MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The 55e Racing the iconic SCORE Baja 1000 saw Polaris RZR Factory Racing rider Branden Sims and co-driver Eric Borgen put in an outstanding performance to win the UTV Overall and Pro UTV Open Class. Piloting their new, race-modified RZR Pro R through the grueling 828-mile course, the team outpaced the competition in the technical, wide-open desert terrain, crossing the finish line nearly 40 minutes before the next UTV.
Sims started the race in eighth position, quickly sailing in fourth position throughout the first 100-mile stretch. Just past the 100 mile mark, Sims got stuck in a big bottleneck on a narrow trail. The top three drivers came through unfazed, opening up a significant lead over the Sims. Once Sims broke free of the bottleneck, he put his head down and started to close the gap, eventually taking the lead at mile 300. He continued to drive perfectly until mile 475, where he swapped driving duties with Borgen, who would drive the #1869 factory the final 350 miles to the finish line. By the time they crossed the checkered flag at 8:37:09 p.m., their lead was nearly 40 minutes.
“Given the grueling demands of this race and the challenges we overcame, this was an incredible win for our team and a true testament to the power and durability of the RZR Pro R,” said Brandon Sims. “With desert racing there will always be adversity, but the Baja 1000 takes that to another level. To win, the team has to be incredibly resilient and resourceful, and the vehicle has to take a beating and keep going. That’s exactly what happened this weekend, and we couldn’t be prouder to get such a historic win.
In addition to Sims’ win, RZR Factory Racing’s Craig Scanlon also had a strong performance, leading early in the race before giving up the lead and finishing second in the Pro UTV Open class and fourth UTV overall. In the Pro UTV forced induction class, Ronnie and RJ Anderson teamed up with their dad Randy for their first Baja 1000 appearance. The team put in an impressive run, splitting driving duties en route to a third-place finish and a sixth overall. In the Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated class, Polaris rider Kaden Wells dominated the competition, taking the win and scoring an impressive seventh place overall among UTVs.
“It’s really amazing to see three RZR Pro Rs finish in the top five in Baja. To have such a historic weekend at the most iconic race of the year is something everyone at Polaris is incredibly proud of,” said Brett Carpenter, Team RZR Factory Racing Manager. “Winning the Baja 1000 is the best way to end the year, and it’s a win that gives tremendous momentum for the 2023 season.”
The team will be back in action at King of the Hammers 2023 from February 2-11.
As a global powersports leader, Polaris Inc. (NYSE:PII) has been at the forefront of product breakthroughs and rewarding experiences and services that invite people to discover the joy of being outdoors for our founding in 1954. Polaris’ high-quality product line includes the Polaris RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ all-terrain side-by-side vehicles; Sportsman® all-terrain off-road vehicles; military and commercial off-road vehicles; snowmobiles; Indian Motorcycle® mid-size and heavy-duty motorcycles; Slingshot® motorcycle roadsters; Aixam quadricycles; Goupil electric vehicles; and pontoon and deck boats, including the industry-leading Bennington pontoons. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a strong portfolio of parts, apparel and accessories. Proudly based in Minnesota, Polaris serves over 100 countries worldwide. www.polaris.com