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 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship with a special series of features called SCORE Fantastic Flashbacks—SCORE Baja 500, Part Seven—2007). 2007—DOUBLE BACK-TO-BACK WINNERS…AGAIN
Repeating as a race champion is difficult in any form of motorsports, but teammates Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz. and Las Vegas’ Brian Collins stormed through a SCORE-record field of 492 starters to capture a second-straight stunning overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy Truck victory on June 2, 2007 in the 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Also defending their overall motorcycle and Class 22 title was the team of Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif. with help from their new teammate Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif. NEW DECADE
With the 2020 season reduced to three races while the battle rages against Coronavirus (COVID-19), desert racers around the world are hoping to start the 2020 SCORE season at the legendary 52nd annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4Wheel Parts, in Baja California.
Launching its 47th season as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, the season-opening event of the three-race internationally-televised 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship has been moved to July 14-19 in Ensenada. Ensenada is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. All three 2020 SCORE races will be run on the northern part of Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Ensenada, the off-road racing capital of the world is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 47th time there and finish for the 43rd time there. 2007—TOP FINISHERS
The record-setting race had 283 survivors out of the SCORE-record 492 official starters (57.5 percent). Of the official starters, a total of 273 of the starters were 4-wheel vehicles and the other 219 were motorcycles and ATVs.
Starting and finishing in Ensenada, Collins drove the first 155 miles in the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Chevy Silverado before turning the wheel over to Ragland who drove to the finish, covering the challenging, dust-filled 424.22-mile course in 9 hours, 10 minutes and 58 seconds, averaging 46.20 miles per hour.
Ragland and Collins captured the 4-wheel vehicle win with a flawless race over a boulder-strewn, silt-grabbing tight and twisty desert course in front of a massive crowd estimated at nearly 200,000 spread out along the course as estimated by Mexican tourism officials. Entries came from 32 U.S. States and 13 countries.
The Bell/Norman/Hengeveld team covered the rugged course in 8:51:11, averaging 47.92 mph on their No. 1x Honda CRF450X.
Successfully defending their overall ATV and Class 25 victory was the team of Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., with a time of 10:09:07 with an average speed of 41.79 mph on their No. 1a Honda TRX450R. Splitting the riding on the Prather/Cafro team were Levi Marana, Hemet, Calif., and Marc Speath, Warner Springs, Calif.
With the final outcome in the elapsed-time race never fully decided until the checkered flag dropped several times, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Mooresville, N.C., finished second overall and in SCORE Trophy truck in his No. 71 Chevy CK1500, just 3 minutes behind Ragland/Collins.
Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin, who led on corrected time most of the race before rolling his No. 1 Chevy Silverado several times just five miles before the finish line, recovered to finish third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck, just 2:37 behind Gordon and 6:34 behind Ragland/Collins.
Second overall among the motorcycles and in Class 22 was the KTM team of Chris Blais, Apple Valley, Calif., David Pearson, Las Vegas and France’s Cyril Despres, who rode a KTM 690 rally bike that arrived from Europe just two days before the race, to finish 27:28 behind the Honda factory team. Despres won the 2007 Dakar Rally and Blais finished third overall in that event.
Finishing fourth through ninth overall among 4-wheel entries for the race-dominating SCORE Trophy Trucks were Mark Post/San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif., David Scaroni/Matt Scaroni, Heber, Calif., Garron Cadiente, La Mesa, Ariz./Jeff Geiser, Phoenix, Todd Wyllie, New River, Ariz. and Mexico’s Gus Vildosola/Gus Vildosola Jr.
The only non-SCORE Trophy Truck in the top 10 overall was unlimited Class 1 winner, B.J. Richardson, Las Vegas, in a Chevy-powered Bunderson open-wheel desert race car. Driving while battling the flu in addition to the course and the competition, Richardson beat a race-high field of 48 starters in Class 1. MORE CLASS WINNERS
For the first time in race history, Volkswagen of America officially entered two of its Dakar Rally vehicles from Germany. Driven by American Mark Miller and South African Giniel de Villers, the two turbo-diesel VW Race Toureg 2s finished first and second in the special SCORE Int’l Truck class. The result was especially remarkable for Miller who finished 11th overall among 4-wheel vehicles in 10:00:38.
The venerable Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Rod Hall, who earned his first Tecate SCORE Baja 500 class win in 1970 and his most recent in 2006, won again in the Stock Mini class in his Hummer H3. Before passing away in 2019, Hall earned 18 class wins in this race, second-most of any racer. His final class win was in 2008.
Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif., became the first rider to win two motorcycle classes in two different years in this race as he led separate teams to victory in both Class 30 (riders over 30 years old) and Class 50 (riders over 50). With his double victories, Class 30 on a Honda CRF450X and Class 50 on a Honda XR650R, O’Neal earned 10 class wins in this race in a seven year window, the longest consecutive race streak of any racer in this event.
In Class 30, O’Neal’s team for this historic run, which also placed him third overall among motorcycles were Scott Myers, Sun City, Calif./Steve Garnett, Carson City, Nev. and Taber Murphy, Wenatchee, Wash. Riding in Class 50 with him were Doug Heil, Monrovia, Calif., Mike Sixberry, Bullhead City, Ariz., Rick Gill, Carpenteria, Calif. and Charlie Marshall, Carmichael, Calif.
Picking up his sixth career Class 8 win in this race while remaining undefeated in three races in 2007 was Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix, in a Chevy Silverado. Also remaining undefeated in 2007 in Class 10 was Mexico’s Lobsam Yee in a Jimco-Honda.
Mexico’s Eric Fisher picked up his sixth Class 9 win in this race in a Garibay-VW while winning Class 3 in a Ford Bronco for the fifth time in six years was Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif.
Mexico’s defending Protruck season class point champion Gus Vildosola Jr who his class in a Toyota Tundra with driving help from Bryan Freeman, Henderson, Nev. Vildosola drove the second half of the race in SCORE Trophy Truck where he and his father Gus Sr finished ninth overall and in class.
Other 4-wheel class winners including Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Dave Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Class 1/2-1600, Lothringer-VW), Luvian Volker, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), John Griffin, Mission Viejo, Calif. (Stock Full, Ford F-350) and Ramon Fernandez, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan). SCOREscope 2020 SCHEDULE
Here is the REVISED three-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship (as of April 29, 2020) schedule of events, for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
Nov.17-22, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will air on the ABC family of networks. The three-races air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays 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. SCORE SPONSORS… 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 www.SCOREInternational.com.
39th Tecate SCORE BAJA 500 Round 3 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series June 1-3—Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, 224.22 miles
Total Starters: 492 Total Finishers: 283 (57.5 percent) TOP OVERALL FINISHERS CARS & TRUCKS
1. Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz./Brian Collins, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 9 hours, 10 minutes, 58 seconds (46.20miles per hour) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 2. Robby Gordon, Mooresville, N.C., Chevy CK1500, 9:14:55 (45.87mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 3. B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Chevy Silverado, 9:17:32 (45.65mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 4. Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Ford F-150, 9:25:30 (45.01mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 5. Josh Baldwin, Newport Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:36:17 (44.17mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 6. David Scaroni/Matt Scaroni, Heber, Calif., Ford F-150, 9:47:50 (43.30mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 7. Garron Cadiente, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 9:48:40 (43.24mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 8. Todd Wyllie, New River, Ariz., Chevy C1500, 9:55:34 (42.74mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 9. Gus Vildosola/Gus Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico, Ford F-150, 9:58:00 (42.56mph) (SCORE Trophy) 10. B.J. Richardson/John Gaughan, Las Vegas, Bunderson-Chevy, 9:59:30 (42.46mph) (Class 1) 11. Mark Miller, Carefree, Ariz., VW Touareg, 10:00:38 (42.38mph) (SCORE Int’l Truck) 12. Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 10:05:27 (42.04mph) (Class 1) 13. Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Jimco-Chevy, 10:05:32 (42.03mph) (Class 1) 14. Alan Pflueger, Honolulu/Ricky Johnson, Encinitas, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 10:06:29 (41.97mph) (SCORE Trophy-Truck) 15. Darren Hardesty, Ramona, Calif./Mark Randazzo, Poway, Calif., AlumiCraft-VW, 10:06:50 (41.94mph) (Class 1) 16. Armin Schwarz, Austria/Matthias Kahle, Germany, Jimco-BMW, 10:15:30 (41.25mph) (Class 1) 17. Luis Ramirez Jr., Cabo San Lucas, Mexico/Jim Mihal, La Paz, Mexico, Porter-Chevy, 10:16:15 (41.30mph) (Class 1) 18. Giniel De Villers, South Africa, VW Touareg, 10:18:44 (41.14mph) (SCORE Int’l Truck) 19. Bill Gasper, Chino Hills, Calif./Dave Gasper, Goleta, Calif., Porter-Chevy, 10:21:05 (40.98mph) (Class 1) 20. Max Thieriot/Cam Theriot, Petaluma, Calif./Glenn Harris, Camarillo, Calif., RPS-Chevy, 10:27:24 (40.57mph) (Class 1)
1. Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 8:51:11 (47.92mph) (Class 22) 2. Chris Blais, Apple Valley, Calif./David Pearson, Las Vegas/Cyril Despres, France, KTM 525XC, 9:18:39 (45.56mph) (Class 22) 3. Jim O’Neal, Chatsworth, Calif./Scott Myers, Sun City, Calif./Steve Garnett, Carson City, Nev./Taber Murphy, Wenatachee, Wash., Honda CRF450X, 9:26:41 (44.92mph) (Class 30) 4. Gerardo Rojas/Maurizio Carminati, Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 9:51:19 (43.04mph) (Class 30) 5. Joe Desrosiers, San Marcos, Calif./Aaron Tuck, Brawley, Calif./Westley Garrett, Riverside, Calif., Honda XR650R, 9:51:32 (43.03mph) (Class 22) 6. Carlos Casas/Noe Ibarra, Chula Vista, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 9:552:21 (42.75mph) (Class 21) 7. Brent Harden, Sun City, Calif./Scot Harden, Menifee, Calif./Mike Lafferty, Temecula, Calif., KTM 450XC, 9:59:54 (42.43mph) (Class 21) 8. Kevin Johnson, Henderson, Nev./Eric Rasmussen, Reno, Nev./Greg Bruning, Carlsbad, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 10:00:03 (42.42mph) (Class 22) 9. Jesse Sharpe, Escondido, Calif./Dean Sharpe, Ramona, Calif., Honda XR650R, 10:00:40 (42.37mph) (22.37mph) (Class 22) 10. Luke Dodson/Zack Dodson, Castaic, Calif./Jason Trubey, Bullhead City, Calif., Suzuki Rmz450, 10:01:16 (42.33mph) (Class 21)