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Friday, May 16, 2008

Albanez won't be running in the Baja 500 this year


Albanez Motorsports decides to skip the Mexico races this year


The number 516 Class-5 Unlimited buggy, owned by the Albanez Motorsports Team of San Carlos has experience many hardships, tragedies, heartbreaks, and most of all, victories. With the help of sponsors, such as the "Who's Your Daddy Energy Drink company, and BFGoodrich tires, and with a second place victory at last years "Tecate SCORE Baja 1000,"Albanez and crew finished first overall in their class, and took home the coveted Score-International Championship trophy.
At the end of this year, it was down to the wire for the championship trophy. SCORE events run on a point system, and Albanez, along with his co-driver Lulivan Voelker, were points behind the leader going into the final race, the Baja 1000. Although the championship was in range, a series of unlikely events would need to take place for the 516 car to run away with first place. As many predicted, said events never occurred. After this devastating defeat, and during the off-season, adjustments were made for last years, 2007 season. Sponsor after sponsor rolled in for the crew and the Albanez-Voelker team was an early favorite going into the new season.
The team did well at last years Mexico races. The Baja 250 took place in Ensenada, where the team came in first place, boosting them up a few points, making the gap between the team and first place smaller than before. The next race was the Baja 500, which also took place in Ensenada. During the break between these two races, the 516 car picked up the one thing that helped their victory the most. Their first major sponsorship, Who's Your Daddy Energy Drink. This sponsorship gave the 516 car a whole new look, brand new equipment, and most of all, something to remember.
Contingency in Ensenada is the chance for all drivers to, "strut their stuff." Albanez did just that. Not only were the local children and adults surprised by the new look, but competitors and executives were in awe. Albanez and Voelker had a whole new look, name, and game. Plus, the team got full coverage on the Cactus Films DVD for the race, which would definitely bring the name Albanez to action.
This game had begun when the SCORE Baja 500 began. Albanez and Voelker sent out a message to all competitors in their way. Move or be moved. The team finished first around midnight, an hour and a half before any one else in their class. This not only gave the team substantial momentum, but also a piece of the points back. Through some miracle, the impossible became possible, as the team moved to second place in overall standings, forcing the championship to be determined by the final race, at last years 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Talk about a déjà vu. The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was approximately 1,269 miles. The year before, the 1000 was about 700 miles, and Albanez and Voelker finished in second place as they had in 2005 as well. It seemed inevitable for the crew to be able to finish almost double the amount they could not put to rest. However, if the team wanted revenge/victory, they needed to finish the race, and have the leader, once again, break down and be forced to abandon the race. Albanez said before the race, "Consistency is the key. We need to take the race one piece at a time. All we have to do is finish the race, and leave the rest up to fate." Albanez and the other drivers did exactly this.
About half way through the race, the team got news that the leader in points had broken down, and that they need to take their time finishing the race. Shortly after, the car broke down with the same axle problem they had during the Laughlin Desert Challenge earlier in the year. Luck was not on their side, as the unthinkable and unpredictable usually happened. The crew and mechanics took five hours to replace the axle, but after this mishap, it was clear skies and good luck for a change. They had done it. Not only had they finished, but they finished in second place, after being stranded for five hours.
The championship was theirs, as well as the publicity they had always wanted. Not only did finishing second place in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 earn them the 2007 Championship series, it gave them a name in off-road racing. Albanez Motorsports is dissappointed in not making the Baja Mexico race series this year.
Baja Racing News.com