FOX Employees Pilot UTV To Victory In Mexico

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FOX Factory’s Off-Road Service Supervisor Fernando Ramirez and co-driver Jackson Quintanilla teamed up with FOX Factory’s applications engineer Cody Rahders and Breanna Keenen to take the number 1909 FOX-backed Polaris RZR to 1-1 finishes and win the VW Autopartes La Tetera Racing Bar Hechicera Grand Prix in Tecate, Mexico the weekend of September 11-13. Ramirez also owns FR Motorsports, which runs the team.

The 20-mile race loop was run with multi class heats in the morning and afternoon. Over 120 entries registered, with safety protocols applied. Race organizers CODE called for no more than two people allowed per race car during tech inspection, with no fans allowed in the registration area and start/finish area, safe distances between teams and fans with face-masks were required at all times to get the permit to carry off a race.

According to Ramirez, the team spent months prepping and testing. After the new COVID-19-style tech inspection on Friday, September 11, the team went on course early to pre-run and shake the car down a bit more. Due to the extremely rough course the front motor mount broke, causing the motor to shift and the right rear axle to bind and ultimately break. Quintanilla had everything ready to swap out, and once the car was fixed and pre-running completed, it was dinner and bed for the FOX team.

Race day

Saturday, 7 a.m. Car number 1909 was the first off the line in the morning’s heat race. Ramirez and Quintanilla felt like they were running a pretty good pace when around Race Mile (RM) 4, a blue car was on their bumper.

“He’s going to break, let him go,” Quintanilla said, and at the pace the blue car  was running the mistakes would come. As Quintanilla gave Ramirez many ‘colorful’ words of encouragement they started to hit their marks.

After the first lap they were 60 seconds behind first place and for the first time had clean air. Number 1909 pushed hard and by RM7 on lap two the pit crew radioed “Blue car is out! You’re in first place with a three-minute lead.” The 1909 continued to push and Lap 3 went flawlessly as they hit their marks and set a quick pace that no other 1900 class car could match. Around RM16 on Lap 3 the pit crew radioed again letting Ramirez know that they had a five-minute lead with eight miles to go. At that point Ramirez and Quintanilla decided to save the car and cruise it in for the first heat race win.

The second heat was just as exciting as Rahders and Keenen were third off the line and with no pre-run, Rahders drove conservatively. Fate intervened toward the end of Lap 1, while in the dust he hit a rock and flatted. The pit crew changed the tire and got him going quickly, losing only two positions.

“After riding co-dog with Cody for three years I knew `Race Cody’ was about to be unleashed,” Ramirez said, and he was correct.

“At the end of Lap 2 Cody was making passes. He went by the pit on Lap 2 physically in third place and 1:30 behind the leader. Lap 3 was a treat! With the course memorized Cody was flying and passed everyone in front of him to bring the car home in first for first place overall for the day in our class!

“This was a pretty emotional race for us,” Ramirez added. “It was my first victory as a driver and team owner; everyone is excited for the rest of 2020.”

Full results here.

FR Motorsports is supported by FOX, Tensor Tire, Method Race Wheels, Baja Xpeditions, Baja Racing products, Super Gato, PIN MFG, Team Alba Racing, Black Rhino, Reynaldos Cocina, Toritos Fab, Baja Designs, RPM Magazine, Swift Powder Coating, Rugged Radios, Rod End Supply, Cody Rahders Racing and Breanna Keenan.

// ridefox.com/utv