ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico — As the field of entries from 21 U.S. States and seven countries climbs higher, 11 SCORE racers are undefeated in 2018 heading into this month’s special format Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge. Here is the link for the map of the race route on the SCORE website – Course Map for 2018 SCORE Desert Challenge.
As racer registration continues online for Round 3 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship on the SCORE website atwww.SCOREInternational.com, dates for race-week festivities and the race are Sept. 20-23.
Moving to the largest city on the Baja California peninsula last year, this race will again utilize a special split format two-day event with one lap each day as the Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge.
Hotel Lucerna Tijuana on Avenida Paseo de los Heroes in the Zona Rio area of Tijuana is the official event hotel and the hospitality group (Lucerna Hotels & Resorts) is the SCORE Official Hotel for the SCORE World Desert Championship.
Led by Rob MacCachren, Justin Davis, Kristen Matlock and Francisco Septien a total of 11 racers have won their class in each of the two grueling races held so far in 2018. And both were run over race-record long courses for each event.
The race-record course length for the season-opening 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250 was 319 miles and for the BFGoodrich Tires 50th SCORE Baja 500 the race-record course was 542.12 miles long.
MacCachren, a legendary Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer from Las Vegas, has 310 career short-course, stadium and desert race wins (including 67 all-time class wins in SCORE races), is the overall point leader and at the top of the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division in his No. 11 Rockstar MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150 built by Geiser Bros of Phoenix.
Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., whose younger brother Jeremy is a rookie racer this year in the SCORE Lites class, has won both unlimited Class 1 races this year in his No. 185 Green Army Motorsports Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.
Surely evolving as a dynamic desert diva, Kristen Matlock, Alpine, Calif., has made history while driving solo in winning her Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated class in both races in her No. 1954 Polaris RZR XP4 1000. In the SCORE Baja 500 she shocked a field of over 50 UTVs with the fastest time including beating all of the usually faster Pro UTV Forced Induction vehicles.
Keeping it all in the family, her husband Wayne Matlock is leading the Pro UTV FI point standings at the midway point of the season in his No. 2971 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. Wayne Matlock joined his talented wife at the top of the podium in the season-opener as they both won their respective classes at the 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250 in April. Wayne Matlock is also the 2018 overall UTV point leader.
With six career SCORE season class motorcycle point championships, Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico, leads the Pro Moto Ironman class and is the overall motorcycle point leader so far this season riding solo on his No. 730x Honda CRF450X.
Also 2-0 to lead their class point standings in the 4-wheel vehicle classes are Vincent Munoz, Yucaipa, Calif. (Class 8, No. 894 Ford Ranger), Mark McNeil, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 5, No. 501 VW Baja Bug) and Jesus Mendez Jr, Mexicali, Mexico (Pro UTV UNLTD, No. 1872 Can-Am X3 XRS).
Besides Septien, the other motorcycle class winners who are undefeated in 2018 with identical 2-0 records, the other four Pro moto racers are teams led by Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif/Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif. (Pro Moto Unlimited, No. 7x Honda CRF450X; Jano Montoya, Winter Garden, Fla. (Peru) (Pro Moto 40, No. 400x KTM 450EXCF), Giovanni Spinaly, El Cajon, Calif. (Pro Moto 50, No. 510x Yamaha YZ450FX) and Guy Laycraft, Canada (Pro Moto 60, No. 649x Honda CRF450X.
WHERE THEY’RE FROM
With 122 official entries to date, there are racers from 21 U.S. States and seven countries. Nations are USA, host country Mexico, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy and New Zealand. States with racers so far are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
The unique-format race will be held in an area with a spectator-friendly start/finish line compound located on the southeast outskirts of Tijuana at the popular Rancho Casian off of Boulevard 2000 (Highway No. 201) at Km 22.
Starting and finishing adjacent to Rancho Casian in Southeast Tijuana, the race route travels in a counterclockwise direction over the nearly 68 tough terrain miles designed and put together by SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva. It covers much of the land used in last year’s 23.4-mile loop, especially from Rancho San Vicente (where the race started last year) at around race mile 4 to race mile 17, considered the roughest section of the course.
There will be two full-stop checkpoints on the course. Checkpoint No. 1 will be at race-mile 22.2 and Checkpoint 2 will be at race-mile 49.5.
At race- mile 8, the course goes around La Mesa and at rm 11 is goes through Cerro Valadero and at rm 24 is Loma del Gato then to rm 30 and passing through Sierra Cipres.
The course goes through the Valle de las Palmas area from rm 43 to rm 50, running on Arroyo Seco to Rancho Santa Anita.
Heading back to Rancho Casian, the race course goes by the popular Rumorosita at rm 56.5, a very popular area that is very rocky and rough. Pancho’s Place is at rm 60 and then a sprint to the finish line.
The last eight miles back into Rancho Casian look to be very fast.
With no qualifying for any classes in this race, the drawing for starting positions within each class will be held on Friday, Sept. 14. To be included in the start draw, online racer registration will close at 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Late, on-site racer registration will be held at the host hotel on Thursday and Friday (Sept. 20 and 21).
Pre-running on the official race course, exclusively for all car, truck and UTV classes will be held on Friday (Sept. 14) and Saturday (Sept. 15) and pre-running exclusively for motorcycle and quad classes will be held on Sunday (Sept. 16). There will be no pre-running on the race course allowed on Sept. 17-21.
Race headquarters will be the Hotel Lucerna in the heart of the Rio Zona area of Tijuana on Avenida Paseo de los Heroes. Racer registration will be held in the hotel on Thursday, Sept. 20 (2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT) and Friday, Sept. 21 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT).
Media registration will be held at the Hotel Lucerna on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT and on Friday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
Contingency will be held in directly in front of the headquarters hotel on the historic Avenida Paseo de los Heroes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PTon Friday(Sept. 21) with tech inspection lasting one hour longer until 6 p.m.
Both being held at the Hotel Lucerna on Friday (Sept. 21), the mandatory aircraft pilot safety meeting will be held at 6 p.m. PT followed by the mandatory racer meeting will be held at 7 p.m. PT
The event features two days of racing scored as one race. SCORE Race Director Jose Grijalva has put together a 68-mile loop course through the challenging hills in the area that each class will run a total of two laps over for 136 total race miles.
In the elapsed-time race with a three-hour time limit each day, starting at 7 a.m. PT each day, motorcycles, quads and several car classes will race their two sessions first on Saturday (Sept. 22) and second half on Sunday (Sept. 23).
The other car and truck classes, including the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck and SCORE TT Legend divisions will run the first half of their race (one lap) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 22) and final half (one lap) on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23).
Racing for those classes will start each day at 12:15 p.m. PT and racing will finish each day at approximately 5 p.m.
Celebrating its 25th year as the featured SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950 horsepower unlimited trucks, SCORE Trophy Trucks, the post-race awards celebration will be held in the start/finish line area on Sunday (Sept. 23), starting at 6:30 p.m.PT.
Prior to last year’s SCORE Desert Challenge, only two races in SCORE history had started in Tijuana. The first was the inaugural SCORE Baja 1000 (then called Mexican 1000) in 1967 and then again in 1995. In both of those years the SCORE Baja 1000 finished in La Paz.
Next on the broadcast airwaves for SCORE, the BFGoodrich Tires 50th SCORE Baja 500 race coverage show is scheduled to debut on the El Rey Network at 3 p.m. PT on Sunday, Sept. 9.
El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network and is available in 45 million homes across the country through cable and OTT providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 341 and Dish Network Channel 253. For more information on how to watch El Rey visithttp://elreynetwork.com.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel and official race title sponsor, 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.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Lucerna Hotels & Resorts 22nd Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge Special Partners: XXII Ayuntamiento de Tijuana, Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Comite de Turismo and Convenciones, Comite de Marcadotecnia Turistica, Lucerna Hotels and Resorts, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
Lucerna Hotels and Resorts Tijuana
22nd SCORE Desert Challenge
Sept. 22-23, 2018—136 total miles (2 laps, 68.0-mile loop course)
Round 3 of four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico (Rancho Casian)
Total Entries: 122 (as of 9/5/18)
(from 21 U.S. States, Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand)