— Going fast with the UTV champ —
SCORE Baja races are world famous for their toughness and natural beauty, and the Tecate Baja 1000 is the most famous of them all. November’s 50th annual “Baja Mil” was the longest and toughest course yet, and we got to do some of the 1000 course with motorsports legend Marc Burnett, the 2014 SCORE UTV Pro champion and 2017 Class 29 Forced-Induction UTV champion. This was the second in a series of Baja rides for sponsors, with Chicago Pneumatic Tools’ (CP) Billy Lipari and Omar Macon, along with two lucky winners of CP’s Baja Run Experience contest at the SEMA show.
It’s hard to beat the scenery when you UTV up the Pacific Ocean, and Marc always stops to visit Coyote Cal’s in Erendira. His X3 pre-runners sport Rigid 40-inch LED light bars, PCI radios, Lowrance Elite GPS and Assault mirrors.
Burnett, who was instrumental in the rise of freestyle motocross, SMP and the Boost Mobile FMX Tour, turned to four wheels after 15 years to race Class 6 Mini Trucks in SCORE races, then he turned to UTVs and Can-Ams, winning the 2014 UTV title in a Maverick 1000R. He switched to Polaris briefly but broke his ankle at a 2015 FMX event. He won the Baja 500 in 2016 but returned to Can-Am to race the new Maverick X3 X rs for 2017. We re-ran some of the 50th Baja 1000 course, we got a chance to ride along in his 2018 Maverick X3 X rs and two Max X3 X rs from Ensenada to Mike’s Sky Ranch and back to Coyote Cal’s on the Pacific coast. We then returned to Ensenada on the third day.
The Burnett Motorsports and CP crews get ready to get dirty in Baja; CP Baja Run Experience contest winners Michael (red shirt) and Jaclyn Goodman stand next to Marc Burnett, with CP’s Omar Macon to Burnett’s left
CHICAGO PNEUMATIC SPONSORED RIDE
Contest winners Jaclyn and Michael Goodman of Jeffersonville, Indiana, won round-trip airfare to San Diego, hotel accommodations, $500 spending cash, and the three-day thrill ride with the 2017 SCORE Turbo champ. Chicago Pneumatic is a great match for Burnett Motorsports, as CP has been involved in the automotive industry since 1925, when CP manufactured the Benz Diesel engine for European race cars. In 1969, CP invented the first speed ratchet (CP728) at Ford Motor Company.
Mike’s Sky Ranch is an off-roader’s resort with 27 rooms and camping area, but you’ll need an off-road vehicle to get there, because the roads in are well-used race course. Rates are now $70 per person with dinner and breakfast included; it’s 83.9 miles east of Ensenada off Highway 3 and another 8 miles south.
At SEMA, CP introduced its best cordless 1/2-inch Impact Wrench, the CP8849, which has features motorsports enthusiasts will love. The CP8849 delivers 850+ ft-lbs of torque with four forward settings and reverse. Slow mode (no impact) is great for starting lug nuts, while Fast mode tightens and impacts with speed and shuts off before over-tightening. There are also 50-percent and 100-percent settings for tightening and impacting, plus 100-percent torque loosening, and a display on back lights the selected mode. Side2Side selection of forward or reverse and a Thermo-Plastic Rubber (TPR) over molded handle assures fast action and a firm grip. It also sports four LED lights for fast pits at night. MSRP is $820 but street price will be around $590; see www.cp.com.
Marc is running J-Juan quad-piston custom calipers for 2018, and the new CP8849 20-Volt Impact Wrench joins an extensive set of CP power tools in the three Monster Maverick chase trucks.
BACK IN BLACK AND BAJA
Burnett is a Monster Energy athlete and Can-Am X-Team member, but his two- and four-seat X3 X rs pre-runners don’t sport the Monster Energy logo. Packs of “The Monster Mav” stickers ride in each glove box for local kids, and door bags carry octane booster for the Turbo triples. Each is fitted with a Lowrance HDS5 GPS for course mapping and marking and a Rigid 40-inch Combo LED light bar. The Max X3s get Can-Am’s accessory adventure roof rack ($549.99) for strapping down extra gas cans and gear for the overnight stays at Mike’s and Coyote Cal’s. All cars get a Safecraft fire extinguisher and cage mount and Can-Am’s Lin-Q spare tire rack ($449.99), and one Max gets the lockable bed eight-gallon cooler ($349.99).
Burnett’s Monster Energy X3 sports LSR high-clearance suspension arms with re-valved Fox IBP shocks. OMF bead-lock wheels sport 32-inch ITP tires; the Maxes were fitted with Ultra-cross R-Specs, while the two-seat X3 sported prototype ITPs. Marc puts serious side loads on wheels, so he modifies the rear hubs to accept much thicker bearing retainer clips and washers. He tested different aftermarket arms before deciding on LoneStar Racing (LSR) for 2018. We communicated with PCI radios, with Marc sending alerts about oncoming traffic and dangerous corners to Johnny, Lumpy and Jack.
UTV Action got to do some of the 50th annual SCORE Baja 1000 with 2014 series UTV Pro and 2017 Turbo UTV champion Marc Burnett, here sliding his Max X3 X rs on the road linking Valley Trinidad and Erendira.
Can-Am worked in conjunction with Yoshimura for its accessory X3 exhaust ($999.99) that is made from 304-grade stainless steel with a carbon-fiber three-outlet tip. It’s 19 percent lighter than stock and sounds cool, and Evolution Powersports came on board for 2018 to crank up horsepower with ECU reflashes on two of three X3s. Burnett also uses Airdam clutches, Lucas Oil Products, IMS, Anti-Gravity Batteries, and San Diego Powder-Coating. The X3 X rs sported Beard 5-point harnesses, while Maxes had OEM belts. His Can-Ams also had the drive axles covered with electrical tape and were loaded with spares and tools.
We had zero failures or problems on the three-day ride, and a great time was had by all. Can-Am did a great job on the XC3 and all accessories, as all cars were decked out in mostly BRP accessory add-ons.
Mike’s Sky Ranch (Baja, Mexico)
607 Twining Ave.
San Diego, CA 92154
GPS 31.1096 * N, 115.6358* W
Coyote Cal’s Hostel
Erendira, Baja, Mexico