Kicking off the 2023 international desert racing season on the right foot, Rodrigo Ampudia Wins San Felipe 250 UTV Overall, beating every other UTV on the racecourse, as well as securing the Pro UTV Forced Induction class win in his Can-Am Maverick X3 at the San Felipe 250. Further proving that Can-Am is the most dominant force in UTV racing.
The 262-mile loop format racecourse started and finished in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico and put racers and their vehicles to the test, surviving what many believe to be some of the roughest desert terrain on the Mexican peninsula. Numerous storms hit the area before the race, amplifying the already challenging racecourse terrain.
The starting order for the race was determined by random draw, from which Ampudia received the 25th starting position in the Pro UTV Forced Induction class, a nearly dead last starting position. A back of the pack starting wasn’t going to be enough to weigh him down though, a solid game plan and his Can-Am Maverick X3 was all he needed to win.
“We came out with a solid, conservative game plan. Knowing how demanding this racecourse is, we were very selective with our line choices to make sure that we would be competitive for the whole race, and it paid off. We battled hard and were able to make a lot of passes in the early stages of the race. We got into the lead before our first pit stop, but the racing was tight and we traded the lead several times with the competition before taking the win,” said Rodrigo Ampudia, Can-Am racer. “My Can-Am Maverick X3 was amazing to drive all day. We had so much fun and are really motivated for the Baja 500 now, knowing that we can push harder.”
Despite the 25th place starting position, Ampudia came out of the gate swinging, passing every other car in his class by the time he had reached the first pit stop at mile 70. The action packed battles didn’t stop there though, while fueling at their main pit, at mile 170, Ampudia would relinquish the lead again, then having to fight back from a several minute deficit. Determined to take the win, Ampudia picked up the pace and began to make his way back to the lead. He even overcame his own electrical issues while battling to regain the lead, which he reclaimed near mile 235, maintaining it all the way till the checkered flag.
Ampudia’s incredible performance saw him pass nearly every vehicle in the Pro Forced Induction class, as well as the Pro UTV Open class, which contains vehicles that have twice as large of engine displacement than his Can-Am Maverick X3, a true ‘David versus Goliath’ moment. He crossed the finish line with a final time of 6:16:17, a whopping six minutes ahead of the next closest UTV racer of any class.
To learn more about the complete lineup of Can-Am Off-Road vehicles, please visit https://can-am.brp.com/off-road.