Pre-running opens Friday on epic 1,134-mile race course
for next month’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000
To date, 218 total entries from 35 U.S. States, 2 U.S. Territories, 19 countries part of field;
pre-race festivities for final round of four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship
includes SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience, presented by BFGoodrich Tires Oct. 30-Nov. 3
at Las Vegas Convention Center; SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck
at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Off-Road Track at 6 p.m. Oct. 31;
Granddaddy of All Desert Races to be televised on El Rey Network
ENSENADA, Mexico—Desert racing is the original extreme sport and racers from around the world begin pre-running on Friday for next month’s 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of All Desert Races that started it all. Drivers and riders will begin practicing for their golden quest to beat the Baja in the ultimate test of men, women and machines.
Practice officially starts at 8 a.m. (PT) on Friday from Ojos Negros all the way down the Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula to La Paz. The race course has been marked and GPS information has been prepared for the challenging 1,134-mile journey.
Registration continues at www.score-international.com for the legendary competition. The event and race-week festivities will be held Nov. 12-18 in Baja California, Mexico.
Nearly 350 entries, from 40 U.S. States and 30 countries are expected to compete in this year’s 50th anniversary celebration of the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000. There are multiple Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, utvs, motorcycles and quads.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 will be held over a 1,134.40-mile race course down Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada, Baja California Norte and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, held exclusively for the past two years in Baja California.
With a total time limit of 48 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 12 midnight (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with start on Thursday (Nov. 16) at 10 a.m. (PT).
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. Plans call for the course to have five physical checkpoints along the way to the finish.
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.
It starts with the approximate 20 mile stretch to Ojos Negros, the course heads south from Ojos down the ‘Goat Trail’ to Valley de Trinidad and around Kiliwas on a new trail that will drop into Kiliwas Wash before going back to Highway 1 on Mike’s Road.
From San Matias to San Felipe and the Sea of Cortez over a new trail that will start at Morellia Junction all the way to Zoo Road while skipping the infamous bad whoops.
South of San Felipe the course winds to Coco’s Corner running a new trail before Checkpoint 1 at Coco’s.
The course then goes to Bahia de Los Angeles and south to Mujica where Checkpoint 2 is located before crossing Highway 1 again to go to the Pacific side of the course.
Past San Ignacio the course goes on another new trail to El Datil which skips the silt and highway on the way to Scropion Bay, La Purisma and San Isidro.
Before Loreto will be Checkpoint 3 and then a run up to San Javier Mission before heading to Checkpoint 4 at the highway crossing to Lopez Mateos.
The course will go behind Ciudad Constitution to Santa Rita where another new trail goes to Loma Amarilla where the final Checkpoint (No. 5) will be located.
Getting closer to La Paz, the course will go through the ‘silty’ Santa Fe area and on to Punta Conejo.
The last stretch of the race course travels down by the ‘Waterfall’ before La Paz and to El Centenario before the final pavement section to the finish line adjacent to the Grand Plaza Hotel, the SCORE race headquarters on the outskirts of La Paz.
The five checkpoints will be located at Coco’s Corner, Mujica Baja Sur, near Loreto, road crossing at the Lopez Mateos Highway and at Loma Amarilla.
SALIDA A 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, adjacent to the Grand Plaza Hotel, official race headquarters in La Paz at the Fidepaz Marina.
Commemorating the first race, motorcycle and quad classes will start at midnight (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 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, Nov. 16. While the fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course in approximately 20 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 royalty of desert racing will be in this year’s field and leading the way will once again be the marquee SCORE Trophy Trucks, the SCORE-created class for high-tech, 900-horsepower unlimited production trucks. There are 38 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered so far in this year’s celebratory race.
Among the entries in SCORE Trophy Truck are No. 11 Rob MacCachren/Jason Voss, No. 1 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez/Juan C. Lopez, No. 77 Robby Gordon, No. 31 Andy McMillin/Tavo Vildosola, No. 97 B.J. Baldwin/Rodimiro Amaya, No. 15 Billy Wilson/Chad Bunch, No. 4 Justin Matney/Josh Daniel, No. 23 Dan McMillin/Gary Weyhrich, No. 19 Tim Herbst/P.J. Jones, No. 7 Bryce Menzies, No. 83 Luke McMillin/Larry Roeseler, No. 91 Troy Herbst/Brett Sourapas, No. 3 Mark Post/Ed Herbst/Kyle LeDuc, No. 9 Armin Schwarz/Eduardo Laguna, No. 16 Cameron Steele/Pat Dean/Cody Stuart/Mike Craft/Bobby Pecoy/Rene Brugger, No. 14 Cameron Steele/Bobby Pecoy/Heidi Steele/Mike Craft/Cody Stuart/Pat Dean/Rene Brugger, No. 41 Justin Lofton/Matt Loiodice, No. 76 Jesse Jones/Austin Jones/Toby Price, No. 30 Robbie Pierce/Mike Julson, No. 21 Pat O’Keefe/Mark McMillin, No. 5L Clyde Stacy/Jeff Geiser (SCORE TT Legend class) and No. 21L Gus Vildosola Sr/Rodrigo Ampudia Sr/Scott Bailey (SCORE TT Legend).
Larry Roeseler has 17 class wins in the SCORE Baja 1000, including a race-record 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle, two in a desert race car and one in a SCORE Trophy Truck). This year he will be the second driver for third-generation desert racer Luke McMillin in the No. 83 Ford F-150 in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Among the other early entries is legendary veteran Rod Hall who is the only person who has raced in all 49 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Turning 80 on Nov. 22, Hall has a race-record 24 class wins (including the overall in 1969) and will be competing again this year in Stock Full with his oldest son Chad Hall as his principal additional driver. Hall and his team will again drive the No. 8101 Hall Racing Hummer H1 Alpha.
Including SCORE Trophy Truck, seven total classes already have double figures in terms of entries so far. While several other classes have nearly reached at least 10 entries, the other classes with double figure entries to date are: Pro UTV FI (15), unlimited Class 1 (14), Class 10 (14), Trophy Truck Spec (12), Pro Moto Ironman (12) and leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C with 19 entries so far.
Obviously with a lot of help from his riding buddies, Santiago Creel, an international motorcycle rally racer from Mexico City is helping celebrate the golden anniversary of this legendary race by entering four KTM motorcycles in three different classes. Creel, 31, is rider of record for Pro motorcycle entries in Pro Moto Unlimited, two in Pro Moto Limited and another in Pro Moto 30 for riders over 30 years old.
By SCORE rules, a driver/rider of record must either start or finish the race in order to receive points for the entry. With the exception of the Pro Moto Ironman class, which is for solo riders, almost all entries will have two, three or more drivers/riders to challenge the Baja peninsula for this event.
To date, there are 218 total entries from 35 U.S. States, two U.S. Territories and 19 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 to date are Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa and Spain.
BEFORE BAJA…VIVA LAS VEGAS!
Jumpstarting the festivities for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 for the fourth straight year will be the massive SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Oct. 30-Nov. 3) during the SEMA Show and the special SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying for the first 40 SCORE Trophy Trucks that enter the anniversary event.
With both events presented by BFGoodrich Tires, qualifying will be held at the Off-Road Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (6 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Oct. 31).
At 7 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 1 there will also be a VIP screening of the ‘Dust 2 Glory’ documentary movie on the SCORE World Desert Championship. The screening will be open to all individuals with a SEMA Show badge.
For all the classes except SCORE Trophy Truck, the drawing for starting positions within each class will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Entries must be received by 11 p.m. (PT) on Friday Oct. 27 to be included in the start draw. Late entries received after the drawing will be placed by class in the next available starting position following those that entered in time for the random draw.
For racers who competed in September’s Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge, based on their results, those racers will be placed in order of how they placed in Tijuana and a drawing will be held for all of the additional entries in each class to determine the final start order for the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000.
The 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 race week festivities will cover Nov. 12-18.
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. and pre-race tech will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for motorcycles, quads and UTVs on Tuesday (Nov. 14) and for cars and trucks on Wednesday (Nov. 15) at the same times.
The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing for motorcycles and quads will be held on Tuesday (Nov. 14) at 7 p.m. PT in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center and on Wednesday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. PT for the car, truck and UTV classes.
Racer registration will be held in the Red Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Racer registration will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. (PT) on Monday (Nov. 13), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PT) on Tuesday (Nov. 14) and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday (Nov. 15).
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 (Nov. 13), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) on both Tuesday (Nov. 14) and Wednesday (Nov. 15) and the BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center in Ensenada will be open on Wednesday (Nov. 15) from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. (PT) and on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (PT).
SCORE sponsor Monster Energy will host the Monster Energy Papas y Beer SCORE Street Party on Avenida Ruiz in downtown Ensenada from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. (PT) on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
As the celebration continues Thursday (Nov. 15) night to all day and evening on Friday and on the morning of Saturday (Nov. 18) 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 Grand Plaza Hotel in La Paz starting at 7 p.m. (PT) on Saturday (Nov. 18).
WHO ELSE BUT SAL!
Sal Fish, 78, the iconic desert racing promoter who owned SCORE International for 38 years, will be the Grand Marshal for November’s 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.
A graduate from the University of San Francisco, Fish had risen to the top as the Publisher of Hot Rod Magazine when Mickey Thompson, who founded SCORE in 1973, recruited Fish to be the President of SCORE.
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 Dusty 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 atwww.SCOREInternational.com.
SCORE Baja 1000 Overall Champions
(4-wheel and 2-wheel vehicles–1967 through 2016)
YEAR DRIVERS/RIDERS VEHICLE TIME
1967 Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels Meyers Manx-VW 27:38
J.N. Roberts/Malcolm Smith Husqvarna 28:48
1968 Larry Berquist/Gary Preston Honda 20:38:28
Larry Minor/Jack Bayer Ford Bronco 21:11:32
1969 Larry Minor/Rod Hall Ford Bronco 20:48:10
Gunnar Nilsson/J.N. Roberts Husqvarna 21:35:52
1970 Drino Miller/Vic Wilson Miller-VW 16:07
Mike Patrick/Bill Bowers Yamaha 18:31
1971 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 14:59
Malcolm Smith/Gunnar Nilsson Husqvarna 16:51
1972 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 16:47