Tavo Vildosola passes his baptism of fire driving the Mexicana Logistics TT ...
Tavo Vildosola passes his baptism of fire driving the Mexicana Logistics TT#4.
In one of the most exciting chapters of the Vildosola Racing's history, young gun Tavo Vildosola, made the transition from Baja Protrucks to the competitive Trophy Truck class. Taking the green flag aboard the teams #4 Mexicana Logistics/Vildosola Racing sponsored Ford F-150 at the SCORE Baja 250 last weekend in Ensenada Baja California Mexico.
After long weeks of work before the race, Tavo debuted in his first Trophy Truck race this season, a new driver, new suspension upgrades, new graphics and even a new hood design, all these changes also coincided with a new race location, changing from San Felipe to Ensenada. Despite the chaos, the team did their homework pre-running, prepping and developing a race strategy to rival anyone.
Some minutes after 10:30 on Saturday March 10 the Mexicana Logistics/Vildosola Racing Trophy Truck #4 with Tavo Vildosola and navigator/mechanic extraordinaire Javi "Showtime" Valenzuela took the green flag as the seventh Trophy Truck off the line. After the first couple of miles Tavo settled into a good pace and gradually got more accustomed to the different behavior of the Trophy Truck over the Ensenada terrain. Piedras Gordas (RM20) presented the first time delay for the young duo, they came up behind Trophy Truck #60 and Bobby Baldwin who were both stuck in a mud ditch with no other way around. Tavo and Javi probably lost around three minutes there waiting to find an alternative way around, before long Bobby freed up and opened just enough room for Trophy Truck #4 to squeeze by both competitors.
At the Ojos Negros highway crossing, Tavo was now in 4th place physically, the race course then headed toward the big rollers on the golden fields of Ojos Negros and then proceeded to Tres Hermanos. Between the two aforementioned sections the #4 suffered the second delay of the day, this time coming in the form of a flat tire, unfortunately it happened no where near any of the twenty-three visual pits that the team had assigned. When Tavo and Javi got out to change the flat, Scott Steinberger in the #7 got by them. This now put Tavo in the middle of a battle with two of the fastest drivers in the class, Scott Steinberger ahead and Alan Pflueger behind.
They battled back and forth until Valle de la Trinidad where Tavo was running in third place physically 1 minute 20 seconds behind the #19 Trophy Truck of the Herbst and only :20 seconds behind #28 Trophy Truck of Alan Pflueger. At this point the team suffered another flat tire before getting ready to cross "La Calentura". This put the Tavo further back, but once he crossed the famed "cross-over" road, he handed off driving duties to his father at Vildosola
Main pit located at Llano Colorado. Now the truck was in third place physically but had falled to about sixth place on corrected time. Trophy Truck #4 was refueled, took on a set of two brand new BFGoodrich rear tires and a new driver, Gus Vildosola. Once again Vildosola Main pit did an excellent job getting the truck in and out in 1 minute and 3 seconds.
Gus headed out of the pit and toward the fast and fun roads that stretch from San Vicente to the Santo Tomas along the scenic beach. Gus had a clean run and started to make good time towards the finish line. But abruptly the Vildosola Racing Trophy Truck #4 had a problem, 3 miles before the finish line Gus took a sharp left turn, sweeping the rear-end a little bit over a berm and he rolled the truck two times before it landed on all four wheels, after a quick check, he put the truck in gear and headed to the finish line with a front flat.
At the finish line SCORE had some of the closest racing in Trophy Truck history, the separation between first place and sixth place was no greater than 4 minutes and 30 seconds, it was a tough short sprint to the finish and one that will go down in the history books as perhaps the only Baja 250 ever.
After some review of the race Gus stated "we had a good day, the truck ran the entire distance without any problems, Tavo did an excellent job bring it in 3rd place physically, we are glad to be back again and we look forward to be back on the podium very soon". Tavo also added "I'm happy with the team's performance today, everyone came together and we all had a lot of fun, it really encourages me to see that we were battling all day with top-tier Trophy Truck teams and are here at the finish line. My goal for this race was to win, but I now have a better understanding for the truck and its capabilities, I had never driven on these types of roads before in the Trophy Truck, overall it was a learning experience for me and I hope to build on this and be on the podium shortly".
The next stop on the Vildosola Racing schedule is the Score Baja 500 on June 1, 2 & 3 in Ensenada Baja California, at this race, Tavo Vildosola is doing double duty since both trucks in Vildosola Racing's stable will compete, the Ford F-150 TT#4 and the Toyota Tundra Baja Protruck #200.