Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (21 November 2023) – Closing out a challenging but rewarding 2023 SCORE International season, Spy+ Optic and Mike Marsal Racing team crossed the finish line with the third fastest time in Trophy Truck Spec competition this weekend. The time of 35 hours and 37 minutes marked the completion of all 1,310.94 miles through the Baja California peninsula for the 56th SCORE Baja 1000.
After several successful practice days in the beautiful Baja California peninsula, the team completed well over a thousand miles of testing in preparation for the season-ending event, perfecting their notes for the long race day ahead. However, the ever changing landscape of the desert brought its challenges come race day.
Mike Marsal and navigator Hudson Hall started the endurance race from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Unfortunately through the thick dusty haze, the No. 236 Spy+ Optic Spec Trophy Truck found a big, washed-out rut; pausing the duo for several moments at the start of the race. With some help, the Spy+ Optic truck was able to continue just moments later with minimal damage.
Marsal handed the Evan Weller-prepped spec trophy truck to Jack Grabowski and navigator Austin Aube who manned the middle stint before passing the No. 236 Spy+ Optic machinery to Troy Grabowski and Matt Martinez at mile marker 940 to finish the final 370 miles.
Following some rain in the area that made for some rougher terrain around the San Felipe area, the final stint was going to plan until the truck suffered a broken sector shaft near Real del Castillo Nuevo (Ojos Negros), causing the Grabowski / Martinez duo to roll the truck, in what is known as a very precarious section of the course. Fortunately, both were unharmed from the roll over. Grabowski and Martinez were able to flip the rolled race car and the team was able to replace the broken steering box to get the No. 236 Spy+ Optic spec trophy truck continuing to the finish, for the third fastest finishing time in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. After crossing the line, the team was notified that a procedural penalty by a chase truck meant that the race result was not classified following a disqualification.
“Unfortunately the results sheet doesn’t show anything that reflects the hard work this team put into this race,” said Marsal. “Our practice runs leading up to the race week went really well. We had a tough start but came back really well. Jack and Troy both did a great job during their stints. Crossing the finish line in third really shows that but unfortunately won’t help in the championship. We have a couple kinks we know that we need to work out for next season, but we will be back better and stronger.”
Mike Marsal Racing would like to thank Spy+ Optic, Tremrr Wheels, KDM Shock Technologies, Evan Weller Racing, and Grabowski Brothers Racing for their support over the 2023 season.