Editor's Note: Patricia Wells-Wright, the mother of Benjamin and Will, served as part of their pit crew for this race.
Brothers Benjamin and Will Wright, Laguna Beach natives, brought home another trophy for Baja racing recently. The Mastercraft Tecate SCORE San Felipe Baja 250 was held March 13 in Mexico's picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the east side of the Baja California peninsula.
Benjamin Wright graduated from Laguna Beach High in 2002; Will Wright graduated two years later. The brothers, who now live in Costa Mesa, finished second in the sportsman truck division in 10 hours, 37 minutes, 58 seconds.
Attracting entries from 25 states and nine countries, there were 259 entries in the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. The 248-mile long course "” which featured four checkpoints "” was a long, narrow loop extending north of San Felipe, then south almost to Puertecitos on the east side adjacent to the Sea of Cortez. The start and finish was in the shadow of the famed San Felipe Arches-Los Arcos. The challenging course runs through three major washes in the area: Matomi, Huatomote and finally Chanate, with silt, jagged rocks and narrow passes between walls of rock.
Owner of the truck No. 1501, Nick Tonelli and Benjamin Wright raced the first 110 miles. Experiencing over-heating problems, they pulled into Mile 110 ready for a break. Benjamin Wright took over as driver with Will Wright as co-driver.
"With my brother as co-driver, I don't have to think about everything that is going on," Benjamin Wright said. "Will spots ahead and directs me on what to expect. The co-driver is an essential part of the racing team."
Heading out from Mile 110 with 138 miles to finish, the most challenging part of the course, Matomi, Huatomote and Chanate washes, were ahead of them. At Mile 196, they lost two of eight cylinders. Arriving at Mile 212 at 8:16 p.m. with pit crew at hand, Ben Wright questioned the finish running on six cylinders. With the most challenging part of course behind them, the brothers ripped off to checkpoint four to beat the clock by two minutes and placed second in their division.
"Those finishing beers always taste the best" Benjamin Wright said at the finish line. "We pulled off the finish within the time limit and placed second with a time of 10:37:58."
The brothers now prepare for the Baja 500, held in Ensenada, Mexico from June 4 to 6.
The Baja 1,000 is in November.