ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – As entries from across the United States and around the world continue to be received, online racer registration closes at 8 p.m. tonight and pre-running opens Saturday for next month’s internationally-televised BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. THE SCOOP
Round 2 of the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held June 10-13 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. SCORE is celebrating its 48th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization. ONLINE RACER ENTRY APPLICATIONS
Racer entry applications continue to be available at www.SCORE-International.com under Race Info on the SCORE Baja 500 page. Questions should be directed to SCORE Registration and Membership Director Audreonna Garcia at 775. 852.8907. Online racer entry applications will be accepted through 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21. PRE-RUNNING
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 466.00-mile race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts will begin at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 22 starting at race mile 32.9 and finishing at race mile 433.1. The rm0.0 to rm32.9 section will be open only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday (June 9-10). Only outbound running to rm32.9 except on race day.
The official SCORE Racer Brief, course map and GPS files will be available by 6 p.m. PT tonight (Thursday, May 20) on the SCORE website under race info/SCORE Baja 500. COURSE PREVIEW
With pre-running opening on Saturday, May 22 for the BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva has identified and plotted another 466-mile spectacular race course to challenge the world’s best desert racers.
Running in a clockwise direction, the race will start and finish without spectators in the SCORE compound.
The SCORE start/finish compound will be located Northeast of downtown Ensenada 2.5 miles beyond the end of the extension of Avenida Ruiz.
The race features an impressive course of 466.00 miles. It runs in a clockwise direction west to Ojos Negro then south down the middle and then up the Pacific Coast side of Baja California.
The historic race course is another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons with elevations from sea level to nearly 3,500 feet. The course is another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.
“This course has fast, rough and technical sections,” commented Grijalva, in his his ninth season in the SCORE administration. “It goes through a couple of new trails and it is a great example of what a challenging SCORE Baja race course looks like. The way the course is laid out, pre-running will be very important if a racer wants to go fast and win his or her class.”
There are two physical checkpoints, 233 virtual checkpoints and two narrow virtual checkpoints for this race course. It also has 14 speed zones for a total of 74.9 miles.
The two physical, full-stop checkpoints—Checkpoint 1 will be located at race mile 170.8 at San Telmo Road and Checkpoint 2 will be at rm 305 at Vicente Guerrero.
The course goes east through Ojos Negros and then begins its Southern journey through El Alamo, the Goat Trail and Valle de Trinidad.
From there it heads back west towards the Pacific Ocean going by and through Mike’s Sky Rancho, El Coyote Ranch and Rancho Meling. It then goes through Santo Domingo Wash, San Simon Wash. The course than parallels and draws close to the Pacific Ocean going through San Quintin, Vicente Guerrero, Camalu, San Vicente, Santo Tomas and Uruapan before heading back northeast up to Ojos Negros and back to the finish line.
Starting this season, SCORE is putting up course markers for virtual checkpoints in addition to the normal mileage markers.
All Sportsman classes, Class 7SX, Baja Challenge, Class 11 and the Baja-e will race on a reduced course of 389.56 miles. CLOSED START/FINISH
Because of the significant health and safety protocols developed by SCORE in conjunction with and the approval of state and local health authorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all race-week festivities and the start/finish line compound will be restricted access only and closed to the general public. The SCORE race start/finish compound will be located Northeast of downtown Ensenada, one-mile east of the end of the extension of Avenida Ruiz.
Use the following link for the map to the SCORE start/finish compound: https://score-international.com/raceinfo/map-to-compound/.
Spectators, adhering to the protocols, will be allowed to watch the race from around the race course. DETAILS
With nearly 300 entries expected from 30 U.S. States and 20 countries, 51 competition classes are offered for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. Among the latest group of 191 total entries to date are racers from 19 U.S. States, host country Mexico, along with Bolivia, Canada and France.
Domestically, the race will be televised on a delayed basis on the World of X Games show on ESPN2 as co-produced by SCORE International and award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles.
All four 2021 SCORE races are being held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the sixth consecutive year.
SCORE Live will be streaming throughout contingency and race days on the SCORE website and on the new SCORE TV app. Colorful Rat Sult is back for his sixth season as the host of SCORE Live. GRAND MARSHAL: JIM O’NEAL
Jim O’Neal, 74, the noted apparel/performance products manufacturer (O’Neal USA) from Simi Valley, Calif., and super-vet multi-time SCORE champion age-group motorcycle racer has been selected to be the Grand Marshal for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
O’Neal has a race-record 21 class wins in the SCORE Baja 500. He has 38 starts out of 52 years in the SCORE Baja 500 and 39 starts out of 53 years in the SCORE Baja 1000 and he has raced in all 34 SCORE San Felipe 250 races. He has a SCORE-record 22 season point titles in his lengthy career.
This year’s SCORE Baja 500 will be his fourth SCORE race as a co-rider for the Giovanni Spinali team in the Pro Moto 50 class for riders over 50 years old on the No. 510x Yamaha YZ450FX. ON-SITE RACER REGISTRATION
Being held in the SCORE start/finish line compound on the East end of Avenida Ruiz, regular on-site and late racer registration will be held on Thursday (June 10) from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT and on Friday (June 11) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No new entries will be accepted after 6 p.m. PT on Thursday (June 10) and 3 p.m. PT on Friday (June 11). START ORDER/DRAW DEADLINE
The starting order within each class for this race will be determined by the individual finishes at this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, if the individual entry is received and all fees paid in full by 8 p.m. on Friday, May 21.
All entries received and paid in full by May 21 who didn’t race in San Felipe, will be part of a drawing to determine the remainder of the start order within each class. The draw results will be posted on the SCORE website at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 28.
Up until and 5 p.m. PT on May 28, entries will be accepted in the SCORE Ensenada office but those entries received after May 21 will not be in the start draw. Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Thursday and Friday (June 11 and 12) and will be given the next available start position within their respective classes.
All entries received after 8 p.m. PT on Friday, May 21 in the SCORE Ensenada office will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes. GREEN FLAG—JUNE 12
The motorcycle and quad classes will start at 6 a.m. PT Saturday (June 12) while the car, truck and UTV classes will begin their journey starting at 10 a.m. PT. SCORE Trophy Truck, TT Legend, Class 1, Trophy Truck Spec and the Pro Moto Unlimited classes will start one vehicle every 60 seconds race while all other classes will start one every 30 seconds.
While the fastest vehicles in the elapsed-time race are expected to finish in approximately eight hours, all vehicles will have 20 hours from the time each starts to become an official finisher in the historic race. GRAN HISTORIA
This year’s SCORE World Desert Championship is another special tribute to the iconic SCORE Baja 500.
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the event starting in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE in December of 2012.
The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 26, 1974 in Ensenada as the first of over 150 SCORE Baja races.
After being held last year because of the health pandemic in San Felipe for just the second time in race history, this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will start for the 47th time in Ensenada and finish for the 43rd time in Ensenada. BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 45 years, received two awards for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. BFGoodrich Tires was honored after the 2020 season as the SCORE Contingency Company of the year for the 30th time as well as being voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year for the 32nd time.
BFGoodrich Tires has been the choice of 32 of the 52 overall winners of the popular SCORE Baja 500 and 31 of the 53 overall winners of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. BFGoodrich Tires is also the title sponsor of both of the iconic races again in 2021.
BFGoodrich Tires also has been the choice of 28 of the 34 overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 250, all three SCORE Desert Challenge races, the lone SCORE Challenge of Champions in San Felipe, the one SCORE Baja Sur 500 and the inaugural SCORE Baja 400.
BFGoodrich Tires is also the title sponsor for this year’s SCORE Baja 500. BFGoodrich Tires has posted a contingency bonus for the overall winner of this race of US$25,000. PRESENTING SPONSOR
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500 is 4 Wheel Parts, the official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship. SCOREscope 2021 SCORE SKED
Here are the remaining three dates in the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship which will all be 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. The season-opening BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford, is scheduled to air on May 30. Check local listings for exact time.
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. 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. SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, 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.