutes separated the top 10. Cameron Steele, driving in tribute colors to honor the legendary “Pistol” Pete Sohren, also added a 13th place finish. In the Trophy Truck Spec class, Pierce Herbst added to the top 10 haul in San Felipe, earning the final spot in the top five by a narrow margin as multiple trucks finished within mere seconds of one another, and Jorge Sampietro found himself 12th in the final results.
In Pro UTV Forced Induction, two different Monster athletes scored top 10s, with fourth place once again the top finishing position. After focusing on events in the United States for much of his career, Phil Blurton’s first SCORE race as primary driver ended with a successful fourth place run, while defending SCORE World Desert Champion Matt Burroughs backed him up with a 10th place performance and Marc Burnett placed 19th.
“This is our first SCORE race, so we came down here to have some fun and hopefully get some experience so we can race the SCORE Baja 1000 this year,” said Blurton. “We took it a little bit easy for the first two hundred miles, then started racing towards the end. We should have turned it up a little bit sooner, but we made it to the finish.”
The 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 will air on ABC’s World of X Games in the coming months. The 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship continues in June with the 53rd SCORE Baja 500.