ENSENADA, BC, Mexico. The Tecate SCORE Baja 500. The race is infamous for the strain and devastation it puts on both man and machine. This year’s iteration featured a 450 mile course that started and finished in Ensenada and crisscrossed the width of the Baja peninsula.
After a grueling day of racing in the Baja desert, the COPS Racing Team finished third in Class 10 and took a DNF for their Trophy Truck after it had fuel delivery issues at race mile 53 near Ojos Negros.
Morgan Langley started the race with Mike Howell co-driving in the 1001 buggy for the COPS Racing Team and made it cleanly through the technical and tricky section leading to Ojos Negros. Morgan continued to Borrego, where the team did a driver change. Dan Martin took over the driving duties with Joe Lombardo for the middle section of the course. Zak Langley drove with Sean Williams from San Vicente to the finish. Zak and Sean were originally scheduled to drive the Trophy Truck from San Vicente to the finish, but with the truck out of the race he opted for a seat in the Class 10.
At Ojos Negros, with just 50 miles to go, Zak pulled over to check an oil warning light. After checking for leaks and any possible problems they continued on to the finish. The stop cost them five minutes.
“We had a good race and it was the class 10 race we wanted to have.” Zak Langley said after the race. “The other two cars beat us fair and square.” Despite a DNF for the Trophy Truck, Zak was pleased with the team’s performance. “Anytime you can get a podium, especially at a race like the Baja 500, it fires up the team and you feel like you accomplished what you went there to do.”
The COPS Racing Trophy Truck built by Racer Engineering faced a week of trials and tribulations that lead to its debut. During a shakedown test of the new #50 Trophy Truck just three days before the race the team suffered a broken crankshaft in the engine. The team was prepared to withdraw the truck and race in Class1 instead, but a monumental effort by the crew saw the engine repaired and the truck arriving in Ensenada late Friday afternoon.
Shortly after being unloaded, the team brought the truck down vendor row on the way to technical inspection. Drivers John and Zak Langley created a feeding frenzy among fans as they rode on the back of the truck giving away hundreds of COPS Racing Team hats and stickers to the mob of fans surrounding the truck ten deep as it drove towards technical inspection.
The #50 Trophy Truck will undergo an extensive testing program in the coming months in preparation for its next race at the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. The COPS Racing Team’s next race will be BITD Vegas to Reno, August 16-18, in Class 1500 and 1000.