at Las Vegas Convention Center; SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck,
at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Off-Road Track at 6 p.m., Oct. 30; pre-running opens Oct. 20
ENSENADA, Mexico—Alexander Rossi, the International open-wheel racer who won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie will become the fifth former winner of the great American race to compete in the Granddaddy of All Desert Races when he races in November’s 51st SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Rossi, 27, from Nevada City, Calif. who has raced in Formula 1 and is now a regular with Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, will share driving in this year’s iconic SCORE Baja 1000 with Jeff Proctor in the No. 709 Honda Ridgeline. Rossi won three races, had eight podiums, earned three poles and had a series-high 321 passes while finishing second in the 2018 Indy Car Series point championship.
Proctor, 39, Glendora, Calif., won his class in the SCORE Baja 1000 in both 2015 and 2016 in his No. 709 Honda Ridgeline factory-supported race truck.
SCORE races have classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. Class 7 is the division for Unlimited, six-cylinder production appearing trucks or SUVs.
Over 300 entries, from 35 U.S. States and 20 countries are expected to compete in this year’s 51st anniversary celebration of the SCORE Baja 1000 which is revered worldwide as the Granddaddy of all Desert Races.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 will be a loop race of 806.76 miles in the northern state of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula. It will start for the 44th time and finish for the 25th time in Ensenada and dates for the race and race week festivities are Nov. 12 through Nov. 18. The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, which has been held exclusively for the past three years in Baja California. The start/finish line compound will once again be adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
With a total time limit of 36 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 4 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Nov. 16 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with their start on at 10:30 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Nov. 16. The fastest finishers are expected to complete the race in approximately 13 hours.
Rossi joins four other former Indy 500 winners who have combined to win the race a total of nine times. Besides Rossi (2016 Indy 500 winner), the other Indy 500 winners who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 and the year(s) they won are Parnelli Jones (1963), Rick Mears (1979, 1987, 1988, 1991), Danny Sullivan (1987) and Buddy Rice (2004). Between them, the five racers have eight victories in the Indy 500.
IndyCar season champions who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 are Rick Mears, Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Paul Tracy.
Of the former IndyCar racers who have competed in the SCORE Baja 1000, only Parnelli Jones has wins in this race, having won in both 1971 and 1972.
Racer Registration is open at www.SCORE-International.com under Race Info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page. Any questions, contact SCORE Registration Director Audreonna Cuarez at 775. 852.8907.
MORE INDYCAR TIES
Ties between IndyCar racing and the SCORE Baja 1000 run deep. Nearly 30 Indy 500 racers have competed in the legendary SCORE Baja 1000.
Among the other former IndyCar racers who have competed in the SCORE Baja 1000 over its first 50 years are Roger Mears (Rick Mears’ older brother), Mike Groff, Robbie Groff, Wally Dallenbach Jr, Dominic Dobson, Josele Garza, Robby Gordon, Roberto Guerrero, Pete Halsmer, Stefan Johansson, P.J. Jones, Michel Jourdain Jr, Bernardo Jourdain, Danny Ongais, Ted Pappas, Oriol Servia, Johnny Unser, Bill Whittington and his brother Don Whittington.
In an interview since he retired from racing, four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears summed up his thoughts regarding SCORE Baja racing saying, “Desert racing is far more demanding than people realize. It taught me so much. You can’t memorize a 100-mile lap or a 1,000-mile course down the Baja peninsula, and you have to adapt to surfaces in the desert that vary from asphalt to sand to dirt to mud, rocks and even snow. After that, Indy racing seemed so easy: nice smooth surface, no ruts or holes, and just four hours, when I’d been used to 10 or 12 without a break in the desert.”
WHERE THEY’RE FROM
To date after just over a week of online registration for November’s 51st SCORE Baja 1000, there are 88 total early entries (73 cars/trucks/UTVs, 15 motos/quads) with racers from 29 U.S. States and 11 countries officially signed up to compete. In addition to the United States and the U.S. Territory of Guam and host country Mexico, the other countries with racers entered are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru and Sweden.
BEFORE BAJA…VIVA LAS VEGAS
SCORE Trophy Truck (including the SCORE TT Legend class), the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950-horsepower, unlimited custom trucks class will have a special qualifying session for start positions on Tuesday, Oct. 30 on the Off-Road Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The marquee SCORE racing division will be showcased that week (Oct. 29-Nov. 2) at the massive SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience at the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Both events are presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
The starting order for all other classes was determined primarily by the finishing and placement results at September’s Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge.
OH, WHAT A COURSE!
As it has for over four and one-half decades, SCORE has put together another memorable race course for the 51st anniversary, this one a loop race, with all of the foreboding, unforgiving terrain that the northern state of the majestic Baja California peninsula has to offer. SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva has designed and finalized this year’s race course of 806.76 miles. The course will have five checkpoints along the way to the finish and 192 virtual checkpoints.
Starting and finishing in the heart of Ensenada in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, the course travels in a clockwise direction east to Ojos Negros before launching its weaving route around both the east and then the west side of the northern part of the peninsula.
Pre-running (Oct. 20) will start 5.6 south of Ojos Negros at Rm 38.4 and the course heads out to Jamau. After Jamau before the ‘Goat Trail’ there is a new short section that has never been raced on.
Course will go to Kiliwas and out to Hwy 3 to San Matias, over to the desert in San Felipe. South of San Felipe it loops around Amarillas Wash and comes back to Old Puertecitos Road on Huatamote Wash, head south to the Sulphur mines and turn right and will loop back using Matomi Wash to Old Puertecitos Highway.
South from Puertecitos to Gonzaga Bay and before Coco’ s Corner it turns south and takes a new trail that will take racers back to the main road out to Chapala.
At Chapala the course goes across Hwy 1 and does a loop behind Cataviña where there is tons of silt and nasty hill climbs.
North of Cataviña the course goes back across the peninsula on the east side of Hwy 1 and heads north to Rancho Victoria and more silt before and after this ranch in the Rm 490 to Rm 510 area.
It then drops down to El Rosario Wash and goes north to San Quintin on a fast smooth road that has never been raced on.
In San Quintin the course runs north and hits the coast to Santo Tomas, taking pavement to Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros and to the finish in Ensenada.
The five checkpoints will be located at north of San Felipe (race mile 177.34), before Highway 1 on Chapala Road (rm 378.27), Highway 1 in San Quintin (rm 597.81), end of Vicente Guerrero Wash (rm 633.85) and in Santo Tomas before Highway 1 (rm 733.02).
Because of the horrendous silt beds, Class 11 (stock VW sedans) and all Sportsman 4-wheel vehicles classes will be allowed to eliminate the Cataviña loop, taking pavement from rm 379.22 to rm 478.38.
Teams will be allowed to begin pre-running or practicing on the race course starting at 8 a.m. (PT) on Saturday, Oct. 20 starting from north of Ojos Negros as the section from the start to Ojos Negros will be restricted. Pre-running will start at race mile 38.40 at Rancho El Mezcal which is 5.6 miles southeast of Ojos Negros. On the return, pre-running will end at race mile 767.26.
The 51st SCORE Baja 1000 race week festivities will cover Nov. 12-18.
Pre-race festivities include two days of Contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway (Wednesday, Nov. 14 & Thursday, Nov. 15) on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Contingency will run each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and pre-race tech will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. On Wednesday (Nov. 14), Contingency will be held for all motorcycles, quads and UTV classes along with several car/truck classes. On Thursday (Nov. 15), Contingency will be held for the balance of the car and truck classes including the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, unlimited Class 1, Trophy Truck Spec and Class 10.
The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held on Thursday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. PT in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
Racer registration will be held in the Red Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Racer registration will be held from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday (Nov. 13), and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on both Wednesday (Nov. 15) and Thursday (Nov. 15).
Media registration will be held as well in the Red Room at the Riviera from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday (Nov. 13), and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on both Wednesday (Nov. 14) and Thursday (Nov. 15) and the BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center will be open on Friday (Nov. 16) starting at 3:30 a.m. PT through the close of the race course. It will also be open on Sunday (Nov. 18) from 8 a.m. to Noon PT.
SCORE sponsor Monster Energy will host the Monster Energy Papas y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz in downtown Ensenada from 6 p.m. to midnight PT on Thursday, Nov. 15.
As the celebration continues Friday (Nov. 16) night to all day and evening on Friday and Saturday until the early hours of Sunday morning (Nov. 18) while official finishers cross the line and tales and epic accomplishments are added to the legacy of the event. The post-race awards fiesta will be held on the start/finish line ramp adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center starting at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday (Nov. 18).
NUMERO UNO, DOS TIEMPOS
In a special voting held in 2016 and 2017, the invincible SCORE Baja 1000 was selected as the No. 1 motorsports event in the world both years in a reader’s choice voting conducted by the USA Today newspaper, defeating such events as the Indy 500 and the Knoxville Nationals.
2018 REMAINING SCHEDULE
51st SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.13-18, Ensenada, Mexico
Here is the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fourth consecutive year all races are being held in Baja California, Mexico:
33rd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 3-7, San Felipe, Mexico
51st SCORE Baja 500, May 29-June 2, Ensenada, Mexico
SCORE races are airing domestically on the El Rey Network and outside of the U.S. on ESPN International as well as syndication. The SCORE Baja 1000 race coverage show will be a two-hour special.
El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network and is available in 45 million homes across the country through cable and OTT providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 341 and Dish Network Channel 253. For more information on how to watch El Rey visit http://elreynetwork.com.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel and official race title sponsor, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 4 Wheel Parts, The Satellite Phone Store, Satellite Del Norte.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Lucerna Hotels & Resorts 22nd Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Lucerna Hotels and Resorts, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
SCORE Baja 1000 Overall Champions
(4-wheel and 2-wheel vehicles–1967 through 2017)
YEAR DRIVERS/RIDERS VEHICLE TIME
1967 Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels Meyers Manx-VW 27:38
J.N. Roberts/Malcolm Smith Husqvarna 28:48
1968 Larry Berquist/Gary Preston Honda 20:38:28
Larry Minor/Jack Bayer Ford Bronco 21:11:32
1969 Larry Minor/Rod Hall Ford Bronco 20:48:10
Gunnar Nilsson/J.N. Roberts Husqvarna 21:35:52
1970 Drino Miller/Vic Wilson Miller-VW 16:07
Mike Patrick/Bill Bowers Yamaha 18:31
1971 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 14:59
Malcolm Smith/Gunnar Nilsson Husqvarna 16:51
1972 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 16:47