Early entries from 16 U.S. States, 4 countries; Start Draw on March 16;
Qualifying on March 30 for season opener in Baja California
for four race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship
ENSENADA, Mexico – Prime-time champion desert racers Rob MacCachren, Mark Post/Ed Herbst, brothers Dan and Luke McMillin, cousins Brad and Brian Wilson, the father and sons COPS Racing team of John, Zak and Morgan Langley and Justin Davis are among the early entries from 16 U.S. States, host Mexico, Canada and Guatemala for next month’s 31st Annual SCORE San Felipe 250 in Baja California, Mexico.
The season-opener of the four-race internationally-televised 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held March 29-April 2 in San Felipe, the quaint fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif.
The year of 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be held in mid-November. The SCORE Baja 1000 is the longest continuously held desert race in the world.
MacCachren, Post and Ed Herbst, all of Las Vegas, are all three-time overall champions of the SCORE San Felipe 250 while the brothers McMillin, of San Diego, each have one class win each in San Felipe and legendary TV producer John Langley and his sons Zak and Morgan have three COPS Racing entries in San Felipe-one each in SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec.
Both racing in separate Racer Engineering Ford F-150s in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850 horsepower unlimited production trucks, third-generation desert racers Dan McMillin has one San Felipe class win in Class 1/2-1600 (2007) while Luke McMillin won Class 1 in 2012.
Part of the two-generation Wilson Motorsports team of Long Beach, Calif., Brad and Brian will both be among the favorites in the unlimited Class 1.
Entered in Class 10, Davis, 23, of Chino Hills, Calif., is one of the SCORE ‘Young Guns’ who won Class 1 in San Felipe in 2011 when he was just 18 years old. He has already been a serious competitor and won his class in SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Class 10.
In the motorcycle competition, Guatemala’s international rally racer Francisco Arredondo has already entered in the Pro Moto Unlimited class on a Chris Haines’ Honda and Northern California’s Tony Gera, who has won his class the last three years in San Felipe, is entered again in the Pro Moto Ironman class for solo riders.
Celebrating the 31st anniversary of the youngest of the three legendary SCORE Baja races, sometimes referred to as the SCORE ‘baby Baja’, entries are being accepted on the SCORE website (www.SCOREInternational.com) for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. Pre-race festivities for this popular ‘Spring Break’ race will be held in San Felipe on March 29, March 30 and March 31 with race day on Saturday, April 1 concluding with the post-race awards fiesta at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, April 2.
The drawing for starting positions within each class will be held on Thursday, March 16 for all vehicles officially entered by 11 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 15.
MORE EARLY BIRDS
Among the other early entries into this year’s race are three prominent UTV racers—reigning Pro UTV point champion Alonso Lopez, Murrieta, Calif. and the husband and wife racers Wayne and Kristen Matlock. The Matlock duo both finished in second place in their respective classes in last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 with Wayne second in the Pro UTV FI class and his wife Kristen second in the Pro UTV class.
In the unlimited Class 1, SoCal cousins Brad and Brian Wilson are both entered in identically equipped Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race cars.
Five racers have won three overall victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250, a standard which may last for years to come.
The most recent racer to win overall three times in San Felipe was Mexico’s Gus Vildosola Jr, who won three straight (2013, 2014, 2015). Vildosola Jr is now tied with four Las Vegas racers with three overall wins each in this race.
A second generation Mexican desert racer, Vildosola Jr of Mexicali has five class wins in this race including in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Branix Ford Raptor SCORE Trophy Truck.
Vildosola Jr, with help from his father Gus Sr in 2013 won his first overall. He drove solo the next two years to tie the record in 2015 of three straight overall wins set by Las Vegas racing brothers Ed Herbst and Tim Herbst who won three straight in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The Herbst brothers have four class wins in San Felipe as they also won Class 1 in 1995.
Three other Southern Nevada drivers have three overall wins in San Felipe but not three straight.
Leading the other Las Vegas three-timers in overall victories is Rob MacCachren, who has eight class wins in San Felipe and won all three of his overall titles in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division. MacCachren’s first was in 2007 when his split the driving with Mark Post and his most recent overalls in San Felipe were solo wins in 2011 and 2012. MacCachren, who has won three straight overall victories in the SCORE Baja 1000, drives the No. 11 MacCachren Motorsports Rockstar Ford F-150.
Post is the third Las Vegan with triple overall wins in San Felipe (1998, 2004, 2007). He drove a Class 1 car to victory in 1998 with Jerry Whelchel and a SCORE Trophy Truck to the overall in 2004 with Whelchel again. This year Post has entered this race with Ed Herbst as his second drive as the dynamic duo will drive the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150.
The final Las Vegas three-timer in San Felipe is Brian Collins, who won his first in 1990 in Class 1 while splitting driving time with SCORE Baja motorcycle racing legend Jack Johnson, also of Las Vegas. Collins also captured two straight in SCORE Trophy Truck in 2008 and 2009.
For the first time in the history of this race, SCORE will hold a qualifying session on Thursday, March 30 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec classes.
This is a tale of a race told in two parts. It was first run in 1982 for three years through 1984.
It wasn’t held during the first five years in the seven-year run of the combined HDRA/SCORE Desert Racing Series as it resumed in 1990. It almost disappeared after the 1993 race when the combined series split and the SCORE San Felipe 250 had just 82 total starters.
It bounced back though, as all good things in Baja do, after SCORE purchased HDRA in 1993, climbing to 250 or more starters seven times, including twice with over 300 starters.
The largest starting field was 394 in 2007 when then SCORE President Sal Fish had to move the race to Ensenada less than two weeks before the race because of disputes between land owners and government officials. That race started in Ensenada and finished in Santo Tomas, south of Ensenada.
The largest starting field for the race when it was run in San Felipe was 2006 when 341 vehicles left the start line.
The most finishers in this shortest of the three traditional SCORE Baja races were in 2007 when 288 completed it and 2006 when 220 crossed the finish line within the time limit.
Like all of the SCORE Baja race courses, the SCORE San Felipe 250 has always featured some of the most start, dramatic and awe-inspiring terrain and scenery in the world. Infamous for its punishment to racer and vehicle, part of the courses has included a whoop section of over 25 miles virtually like driving over a washboard.
Over the years, this race has seen parts of its courses go through several of the legendary Baja washes like Matomi, Huatomote, Chanate, Azufre, Cuevitas and Amarillas.
For many years, the start and finish line area was beneath the fabled San Felipe Arches landmark on the outskirts of town.
SPRING BREAK $$$
For three decades, the annual motorsports festival that has brought the largest economic impact of any single event held annually in this lightly-populated portion of the ruggedly rough and bountifully beautiful Baja peninsula has been the SCORE San Felipe 250.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the second time all four are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
31st SCORE San Felipe 250, March 29-April 2, San Felipe, Mexico
50th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico
CBS SPORTS NETWORK
For the last three years, all races in the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, along with the special SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience and qualifying for the SCORE Baja 1000 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway have aired in the USA and Canada on the CBS Sports Network. The spectacular shows have featured not only SCORE Trophy Truck coverage, but also top action and highlights from many other classes of trucks, cars, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Capping off the 2016 broadcast season, the SCORE Baja 1000 broadcast on CBS Sports Network aired as a full two-hour special for the second straight year.
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Bud Light-Official Beer, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, CBS Sports 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, Coca Cola, 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.
Rosarito Beach SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: Ayuntamiento de Playas de Rosarito, Cotuco de Playas de Rosarito, Comite de Mercadatecnia Playas de Rosarito.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship atwww.SCOREInternational.com.