Tijuana, Baja California Mexico
Bevly Wilson racing overcame setbacks on day one to finish top five at the SCORE Tijuana Desert Challenge. The race had a two-day heat race format that included 3 laps of racing on a challenging 23-mile race course on each day. Length of the course each day dictated a frenzied pace despite the conditions. The race course ran along tight mountain trails that were loaded with rocks. Sharp corners had steep drops that would test the nerves of drivers.
“We pre-ran the course, and had good notes, but it changed drastically by race day,” said Billy Wilson. “At about the halfway point of lap 1, we came into a corner and got up on two wheels. It was no big deal, we have to do that a lot, but the front tire fell into a rut and we tipped over. We flagged down a spectator who came right over and helped get us back on our wheels. We lost 5 minutes but were still in the hunt. By lap 2, we had caught up to the pack and were trying to make a pass. We pulled out and smacked into a beach ball sized rock that took out the driveshaft. That cost us more time but we made it to the finish with no other problems.”
Day one was taxing but the team’s STEEL-IT® Polyurethane Coating, BFGoodrich Tires, King Shocks, Jimco, Kroyer Racing Engines, KC Hilites, Impact, Maxima Racing Oils, FK Rod Ends, Trailready Beadlock Wheels, Bink Designs, and Rugged Radios Jimco Trophy Truck was still a formidable machine. The truck draws a crowd everywhere it goes and the fans crowded around their pit to get a closer look while they worked. There were many familiar faces in the crowd, but it became noticeable that the Tijuana venue had also drawn many new fans to the race.
“On day 2, we were much more consistent,” says Billy, “We concentrated on getting around the course one lap at a time. We still had to push it. The course changes every lap. We would come around a turn and find a rock in the middle of the course. You had to make a split second decision; straddle the rock and hope you clear it, try to avoid it and hit one bigger or worse, go off course. We went wide in a sharp left turn and slide off the side. If I turned down the steep hill, we would never get back up again. If I turned uphill, we could roll the truck all the way to the bottom. I turned uphill and let the Kroyer horsepower eat. We ran around the outside of the corner with the throttle pinned until we clawed our way back to the top. My co-driver Byron Seed made sure to remind me that turn was coming up on every lap after that.”
Billy and Byron developed a unique strategy to deal with the countless rocks that littered the course; hit them. Instead of going off course or risking a rollover in a last second correction, they chose the best line through the corner and put their trust in their BFGoodrich Tires and Trailready Wheels. It seemed counter intuitive but it paid off. Despite feeling the rocks make contact with the Trailready wheels several times, they did not have a single flat tire the entire race. Their goal as always to come out with the win, but considering the day they had on Saturday, a top 5 finish was a great result at such a challenging race. It was another building block to the 1200 mile long, 50th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000 that the team will race in November.
The STEEL-IT / Jimco Trophy Truck was on display at the Sand Sports Super Show before the Desert Challenge and will be back in front of the public this Saturday & Sunday in Pomona, California at the Off Road Expo. Come by the STEEL-IT booth in building 5 and see how well STEEL-IT protects the truck despite the bumps and bruises it suffered in Tijuana.