2018 SCORE World Desert Championship prepping to launch;
racer registration open for 32nd annual SCORE San Felipe 250
Start/Finish on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe along Sea of Cortez;
to be televised internationally; Start Draw to be held on Tuesday, March 27
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Continuing another decade of excellence, seeing if one racer can win the overall title for the sixth time as well as starting and finishing for just the second time on the Malecon in the heart of town are just three of the story lines awaiting racers from around the world as racer registration has opened for the 32nd Annual SCORE San Felipe 250 in Baja California, Mexico.
The season-opening event of the four-race internationally-televised 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held April 4-8 in San Felipe, the peaceful fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. All four 2018 races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the third consecutive year.
The year of 2018 also marks the 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 to be held the end of May and beginning of June. The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top 10 motorsports events held annually in the world.
Celebrating the 32nd 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 under Race Info at www.SCOREInternational.com for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Pre-race festivities will be held in San Felipe on April 4, 5 and 6 with race day on Saturday, April 7 concluding with the post-race awards fiesta at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, April 8.
The colorful pre-race contingency and Manufacturer’s Midway, the starting line and the finish line will be on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe for the second straight year.
The deadline to enter in time to be in the drawing for starting positions within each class is 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 27.
SCORE RULE BOOK UPDATE
Under the supervision and direction of SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman, SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva and SCORE Tech Director Dan Cornwell with editing and updating by SCORE Ops personnel Lawton Shank and Christine Wait, the 2018 SCORE Rule Book is currently in final review along with the 2018 Rule Book Addendum. All relevant items will be available in the near future on the SCORE website under the race info page.
While three racers have three overall victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250, Las Vegas’ Hall of Fame racer Rob MacCachren might have set a standard that will last for awhile, unless he breaks his own record of five overall and SCORE Trophy Truck wins.
MacCachren, who won the overall in San Felipe last year to give him nine class wins in this race, earned his first SCORE Trophy Truck overall in this race in 2003 when he split the driving with Mexico’s Gustavo Vildosola Sr and his second in 2007 when he split the driving with Mark Post.
MacCachren earned back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012 driving solo and won his fifth last year driving solo again in his No. 11 MacCachren Motorsports Rockstar Ford F-150.
Three racers have won three overall victories in the SCORE San Felipe 250.
The most recent racer to win overall three times in San Felipe was Mexico’s Gus ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr, who won three straight (2013, 2014, 2015). Vildosola Jr is tied with two other 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 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.
There is one more Southern Nevada driver with three overall wins in San Felipe but not three straight.
Las Vegas’ Brian Collins won his first San Felipe Overall 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 driving solo in SCORE Trophy Truck in 2008 and 2009.
The other three-timer in overall victories is Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, who has nine class wins in San Felipe and won his five overalls in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division.
Among the SCORE Overall motorcycles winners at the SCORE San Felipe 250 no one has done it any better than SCORE Baja legend Johnny Campbell who recorded seven overall motorcycle victories for Honda (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008).
One motorcycle star with five SCORE Overall Motorcycle wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250 is Colton Udall (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016). Another motorcycle ace with four SCORE Overall Motorcycle wins is Steve Hengeveld (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) while with three SCORE San Felipe 250 Overall wins were Danny Hamel (1994, 1995, 1996) and Robby Bell (2006, 2007, 2008).
History clearly shows that the SCORE San Felipe 250 has been a major building block for many of the world’s all-time greatest desert racers in addition to being the lovable baby brother of the three traditional SCORE Baja races.
Host to the biggest and brightest stars in the history of desert racing, legends like Ivan Stewart, Walker Evans, Roger Mears, Rod Hall, Larry Ragland, Brian Collins, Dan Smith, Curt LeDuc, Danny Hamel, Johnny Campbell, Juan Carlos Ibarra, Steve Hengeveld and Greg Row all are part of the foundation of this rustic race.
Also adding to the fabric of this iconic SCORE Baja racing tapestry have been current racers like Rob MacCachren, Larry Roeseler, the McMillin family, Gus Vildosola Jr, the Herbst Brothers Ed, Tim and Troy, the Wilson family, Robby Gordon, B.J. Baldwin, Robby Bell, Colton Udall, Wayne Matlock, Steven Eugenio, Billy Wilson, Adam Pfankuch, Donald Moss and Jim O’Neal.
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, 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.
The all-time leader in class wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250 is motorcycle age-group racer Jim O’Neal who has competed in all 31 previous SCORE San Felipe races, winning his class a record 17 times. Last year O’Neal and his team won the Pro Moto Limited class.
Second in class wins is Eric Solorzano who has won 11 times, including last year, in Class 11 (stock VW Sedan) while tied for third are MacCachren and Donald Moss who won nine times in 10 years in Class 3 in his sturdy Ford Bronco (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013).
Tied for third in class wins with eight each are SCORE Baja motorcycle racing legend Johnny Campbell and Dan Smith who first won in 1984 on a motorcycle and won his final one in 2002 in SCORE Trophy Truck, teaming with David Ashley.
VIVA GANADOR MEXICANO
Juan C. Ibarra became the first Mexican national to win a SCORE Trophy Truck race when he won his class in 1998 while finishing second overall to the Class 1 team of Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel in the SCORE San Felipe 250.
For over 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 rugged, rough and bountifully beautiful Baja peninsula has been the SCORE San Felipe 250.
ANOTHER GOLDEN YEAR
Following last year’s epic celebration of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship includes the special tribute to the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 when it is held this year in Ensenada on May 30-June 3.
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 in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE to Roger and Elise Norman in December of 2012. The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 24, 1974 as the first of nearly 150 SCORE Baja races.
Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 45th time there and finish for the 41st time there.
Below is the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule. For the third consecutive year all four races are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 4-April 8, San Felipe, Mexico
The award-winning SCORE Journal, launched in 2015, is published as 12 monthly online digital magazines. It includes four print editions that are available as the SCORE race programs at the four events that comprise the SCORE World Desert Championship along with another print edition for the annual SCORE Awards Night.
The SCORE Journal Monthly Digital Magazine features exclusive editorial, enhanced race action videos, expanded and interactive race coverage, interactive product reviews, insider interviews with drivers, tech stories, driver and team profiles, race narratives and analysis, exclusive long and short form video programming, race results, updated stats, studio photography, class overviews, unmatched access to SCORE’s historical archives and much, much more.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, 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 State Secretary of Tourism, 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.