SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, Dominic@SCORE-International.com
September 19, 2021
To air Oct. 31 on ESPN2
Las Vegas’ Menzies roars way to Overall, SCORE Trophy Truck win at 2nd SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels
Round 3 of four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship was in Ensenada; Pro Moto Unlimited under review by CRB, Weiland captures overall UTV win, Jason McNeil victorious in Trophy Truck Spec; Other class winners include: Helland, Parkhouse, Hagle, Chamlee, Wells, Satterfield, Cafro,Elenburg, Sanchez, Heredia, Gonzales, Park, Salvatierra, Bordonnex, Spinali, Beltran, Liebelt;
193 total starters, 152 finishers-23 States, 10 countries on 400-mile course;
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Starting first as the fast qualifier for the race, Las Vegas’ champion desert racer Bryce Menzies never looked back as he roared through the Baja California desert to defeat 193 starters in Saturday’s 2nd SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels. The race launched the second half of the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Menzies, 34, who races around the world in various rally races, powered his No. 7 Mason-built all-wheel drive Ford Raptor to lead the field with an awesome error-free, penalty-free winning time of eight hours, 26 minutes and 59 seconds over the sun-drenched, rock-filled, silt-strewn, dust-coated 400.00 miles for a winning average speed of 47.34 miles per hour.
Under sunny skies and warm temperatures in the low 80s Fahrenheit, Menzies, 34, had plenty of competition behind him in a field of 33 of the marquee SCORE Trophy Trucks.
The youngest race in the long and storied nearly 50-year history of the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization was held in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The TV show for the race, produced by BCII TV in association with SCORE International, will air as a one-hour special on the World of X Games show on Sunday, Oct. 31 on the ESPN2 Network. CLOSED START/FINISH
Because of the significant health and safety BioSecurity protocols developed by SCORE in conjunction with and the approval of Mexican state and local health authorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all race-week festivities and the start/finish line compound were once again restricted access only and closed to the general public.
The SCORE Baja 400 race start/finish compound was located Northeast of downtown Ensenada.
Spectators, adhering to the protocols, were allowed to watch the race from around the 400-mile race course. PODIUM FINISHERS
Chasing Menzies’ dust closely to the finish line for San Diego’s Luke McMillin, the same racers who finished first and second in the season-opening SCORE San Felipe 250 in April after qualifying second to Menzies in that race.
After roaring and rocking around the desert for eight hours, Luke McMillin, 28, finished second, three minutes, 22 seconds behind the winning Menzies in 8:30:22 seconds, averaging an impressive 62.67 miles per hour in his new AWD No. 1 Big Blue M McMillin Racing Racer-built Chevy Silverado built by Mason Motorsports. Luke McMillin is the defending SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion.
Finishing third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Las Vegas’ Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Rob MacCachren, by just 39 seconds. The SCORE rookie’s finishing time was 8:39:37 while averaging 46.18mph.
MacCachren, 56, the winningest driver in off-road racing history with over 300 career race victories, crossed the line physically third and on corrected time. MacCachren completed the grueling challenge 8:40:16 with an average speed of 46.13mph in his sturdy No. 11 BFGoodrich Tires Ford F-150 built several years ago by Geiser Brothers. MENZIES MAJESTY
The 2011 SCORE overall point champion and the 2011 SCORE Rookie of the Year, Menzies has returned to Baja to earn his first race win in the SCORE Baja 400 and his seventh career SCORE Trophy Truck race win. He was the leader from start to finish with clean air favoring his push to the finish. He started the season with his overall win in the SCORE San Felipe 250. MORE DIRT FAX
This spectacular event returned after a one-year absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic with a total of 193 starters raced in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks UTVs, motorcycles and quads in 51 classes. Entries came from 23 U.S. States, along with host Mexico, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Ecuador, France, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa.
The rugged race route officially closed early Sunday morning in the SCORE Compound Northeast of downtown Ensenada with no spectators allowed because of the worldwide health pandemic. Large crowds of spectators were spread throughout the race course watching one of the most spectacular events held in all of Mexico.
Following complete data tracking review, results were made official Sunday afternoon.
Besides the significant 193 starters, there were an amazing 152 official finishers for an astonishing finishing rate of 78.76 percent.
All four 2021 SCORE races are being held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the sixth consecutive year.
Helping mark the launch of 48th year of SCORE International, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, was the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division with a total of 33 of these ‘Monsters of the Desert’ starting the race. Created by SCORE and started in 1994 by then SCORE-owner Sal Fish, SCORE Trophy Truck is the featured SCORE racing division for high-tech, 1000-horsepower unlimited custom trucks. MENZIES MIKE TIME
Enjoying the fruit of his labor, Menzies reflected on his relatively smooth trip around the course, saying, “We came away from San Felipe with a win and then we had some issues while we were leading the SCORE Baja 500. We have qualified both times this year and our game plan was to play it smart. We put a little gap on Luke (McMillin) and I just wanted to keep it there all day, but then towards the finish I started making small mistakes. I don’t know what was going on; I just wasn’t in it, and he started catching me. I actually got stuck in a really tight section and had to back up. When you back up a four-wheel drive vehicle, it only goes into two-wheel drive, so I almost got stuck and I started to panic. But my main man over here (navigator Willie Valdez Jr) called every single corner, every single note, really coaching me and helped me get to the finish line. This one was technical. A lot of turns, a lot of technical sections, I really had to pay attention to every single corner. My hats off to my team—AmSoil, KMC Wheels, RedBull, Fox Shox, Toyo Tires. We never got one flat. Epic day.” OVERALL MOTORCYCLE WINNER UNDER REVIEW As of midday Sunday, the entire Pro Moto Unlimited class, which featured nine starters, remains under review by the SCORE Competition Review Board. Final decision is pending. UTV OVERALL WINNERS
Winning for the first time this season, Austin Weiland and his team beat 47 UTVs in four different classes including 27 in their Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class.
Weiland, 29, El Cajon, Calif., drove his No. 2954 Can-Am Maverick X3 in a winning time of 10:18:58. MORE UTV RESULTS
Winning the Pro UTV NA (Naturally Aspirated) class for the second straight race was Kaden Wells, 22, Apple Valley, Utah, in his No. 1995 Polaris RZR XP1000.
Atop the Pro UTV Stock class to remain undefeated this year with three series class race wins was Mike Cafro, 51, of Fallbrook, Calif. in his No. 3955 Polaris Turbo S. Cafro, a veteran SCORE race champion in different classes, actually raced in two classes but had a rare did not finish in Pro UTV FI.
Also driving with Cafro in this race in his winning effort in the Pro UTV Stock class was Adan Ibarra, 40, of Ensenada, Mexico.
Capturing the checkered flag to remain undefeated this season in the Pro UTV Open class was Justin Elenburg, 44, Mesa, Ariz. In his No. 1870 Can-Am X3. TOP 10 FINISHERS
Besides Menzies, Luke McMillin and MacCachren, nine of the top 10 finishers were all in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Fourth place finishers Mexico brothers Alan and Aaron Ampudia who had a time of 8:41:54 in their No. 10 Papas Y Beer Racing Ford Raptor. The Ampudia brothers won the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000.
Fifth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck Daniel McMillin, Luke McMillin’s older brother in 8:48:54 in his No. 23 Big Blue M Racing Chevy 1500.
Finishing sixth and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif. who split the driving with 2019 SCORE Baja 400 winner Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. The pair drove Steele’s No. 16 Monster Energy Desert Assassins Ford Raptor to a finishing time of 8:51:32.
Mexico’s first family of desert racing, Vildosola, saw the father and his both finish in the top 10 overall and seventh and ninth in SCORE Trophy Truck.
From Mexicali, Gustavo Vildosola Sr finished seventh overall with a time of 9:00:54 in his new AWD No. 12 Mexicana Logistics Ford Raptor. Vildosola Sr.’s additional driver was veteran Ricky Johnson, Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, finished ninth in class and overall with a time of 9:03:30 in his No. 21 Mexicana Logistics Ford Raptor.
Sandwiched between the Vildosolas in seventh overall and SCORE Trophy Truck was legendary ‘Mr Baja’ Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif. in a time 9:03:31 in Cantina Racing’s No. 43 Baja Jerky Toyota Tundra. The iconic aging warrior, 64, Roeseler won this year’s SCORE Baja 500 in June.
Completing the top 10 overall finishers list was Jason McNeil, El Cajon, Calif., who won the Trophy Truck Spec class for the second straight race, completing the course in his No. THE UNDEFEATED
With three wins to start their 2021 SCORE World Championship season and leading their respective classes heading into the season finale are six rugged SCORE racers: Rolf Helland, 61, Morris, Ill./Rick D. Johnson, 55, Barstow, Calif. (SCORE TT Legend, No. 37L Ford Raptor), Mike Cafro, 51, Fallbrook, Calif. (Pro UTV Stock, No. 3956 Polaris RZR Turbo S), Justin Elenburg, Mesa, Ariz. (Pro UTV Open, No. 1870 Can-Am X3), Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif. (Pro Moto 40, No. 408x, Yamaha WR450F), Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, No. 510x Yamaha YZ450FX) and Scott McInosh, Davie, Fla. ( Pro Moto 60, No. 628x Honda CRF450X). TWO TIMERS
Besides Menzies, McNeil, Wells and Weiland, winning for the second time in three 2021 SCORE Baja races were Greg Sullivan, Helena, Mont. (Class 5, No. 508 Penhall-Chevy), Alex Gonzales, Palm Desert, Calif. (Class 11, No. 1196, VW Sedan), Greg Bardonnex, Vista, Calif. (Pro Moto 30, No. 308x, Yamaha WR450F), Juan Carlos Salvatiera, Bolivia (Pro Moto Ironman, No. 725x KTM 450XC-F) and Jose Luis Valez, San Felipe, Mexico (Pro Quad, No. 1a Honda TRX450F). FIRST TIMERS
Among the other 4-wheel vehicle class winners earning their first wins of the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship were Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif. (Class 1, No. 100, Jimco-Chevy), Ethan Hagle, Somis, Calif. (Class 10, No. 1046 Alumi Craft-Chevy), Daniel Chamlee, Montecito, Calif. (Class 7, No. 700 Ford Ranger), Doug Satterfield, San Diego (No. 1229 Meco-VW), Edward Muncey, San Diego (Baja Challenge, No. BC4 BTC-Subaru), Daniel Heredia, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Ensenada, Mexico) (Class 5-1600, No. 571 VW Baja Bug) and Dario Serrano, La Paz, Mexico (Class 7SX, No. 744, Ford Ranger). THE COURSE—BRIEFLY
The race featured a course designed, plotted and marked by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva, of 400 miles of rugged Baja California terrain. Running in a clockwise direction, the race started and finished without spectators in the SCORE compound on the Northeast side of Ensenada.
The race featured an impressive course of 400 miles. It ran west to Ojos Negro then south down the middle and then up the Pacific Coast side of Baja California.
The course started east through Ojos Negros and then began its Southern journey through Tres Hermanos, east to Highway 3, south through El Alamo, Leyes De Reforma and south through Valle de Trinidad.
From there it wound its way back towards the Pacific Ocean going over the hill at Mike’s Sky Rancho, and then to Checkpoint 2 and south to make a loop just in north of Colonet. The course then paralleled and drew close to the Pacific Ocean going through San Vicente, Santo Tomas and Uruapan before heading back northeast up to Tres Hermanos, Ojos Negros and back to the finish line. START GRID-SCORE BAJA 1000
The results of the SCORE Baja 400 also have determined the start order within each class for November’s legendary season-ending BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. FINALE
Season finale of the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship will be the iconic BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4Wheel Parts. The Granddaddy of All Desert Races is scheduled to start in Ensenada, Mexico and finish at the south end of the majestic Baja peninsula in La Paz, Baja California Sur. Race week dates are scheduled from Nov. 14-20.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCORE-International.com. SCOREscope 2021 SCORE SKED
Here is the remaining event in the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship which are being held exclusively in Baja California, Mexico for the sixth consecutive year:
November 15-20, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico ESPN TV NETWORKS AGAIN IN 2021
For the third straight year, the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship races are airing on the ESPN family of networks. The four-races will air as specials on the World of X Games program on ESPN2.
ABC first covered the 1967 and 1968 Baja 1000 races on the old ABC Wide World of Sports show with Jim McKay and again in the late 1980s with veteran motorsports journalists Sam Posey and Jack Arute.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows also continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International. The shows are co-produced by SCORE International and SoCal’s award-winning BCII TV. 2022 SCHEDULE Here are the dates for the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship which will be held in Baja California, Mexico for the seventh consecutive year:
November 15-20, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico SCORE SPONSORS… Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino and PCI Race Radios. SCORE Official Partners: The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Lucerna Hotel. Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association, Ensenada Tourism Marketing Committee and Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCORE-International.com.