— MARK BURNETT’S BAJA 1000 CAN-AMS —
As the Forced-Induction Pro UTV points leader going into the 50th annual SCORE Baja 1000, Monster Energy Can-Am X-Team member Marc Burnett put a huge effort into the infamous and iconic race. In addition to his Monster Maverick X3, the team built a second two-seat race car out of a Maverick X3 Max X rs specifically for the longest and toughest “Baja Mil” ever, at 1,134.4 miles. The Ensenada-to-La Paz course meandered down the Baja Peninsula from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez, so the two-car effort involved five chase trucks, two X3 pre-runners and three trailers. One full month went into preparing the two X3s for battle and, hopefully, winning the points race. A crew of 18 people manned the five chase trucks, plus the Baja pit crews. This is the story behind the builds.
LONSTAR RACING X3 X RS MONSTER MAX
First, a 2017 Maverick Max X rs was stripped to the frame. Then, Lonestar Racing (LSR) built a complete tubular chassis, a cage with adjustable visors, a roof, and race-bred front and rear bumpers. Lonestar also installed a 20-gallon fuel cell where the rear seats were. The engine, transmission and driveline components went into the tubular LSR roller with LSR’s MTS suspension kit ($5900), which is +3 inches wider in front and 2 inches wider in back. The MTS kit includes high-clearance front A-arms, tie-rods, high-clearance 4130 chromoly-tube trailing arms, radius rods, radius-rod double-shear gussets and plate, front sway-bar links, rear mud flaps and all necessary hardware. Burnett upgraded the X3 shocks to Factory Fox 3.0 IBP LSC rear remote-reservoir and front piggyback-reservoir shocks, and he upgraded the rear hub carriers for extra strength. Travel-limiter straps and mud flaps protect the rear shocks, which also have finned reservoirs and dual hoses between reservoirs and bodies. Each corner also got its own Rigid LED work light and tiny camera monitored by the co-pilot, plus RCV axles/CVs.
All OEM cabin pieces were scrapped, and the dash and center console were redesigned to accept the OEM instrument pod and steering stem, huge Lowrance GPS screen, seven more gauges (boost, voltmeter, etc.) and 14 toggle switches, mostly for lights. Wiring for all this was a feat in itself, with all wires being bundled and zip-tied every few inches. An LSR Quick-Shift plate ($120), PCI Radios ComLink X Elite intercom and Kenwood radio dominate the center console. On the top of the sheet-metal dash, a read-out for the video cameras sits in front of the co-pilot. Except for the front and rear fenders, taillights and front fascia/grill, all bodywork was replaced by sheet-metal panels attached by Dzus fasteners. For the 30-hour race, energy bars were duct-taped to the sheet-metal skin.
Marc Burnett Motorsports used Airdam CVT clutches in both cars, and the OEM CVT covers were modified with quick-release pins and duct connectors for fast belt changes.
SLIGHT MONSTER MAV DIFFERENCES
The Monster Maverick Max didn’t get the billet Summers Brothers front and rear torsion bars of the #2905 Monster Mav, just LSR links—nor did it get the Monster Mav’s Fox steering dampers on the heavy-duty tie-rods. ITP’s 32x10R15 Ultracross R-Spec tires went on five OMF beadlock wheels per car. Each frame also had a built-in mount for a jack and breaker bar on the rear push bars and spare-tire mount. Rigid supplied Q-Series LED and D-SS Pro cubes to replace the stock headlights, plus two 10-inch E-Series LED bars in the front bumper and three more Q-Series cubes on an adjustable roof-mount frame.
The large CBR radiator sits behind the front seats alongside the auxiliary fuel pump, fuel cell, clean-air pump and CVT cooling hoses. The Yoshimura X3 exhaust was rerouted for the race cage, and the OEM air-intake system was as well, breathing through an S&B Vortex airbox. Also, a box and grill were fabricated for the turbo’s intercooler, and Beard seats and five-point harnesses were attached to the race frame. Spare CVs also got permanent mounts on the frame, and Gates CVT belts, Chicago Pneumatic tools, bags and bundles of zip-ties were zip-tied to the Monster Mavericks. Safety lights, inboard and outboard fire extinguishers, mirrors and a new Stella III were added to meet SCORE rules. Stella III is a GPS system designed to prevent collisions, alert officials of impacts and roll-overs, alert drivers to dangers, log tracks and penalties, and to provide communications between racers and officials.
Two days before the Baja 1000, we got to see the scramble to finish the #2906 Monster Maverick Max, along with the preparation and stocking of the five chase vehicles with every spare imaginable and pallets of Monster Energy drinks.
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