Prelude to 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000-special
race notes, statistics from world’s most iconic desert race
To date, 363 total entries from 42 U.S. States, 2 U.S. Territories, 25 countries part of field;
pre-race festivities for final round of four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship
includes SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience, presented by BFGoodrich Tires Oct. next week
at Las Vegas Convention Center (Oct. 31-Nov. 3); SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck
at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Off-Road Track at 6 p.m. Oct. 31;
Granddaddy of All Desert Races to be televised on El Rey Network
ENSENADA, Mexico—Five decades in the making, November’s 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 has a perspective like no other on the history of desert racing.
Advance racer-registration continues until 5 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at www.score-international.com for this year’s legendary competition. The event and race-week festivities will be held Nov. 12-18 in Baja California, Mexico.
Nearly 400 entries, from 40 U.S. States and 30 countries are expected to compete in this year’s golden 50th anniversary celebration of the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. There are multiple Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, utvs, motorcycles and quads.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will be held over a 1,134.40-mile race course down Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada, Baja California Norte and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, held exclusively for the past two years in Baja California.
With a total time limit of 48 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 12 midnight (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with start on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 10 a.m. (PT).
Here’s a brief look back at some of the plethora of special memories that this Granddaddy of all Desert Races has etched indelibly into the sands of time…
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 1
On November 14-18 of this year, our iconic SCORE Baja 1000, the world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, will celebrate its 50th birthday, starting in Ensenada and finishing in La Paz. We salute some of the stars and memories of this race.
Launching this legacy tribute, we recall two of the greatest racers who have participated in the SCORE Baja 1000—Rod Hall and Larry Roeseler.
Both veterans will be at the starting line again for this year’s odyssey from Ensenada to La Paz.
Hall, who will turn 80 on Nov. 22, is the only person who has raced in all 49 previous SCORE Baja 1000 races and he has 24 class wins, the most in the history of this race.
Roeseler is second in all-time class wins with 17. Roeseler is the leader in overall race wins with 13, including 10 on a motorcycle, two on an open-wheel desert race car and one in a SCORE Trophy Truck.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 2
Off-Road Hall of Famer Sal Fish was President of SCORE from 1974 until he sold it to Roger and Elise Norman on Dec. 20, 2012. Fan favorite Fish has agreed to return to Baja in November as the Grand Marshal for the 50th SCORE Baja 100, the race he helped grow from an infant to blossom three generations of desert racing stars.
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.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 3
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, 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, Pike’s Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen, Drifting champion Rhyss Millen, World Rally Championships’ Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera, 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 and film star Patrick Dempsey have both also raced this classic several times. And legendary racer Mario Andretti was the Grand Marshal of the 2003 race.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 4
With entries expected from 40 U.S. States and as many as 30 countries, here are the countries that have had at least one entry in the Granddaddy of All Desert Races:
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, Columbia, China, Cyprus, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, 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.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 5
Part of the legacy of this iconic race, SCORE presents the racers who have been overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 250, SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000 the SCORE Baja Triple Crown Award.
The nine individuals who have earned this amazing honor are: Dave Ashley, Robby Gordon, Rob MacCachren, Andy McMillin, Scott McMillin, Larry Ragland, Dan Smith, Ivan Stewart and Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 6
The first SCORE Baja 1000 in 1967 (called the NORRA Mexican 1000) started in Tijuana by the bull ring and finished in La Paz.
Since then the only other time the race has started in Tijuana was in 1995 when it also finished in La Paz.
Since those humble beginnings, Ensenada has hosted the majority of the SCORE Baja 1000 races. The race officially became the SCORE Baja 1000 in 1975 after the worldwide event was not held in 1974 because of the international fuel crisis.
While the race has been point-to-point around once every three years, it has finished twice in Cabo San Lucas (2000 and in 2007).
Overall, the world’s most well-known desert race has started 42 times in Ensenada, three times in Mexicali, twice in Tijuana, once in Ojos Negros and once in Santo Tomas.
Overall, the SCORE Baja 1000 has finished in 24 times in Ensenada, 20 times in La Paz, twice in Mexicali, twice in Cabo San Lucas and once in Ojos Negros.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 7
This race has been the proving grounds for racers and manufacturers. Looking first at the drivers with the most overall wins in the race, Larry Roeseler is clearly on top with 13 (including 10 on a motorcycle, two in an open-wheel desert race car and once in a SCORE Trophy Truck (driving with SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman in 2008).
Tied for second in overall 4-wheel vehicle wins with five each are Andy McMillin, his uncle Mark McMillin, Larry Ragland and Malcolm Smith (including two on motorcycles). With four overall victories each are Rob MacCachren (including the last three straight years) and Dan Smith (which includes one on a motorcycle).
With three overall 4-wheel vehicle wins are Dave Ashley, Doug Fortin, Robby Gordon, Ralph Paxton and Ivan Stewart.
Besides Roeseler with 10, the leaders in overall motorcycle wins are Johnny Campbell (11), Steve Hengeveld (8), Kendall Norman (6) and with four each are Quinn Cody, Ty Davis, Ted Hunnicutt Jr, Jack Johnson, Tim Staab and Colton Udall.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 8
In the battle of manufacturers, several categories are presented.
Leaders in overall car/truck wins are Ford Truck (12), Chevy Truck (9), Chenowth-VW (5) and Ford Bronco (4).
Leaders in overall Tire manufacturers’ wins for cars/trucks are BFGoodrich Tires (28), Western Auto (6), Firestone (4) and tied with three each are Calahan Cap and Toyo Tires.
The leaders in overall motorcycle wins are Honda (26), Husqvarna (11), Kawasaki (10) and Yamaha (2).
Combining all classes together, motorcycles have had the fastest times of all vehicles 37 times and cars or trucks 12 times. SCORE Trophy Trucks have had the overall fastest time in five of the last seven years including the last three by MacCachren.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 9
With the 49th SCORE Baja 500 in June in Ensenada, it is interesting to note that there were 10 racers who have overall victories in both this race and the SCORE Baja 1000.
Clearly leading with way was legendary Larry Roeseler who has 13 overall wins in the SCORE Baja 1000 and 11 in the SCORE Baja 500. Second was Larry Ragland who has five in each of the iconic SCORE races.
The other races who have overall victories in both races and were racing in June in the SCORE Baja 500 along with their overall wins in each race are Andy McMillin (2 SCORE Baja 500, 5 SCORE Baja 1000), Robby Gordon (4, 3), Rob MacCachren (1, 4), Troy Herbst (3, 2), Scott McMillin (3, 2), B.J. Baldwin (1, 2), Gus Vildosola Jr (1, 1) and Mark Samuels (1, 1).
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 10
This year’s SCORE Baja 100 is anticipating nearly 350 entries from 40 U.S. states and 30 countries. In addition to over 400 news media personnel from around the world, this year’s race will be featured on two shows on SCORE new television partner-the El Rey Network.
With the air dates to be announced, the first will be a one-hour special on the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas along with qualifying for starting positions for the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck from the off-road track Las Vegas Motor Speedway (qualifying will be held on Oct. 31).
The second show will be a two-hour special of race coverage from the golden celebration of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 11
In 49 years of this great race, non-U.S. drivers have been the fastest overall winners in this race only three times, twice in the motorcycle division and once in the four-wheel vehicle division.
In 1971 and 1972, Sweden’s Gunnar Nilsson won the motorcycle division of the race. In 1971 he team with legendary American desert racing star Malcolm Smith and in 1972 he won with follow Swedish countryman Rolf Tibblin. In both years, Nilsson won on Husqvarna motorcycles.
In 2010, Mexico son/father team of Gus ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr/Gus Vildosola Sr became the first Mexican nationals and first non-Americans to win the four-wheel vehicle division when they drove their Ford F-150 to victory in the Ensenada to La Paz peninsula run.
Also of note in the motorcycle division in last year’s race, Australia’s Daymon Stokie was one of three co-riders for the U.S.-based Ox Motorsports team with Colton Udall as rider of record.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 12
In the July issue of SCORE Journal digital magazine (www.SCORE-international.com) there is an exclusive interview with and feature on Rob MacCachren, the Hall of Fame desert racer from Las Vegas, Nevada USA. The masterful MacCachren, 52 years old, has nine class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000. Of those nine class wins, he was the overall fastest vehicle to finish, including the last three straight years as the overall winner and winner of the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division.
MacCachren’s four overall victories have been recorded in 2007 with Mark Post in the 40th anniversary SCORE Baja 1000 race, 2014 with Andy McMillin and Jason Voss, 2015 with Andy McMillin and 2016 with Jason Voss.
MacCachren has won the last three consecutive years in the No. 11 MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck.
The up-close-and-personal view of the iconic SCORE Baja 1000 through the experiences of Rob MacCachren is a must-read first-hand view of the world’s most legendary desert race.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 13
Looking at some overall stats from this legendary race, a total of 12,984 vehicles have started the first 49 races for an average of 265 starters per race. A total of 6,328 vehicles have finished the first 49 races for an average of 129 finishers per race. Percentage-wise, 48.7% is the average finishing rate for this great race.
In the first 49 years, the most ever starters came in 2006 when 431 vehicles left the start line and second most starters was the 40th anniversary race in 2007 when there were 424 total starters.
In the first 49 years, the most ever finishers came in 2007 when 237 finished the 40th anniversary race and the second most finishers was in 2006 when 234 vehicles finished the race.
In the first 49 years of the world’s most famous desert race, the fewest number of starters was the first race back in 1967 when there were 68 starters and the race with second fewest number of starters was in 1973 when 143 started.
In the first 49 years of this iconic race, the fewest number of finishers was in 1967 when there were 31 finishers and the second fewest number of finishers was back in 1978 when there were 56 finishers.
It will be memorable to see what these numbers are this year for the 50th anniversary race.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 14
Three of the most inspiring SCORE Baja 1000 legends are featured in the August 2017 issue of the spectacular SCORE Journal digital magazine with special one-on-one features in text and video.
Shining brightly in the SCORE spotlight are SCORE Baja icons Dr. Bud Feldkamp, Bobby Ferro and Malcolm Smith.
Between them, these three innovating desert racing pioneers accumulated eight overall victories and 11 class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000.
Leading with five overall and eight class wins is Smith who had two overalls on a motorcycle and three in an open-wheel desert race cars. Two of Smith’s overalls were with Dr. Feldkamp (1975 and 1977) and one with ‘Baja’ Bob Gordon (1987).
Ferro, who was a legendary driver and Hollywood stunt driver, won the overall in 1973.
All three are expected back at this year’s celebration as co-drivers in one of the two SCORE Legend classes.
While the magnificent mystery of the Baja peninsula speaks for itself, the masters of Baja have etched their names in the lasting legacy of the Granddaddy of all Desert Races with their class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000.
There are a ‘SCORE Dusty Dozen’ of 13 sturdy desert racers who have earned 10 or more class victories in this race. History shows the master to clearly be the incomparable Rod Hall, who will turn 80 on Nov. 22. Hall, who is the only person to have competed in all 49 previous SCORE Baja 1000 races has earned a race-high 24 class wins in this race, seven more than second-place Larry Roeseler who has 17 including a race-high 13 overall victories.
Tied for third on the all-time multiple class win list with 15 each in this race are Craig Adams, Chris Haines, Richard Jackson and Johnny Johnson. With 14 class wins is age group motorcycle racer Jim O’Neal and tied with 12 class wins each are Jack Johnson, Jeff Kaplan and Donald Moss.
Tied with 11 all-time class wins in this race are Johnny Campbell and Steve Hengeveld and with 10 class wins to complete this ‘SCORE Dusty Dozen’ list with 10 class wins are Chad Hall and Lou Franco.
Many of these SCORE Baja legends are expected to compete in this year’s race, including the venerable Rod Hall, Roeseler, O’Neal, Kaplan, Moss, Hengeveld, Franco and Rod’s son–Chad Hall.
LEGACY—SCORE Baja 1000, No. 16
As of today, there are 363 total entries for this year’s race from 42 U.S. States, U.S. Territories Guam & Puerto Rico. In addition to the USA, other countries with a racer entered this year Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and Spain.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire & Official Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, El Rey Network-Official Television Partner, 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, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, CETTO Vineyards.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Sur State Government, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Tijuana Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.