SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, dominic@score-international.
November 1, 2019
Presented by 4 Wheel Parts
Dakar champs Al-Attiyah & Price, F1 Champ Button join
Rossi, Mears, Millen, Gaughan among crossover drivers
for legendary BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000
To date–208 total entries from 32 U.S. States, 19 countries—Nov. 19-24;
Pre-running continuing on rugged 800.5-mile course in BC, Mexico;
Start/Finish adjacent to Ensenada’s Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
for iconic season-finale of four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship;
Granddaddy of All Desert Races to be televised on ABC’s World of X Games
Scroll to bottom-2019 SCORE Baja 1000 crossover List…
ENSENADA, Mexico—Teaming up for this race—Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and Toby Price of Australia—top winners of the 2019 Dakar Rally, along with 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button of England are joining other champion crossover racers like Alexander Rossi (IndyCar), Casey Mears, (NASCAR), Rhys Millen (Formula Drift) and Brendan Gaughan (NASCAR) to compete in separate classes at this month’s iconic BFGoodrich Tires 52nd annual SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
This year’s Granddaddy of All Desert Races will start and finish in the heart of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico with race-week festivities and the race itself being held Nov. 19-24.
ATTIYAH & PRICE
Winners of the top two divisions of the 2019 Dakar Rally in South America, Al-Attiyah, 48, and Price, 32, will be additional drivers for 2010 SCORE Trophy Truck season champion Jesse Jones, 53, of Litchfield Park, Ariz. The talented trio will pilot Jones’ new No. 76 Mason Motorsports-built all-wheel drive Ford F-250.
Al-Attiyah is a Qatari rally driver, sport shooter and sheik. He was the 2006 Production World Rally Champion, a 13-time Middle East Rally Champion, 2014 and 2015 WRC-2 champion, three times winner of FIA cross-country rally Cup (2008, 2015 and 2016) and the 2011, 2015 and 2019 Dakar Rally winner.
He currently competes in the World Rally Championship and Middle East Rally Championship for the Qatar World Rally Team. His three victories in the Dakar Rally make him the only Middle Easterner and West Asian to win the competition more than once.
In shooting, Al-Attiyah won the bronze medal in the men’s skeet event at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in London.
Al-Attiyah is the cousin of the current Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Price, whose racing career has been primarily on motorcycles, has competed before in SCORE Baja races in SCORE Trophy Truck with Jones as driver of record as well as driving in several of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Truck series events over the past several years.
Price is an Australian off-road and enduro motorcycle racing world champion riding for the Red Bull Factory KTM Rally Team. He is a two-time motorcycle champion in the Dakar Rally, having won in 2016 and 2019. In 2016 he won five of the stages to dominate the race and this year he won while riding with a broken wrist.
He also won the 2018 FIM World Rally Championship for motorcycles.
BUTTON & BUNCOMBE
After ‘warming up’ with two domestic desert races in the U.S., Jenson Button, 39, has entered as a British race car driver and former Formula One driver. He won the 2009 Formula One World Championship, driving for Brawn GP. He currently competes in the Japanese Super GT Series driving a Honda NSX-GT for Team Kunimitsu, in which he won the title in 2018.
Button raced for 17 years in Formula 1 from 2000 to 2017 before retiring to pursue other racing interests.
Following the withdrawal of Honda from Formula 1 in December 2008, he was left without a drive for the 2009 season, until Ross Brawn led a management buyout of the team in February 2009, and Button suddenly found himself in a highly competitive, Mercedes-engined car.
He went on to win a record-tying six of the first seven races of the 2009 season, securing the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship. In his long career in Formula One, Button had 15 career race victories.
In this year’s SCORE Baja 1000, he will be the driver of record in the No. 203 Chevy Silverado (Builder-Mason Motorsports) in the highly competitive Trophy Truck Spec class.
His second driver will be long-time friend Chris Buncombe, 41, of England. Buncombe is a former LeMans Series racer who is a former Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 class winner.
Alexander Rossi, the International open-wheel racer who won the 2016 Indianapolis 500 as a rookie become the sixth former winner of the great American race to compete in the Granddaddy of All Desert Races when he raced in Class 7 in last year’s race with Jeff Proctor.
Rossi, 28, from Nevada City, Calif. who has raced in Formula 1 and is now a regular with Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series, will again share driving in this year’s iconic SCORE Baja 1000 with Jeff Proctor in the No. 709 Honda Ridgeline. Rossi won three races, eight podiums, three poles and had a series-high 321 passes while finishing second in the 2018 Indy Car Series point championship. This season, Rossi won two races, had two poles, 11 top five finishes, including a very close second in the Indy 500 and finished third in the 2019 Indy Car Series point championship.
Proctor, 40, Glendora, Calif., won his class in the SCORE Baja 1000 in both 2015 and 2016 and finished second in last year’s race with Rossi in his No. 709 Honda Ridgeline factory-supported race truck. The team’s third driver will be off-road veteran Pat Dailey, Vista, Calif.
Class 7 is the division for Unlimited, six-cylinder production appearing trucks or SUVs.
The SCORE Baja 1000 endures at the pinnacle of motorsports as the most iconic, oldest, prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
Late in the online registration process, entries to date have come from 32 U.S. States and 19 countries.
Many of the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s massive BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4Wheel Parts. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on ABC TV’s World of X Games programming.
Ensenada, “The Off-Road Capital of the World” is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
Over 250 vehicles are expected at the start line with racers from over 30 U.S. States and as many as 20 countries anticipated. Long-time SCORE sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has also posted a US$40,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel winner to help commemorate the renewal of this legendary SCORE race.
This year’s SCORE Baja 1000 will be a loop race of 800.5 miles in the northern state of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
It will start for the 45th time and finish for the 26th time in Ensenada and the race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, which has been held exclusively for the past four years on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
The race and its festivities will be held primarily in and around the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada and the start and finish of the legendary race will be adjacent to the Riviera.
With a total time limit of 34 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 3 a.m. (PT) on Friday, Nov. 22 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with their start on at 10:30 a.m. (PT). While the fastest vehicles are expected to cover the course in approximately 16 hours, all vehicles will have 34 hours from the time each starts to become an official finisher.
Included in the first 208 official entries to date of the more than 250 anticipated for this year’s renewal of the world’s most iconic desert race are competitors from 32 U.S. States and 19 countries.
U.S. States represented in the field of competitors to date are from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington.
Besides the United States and host Mexico, countries represented to date in the total entry field are from Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Qatar and Spain.
‘MEARS GANG’ RIDES AGAIN
Returning to the desert after a few years in Indy Car racing and 15 years in the NASCAR Cup Series, Casey Mears, 41, comes from one of the legendary families of motorsports—The Mears Gang of Bakersfield, Calif.
A third generation racer, Casey Mears returns to Baja in the dusty trail of his grandfather Bill Mears, his father Roger Mears, his uncle Rick Mears and his brother Roger Mears Jr. All of this group, except Casey Mears, have at least one SCORE Baja 1000 race win.
Despite the heritage and growing up in the deserts of Baja, Nevada and California, Casey Mears will still be considered a SCORE rookie in this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 as he has never raced or navigated in a SCORE race.
His Indy Car career was short-lived and he switched to stock cars, racing in 107 NASCAR Xfinity races over 10 years and 489 NASCAR Cup races in 15 years. He had one career NASCAR Cup race win, 51 top 10 finishes and won three poles.
In 2006, Casey Mears joined Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon to set an event record in winning the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. He currently also races in many the events in the Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks Series.
For this year’s SCORE Baja 1000, Casey Mears will be the driver of record for the No. 42 Axalta Ford Raptor (Geiser Brothers-built). His second driver will be veteran desert racer Doug Fortin, 49, Jr. El Cajon, Calif., a three-time SCORE Baja 1000 overall winner (1997, 2001, 2003).
INDY CHAMPS IN BAJA
Rossi has joined five other former Indy 500 winners who have competed in the SCORE Baja 1000. 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), Buddy Rice (2004) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014). Between them, the six racers have nine victories in the Indy 500.
IndyCar season champions who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 are Rick Mears, Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser, 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. It closes at 8 p.m. PT on Monday, Nov. 11. Any questions, contact SCORE Registration Director Audreonna Garcia 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 and Casey Mears’ father), 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.
MILLEN & VERDIER
In a pairing of former Formula Drift racers, New Zealand’s Rhys Millen and France’s Stephan Verdier have teamed up for this year’s race to run together in the unlimited Class 1. Millen, 47, is driver of record in the Ford-powered, Rhys Millen Racing-built No.167 open-wheel desert race car with Verdier, 45, as his principal additional driver.
Millen is a former Formula D champion, Global RallyCross racer and is also a noted Hollywood stunt driver with numerous movies and commercials to his credit. His famous father Rod Millen is a former desert racer, stadium off-road racer, rally racer and one-time record holder at the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb.
Verdier is a former Pro Skier who has competed in the X Games both in skiing and rallycross. He is a former pro drifting racer and Global RallyCross competitor. Like Millen, Verdier is also a prominent Hollywood stunt driver.
Las Vegas NASCAR Cup racer and second-generation desert racer, Gaughan, 44, has competed in nearly 500 races total in his long career in the three top tier NASCAR race series. This year he has scaled back his NASCAR schedule, having raced in the two Daytona and the both Talladega NASCAR Cup races with a high finish of eighth in the first Talladega race this season and is competing fulltime in the unlimited Class 1 in the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Driving the No. 162 South Point Racing Chevy-powered HMS open-wheel desert race car in the unlimited Class 1, Gaughan opened the season with a fifth place finish in the SCORE San Felipe 250 and followed that with an eighth place finish in his class in the SCORE Baja 500 and ninth at the SCORE Baja 400. He is currently in fourth place in the Class 1 season points as just 12 points separate second through fourth place entering the season finale.
Pre-running on the official race course opened on Oct. 26. After the two-way section out to the Ojos Negros area, the course runs in a counter-clockwise direction down to along the Pacific Ocean and around Mike’s Sky Rancho down through Laguna Del Diablo, Morelia Junction and Matomi Wash and Amarillas Wash before heading North near San Felipe and back up through Laguna Salada, and then down South to Ojos Negros and the finish line in Ensenada.
Pre-running will start at race-mile 39.10 and finish at rm765.9.
Outbound only, the first section of the race course will be open for pre-running only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of race week (Nov. 19-21).
This year’s revised course map is available on the SCORE website under race info on the SCORE Baja 1000 page at www.SCORE-International.com.
The 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 race and race week festivities will cover Nov. 19-24.
Pre-race festivities include two days of Contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway (Wednesday, Nov. 20 and Thursday, Nov. 21) on Boulevard Costero adjacent to 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. 20), Contingency will be held for all motorcycles, quads and UTV classes along with several car/truck classes. On Thursday (Nov. 21), 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 Wednesday (Nov. 20) at 7 p.m. PT at the Hotel Lucerna Ensenada.
Racer registration will be held in the Red Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Racer registration will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday (Nov. 19), and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT on both Wednesday (Nov. 20) and Thursday (Nov. 21).
Media registration will be held in the Red Room as well at the Riviera from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday (Nov. 19), and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on both Wednesday (Nov. 20) and Thursday (Nov. 21)
The BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center will be open on Friday (Nov. 22) starting at 2:30 a.m. PT through the close of the race course. It will also be open on Sunday (Nov. 23) from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. PT. The SCORE Media Center will have WiFi available as well as live streaming from the start/finish line and live tracking of the vehicles in the race
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. 21.
As the celebration continues Friday (Nov. 22) night to all day and evening on Friday and Saturday until shortly after midnight on Sunday (Nov. 23) 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 at the Hotel Lucerna Ensenada starting at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday (Nov. 23).
2019 REMAINING SCHEDULE
BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Nov.19-24, Ensenada, Mexico
Here is the four-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
34th SCORE San Felipe 250, March 25-29, San Felipe, Mexico
BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 3-7, Ensenada, Mexico
2nd SCORE Baja 400, Sept. 16-20, Ensenada, Mexico
BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-21, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur