Racing returned today in Estero Beach for Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Series. The on going theme of all the racers on the podium this weekend were how great the fans are down here and how much they love and support the sport. Whether it was Baja legends like Rob MacCachren and Bryce Menzies or the new blood of Jerett Brooks and Hailie Deegan the crowds went wild today in bleachers that were standing room only.
In Pro 4 Kyle Leduc dominated the race taking the lead early on and never giving the rest of the field a chance. Lap after lap Leduc would pilot Evvo99 laying down fast lap times gapping the field and also putting down the fastest lap of the weekend with the only sub 53 second lap. Bryce Menzies would come in second and Rob MacCachren would pull out the final podium spot after a hard battle with Rockstar teammate RJ Anderson.
In Prolite Ryan Beat got a little redemption after a racing incident the day before caused him to miss the podium. Today Beat would follow in Leducs footsteps with grabbing the lead early and never letting it go. Last years Prolite champ Jerett Brooks charged hard to try and overtake Beat, and while he got close a few times he just wasn’t able to steal the lead. One of the hottest drivers in the early part of the season Brock Heger was able to round out the podium and take home valuable points.
Pro Buggy this year has been a back and forth between Darren Hardesty Jr. and Elliot Watson, both sons of long time successful desert racers. In Chandler a month ago it was Watson who edged out Hardesty but today Darren had the last laugh taking home his first win of the season, trying to win another points championship. Watson would still keep the points lead finishing third, and it was Bud Ward who drove a great race and took home second place.
The last dance of the day was the Pro 2 race and it left the fans wanting more. After the qualifying inversion Jerett Brooks and Rob MacCachren would start on the front row, and Brooks would take the lead after the first turn. He would hold that lead for over half the race before a flat tire would cause him to pull off to repair. Bryce Menzies, who a day earlier had a bad crash in qualifying was right behind him ready to pounce and now lead the rest of the field.
Menzies took advantage of the clean air and would end up taking the win, finishing over 4 seconds ahead of second place Brian Deegan. There was a little drama involved on the final podium spot as hometown favorite Rodrigo Ampudia was taken out while running in third on the final lap by RJ Anderson which resulted in a black flag. That would put Anderson back to seventh place and since Bradley Morris finished in fourth place, he would be bumped up to third finishing on the podium for the first time in Pro 2.
Photos by Jason Zindroski of HighRev Photography