HENGEVELD CLAIMS OVERALL TITLE AT 40TH SCORE BAJA 1000 McMILLIN, BARLOW AND MILLEN ALL FIND VICTORY IN A FINISH Santa Monica, Calif. (November 16, 2007) - Class 22 motorcycle racer Steve Hengeveld crossed the finish line...
HENGEVELD CLAIMS OVERALL TITLE AT 40TH SCORE BAJA 1000
McMILLIN, BARLOW AND MILLEN ALL FIND VICTORY IN A FINISH
Santa Monica, Calif. (November 16, 2007) - Class 22 motorcycle racer Steve Hengeveld crossed the finish line just after sunrise Wednesday, November 14 to claim his sixth consecutive Baja 1000 overall title. This is his seventh career Baja 1000 victory, solidifying his place in racing history.
The Red Bull KTM motorcycle team took third place overall, while last year's Trophy Truck winner, Andy McMillin, Championship Off Road Racing driver (CORR) Steve Barlow and drifter Rhys Millen crossed the finish line at Campos de Futbol "Yenecamu" within the next 12 hours after Hengeveld.
"This is one of the toughest Baja races I have ever done," said Hengeveld, who has run Baja 13 times. "It was the first time I have ever raced seven hours straight without a break, and I couldn't have done it without my team."
CONQUERING THE UNPREDICTABLE
As the granddaddy of all desert races, the SCORE Baja 1000 presented even greater challenges during its 40th running with a longer, more difficult course from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. The daunting 1,296-mile course tested even the most experienced competitors.
McMillin's technical driving helped him through his rocky starting section. But even with his skills and three generations of off-road champions on his side, this course got the best of the No. 31 Red Bull Chevy Truck. Near Mile 980, the CK 1500 suffered mechanical problems which plagued the team for the remainder of the race. The end result was a 16th place finish in the Trophy Truck class.
"Although we did not finish where we wanted, we still had a great time," said McMillin. "The Baja 1000 is always a tough race. We had a lot of mechanical issues, but as far as I am concerned, anybody who finishes is a champion. We will be back next year to try and win it again."
CORR driver and three-time Baja winner Steve Barlow set out from the Ensenada start line in 30th position in the No. 41 Castrol Trophy Truck, but made up significant ground by the time his driving duties were over. Barlow's early effort paid off as the team finished sixth amongst the Trophy Trucks.
"Starting the race, being the last truck off, I knew I had my work cut out for me," stated Barlow. "By being a past winner, I know this race is not won in the first 400 miles, but can be lost. I was able to gain 23 positions in the first 400 miles. I felt I did my part and the rest was up to my teammates."
Accomplished drifter and Hollywood stunt driver Rhys Millen picked up driving duties in the No. 8 Trophy Truck after Loreto, near Mile 900. The terrain was smoother than he had anticipated, but Baja presents many good and bad surprises. A broken transmission and failed radiator fans cost the team six hours, and with no spares, Millen experienced one of the bad surprises. The team finished 18th in their class.
"I hopped in a truck that was overheating and you couldn't steer," Millen sighed. "Then the front suspension fell apart. Due to overheating we had to drive one mile and wait a half hour to cool down. I only drove 140 miles. It was pretty frustrating."
-credit usa red bull