The 2017 Baja 1000 ran last weekend; it was the 50th anniversary for the classic Mexican dirt race, with a somewhat controversial win in the motorcycle category by veteran rider Francisco Arredondo’s Honda-mounted team.
Arredondo’s team (riding in the Pro Moto Unlimited class) actually finished behind the Ox Motorsports team. However, Autoweek reports there were issues with the Ox Motorsports GPS tracking system, and that the team was penalized either for this issue, or for their rider pulling a wheelie across the finish line at the race end. Supposedly, the team picked up a stiff 30-minute penalty for one of these issues, which dropped them out of first.
Autoweek says Baja 1000 organizer SCORE International has not confirmed either version of the story, but the official list of finishers does put Arredondo’s team as the fastest motorcycle squad, with a 21:07:16.890 time.
Although the Baja 1000 is North America’s most prestigious off-road race, SCORE International doesn’t make it easy to get information on this race or others in the series, so we’ll likely be stuck speculating on this controversy for a long time, maybe forever. The SCORE Facebook page is all about trucks, trucks, trucks, and it seems there might be truth to rumours that organizers don’t care about motorcycle racing.
Arredondo led the SCORE desert series points rankings for Pro Moto class as well as overall, so this win should give him the 2017 title.
Canadian Shane Scott was racing with Californian Bruce Anderson’s team in the Pro Moto 40 class, and far as we can tell, that team finished sixth in the class with a 37:24:06.810 time; not bad for a bunch of Baja first-timers.
Scott ended up pretty banged up in this year’s Fundy Adventure Rally in New Brunswick, with a broken collarbone (he still finished with his teammate before anyone else!). Scott’s recovery from that fracture and completion of the tricky Baja course just a few weeks later is just another prestigious accomplishment in a year that already saw him lay down an all-time top-10 finish at Pikes Peak.