Welcome to the CODE Kendall Motrix Grand Prix, a 22-mile loop just east of Tecate. 4 groups of racers, 2 heats of 3 laps each on a typical Baja track that is similar to past editions. Over 100 entries took the challenge this past Saturday at La Hechicera Ranch, a modest number of entries compared to other CODE events. However, the race didn’t lack any action, from the VW stock powered Classes to the Open Class the racers fought with everything they had. With a total of 6 quick laps and 100 miles to go there was no room for slowing down. Here are the highlights of the event by group:
In group one we had the unsung heroes of Off-Road, Class 9, 5/1600, 15 and Class 11. At 6am they were the first to see the green flag where #559 of Daniel Ledezma lead both heats taking a huge 15-minutes lead onto second place in Class 5/1600. In Class 11 only 3 teams managed to complete the 6 laps, #1198 Omar Molina #1105 Erick Silva and #1101 Fernando Prado made the 1-2-3 at the podium with an average speed of 32mi/hr.
Now we move on to the lighter vehicles with more horsepower, the buggies! Class 10, 12, 16, 5 Open. These classes also put on a great show for the hundreds of fans who gathered together to watch and enjoy the action. Jaime Huerta Jr. on board of his #1004 Class 10 took first place in Group 2. First place in class 12 was Tavo Piñuelas who also took the second fastest time in Group 2, with a gap of only 2 minutes behind Jaime.
Now on to the big boys, Classes Open, 1 and 8. If you follow the CODE season regularly you know there’s one family name who puts on a show and are the guys to beat every race. Of course we are talking about the Lopez family, lead by Juan Carlos “PIN” Lopez and his son Apdalí Lopez, current Champion in SCORE. Juan Carlos on board of #1 Racer Trophy-Truck and Apdali on board of their “old” Class 8 rapidly took the fight for the overall beginning on lap one, neither Lopez gave any opportunity to the other to take the lead. The fight was intense and for some fans this was the main reason to go out and spectate the race. After a really fast 6 laps, Juan Carlos gave Apdali and the rest of the field a driving clinic while taking the overall win. Just about 2 minutes behind his father, Apdali Lopez took second place leaving the third place racer really far behind with a gap of nearly 25 minutes. The Lopez family showed once again why they are part of the Elite class of off-road racers in Mexico.
Last but not least we move on to the stock pick-up Classes, the 7sx, 18 and 1850 Classes. It’s always crazy to see the stock pick-up trucks bouncing all over the place when they hit the whoops, pushing drivers to the limit and giving the fans the show they expect. In this group first place was #1850 Francisco Lopez with a time of 3:18:08 and averaging 39mi/hr. He beat the sunset and the whole rest of the pack having an excellent day of racing. In Class 7sx the first place was #749 Mario Moreno, second place #724 Willy Valdez and third place #721 Sergio Duron, the only racers to finish the 6 laps in their class.
Next on the 2017 CODE Calendar is the MexLog 300, which aims to be the biggest race of the season!