Action-packed race weekend for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team in North America
September 28, 2020
A mammoth weekend of action saw all three Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team drivers engaged in high-speed drama. Mitch Guthrie Jr. and Seth Quintero were out to defend their titles in the United States while Blade Hildebrand took a trip south to race his first Baja 500 in Mexico.
Mitch Guthrie Jr. and Seth Quintero were in San Bernardino, California this past weekend to race their Polaris machines at the Jagged X National Desert Cup. With Best in the Desert (BITD) series titles to defend, the pressure was on both Mitch and Seth to perform on the 256-acre track specially built for the occasion at Glen Helen Raceway.
Seth backed up his first place finish at last month’s Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race with another fine performance in California. He put himself in pole position to defend his Pro National Class title in the BITD series with strong results on both days of the National Desert Cup. Seth took the win on Saturday and scored a second place finish on Sunday to claim first place overall for the weekend.
“We charged hard throughout and came home with a win the first day and P2 the second day.” – Seth Quintero
Mitch put more BITD points on the board with a pair of fourth place finishes in Glen Helen. The result leaves him aiming for a big result at the final BITD race of the season – BlueWater Desert Challenge on October 22-25 – as he looks to retain his Pro-Turbo Class series crown.
“We pushed as hard as we could and in the end came out with a good finish that sets us up well for the last race.” – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
Down in Mexico there was an eventful run for Blade Hildebrand at the SCORE Baja 500 as the OT3 by Overdrive was given its North American debut. From the get go, Blade set the pace for the first 92 miles of the 493-mile course. Starting as the last UTV Pro Unlimited car, he came out first on the road at Race Mile 35 and kept control of the lead before his race was ended early. He was hit by a chase truck going the wrong way on the race course which caused his OT3 to come to a standstill. Things went from bad to worse when Blade’s stationary OT3 was rear ended by a UTV race car running in the thick dust.
“I hope this opens a lot more eyes, please stop running backwards on the course and stay safe because you never know what is going to happen or what’s behind that dust.” – Blade Hildebrand
Fortunately Blade and his co-driver were able to walk away uninjured and can take away plenty of positives from this Baja 500 experience. The former Dakar Rally open class champion is looking forward to racing the OT3 again as soon as possible.
“I believe that the Red Bull OT3 was very impressive and would’ve definitely made it to the finish.” – Blade Hildebrand
With Blade giving the OT3 its first drive in North America as well as Seth and Mitch chasing down titles in the BITD series, 2020 is now in full flow for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team. Stay tuned for the latest developments as this trio of talented drivers are already set for a back-to-back adventure, this time on another continent.
Catch up with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team in the Destination: Dirt series on Red Bull TV, watch it here
Blade Hildebrand: “First off I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to check if I am okay. Unfortunately after running flawlessly for the first 90 miles with a very comfortable lead, two F-150s were backtracking on the race course. The first one causing dust got out of the way, and the one trailing behind driving in the dust hit us head on around 40mph. Shortly after another UTV rear ended us.
“We were able to safely get away, this could have ended a lot worse. I hope this opens a lot more eyes, please stop running backwards on the course and stay safe because you never know what is going to happen or what’s behind that dust.
“Thank you OT3 for making one solid car. On a positive note, I believe that the Red Bull OT3 was very impressive and would’ve definitely made it to the finish. Thank you to all the crew members and team members involved, this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys.”
Mitch Guthrie Jr.: “Today’s race didn’t turn out too bad or too great. We always want a win but it looks like we ended up 4th both days. The start of the race is the most important part of the day, with not much passing on the race track where you start is about where you finish. We pushed as hard as we could and in the end came out with a good finish that sets us up well for the last race.
“The race went fairly smoothly. After the start, we got through the first lap or two dealing with a lot of dust. After that we pushed hard and made a few moves to get up into 3rd place. We had a sizeable lead to the 4th place car. Unfortunately, halfway through the last lap we came over a blind rise into a car that was stopped on course. This caused us to lose power steering but we kept pushing barely able to steer the car. Unfortunately this caused us to end up in 4th at the finish.”
Seth Quintero: “Today’s race didn’t turn out as well as yesterday’s, unfortunately got a bad start and that set us back a while. We charged hard throughout and came home with a win the first day and P2 the second day.
“Some of the highlights from the race were battling on the Lucas Oil off-road track, sliding around on concrete, and having fun with my friends.”
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