BEAU JUDGE TAKES LAKE HAVASU WORCS SXS PRO PRODUCTION WIN
Lake Havasu City, AZ – Seemingly on the heels of the 2020 season finale after COVID 19 caused a myriad of scheduling issues, the Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series presented by Polaris RZR kicked off 2021 on familiar ground at Crazy Horse Campground. Leading the charge in the SXS Pro Production class was Beau Judge, who put in amazing run to win the season opener for the Pro Production class. David Haagsma got back to winning form, finishing first in SXS Pro Stock.
The event was held on the sand around, and at one point over, Lake Havasu. The challenging course lived up to its reputation, turning into deep ruts as the big machines ran across the sand. The infamous Lagoon Jump was all new this year. WORCS officials spent time dredging and building up the jump making it a highlight of the event.
In SXS Pro Production, Judge took the lead late in the event as carnage took a heavy toll on the field. Fighting high engine temperatures, Judge drove his Cam-Am Maverick X3 into the lead when Shawn Saxton fell out with mechanical issues. Little did Judge know that his own gremlins were waiting in the wings. After taking the white flag, a wheel began to fail on his machine and he did everything in his power to hold it together. Through sheer will and expert driving he just did and won the race. Beau Baron finished second, ahead of Matt Hancock.
“As soon as the white flag came out, I heard it let loose and I was saying: ‘Please don’t tell me that on the last lap I going to lose a wheel,’” exclaimed Judge. “The brake pedal kept going to the floor and I was riding the brakes just to try to keep the wheels straight up and down. When we got into those deep ruts it was making all kinds of noise and I thought there was no way it was going to make it, but it did.”
Baron’s mechanical issues started even before the green flag. A driveline problem was discovered in his Polaris RZR XP Pro, so Baron elected to run the same Polaris RZR RS1 in which he finished second in Pro Stock. Despite a significant horsepower disadvantage, the tough single seater showed it had the bones to do it, and Baron finished second. “I wanted to run my Pro XP, but I had some driveline issues so I decided to race the RS1,” said Baron. “It’s testament to how tough Polaris built this vehicle because I really just put gas in after racing it in Pro Stock yesterday and I got a second today. We put a lot of work and effort into these cars and it showed today.”
Hancock had his own story of survival in his Polaris RZR XP Pro. After running second for most of the race Hancock cased the Lagoon Jump and broke a drive component. He pitted, and after realizing the issue wasn’t fixable quickly, he pinned it out of the pits and drove a conservative pace to come home third. “This race was just about survival,” said Hancock. “I got out of the main line coming into the Lagoon Jump and scrubbed off all of my speed. So, I came up short really badly. It ended up breaking the driveline. I just kept chugging away, and tried to stay consistent. I’m super stoked how the car ran today.”
In Pro Stock, Haagsma spent much of the race battling with longtime friend and racing mentor Baron. Driving his Polaris RZR RS1, Haagsma kicked off the year with a win, and nothing but compliments for Baron. Baron was second, ahead of Jessy Nelson.
“We were lucky enough to win two championships and we’re shooting for more this year,” said Haagsma. “Beau pretty much taught me how to race. We’ve raced motocross and quads together, and he’s an amazing guy to compete with. When I’m side by side with him I trust him with my life. He’s a good racer and I hope to race with him for many more years.”
Baron ran just behind Haagsma for most of the race, which was evident from the amount of roost on his RS1 at the finish. The second-place finish marked his third podium of the weekend, after finishing second in Pro Production, and winning the Pro ATV race. “I was getting roosted and it was just brutal,” said Baron. “Davy was running a good pace and it was hard to make a pass. I just couldn’t muster enough courage to jump the big jump with all of the ruts going into it.”
Nelson started all the way back on the third row in his Polaris RZR RS1. Despite being that far back, he put in a near-perfect run, taking advantage of the carnage and finishing with his first SXS Pro podium finish. “I feel absolutely fantastic that I even finished with all of the DNFs I’ve had,” said Nelson. “To get a result and also be on the podium makes it a good day. I just kind of worked my way up and did whatever I could do to not break the car.”
The Rocky Mountain ATV MC WORCS Series presented by Polaris RZR heads to Shorty’s Sports Park in Blythe, CA for round two on February 12-14th.