Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Toby Price leads Baja 400 qualifying

Team Australia‘s Toby Price and Paul Weel have proven they can be fast through the deserts of Baja California, but they don’t have the results to show for it as they have retired from nearly every SCORE International race for mechanical reasons. The duo hope to finally turn their luck around for Saturday’s Baja 400, and their weekend is off to a good start as Price set the fastest time in qualifying on Thursday.

While Weel is the Driver of Record, Price piloted the #46 Trophy Truck on Thursday through the 5.29-mile (8.51 km) qualifying course in convincing fashion as he beat Tavo Vildósola by over eight seconds. The margin perhaps could have been even larger had it not been for Price overshooting a corner.

As the top qualifier, the #46 will be the first Four-Wheeler to start the Baja 400. The team will hope to find some good fortune for once: after finishing fifth in their SCORE début at last year’s Baja 400, Price and Weel lost their truck to a massive fire at the Baja 1000. The manifold absolute pressure sensor broke while they were leading the early stages of the 2023 season-opening San Felipe 250, ruining a pole-winning qualifying effort, followed by a power steering box failure at the Baja 500.

Price is also keen on turning things around in September after losing the World Rally-Raid Championship RallyGP lead to a mechanical issue at the Desafío Ruta 40. Perhaps his co-driver Kellon Walch will be his golden horseshoe as Walch won the DR 40’s T3 class with Mitch Guthrie.

“Wasn’t clean that’s for sure but got it on pole,” wrote Price. “I blew a sharp left and had to 180 the truck around and back on track so lost around five seconds there but happy to see this. […]

“Please, let’s just have a good clean run and a finish for a good spot in the 1000, it’s all I am asking for PLEASE.”

Qualifying took place for the three Trophy Truck categories, with Apdaly Lopez being the fastest outside of the premier TT class as his TT Spec ranked eighth. Vildósola’s father Gus Vildósola was the fastest of the seven Trophy Truck Legends entries.

Defending Baja 400 winner Bryce Menzies was sixth while his team-mate Andy McMillin qualified twelfth among Trophy Trucks in his return. Christopher Polvoorde posted an impressive seventh overall while competing in the TT class despite his #91 being his TT Spec.

Roberto Romo Jr. received a one-minute time penalty after sending his truck too far coming to the finish and cutting his right-rear tyre in the process. Oliver Flemate did not set a time after rolling his Trophy Truck Spec onto its driver’s side.

In lieu of qualifying, all other classes had their start order set by random draw.

Qualifying results by class

Trophy Truck

Position Overall Finish Number Driver of Record Time
1 1 46 Paul Weel 6:43.533
2 2 21 Tavo Vildósola 6:51.239
3 3 10 Alan Ampudia 6:52.718
4 4 1 Luke McMillin 6:52.958
5 5 70 Harley Letner 6:57.002
6 6 7 Bryce Menzies 7:04.370
7 7 91 Christopher Polvoorde 7:04.440
8 10 23 Dan McMillin 7:10.108
9 14 38 Eric Hustead 7:13.070
10 15 19 Tim Herbst 7:13.118
11 16 11 Rob MacCachren 7:15.538
12 17 31 Andy McMillin 7:15.939
13 18 26 Dave Taylor 7:16.188
14 20 16 Cameron Steele 7:17.170
15 21 43 Larry Roeseler 7:19.319
16 22 69 Andrew Myers 7:19.896
17 25 89 Mike Walser 7:20.779
18 29 82 Sam Baldi 7:27.058
19 32 85 Mikey Lawrence 7:27.899
20 34 6 Dan Myers 7:28.466
21 38 68 Roberto Ruiz 7:33.017
22 40 92 Paul Nauleau 7:34.379
23 42 58 Tracy Graf 7:39.417
24 43 71 Jesse Jones 7:44.234
25 44 87 Dallas Luttrell 7:44.608
26 47 27 Jonathan Brenthel 7:48.686
27 76 33 Roberto Romo Jr. 8:30.380*
28 78 96 Felix Murillo 9:05.357
DNF DNF 28 Ryan Daniel N/A

Trophy Truck Legends

Position Overall Finish Number Driver of Record Time
1 26 1L Gus Vildósola 7:24.210
2 33 37L Rolf Helland 7:28.450
3 55 61L David Payne 8:01.277
4 61 85L Clay Lawrence 8:12.330
5 62 5L Clyde Stacy 8:12.599
6 66 55L Jose Flores 8:44.539
7 68 79L Russell Buehler 9:27.816

Trophy Truck Spec

Position Overall Finish Number Driver of Record Time
1 8 226 Apdaly Lopez 7:08.371
2 9 234 Jason McNeil 7:08.658
3 11 200 Jorge Sampietro 7:11.665
4 12 273 Jordan Brenthel 7:11.987
5 13 228 Ryan Hancock 7:12.566
6 19 211 Pat Sims 7:16.906
7 23 277 Travis Williams 7:20.038
8 24 238 Elijah Kiger 7:20.494
9 27 207 Mason Cullen 7:25.769
10 28 272 Jack Grabowski 7:26.859
11 30 249 DustinSwanson 7:27.058
12 31 210 Kolton Hustead 7:27.482
13 35 263 E.J. Herbst 7:29.814
14 36 282 Brent Fox 7:29.990
15 37 219 Thor Herbst 7:30.055
16 39 295 William Hedrick Jr. 7:33.066
17 41 298 Jordan Dean 7:38.118
18 45 299 Charles Dorrance 7:47.056
19 46 205 Joe Delucie 7:47.563
20 48 246 Ethan Hagle 7:48.870
21 49 225 Scott McNeil 7:52.461
22 50 260 Santiago Creel 7:53.058
23 51 281 Damon Lewis 7:54.244
24 52 252 Oscar Arambula 7:56.977
25 53 289 Tanner Rust 7:59.404
26 54 247 Scott Shields 8:00.353
27 56 266 David Ziegler 8:01.386
28 57 283 Gareth Owens 8:02.935
39 58 241 Stephen Beal 8:05.148
30 59 231 Carlos Ramos 8:05.957
31 60 294 Vincent Munoz 8:08.051
32 63 280 Bryan Scheible 8:15.917
33 64 236 Michael Marsal 8:21.630
DNF DNF 244 Oliver Flemate N/A
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