Josh Frederick, Jeremie Warnia, Collins Webster, and Jarrod McClure rode their Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 to victory in the grueling Baja 1000.
After a 27-hour battle with the most brutal racing terrain the Baja Peninsula of Mexico has to offer, the DS 450 team crossed the finish line ahead of 297 other starters and 1121 miles away from the start line of the Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Mexico.
“This team was prepared to deliver BRP its first Pro ATV-class victory in over a decade and the first for the DS 450 ATV,” says Jimmie O’Dell, Can-Am off-road race manager. “The dedication by the entire Motoworks team was evident from pre-running to the finish; I am proud that they are an important partner with BRP.”
Can-Am off-road racing teams posted class victories in two different desert racing events. Derek Murray piloted the Murray Motorsports’ Can-Am Commander 1000 to victory at the Henderson 250 in the Best in the Desert series in Nevada. The four-man team of Carl Vella, Mike Penland, Rick Matteson and Ryan Robey teamed to ride a Can-Am Outlander 800R ATV to a class win at the 44th Annual 2011 SCORE Baja 1000 desert race in Ensenada, Mexico.
At the BITD event in Henderson, Nev., Derek Murray drove and Bill Kugel co-piloted the Can-Am due to Jason Murray, the driver of record, being ill. Even without his brother by his side, Derek Murray was determined to win. The Commander 1000, prepped by Desert Toyz, started in seventh place, but slowly worked its way to the front of the side-by-side vehicle pack. Three miles into the third lap, the team took over the lead and drove a clean, fast race from there to the finish line to record its first overall win of 2011. The Murray Commander team ended the BITD season ranked third in the final Pro UTV class standings.
“We are extremely happy to have won the Henderson 250 as it is the final race of the season and determines the outcome for the season due to it being a double points race,” says Derek Murray. “We knew all season the Commander had what it takes to be a top competitor in the most competitive desert racing series in the USA. We’re excited that what we knew finally came to fruition in Henderson. It shows that the Commander is a great, reliable and fast machine that’s able to be modified to any rider’s needs.”
Kane Fraser, a paraplegic, decided to take on the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in a Polaris RZR XP 900.
“This was our first Baja 1000, our first time racing, and for me my first time racing in any sport ever,” says Fraser.
A first timer’s experience at Baja is hardly ever smooth and Fraser did run into a few issues. His team would add over 100 miles to their total mileage after a wrong turn, and in turn would add hundreds of followers as they headed towards their ceremonial finish at 2am Sunday morning, 36 hours after the start Friday afternoon.
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“We wanted to finish, we didn’t care, nothing would stop us. We kept going and did finish! We were a little bug eyed, but we finished,” says Heino Seibert from Spectra Power Sports, Fraser’s co-driver.
On Nov. 18, more than 275 entries would start the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico with the expectations to finish the race and be the first to cross the finish line. The #1A Matlock Racing Team of Wayne Matlock, Wes Miller and Josh Caster was the first ATV team to cross the finish line after an extremely rough 705 miles through the Baja landscape.
With a rough start earlier in the year at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 and Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the Matlock Racing team was looking forward to a trouble free race. The team spent months preparing for the upcoming race and their goal was to take the overall win once again and seal the points lead for the championship and the #1A plate.
The whole team headed south across the border a week before the race to begin pre-running each of their sections. Matlock and Miller would head to Ensenada as a base for pre-running their sections and Caster would head to San Felipe. Weather was harsh early in the week of pre-running with heavy rains leaving huge mud puddles and washouts along most of the course. All of the team would have to pre-run in the extreme weather to get the course completely covered.