Motorcycles/quads start at Midnight (PT) on Wednesday, cars/trucks/utvs at 10 a.m.(PT) Thursday
ENSENADA, Mexico—For many, this coming week in Baja California, Mexico will be a sentimental journey down the proverbial ‘memory lane’. For many more, this week will decide coveted season point championships in Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads in the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship. For all, this coming week will be a heart-warming, memory-building, nostalgic golden celebration of the world’s most iconic desert race—the 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
GOLDEN BAJA MIL
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 is being held over a 1,134.40-mile rugged race course down Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada, Baja California Norte and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Commemorating the first race, motorcycle and quad classes will start at midnight (PT) on Wednesday, and the car, truck and UTV classes will begin their journey in the elapsed-time race 10 hours later at 10 a.m. (PT) on Thursday. While the fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course in approximately 19 hours, all vehicles will have 48 hours from the time each starts to complete the course and become an official finisher of the 50th anniversary race.
The start line in Ensenada is once again located on Blvd. Costero in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The finish line in La Paz will be located adjacent to the Grand Plaza Hotel on the outskirts of the city just off of Highway 1.
Entering late, on-site racer registration that starts Sunday in Ensenada, there are an astonishing 397 total entries with racers from 44 U.S. States, the District of Columbia, two U.S. Territories and 27 countries officially signed up to compete.
In addition to the United States, the U.S. Territories of Guam and Puerto Rico and host country Mexico, the other countries with racers entered are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong/China, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and Spain.
In all, this year’s talented field includes an incredible 152 racers who have combined for 501 class wins in the legendary Granddaddy of all Desert Races. Included in that total are 26 racers who have combined for 88 overall race wins in either four-wheel or two-wheel categories. There is also at least one racer who won an overall title in each of the last 24 years.
Entering this week’s late, on-site registration window, led by the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division with 42 entries, 15 total classes have double figures in terms of entries. While several other classes have nearly reached at least 10 entries, the other classes with double figure entries are: Class 10 (33), Trophy Truck Spec (25), Pro UTV FI (25), unlimited Class 1 (20), Pro Moto Ironman (18), Class 1/2-1600 (18), Pro UTV (17), SCORE Lites (13), Baja Challenge (12), Class 7 (10), Class 5-1600 (10), Class 11 (10) and leading the Sportsman classes are SPT M/C (25) and SPT Quad (12).
SALIDA Y LA META
This year’s race will start for the 43rd time in Ensenada, Baja California and finish for the 21st time in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The start line will once again be adjacent to the iconic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada with the first several spectator-friendly miles running up the Ensenada Arroyo.
The course will finish just off of Highway 1 in the outskirts of the city at the Fidepaz Marina, adjacent to the Grand Plaza Hotel, official race headquarters in La Paz.
The 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 race week festivities will cover this entire week.
Pre-race festivities include for the first time, the vastly popular tech and contingency of all vehicles and the SCORE Manufacturer’s Midway being held over two days on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Contingency will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT and pre-race tech will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT for motorcycles, quads, UTVs and several car/truck classes on Tuesday and for the remaining car and truck classes on Wednesday at the same times.
The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing for motorcycles and quads will be held on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT at Papas & Beer on Avenida Ruiz. The car, truck and UTV classes will have their required pre-race gathering in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT.
Racer registration will be held in the Red Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Racer registration will be held from noon to 5 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (PT) on Monday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday.
Media registration will be held as well in the Red Room at the Riviera from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. (PT) on Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) on both Tuesday and Wednesday and the BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center in Ensenada will be open on Wednesday evening from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (PT) for the motorcycles and quads start and on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (PT) for the cars and trucks start.
SCORE sponsor Monster Energy will host the Monster Energy Papas y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz in downtown Ensenada from 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. (PT) on Tuesday.
In La Paz, media registration will be held in the Emperor’s Ballroom at the Grand Plaza Hotel from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday and the BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center will be open on race days from 10 a.m. (PT) on Thursday until 3 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.
As the celebration continues Thursday night to all day and evening on Friday and until the early afternoon Saturday in La Paz while official finishers cross the line and tales and epic accomplishments are added to the legacy of the event. The post-race awards fiesta will be held at the FidePaz Marina next to the Grand Plaza Hotel in La Paz starting at 7 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.
WHO ELSE BUT SAL!
Sal Fish, 78, the iconic desert racing promoter who owned SCORE International for 38 years, is the Grand Marshal for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Fish, who lives in Malibu, Calif., has earned more awards in his life than most racers have won races and was the face of SCORE from 1974 until he sold the company to Roger and Elise Norman on Dec. 20, 2012.
This year’s race will again commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson, and Larry Roeseler. Hall, who will turn 80 on Nov. 22, has a record 24 class wins (including one overall win in 1972), and is the only racer who has competed in all 49 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Bishop, who passed away in 2014, was the only racer who competed in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races all on a motorcycle.
Hall will be racing this year in the Stock Full class with his son Chad Hall as he attempts to add to his untouchable legacy.
Roeseler, has won 17 times in this race, including a race-record 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler will share driving duties this year in SCORE Trophy Truck with Luke McMillin in the No. 83 Mark Racing Ford F-150. Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007), driving with the youngest of the three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-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.
In 2008, Roeseler split the driving with driver of record and team owner and now SCORE 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.
Retired from racing, Johnson had 15 class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000, amazingly in eight different classes.
OVERALL POINTS SHOWDOWN
Like every year, points are close in the overall season point battles in the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship. In the motorcycle category, Francisco Arredondo leads the Pro Moto Unlimited class as well as the overall motorcycle points with 218 while Pro Moto Ironman class point leader Jose Carrasco is second with 215 points. Tied for third with 209 points each are Pro Moto 40 (riders over 40 years old) class point leader Jano Montoya and Pro Moto 50 (riders over 50 years old) point leader Giovanni Spinali.
Among the car and truck classes, just 22 points separate the top five who are from four different classes. Leading the overall point standings and the Trophy Truck Spec leader is Elias Hanna with 245 points. Second overall and leading SCORE Trophy Truck is Justin Matney with 241 points, third is Class 10 point leader Broc Dickerson with 240 points, fourth overall and second in SCORE Trophy Truck is two-time defending season point champion Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez with 229 and in fifth is Pro UTV FI point leader Marc Burnett with 223 points heading into the season finale.
MORE TIGHT POINTS
Several classes enter the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 with very tight title point’s races for the SCORE season championship in each class. Classes that seem to have the closest battles for the 2017 championships are SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1, Class 7, Pro UTV FI, Pro UTV, Pro Moto Unlimited, Pro Moto Limited, Pro Moto 40 and Pro Moto 50.
Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., has a 12-point edge over Mexico’s two-time defending SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez (Tecate, Mexico) and 29 points over Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif.
In Class 1, Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif. (211 points, No. 138 Jimco-Chevy) leads Al Torres, El Centro, Calif. (194, No.114 Jimco-Chevy) by 17 points.
In Class 7, Dan Chamlee, Santa Barbara, Calif. (169, No. 700 Ford Ranger) leads Mark Johnson, Riverside, Calif. (157, No. 709 Honda Ridgeline) by just 14 points while in Pro UTV FI Marc Burnett, Lakeside, Calif. leads (223, No. 2905 Can-Am Maverick X3) with Brandon Schueler second (203, No. 2929 Polaris RZR RZR XP4 Turbo) and Cory Sappington, Peoria, Ariz. third (202, No. 2904 Can-Am Maverick Max Turbo).
In Pro UTV, Don Whittington, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (171, No. 1998 Polaris XP1000) has a 19-point lead over Kristen Matlock, Alpine, Calif. (152 No. 1954 Polaris RZR XP4 1000) and in Class 5-1600 for 1600cc VW Baja Bugs, Tomas Fernandez, Laredo Texas leads with 203 points in the No. 555 VW Baja Bug followed closely by Hector Hurtado, Tijuana, Mexico who has 193 points in his No. 550 VW Baja Bug.
The closest point’s race in the motorcycle classes is in Pro Moto 30 for riders over 30 years old. Ryan Liebelt, Reedley, Calif. leads with 196 points (No. 300x Yamaha WR50), five points ahead of Luis Gomez, Obregon, Mexico (191, No. 303x Honda CRF450X). In Pro Moto 40, Jano Montoya, Winter Garden, Fla. (209, No. 400x KTM 450XCW) leads Colie Potter, Las Vegas (193, No. 411x Honda CRF450X) by16 points and Pro Moto Limited, Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. (203, No. 100x Husqvarna 350) has a nine point lead over Fernando Beltran, Ensenada, Mexico (194, No. 125x Yamaha YZ250F.
In Pro Moto 50, Giovanni Spinali, El Cajon, Calif. leads with three motorcycles within 10 points of the leader. Spinali (209, No. 510x Honda CRF450X) leads Robert Gates, Victorville, Calif. (201, No. 549x Kawasaki KX450 and third is Marty Gomez, Long Beach, Calif. (199, No. 500x Honda CRF560X).
Pro Moto Unlimited has a tight battle as well with 10 points separating the top two teams. Guatemala’s Francisco Arredondo leads with 218 points (No. 45x, Honda CRF450X) while second is Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif. with 208 points (No. 1x, Honda CRF450X).
MULTI CLASS WINNERS
Leading the multiple class winners in this race who will be at the starting line this year is the venerable Off-Road Hall of Famer Rod Hall, who has 24 class wins as the all-time race leader and he will be racing in the Stock Full class this year. Second all-time is Larry Roeseler with 17 class wins and he will be in SCORE Trophy Truck this year.
The other racers with the most motorcycle class wins in the field and the class they are racing in this year are led by motorcycle age-group riders Richard Jackson (15, Pro Moto 60), Jim O’Neal (14, Pro Moto Limited), Jeff Kaplan (12, Pro Moto 50) along with Johnny Campbell (11, Class 7), Steve Hengeveld (11, Trophy Truck Spec), Lou Franco (10, Pro Moto 50), Francisco Septien (8, Pro Moto 40) Scott Pfeiffer (5, Class 1) and Gerardo Rojas (5, Pro Moto Limited).
Pacing the other multi-class winners in the car and truck classes entered this year are Donald Moss (12, Class 3), Chad Hall (10, Stock Full), Rob MacCachren (9, SCORE Trophy Truck), Eric Solorzano (9, Class 11), Dan Chamlee (8, Class 7), Mark McMillin (8, SCORE Trophy Truck), Troy Herbst (6, SCORE Trophy Truck) and Wayne Matlock (6, Pro UTV FI).
Also racing are Andy McMillin (5, SCORE Trophy Truck), Larry Ragland (5, Pro UTV), Vic Bruckmann (5, SCORE Lites), J. David Ruvalcaba (5, Class 1/2-1600), Doug Fortin (5, SCORE Trophy Truck), Ernesto Arambula (5, Class 1/2-1600) and the Andy DeVercelly four-generation desert racing family (5, Class 1/2-1600).
The four class point leaders who enter this year’s BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 undefeated in their respective classes after winning the first three races in the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship are Elias Hanna, Ensenada, Mexico (Trophy Truck Spec, No. 274 Chevy 1500), 16-year old rookie phenom Broc Dickerson, Brawley, Calif. (Class 10, No. 1023 Alumi Craft-Chevy), Jose Carrasco, Rosarito Beach, Mexico (Pro Moto Ironman, No. 721x Suzuki RMZ450X) and Said Sanchez, Tijuana, Mexico (Pro Quad, No. 13a Honda TRX450R).
Among the third generation racers are Andy McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck), Daniel McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck), Rafael Navarro IV (Class 10), Broc Dickerson (Class 10), Luke McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck), Ramon Bio (Class 1), Andy DeVercelly IV (Class 1-2-1600) and Jessica McMillin (SCORE Trophy Truck).
A special three-generation family team racing together in Trophy Truck Spec will be Mexico’s Iribe family in the No. 276 Chevy Silverado. All from Rosarito Beach, Gerardo Iribe has his father Carlos Iribe, son Gerardo Iribe Jr both as additional drivers and Gerardo Sr’s daughter Samantha as a navigator for her brother. Also part of their team for this race is the father and son Dakar Rally racing team of Fernando Ferrand and Fernando Ferrand Jr of Peru to form a formidable group of competitors.
LEGENDS OF THE NOT-SO-DISTANT PAST
With numerous champions from gone-by decades and the current decade in the field, several other of the early overall winners will be competing this year as part of the tribute to the legacy of this golden event.
In addition to Rod Hall (1972) and Larry Roeseler (13 times total, first in 1976), the other past overall winners from the ‘70s and ‘80s participating this year are Bobby Ferro (1973), Dr. Bud Feldkamp (1975 and 1977), and Mark Stahl (1978 and 1980).
For this race, Ferro, 70, of Palmdale, Calif. will be a co-driver for Bob Lawrence in the special Vintage-Trailblazer class. Dr. Feldkamp, 73 of Redlands, Calif., will be a co-driver for the team led by his son Buddy Feldkamp in the special Vintage-Innovator class.
Stahl, 66 of Ramona, Calif. who spent over a decade racing in the NASCAR Cup Series in the 1980s and 1990s, will be a co-driver for the team led by John Leon in the Baja Challenge class for spec Subaru-powered open wheel Baja Touring Cars. Stahl was also the first overall winner to finish the race driving solo.
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK SHOWDOWN
All of the 42 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered have an opportunity to win the marquee SCORE racing class for high-tech, 900-horsepower, unlimited production trucks. SCORE Trophy Truck is the unique class created by SCORE and launched in 1994, so this will be the 24th SCORE Baja 1000 with these monsters of the desert competing. The 42 entries represent the most in SCORE history of this star-studded class.
This year’s field includes the SCORE Trophy Truck class winners from the last 11 consecutive years in this treasured race.
Obviously there are clear several clear favorites, depending on who is speaking, number one being the mysterious and often unforgiving Baja terrain.
Among the entries in SCORE Trophy Truck are No. 11 Rob MacCachren/Jason Voss/Justin Smith, No. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez/Juan C. Lopez, No. 77 Robby Gordon/Damen Jefferies, No. 31 Andy McMillin/Tavo Vildosola/Brandton Arthur, No. 97 B.J. Baldwin/Rodimiro Amaya, No. 15 Billy Wilson/Chad Bunch, No. 4 Justin Matney/Josh Daniel/Doug Fortin, No. 23 Dan McMillin/Gary Weyhrich, No. 19 Tim Herbst/P.J. Jones, No. 43 Mark McMillin/Scott McMillin/Jessica McMillin, No. 7 Bryce Menzies/Jesse Jones, No. 83 Luke McMillin/Larry Roeseler and No. 91 Troy Herbst/Brett Sourapas.
For starters, the top five qualifiers who will hit the trail first are the teams of Robby Gordon, Rob MacCachren, Andy McMillin, Larry Connor and Bryce Menzies.
Gordon won SCORE Trophy in 2006 with Andy McMillin, who has won five times total including 2014 with Rob MacCachren. MacCachren has won each of the last three years, including the first two with Andy McMillin and 2014 and 2016 with Voss. B.J. Baldwin won driving solo in both 2012 and 2013.
Then there is Roeseler, the all-time leader in overall wins with 13 including his most recent in 2008 with Roger Norman.
Andy McMillin won in SCORE Trophy Truck also in both 2009 and 2011 with his father Scott McMillin and Gus ‘Tavo’ Vildosola and his father Gustavo Vildosola made history in 2010 when they became the first Mexican national team to win the overall in this cherished race and it was a peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.
Mark Post won 10 years ago when the 40th anniversary was celebrated in a race from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. His co-drivers in 2007 were Rob MacCachren and Carl Renezeder.
One thing is certain, these thoroughbreds of the dirt will add much to the rich and lasting legacy of the Granddaddy of all Desert Races.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating four decades as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for nearly four decades and the title sponsor of this year’s race, BFGoodrich Tires has produced the tire of choice for 28 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the SCORE Baja 1000, including 28 of the last 31 years along with a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005. In total, BFGoodrich Tires has now be the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winner in 86 SCORE Baja races including 31 in the SCORE Baja 500.
BFGoodrich Tires also provides unmatched pit support for racers using their tires with eight full service pit areas and more than 200 support crew personnel spread along the race course and complete radio relay the entire race course.BFGoodrich Tires will also award $50,000 contingency money to the overall winners of this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 running exclusively on their tires.
As it has for over four decades, SCORE has put together another memorable race course for the 50th anniversary, this one is a point-to-point race, with all of the foreboding, unforgiving terrain that both the northern state and southern state of the majestic Baja California peninsula has to offer. SCORE CEO/president Roger Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva have designed and finalized this year’s race course of 1,134.40 miles. This year’s golden course will have five physical checkpoints along the way to the finish, 147 virtual checkpoints and 20 speed zones (37mph or 60mph for a total of 162.87 pavement miles).
Starting in the heart of Ensenada in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, the course travels east to Ojos Negros before launching its weaving way south to the finish line in La Paz.
The five checkpoints will be located at Coco’s Corner (race mile 312.30), Mujica Baja Sur (RM 524.22), near Loreto (RM 784.11), road crossing at the Lopez Mateos Highway (RM 930.58) and at Loma Amarilla (RM 1,033.65).
DUST 2 GLORY
From award-winning documentary filmmaker Dana Brown, ‘Dust 2 Glory,’ scheduled to premiere nationwide on Dec. 6, chronicled each of the four races in the 2016 SCORE World Desert Championship. Brown’s original Dust to Glory, released in 2005, became an iconic classic showcasing the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. D2G, which began shooting at the 2015 SCORE Baja 1000, continued up close and personal coverage capturing the robust racers in their amazing adventures in Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula through all four spectacular 2016 races. Executive Producer is BCII’s Bud Brutsman.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience and the SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas are all airing on El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows are each one-hour telecasts.
El Rey Network 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 visit http://elreynetwork.com.
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.
50th Annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000
Nov. 12-18, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Schedule of Events•(All times Pacific Time)
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Noon-5pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
Monday, November 13, 2017
1pm-5pm Media Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
10am-8pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
9am-5pm—Contingency Row-Motos/Quads/UTVs, Classes 7, 8, SPT Truck, SPT Buggy, 17, HM, PT, SF, TL, 3000, Vintage-T, Vintage-I Blvd. Costero, by Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Ctr.
9am-6pm—Tech Inspection-Motos/Quads/UTVs, classes 7, 8, SPT Truck, SPT Buggy, 17, HM, PT, SF, TL, 3000, Vintage-T, Vintage-I Blvd. Las Dunas-behind to Riviera del Pacifico CC
9am-4pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
9am-5pm Media Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center