11 Q&A’s with Rodrigo Ampudia

Rodrigo Ampudia JR.

What is your favorite thing about off-road racing?

Everything! It is so much fun because every lap the track is different and in the desert every time something changes. What makes off-road racing so exiting for me are the jumps, drifting in the turns, the mud and getting dirty, having the track change as the race progresses, when it rains and you have to deal with a gnarly track, when it gets blue groove, deep silt beds, whoops, being out doors I can go on forever.

Would you rather race short course or Desert? Why?
Short course is my favorite because you are racing door to door at 100% all race, I love Baja and ripping for hours in the desert but I think short course is a lot more intense and your driving needs to be perfect. Besides everyone is watching

Why do you think you are more successful this year than last?
Last year I had a rough season, with a very big crash and trouble working out some gremlins with parts being to fragile either breaking or bending. This year I feel my truck is solid and tough enough to handle some rubbing.

What has been you favorite race track and why?
I don’t think I have a favorite, Surprise is awesome because of the fast speed and moguls, Vegas is rad because your flying of the jumps with the elevation changes, Utah was insane that track worked me big time and it had so many different elements it was fun.

Tell us about your race team.
Papas&Beer Racing started in the 1980’s with my Dad Rodrigo SR racing in the Baja Desert. Since then it has been a family run team, currently my Dad helps with the logistics and my mom  helps with the apparel and all the cooking.  The team is located out of Baja Mexico, making us the only Mexican team racing LOORRS. The shop is headed by Andres “Lechero” Rodriguez with the helping hands of Giovanni, Pollo, and Parnelli.
PRO-2 Driver Rodrigo Ampudia in the Lead at Lucas Oil Off Road Race
PRO-2 Driver Rodrigo Ampudia in the Lead at Lucas Oil Off Road Race

How has the transition been to pro-2?

Amazing, it has been a lot of work to get the truck running like it is today. My driving style is a little more aggressive than what the truck was built for at first. It has been so much fun to race against the top drivers in this sport.

Why are you not racing pro-lite as well as Pro-2?
We are focusing on the Pro 2 at the time and with my leg still recovering from surgery we did not want to push it to hard.

What drivers do you look up to?
My favorite driver would be my Dad, he rocks! Also I think that every driver that has a successful life on and off of the race track is a good person to look up to and take note of what makes them a better person.

Who do you think is your biggest competition?
I think we have a lot of competition in the Pro2 that’s what makes it so much fun to race, Rob Macc, Todd LeDuc, Carl Renezeder, RJ, McGrath, Adler, B Menzies, and many others that have a shot at winning.

Some driver have complained about how aggressive you drive can you explain why?
I think that sometimes you need to be aggressive to make a pass and I don’t think that being aggressive is racing dirty, I will always push as hard and fast as I can. I try to be clean and this year I have been racing up front and racing really clean, I think that the drivers I’ve battled with for podium finishes would agree.

Anything else you would like to say to the off-road community and your fans?
Come out to the next race! It is so cool to be with you guys in the stands cheering the other classes and then be racing. Thanks for your support, I give it my best to put on a great show for the fans!

Papas&Beers's Rodrigo Ampudia jr. flying into the sky
Papas&Beers's Rodrigo Ampudia jr. flying into the sky

Rodrigo currently races short course in the Lucas series. Check his points standing
You may catch him on our forum