SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, dominic@score-international
October 28, 2019
Presented by 4 Wheel Parts
BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000—iconic
event much, much more–it’s a lifetime experience
Pre-running underway 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
NOTE: Scroll to bottom of story for SCORE Baja 1000 Milestones…
ENSENADA, Mexico—As the World Series is to baseball, the Super Bowl to football and the World Cup to soccer, the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 stands as tall at the pinnacle of the motorsports world today as it did when it began 52 years ago.
GOLDEN PLUS 2
Advance racer-registration continues until 8 p.m. (PT) on Monday, Nov.11 at www.score-international.com for this year’s legendary competition. The race and race-week festivities will be held Nov. 19-24 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Over 250 entries, from over 30 U.S. States and nearly 20 countries are expected to compete in this year’s 52nd anniversary celebration of the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. There are multiple Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, utvs, motorcycles and quads.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts will be held over a rugged 800.5-mile race course over the Northern part of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting and finish in Ensenada. 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.
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) on Friday, Nov. 22. 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.
Last year’s epic 51st anniversary race started and finished in the heart of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico covering much of the northern part of the majestic Baja California peninsula for 806.76 grueling miles. It was the 51st anniversary of the race shrouded in mystery that continues to lure the world’s best racers and adventurers from around the globe who all continue to share the dream to conquer the Baja. Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer and TV action sports announcer Cameron Steele was the overall 4-wheel winner and Justin Morgan and his three rider team were the overall fastest and 2-wheel winners.
A total of 285 starters, competing in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads were part of last year’s annual odyssey. Racers came from 41 U.S. States and 18 countries. There were 177 official finishers in 2018.
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious, majestic Baja California peninsula every year except 1974 when an international fuel crisis forced a cancellation.
The SCORE Baja 1000 has captured the imagination of the entire world as entries have come not only from every state in the United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories Guam and Puerto Rico, but also has attracted racers from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Monaco, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, Yugoslavia as well as the host country of Mexico.
Over the years, SCORE races have been televised in more than 100 nations worldwide.
The first known record run occurred in 1962. Dave Ekins and Bill Robertson Jr. timed their trip from Tijuana to La Paz on a pair of Honda 250 motorcycles. Ekins made it in 39 hours, 54 minutes, Robertson in less than an hour slower. There were no official timers, of course, and to establish that they had made the trip, the two motorcycle racers time-stamped a sheet of paper in the Tijuana telegraph office and time-stamped it again at the telegraph office when they arrived in La Paz. They began their journey at midnight in Tijuana.
Capitalizing on the pioneer effort of Ekins and Robertson, Chevrolet commissioned car builder Bill Stroppe to prepare a small fleet of trucks for the run to La Paz. Late that year they left Long Beach, Calif., and all of them reached La Paz. Advertising and publicity campaigns heralded the feat as “the roughest run under the sun.”
“Without the SCORE Baja 1000, there just wouldn’t be any desert racing,” said Jim Ryan, SCORE International’s Sales and Marketing Director. “The SCORE Baja 1000 continues to draw interest from all over the world and we now find second and even third generation racers appearing at the starting line with their family patriarchs cheering for their off-spring. This event continues to be the focal point of the SCORE World Desert Championship each year and the celebration of our 52nd anniversary race in November will surely add another colorful chapter to the ever-growing legacy of the iconic SCORE Baja 1000.”
Enthusiast Ed Pearlman founded the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) and established the Mexican 1000. It started officially in Tijuana on October 31, 1967 with 68 entries. They actually motored at leisure speeds to Ensenada and restarted the next day, finishing in La Paz.
NORRA continued to organize the Mexican 1000, which came to be known as the Baja 1000. In 1968, Pearlman moved the start of the race to Ensenada, where it stayed with one exception until 1993. In 1972 NORRA started at Mexicali and ran the first half of the race down the east coast of the peninsula through the treacherous Three Sisters section. Pre-running for this race, Parnelli Jones and Walker Evans were among a group of competitors who nearly got swept out to sea during a tropical storm.
NORRA’s last race was in 1972. At that point, Mexican officials revoked NORRA’s permits to stage races in Baja. In 1973, a domestic group called the Baja Sports Committee produced the race.
After the fuel crisis of 1974 forced local officials to cancel the event, SCORE International, founded by the late Mickey Thompson and headed soon after by Sal Fish (until 2012), was invited by the northern state of Baja California to hold the race in 1975. The SCORE Baja 1000 became a loop event starting and finishing in Ensenada.
In 1979, the government of Baja California Sur granted permission to resume the Ensenada-to-La Paz format and SCORE has used this route intermittently ever since.
The 1979 race was notable for Walker Evans’ overall win in a Dodge truck, the first truck to win the overall title of the race.
In its first 51 years, the SCORE Baja 1000 has started 44 times in Ensenada, three times in Mexicali (1972, 1993, 1994), twice in Tijuana (1967, 1995) once in Santo Tomas (1998) and once in Ojos Negros (1999). The legendary race has finished in Ensenada 25 times, in La Paz 21 times, in Mexicali two times (1993, 1994), twice in Cabo San Lucas (2000, 2007) and once in Ojos Negros (1999).
CELEBS & CROSSOVERS
The famous and not-so-famous have tried their hand at conquering the Baja and they have come from all walks of life. Mark Thatcher, son of Great Britain’s then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, raced in the 1982 SCORE Baja 1000. Celebrities James Garner, Ted Nugent and the late Steve McQueen all battled the Baja in the early 1970s and many racers from other forms of motorsports crossed over to try their skills.
Among the drivers from other arenas who have tested the Baja were Indy Car racers Rick and Roger Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Ongias, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Buddy Rice, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Oriol Servia, Roberto Guerrero, Michel Jourdain Jr., Johnny Unser and Mike and Robbie Groff, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, SCCA legend Elliot Forbes-Robinson, World Rally Championships’ Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera,, Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen, Formula Drift and Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen, world motorcycle champions Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler and Destry Abbott, Motocross legends Ricky Johnson and Jeremy McGrath, XGames star Travis Pastrana, drag racers Don Prudhomme and Larry Minor and legendary SCORE founder and motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
The late Academy Award winning actor, racer and race team owner Paul Newman raced in the 2004 event. Jesse James, of ‘Monster Garage’ fame, and Hollywood film and TV star Patrick Dempsey both have raced in this classic several times.
This year’s race will commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson, and Larry Roeseler.
Hall, who passed away this year at 81, retired with an unbelievable record of 25 class wins (including one overall win in 1969), and was the only racer who competed in the first 50 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Bishop, now also deceased was the only racer who competed in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races all on a motorcycle.
Johnson, now retired, had 15 class wins, amazingly in eight different classes.
Roeseler, has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007), driving with the youngest of three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Herbst/Smith-built Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’. Roeseler is the only racer in the history of the event to win the overall 4-wheel in a truck and also in a car as well as the overall 2-wheel title as well.
In 2008, Roeseler split the driving with driver of record/team owner Roger Norman when they were the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck champions and the pair was second in 2009. In 2010, Roger Norman drove solo the length of the peninsula and finished third overall.
Special history was also made in 2010 when the father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola Sr and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr drove to the overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory to become the first Mexican nationals’ team to win the legendary race and it was a peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.
That landmark was reached again during the 50th anniversary when Mexico’s Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez and his father Juan C. Lopez split the driving to win the mammoth 2017 peninsula run from Ensenada to la Paz.
TO THE FUTURE
Lured by the same siren that enraptured the Ekins brothers in the 1950s, the SCORE Baja 1000 remains as the No. 1 target of adventurers the world over, not to mention the cadre of pro and semi-pro desert racers who consider it the fitting climax to their racing season each year.
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
ABC TV IN 2019
The 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship is being televised on the ABC TV family of networks, marking the first time back on the ABC network since the 1967 and 1968 coverage of the Baja 1000 on ABC’s old Wide World of Sports show.
The one-hour shows on the 33rd SCORE San Felipe 250, 51st SCORE Baja 500 and the 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 will be televised as part of ABC’s World of X Games year-long programming. Presented by SCORE sponsors Monster Energy and BFGoodrich Tires, the ABC World of X Games series profiles iconic action sports figures and also highlights athletes, artists, event previews and recaps.
The inaugural Lucerna SCORE Baja 400 held in September is airing as a one-hour special on ESPN2 TV, also on the World of X Games programming. It first aired on Sunday, Oct. 27.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows will continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Presenting Partner, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
SCORE Baja 1000 Milestones
1962 – In March Dave Ekins and Bill Roberston Jr. ride The 1000 Miles of Baja for the first run ever.
1966 – In May Dave & Bud Ekins, with Eddie Mulder and Cliff Coleman Ride Again to finish the 1000 Miles of Baja and complete the First Non Assisted Ride.
1967 – October 31, Ed Pearlman puts together the First Official Mexican 1000 Race From Tijuana to La Paz
-Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels first overall winner, driving a Meyers Manx-VW
-J.N. Robert/Malcolm Smith first overall motorcycle winner, riding on Husqvarna
1968 – Larry Minor the first person to win the SCORE Baja 1000 overall back to back in 1968-‘69
1969 – Rod Hall wins his only overall title in the race (with Larry Minor)
-Hall would go on to race in all of the 50 first years and had a race-record 25 class wins
1973 – Mickey Thompson takes over the Mexican 1000 Baja race and forms SCORE
1974 – Sal Fish takes control of SCORE and runs it for the next 38 Years
-Only year that the SCORE Baja 1000 did not occur due to U.S. Oil Crisis
1975 – Malcolm Smith becomes the first to win both an overall 4-wheel and 2-wheel titles win he wins the 4-Wheel with Dr. Bud Feldkamp in a Funco-VW. They won again in 4-wheel in 1977
1976 – BFGoodrich Tires begins a 40-plus year history racing in the SCCORE Baja 1000
-BFGoodrich Tires has won a race-record 30 4-wheel overall titles in this race
1978 – Larry Roeseler and Jack Johnson are the first to win the SCORE Baja 1000 three times in a row on motorcycles 1978, 1979, 1980.
1979 – PPI Begins Racing in SCORE with the Toyota Team and Ivan Stewart
-Frank De Angelo, with BFGoodrich Tires, start pits for racers at SCORE events
-Walker Evans wins the overall 4-wheel title earning the first by a truck
1982- Mickey Thompson wins his first and only SCORE Baja 1000 in a Raceco-VW
1990 – Bob Gordon wins the overall 4-wheel with his daughter Robyn and son Robby, marking the first time for both a father/daughter and father/son overall win and Robyn is first female overall winner
1994 – SCORE Trophy Truck Class debuts; created by SCORE’s Sal Fish
-Jimmy Smith wins the first SCORE Trophy Truck title at the SCORE Baja 1000
1994-1997 – SCORE Trophy Truck runs as its own series, Jimmy Smith wins this race in 1994, Larry Ragland wins in 1995, 1996 and 1997
1997 – Johnny Campbell wins his first of 11 overall mototcycle titles, all on Honda bikes
1999 – Larry Ragland wins the first SCORE Trophy Truck overall as part of the regular series to give him four wins in five years in the marquee racing division
2000 – Dave Ashley and Dan Smith win the once-in-a-lifetime SCORE Baja 2000 from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, held to commemorate the new millennium
-Team of Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab/Craig Smith/Steve Hengeveld win motorcycle overall
2004 – Larry Roeseler becomes only the second person in race history to win the overall on both 2-wheel and 4-wheel, earning the 4-wheel title with Troy Herbst.
2006 – 431 total starters, most in the history of this race from Ensenada to La Paz
–Andy McMillin/Robby Gordon win 4-Wheel overall, Andy is the youngest overall winner at 19
-Steve Hengeveld/Mike Childress/Quinn Cody win 2-wheel overall
2007 – 40th anniversary race from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, race-record 237 finishers
-Mark Post, Rob MacCachren and Carl Renezeder win 4-wheel overall
2008 – Johnny Campbell, riding with Robby Bell and Kendall Norman wins his record-setting 11th overall motorcycle title
– Roger Norman wins the overall 4-wheel with Larry Roeseler. Roeseler has a record 13 overall wins in this race, 10 in 2-wheel and three in 4-wheel
2010 – Gus ‘Tavo’ Vildosola and his father Gus Vildosola Sr. become the first Mexican nationals to win the overall; Roger Norman finishes third overall driving solo down the peninsula
2011 – Andy McMillin and his father Scott Millin son/father duo wins the 4-Wheel Overall
2012 – B.J. Baldwin wins the SCORE Baja 1000 back-to-back in 2012 and 2013
-Sal Fish sells SCORE after 38 years on December 20
2014, 2015, 2016 – Rob MacCachren wins the Overall SCORE Baja 1000 with Andy McMillin and Jason Voss. MacCachren wins again in 2015 with Andy McMillin and a third straight in 2016 with Jason Voss
2014 – With riders Ricky Brabec/Robby Bell/Steve Hengeveld/Max Eddy Jr., Kawasaki motorcycle returns to the top of the podium, breaking the record 17 straight 2-wheel wins by Honda
2017 – Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez and his father Juan C. Lopez team to capture the Overall at the 50th Anniversary of the Granddaddy of All Desert Races, the second team of Mexican nationals to win the Overall title at this epic event
2018 –Motorcycle racers Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels, Justin Jones earned Honda its race-record 28th Overall 2-wheel vehicle victory in the SCORE Baja 1000
-Cameron Steele and Pat Dean won the Overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory giving BFGoodrich Tires its 30th Overall 4-wheel vehicle title in this race