ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – Defending 2019 race, overall season and SCORE Trophy Truck season point champion Andy McMillin leads the recent group of early entries along with fellow SCORE champion racers Alan Ampudia, Brendan Gaughan and Craig Scanlon for next month’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd Annual SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
To date, 53 earliest entries have come from 15 U.S. States along with host country Mexico.
The first of two races on the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule will be held September 22-27 in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
San Felipe is the serene fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. All 2020 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Competition will include classes for cars, trucks UTVs, motorcycles and quads for the internationally-televised BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts.
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. The race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on the ABC Network World of X Games programming and syndicated internationally to as many as 25 countries.
ONLINE RACER REGISTRATION
Online registration, by class, for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads, is now open through the SCORE website. Information on all SCORE races can be found on the home page under the Race Info tab.
Official entries received after the drawing will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes. Online entries will be accepted until 8 p.m. PT on Friday, Sept. 11.
Andy McMillin, 32, a third-generation desert racer from San Diego, started his successful march to the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship Overall and SCORE Trophy Truck point championship with his SCORE San Felipe 250 and SCORE Baja 500 victories. He will be driving his No. 1 all-wheel drive Chevy Silverado built by Mason Motorsports that he debuted last September at the SCORE Baja 400.
McMillin enters 2020 with 11 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. He is tied for second all-time with Robby Gordon, Ed Herbst/Tim Herbst and Larry Ragland. The group trails Las Vegas’ Hall of Famer Rob MacCachren who has 17 career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins.
MORE EARLY ENTRIES
Mexico’s Alan Ampudia, 29 and his brother Aaron Ampudia, 27, both from Ensenada, captured last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 and will be sharing driving duties together again in next month’s race. The Ampudia brothers race in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division in their No. 10 Papas & Beer Ford Raptor built by ID Designs.
Las Vegas’ Brendan Gaughan, 45, retiring this year from racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, is entered in the unlimited Class 1 in his No. 162 Chevy-powered HMS open-wheel desert race car. Gaughan won his class in last year’s SCORE Baja 1000. Joining Gaughan again this year in sharing the driving duties will be fellow second-generation SCORE racer Buddy Feldkamp, 42, of Redlands, Calif.
Automotive industry key excecutive Craig Scanlon, 45, Yorba Linda, Calif. returns as the defending overall UTV champion after winning his Pro UTV Forced Induction (FI) class last year in his No. 2931 Polaris RZR Turbo.
MORE SCORE TROPHY TRUCKS & SCORE TT LEGENDS
SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950-horsepower unlimited custom trucks leads the early entry list with 11 vehicles (including two SCORE TT Legend entries) in the lineup so far. In addition to Andy McMillin and the Ampudia brothers, the other early SCORE Trophy Truck entries include Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas (No. 7 Ford Raptor), McMillin’s cousins Luke McMillin, 27, San Diego (No. 83 Ford F-150) and Dan McMillin, 32, San Diego (No. 23 Chevy 1500), Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C. (No. 77 Chevy Silverado, Mike Lawrence, Banning, Calif. (No. 85 Ford F-150), Dave Taylor, Page, Ariz. (No. 26 Chevy Silverado) and Josh De Jong, San Jacinto, Calif. (No. 71 Chevy Silverado).
In SCORE TT Legend for drivers 50 years and older, entries so far are Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va (No. 1L Chevy V16) and Jim Bult, Monee, Ill. (No. 47L Dodge Ram2500).
EL DORADO RANCH S/F
Following planning with and approval from city and state governments, SCORE International has announced that all the official pre-race activities and the start/finish line compound for this year’s SCORE Baja 500 will be held in a restricted area at the prominent El Dorado Ranch resort with no spectators allowed. Spectators following health and safety protocols will be allowed in the open areas around the 492.27-mile race course.
With the Biosecurity Protocols in place, SCORE will produce extensive live streaming of the race and pre-race festivities air on the SCORE website and SCORE social media platforms.
START ORDER/DRAW DEADLINE
For all the non-qualifying classes, the starting order within each class for this race will be determined by a start order drawing, if the individual entry is received and all fees paid in full by 8 p.m. on Friday, September 11.
The results of the drawing, to determine the remainder of the start order within each class, will be posted on the SCORE website at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 18.
Between September 11 and 5 p.m. PT on September 18, entries will be accepted in the SCORE Ensenada office but those entries will not be able to qualify or be in the start draw. Late, on-site racer registration will be held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (September 23, 24, 25) and will be given the next available start position within their respective classes.
All entries received after 8 p.m. PT on Friday, September 11 will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Because of the significant health and safety Biosecurity protocols developed by SCORE in conjunction with and the approval of state and local health authorities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all race-week festivities and the start/finish line compound will be restricted access only and closed to the general public. All race-related activities and the race start/finish compound will be on the grounds of the popular El Dorado Ranch gated resort which is located seven miles North of downtown San Felipe alongside of Mexico Federal Highway 5.
SCORE will hold a qualifying session for this race starting at 7 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Sept 23 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec divisions. Entries in these classes must also be completed by Friday, September 11 to be eligible to qualifying. Start order for qualifying will be based solely on entry order into race, by class.
Starting positions for the other classes will be determined by a random drawing after the close of online racer registration which is at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.
Late, on-site entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered.
Qualifying will be held South of San Felipe across from the local airport.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday (Sept. 26) will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 3 a.m. PT and approximately 7 a.m. PT for the cars, trucks and UTVs.
Nearly 250 vehicles are expected at the start line with racers from over 25 U.S. States and as many as 10 countries anticipated. Long-time SCORE sponsor and race title sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has also posted a US$25,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel winner to help commemorate this year’s race.
This year’s SCORE World Desert Championship includes another special tribute to the iconic SCORE Baja 500 when it is held this year in San Felipe for just the second time in the 52-year history of the race.
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 starting in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE in December of 2012.
The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 26, 1974 in Ensenada as the first of over 150 SCORE Baja races.
This year will be the second time that the race has started and finished in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. The only other time the race was held in San Felipe was 1989 and featured only the four-wheel vehicle classes.
While this will be just the second time for the SCORE Baja 500 to be held in San Felipe, the SCORE San Felipe 250 has been held in San Felipe for 32 of its 33-year history.
Official practice, or pre-running, on the official 495.0-mile race course for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts will begin at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday, September 12 starting at race mile 0.16 and finishing at race mile 485.16. Pre-running starting at 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday, September 23 through Friday, September 25 will start at race mile 0.0 to race mile 7.80 outbound only.
The official SCORE Racer Brief, course map and GPS files will be available by 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, September 10.
The race will feature a course, when finalized and plotted over the next several days by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva of 492.27 miles. It will run both North and South of San Felipe in a counterclockwise direction on the East side of the Baja California peninsula.
When completed, the historic race course will be another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the ocean with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.
There will be three physical checkpoints, much of the course will run through Laguna Salada as well as going through parts of four of Baja California’s infamously magnificent washes: Amarillas, Chanate, Huatamote and Azufre.
As required by the health and safety protocols required to conduct this race, race week activities will have restricted access at the Eldorado Ranch with no spectators allowed for contingency, tech inspection and the start/finish compound.
On-site Racer Registration and Media Registration, again with restricted access, will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (September 22-25) at the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch.
Racer registration will be held for racers who are qualifying from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 22). Racer registration for the balance of the entries will be held on Wednesday (Sept. 23) from Noon to 7 p.m. PDT, on Thursday (Sept. 24) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 25) with no new entries accepted after 3 p.m. PDT on that final day of registration.
SCORE Media registration will be held in the Pavilion at El Dorado Ranch from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 22) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday (Sept. 23) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both Thursday and Friday (Sept. 24-25).
On the two days of contingency (Sept. 24-25) and during the race on Saturday, Sept. 26 until the course closes on Sunday morning, Sept. 27, there will be extensive live streaming from the start/finish line compound broadcasting race activities and start and finish line interviews. Popular Rat Sult will again serve as primary host of the SCORE live streaming along with assistance from Karolina Hirales.
With no spectators allowed in the start/finish line compound, all of the week’s activities will be streamed both live and same-day including the race, airing via the internet on the SCORE website and social media platforms.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPS
While Andy McMillin returns to defend his overall win in last year’s SCORE Baja 500 in his No. 1 McMillin Racing all-wheel drive Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck built by Mason Motorsports. Expected back to defend in Pro Motorcycles, Justin Morgan, El Cajon, Calif. and his co-riders Mark Samuels, Yucca Valley, Calif. and Justin Jones, Murrieta, Calif. are expected to defend their overall motorcycle title on their No. 1x Honda CRF450X, competing once again in the Pro Moto Unlimited motorcycle.
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will air on the ABC family of networks. The two-races will air as 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.
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.
BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCOR E Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts
Round 1 of the two-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship
Sept. 22-27, 2020—492.27 miles –San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico