Courtesy of Red Bull Off-Road Junior Program
August 13, 2020
Las Vegas, USA
Engines are tuned and drivers back behind the wheel as the 2020 Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race revs into gear. The 24th edition of the longest off-road race in the United States is the most anticipated yet, and Red Bull Desert Wings racers are set to be in the thick of the action.
Amid challenging circumstances all efforts have been made to get the green light for this emblematic desert race. With safety protocols in place, we can now look forward to the 550-mile race over the Nevada sands from Las Vegas to Reno on Friday, August 14.
The Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race sees the return to competitive action for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team. Mitch Guthrie Jr. and Seth Quintero both impressed at the Silver State 300 earlier in the summer and will be looking to win their respective categories in Nevada this time around.
“Vegas to Reno is a huge race and it always brings out the big dogs. Every desert racer wants to show up at this one.” – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
The 550-mile Vegas to Reno race is an overdue opportunity for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team to build on the remarkable progress they made at the start of this year. While racing the specially designed OT3 side-by-side machine, Mitch and his team-mates set the fastest time on half of the 12 stages at the 2020 Dakar Rally. The OT3 will not be present at Vegas to Reno due to the current strict Europe to United States travel restrictions.
Mitch is now in search of his first win at Vegas to Reno as he defends last season’s Best in the Desert overall series victory in the Pro Turbo Class.
“Vegas to Reno is the longest off-road race in the United States and it brings with it a little bit of everything. The course is over 500 miles long every year and it’s such a mix of terrain. There’s forests, there’s high elevation and you go down on lake beds and silt. I absolutely love the distance.” – Mitch Guthrie Jr.
Meanwhile, Seth demonstrated his speed by retaining his title with a dominant drive at the Silver State 300 in July. Among Seth’s goals for the year is retaining his Best in the Desert series Pro N/A Class crown.
“This year’s Vegas to Reno is definitely going to be a little wild. It’s over 500 miles and due to be around 110 degrees Fahrenheit on the start line… Hopefully Mitch and myself can win our respective classes and put the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team on top.” – Seth Quintero
In the prestigious “Trophy Truck Unlimited” category there’s a full entry list of big names from the world of Baja racing. 2019 Vegas to Reno Champion Bryce Menzies has thrown his hat into the ring alongside four-time Baja 1000 champion Andy McMillin.
Bryce and Andy continue to provide huge inspiration to the members of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, with plenty of expertise to share with the next generation of driving talent.
“I haven’t raced since February and to say I’m antsy is an understatement. The drop of the green flag can’t come soon enough!“ – Andy McMillin
For either Bryce or Andy to claim the top prize they will not only have to beat each other, but also a top class Trophy Truck field of competitors, including four-time Vegas to Reno Champ Jason Voss and Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Rob MacCachren.
“This year’s course is going to be different than years past, so looking forward to some new terrain and wide open roads.” – Bryce Menzies
The 2020 Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race is part of the current Best in the Desert season, which is just past its halfway point. Expect close racing in temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit as competitors challenge for championship points and an outright win at this legendary off-road event.
Catch up with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team in the Destination: Dirt series on Red Bull TV, watch it here
Mitch Guthrie Jr. © Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
Mitch Guthrie Jr. © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool
Seth Quintero © Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
Seth Quintero © Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
Blade Hildebrand © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool
OT3 by Overdrive © Marcin Kin/Red Bull Content Pool
Bryce Menzies © Art Eugenio/Red Bull Content Pool
Bryce Menzies © Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool
Andy McMillin © Art Eugenio/Red Bull Content Pool
Mitch Guthrie Jr.: “It was good to have a bit of a break after Dakar and a hectic start to the year, but after a month it got a little boring. I always want to be racing so it’s so nice to get back to it. Things didn’t quite go our way at Silver State and we finished 5th, but it was great to be out there and it was a good test for us ahead of Vegas to Reno.
“Vegas to Reno is a huge race and it always brings out the big dogs. Every desert racer wants to show up at this one. I think our UTV Turbo class is the biggest one out there with upwards of 60 cars entered. Anybody who is anybody will be lining up for this race. I think I can win, but the competition is crazy. We’re going to give it our all and we’re going in 100 percent prepared. It’s a win that I’ve been chasing for a while.
“Vegas to Reno is the longest off-road race in the United States and it brings with it a little bit of everything. The course is over 500 miles long every year and it’s such a mix of terrain. There’s forests, there’s high elevation and you go down on lake beds and silt. I absolutely love the distance. You’re in the car around 12 hours, and that’s if everything goes right! Your crew is such an important part of this race because the car is going to have to put up with a lot.”
Seth Quintero: “It was great to get the win at Silver State, especially after a bad crash at the Mint 400 in April. It took a lot of work in the simulator to get my confidence back after that crash. Now that’s back-to-back wins at the Silver State 300.
“This year’s Vegas to Reno is definitely going to be a little wild. It’s over 500 miles and due to be around 110 degrees Fahrenheit on the start line. The temperature on the course is going to be a factor in how the car runs. Also, battling against dehydration is going to test every driver’s mental strength. We’re going to be starting first after winning Silver State and I’m stoked about that. Communication with the team will be key because you never know where everybody else is when you start up front.
“It’s going to be great being out there racing with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team. Mitch is going to be racing and Blade is coming along to help us out. Hopefully Mitch and myself can win our respective classes and put the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team on top. Mitch and Blade are like brothers to me so I can’t wait to meet up and hang out with those guys.”
Andy McMillin: “I’m very excited to get back in the driver’s seat for an off-road race. I haven’t raced since February and to say I’m antsy is an understatement. The drop of the green flag can’t come soon enough!
“What makes Vegas to Reno unique and challenging is no pre-running. We have a GPS file and marked trail/course, but we don’t have our own notes marking the other side of blind rises, rocks, ditches, etc. It makes it extra stressful during the race to not make a mental error, which is extra straining on your mind. I’m up for the challenge, though!
“I do feel ready for this race given the amount of down-time we’ve had. Most guys raced once, maybe even twice since February, so I think I’ll have to dust off the cobwebs a little and get used to being in a race again. But then again, I’ve been racing for 19 years so once the green flag drops I’ll be in full race mode and trying my hardest to get a W!”
Bryce Menzies: “I cannot wait to race Vegas 2 Reno. We earned a first place finish at last year’s event and I enjoy the challenge of this being the longest off-road race in America. This year’s course is going to be different than years past, so looking forward to some new terrain and wide open roads.
“I think what makes this race so unique is this requires your focus to be sharp for roughly seven hours. We are not allowed to pre-run the course and mark notes how we would do in Baja, so the danger level goes up high when you’re seeing speeds of 140mph-plus in the race truck. I would say what I look forward to most is my AWD TT racing through all the technical washes and hill climbs.
“For our team as of now it has just been two races cancelled and both of those were down in Baja. With that we have been able to test and try more things than we have ever tried before on the race truck. We have tested aerodynamics, transmission, motor and a new tire from Toyo Tires. We have been able to race with these changes and see the improvements from all of our hard work.”