Franklin, Tenn. - Justin Lambert piloted his ITP Ultra Cross-equipped Polaris RZR to a Pro UTV class victory this past weekend at the SCORE International Baja 500 race in Baja, Mexico. Lambert dominated the class, winning by almost 50 minutes. Branden Sims finished second, giving ITP a 1-2 finish.
"The Baja 500 is one of the most grueling off-road races there is, so to have ITP-supported racers deliver a 1-2 finish against an exceptionally talented field of entrants is really gratifying," said Rhett Turpin, head of ITP Sales at The Carlstar Group. "The ITP Ultra Cross R Spec is not only the tire of choice for Justin Lambert and many of the elite desert racing teams, it's also the obvious choice for any enthusiast seeking the same confidence, performance and reliability these top teams have grown to appreciate. And, the Ultra Cross R Spec is readily available in a variety of size options to meet your individual needs, all produced to the same specifications."
Lambert (Cognito Motorsports/ITP/Polaris), along with his co-pilot Mitchell Alsup, averaged an astonishing 38 mph over the 500-mile course to record a remarkable 13:17:01 overall time to easily win the Pro UTV Turbo class. Despite starting No. 14 off the line, Lambert overcame the competition and the course, which features rocky beach runs, mud holes, silt belts, miles of whoops and tight, mountain roads. Despite the course challenges, he chased down the early front-runners to take the race lead. Once out front, Lambert put the hammer down, grew his lead and never looked back.
"The Baja 500 is known to be one of the roughest off-road races in the world," stated Lambert. "We were on a mission, our game plan took us to an overall UTV win at the Baja 500. To win the toughest off-road races, you must have the toughest tires. ITP Tires for the win."
Sims and co-pilot Justin Krause were first off the line to start the day. The No. 2913 Polaris RZR XP4 vehicle dressed in ITP Ultra Cross R Spec tires managed to remain in podium contention despite losing their early lead. Sim's experience and patience paid off with a solid second-place finish (14:06:23).
The No. 2917 Can-Am/ITP/Murray Racing team recorded another good finish down on the Baja California Peninsula. The Murrays, brothers Derek and Jason Murray and Monty Aldrich, completed the grueling course in a time of 15:24:58, narrowly missing a top five run.
ITP-backed racer, Tony Riggs, finished eighth in the Pro UTV FI class aboard his No. 2912 Sparta Racing Polaris, giving ITP four finishers in the top 10. It was Riggs and co-pilots Kyle Melville and Ryan Edwards first Baja 500, a race where just finishing is a great accomplishment.
"We're stoked. It was our first time down here racing Baja and we got to the finish, so I'm pretty proud," declared Riggs on the Baja 500 podium. "It's a brand new car, a brand new race team ... everyone came together to make it all happen. ITP tires are excellent tires. We did the whole Baja 500 on the same tires."