The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team were back in the States and hunting big prizes at the BlueWater Desert Challenge over the weekend. The final race of the 2020 Best in the Desert (BITD) series was a last chance to put points on the board and take control of the overall rankings.
It’s been a season like no other as the BITD series and its drivers adapted to unprecedented circumstances. Seth Quintero and Mitch Guthrie Jr. of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team kept cool heads as they were forced to take a break from the track.
When the BITD series was given the green light to return, Seth and Mitch both got back to work attempting to defend the titles they had won the previous year. Since June they have raced four BITD races in the States as well as taking on the Andalucía Rally in Spain.
Seth has been firing on all cylinders since returning to race at the Silver State 300 in June. Consistent results have seen him successfully retain his Pro National Class championship title* – a job that he closed out in style at the BlueWater Desert Challenge in Parker, Arizona.
« To back up our championship from last year just goes to show what a small race family can do. This year’s point chase was close, we only gained the points lead two rounds back. It’s been a fun year to say the least! » – Seth Quintero
Seth was joined in Arizona at the weekend by fellow Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver Mitch Guthrie Jr. 2020 started in Saudi Arabia for Mitch as he took his debut drive at the Dakar Rally. After an impressively quick adaptation to rally-raid competition, Mitch returned to the States to defend his BITD Pro-Turbo Class championship.
This BITD season didn’t work out the way Mitch was hoping for, but despite some misfortune he battled his way to a spot on the overall podium*.
« 2020 was a crazy year so just being out racing is amazing. I think overall we ended third in the championship this year, and while we wanted to repeat from last year, we know we did what we could this year and are proud. » – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
Seth and Mitch have both showed an abundance of character during this strangest ever season. The lessons they have learned will no doubt help them as they embrace a hectic finish to the year. As the curtain comes down on the BITD season, the focus now switches to the 2021 Dakar Rally.
« It’s actually going to be the busiest time of year for us, we have Dakar. » – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
Last time out in Saudi Arabia the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team proved they could keep pace with the fastest teams and drivers in their class. Now they will return to the world’s toughest rally, aiming to repeat the podium results they achieved back in the States on the weekend.
Seth Quintero: « The race this weekend went great! Unfortunately lost four-wheel drive the first day but we were able the manage a third. On the second day of racing we unfortunately had the same issue but we managed another third and took home second overall.
« Being the unofficial 2020 Pro National champion feels absolutely amazing. To back up our championship from last year just goes to show what a small race family can do. This year’s point chase was close, we only gained the points lead two rounds back. It’s been a fun year to say the least!
« There’s a lot of secret stuff coming. I’m excited to see what the future holds! »
Mitch Guthrie Jr.: « Day one we dealt with a lot of dust, with a ton of cars on a short loop. The circumstances made it difficult to go fast, and we ended up sixth. On day two we had an awesome start and were in contention for a win, unfortunately we lost an axle like we had on day one. We’ll figure out the issue going forward.
« Overall I’m feeling really good about the season, 2020 was a crazy year so just being out racing is amazing. I think overall we ended third in the championship this year, and while we wanted to repeat from last year, we know we did what we could this year and are proud. We learned a lot and are excited for the next season.
« It’s actually going to be the busiest time of year for us, we have Dakar, King of the Hammers, all within a couple months. Some of the biggest races which I’m super excited about. Also plenty of video shoots, car builds and more. I couldn’t be more excited for 2021! »