500 Mile Baja Domination | UTV Overall & Class Victory
They say it every time. "This was the toughest race ever." This can be attributed mainly to the racers bringing everything they got to the table and a supreme class competition level. Race officials are also organizing more challenging events that seem to one-up the last one. This year's contest featured a 466.00-mile journey around Mexico's majestic Baja California Norte.
UTV off-road racer Branden Sims, racing the #2969 Team Tensor Polaris RZR in the pro division with forced induction/turbo vehicles, captured the overall UTV win, beating out 57 total starters in four UTV classes. Notably, Sims was quicker than all of the Class 10 buggies. Placing 30th overall, Branden's total time on course was 12 Hours, 15 Minutes, and 53 Seconds. Sims had not raced in Baja for several years but recently earned a podium finish at the BITD Silver State 300.
Brandon reported his race at the finish line, "I started and finished on the same set of Tensor DSR 33 Tires. We had zero failures, and they performed amazingly in Baja's ever-changing terrain. From the miles of silt, the rocks in the crossover section, the hard pack dirt roads, to the sand of the Baja coast, the Tensor Tires were impeccable and got us to the finish line; for the win!"
Sims continued, "We started at the back of our class but worked our way up to the front pack and ran with them all day. I ran into a steering issue in the final 40 miles and had to get creative to get it together. We made it to the finish and that's pretty impressive considering the problem we had. We made a lot of passes and it was amazing to be on the top of the box."
Another Tensor Tire racer, off-road racing champion Kaden Wells won the Pro UTV category with naturally aspirated vehicles. There were 11 starters and 5 finishers, with Kaden capturing the victory in his #1995 Polaris RZR XP1000 in 13 Hours, 24 Minutes, and 54 Seconds.
“Our DS 32 tires worked awesome!” Commented Kaden. “I’m running just an XP1000 which most guys racing in the class have speeds around high 70’s low 80’s and at the 500 I reached 90.2 mph. I think the weight is a big deal especially with spin weight and our class only having 80 WHP. The tires worked really well on the hard pack, loamy and in the silt. I had a few mistakes hitting rocks and the tires held up. Overall these tires are the best tires I’ve ever ran.”
The race was a difficult challenge and one to be remembered by all the competitors. Running in a clockwise direction west to Ojos Negro, then south down the middle and then up the Pacific Coast side of Baja California, there were 240 official starters racing in 51 classes. Only 147 official finishers completed the course within the elapsed time.
Tensor Tires have proven to be superior for competitive UTV racing applications. The Desert Series (DS) and Desert Series Race Tensor Tires have racked up multiple wins and accolades by conquering the brutal and extreme conditions found in desert racing. Contact Tensor to consult about their tire products, or if you desire to become the next Baja champion, apply for the racer support program.
Photography By: Bink Designs