Baja Fireworks–SCORE World Desert Championship, Part 4 –

Baja Fireworks–SCORE World Desert Championship, Part 4


February 19, 2021

Vildosola/MacCachren take overall, SCORE Trophy Truck;
Hengeveld/Campbell top motorcycles at 2003 SF250 race


2021 SCORE World Desert Championship set to open April 14-18 in San Felipe
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ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – (While the world continues its ferocious fight against the vicious virus called COVID-19, SCORE continues its preparation to launch its four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship. Included in the advance is a special series of features on the first race which is called SCORE Baja Fireworks—SCORE San Felipe 250, Part Four).
While SCORE International is launching its 48th year as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, its shortest race is also its ‘newest’ race as SCORE prepares to launch the season with the 34th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford.
The youngest of the SCORE Triple Crown of Baja behind its older siblings the SCORE Baja 1000 (started in 1967) and the SCORE Baja 500 (started in 1969), ‘Baby Baja’ is held along the shores of the Sea of Cortez on the east side of the Baja Peninsula, the SCORE San Felipe 250 was held for the first time in 1982.
The season-opening event of the four-race internationally-televised 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held April 14-18 in San Felipe, the serene village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. All four 2021 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the sixth consecutive year. Online racer registration will continue until March 26 on the SCORE website at
Mexico’s Gus Vildosola teamed with Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren to surprise a field of 249 starters to capture the overall victory on March 14, 2003 at the 17th Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race. Splitting the driving time in their Vildosola Racing Ford F-150, the pair won the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck class, covering the rugged 227.79-mile course in 3 hours, 48 minutes, 17 seconds with an average speed of 59.93 miles per hour.
With the second-most racers in the history of this race competing in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, American Honda factory team stalwarts Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif., were the overall motorcycle winners while the overall ATV winners were the team of John Gregory, Chula Vista, Calif./Doug Eichner, El Cajon, Calif./Mark Spade, Ramona, Calif., on a Honda 4Trax. Entries came from 14 U.S. States, Japan and Mexico.
Vildosola became the first Mexican national to win the overall title at a SCORE race and picked up his first victory in SCORE Trophy-Truck. It was the fourth triumph in SCORE Trophy-Truck for MacCachren, who won the SCORE Trophy-Truck season point championship when the class for high-tech, 750-horsepower unlimited production trucks debuted in 1994.
The course started and finished in the shadow of the famed San Felipe Arches northwest of town, running in a counterclockwise direction, 125 miles South of the U.S. border.
“The course was rough, rocky and dusty and our BFGoodrich Tires made a huge difference for us with no flats,” said MacCachren, in his first season racing with Vildosola. “There was a lot of slower traffic to pass in the dust, and we were able to maneuver carefully through it all. I was in fourth place, less than 10 minutes back of first when I took over at race-mile 112. We had an amazing 27 pits, we were so prepared it was unbelievable. This is the most organized group I have ever had behind me and it’s great to be back in SCORE Trophy-Truck.”
For Hengeveld, it was his third straight Class 22 victory in this race and second consecutive win with Campbell. Campbell has now won the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 six times. The talented duo race on a Honda XR650R.
In finishing sixth overall among all vehicles in the race, Hengeveld/Smith covered the course in 4:06:14.
After the Vildosola/MacCachren winning SCORE Trophy-Truck, the balance of the top five finishers were from the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars.
Winning Class 1 for the second straight race to open the SCORE season, Dale Ebberts, Canyon Lake, Calif., teamed with Ernie Castro Jr., Newport Beach, Calif. The pair finished 9 minutes, 51 seconds behind Vildosola/MacCachren in their Toyota-powered Jimco. Second in Class 1 for the second consecutive race was brothers Gary and Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., in a Chevy-powered Jimco.
Fourth overall and third in Class 1 was the team of Mike Voyles, Temecula, Calif./Jerry Penhall, Costa Mesa, Calif., in a Penhall-Chevy. Completing the top five overall and fourth in Class 1 was Ron Brant, Torrance, Calif. and Richard Boyle, Ridgecrest, Calif., in a Jimco-Chevy.
Mexico’s Eli Yee won Class 10 in a Jimco-Honda for the second straight race of the season, finishing ninth overall while Dave Sykes, Del Mar, Calif., won Class 8 and finished 10th overall in a Chevy Silverado.
Also staying undefeated in the 2003 SCORE Desert Series were the team of Eric Allen, San Marcos, Calif./Adam Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600, Jimco-VW), Brian and Kurt Ickler, Poway, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Jimco-VW) and Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif. (Class 3, Ford Bronco).
Another racer to win for the third consecutive year was noted apparel manufacturer Jim O’Neal who won Class 40 for motorcycle riders over 40 years old on his Honda XR650R
Other class winners included: Honolulu’s Alan Pflueger (Protruck, Chevy Silverado), Craig Turner, Yorba Linda, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Bob Graham, Yorba Linda, Calif./Mike Horner, Mission Viejo, Calif., (Class 7S, Toyota Tacoma), Perry McNeil Jr. (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger) and Ricardo Malo, Mexicali, Mexico/Greg Bringle, Holtville, Calif. (Class 30-Honda XR650).
A total of 164 survivors out of the near-record 249 starters made it to finish line within the 10-hour time limit in the elapsed-time race.
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 45 years, received two awards for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. BFGoodrich Tires was honored 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 33 overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 2000, all three SCORE Desert Challenge races, the 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 San Felipe 250.
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 is Ford, the official vehicle and SUV of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship.

Here are the dates for the four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship which will all be held in Baja California, Mexico for the sixth consecutive year:

  • BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Ford—

April 14-18, San Felipe, Mexico

  • BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—

June 9-13, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

  • 2nd SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels—

September 14-19, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

  • BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—

November 15-20, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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.
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 journalist Sam Posey.
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.
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, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at