ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico — Continuing to add to its storied legacy of more than four decades as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, SCORE International returns once again to its racing roots for this week’s internationally-televised Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge.
The event is Round 3 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship.
Race-week festivities will be held Thursday and Friday in the Zona Rio area of Tijuana with racing Saturday and Sunday starting and finishing at Rancho Casian on the southeast outskirts of Tijuana.
With entries from 22 U.S. States and six countries, the race features classes for Pro and Sportsman cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Having held nearly 160 races in Mexico in the last 44-plus years, this will be just the second time that SCORE has held a race that has both started and finished in Tijuana, the growing metropolis immediately across the border from San Diego in Baja California.
In 1967, the first SCORE Baja 1000 (then called the Mexican 1000) started at the bull ring in Tijuana and the 1995 SCORE Baja 1000 started in the wash near the Hotel Lucerna in Tijuana but no SCORE race had ever finished in Tijuana before last year.
In addition to the three starts in Tijuana, SCORE Baja races have been held numerous times in Ensenada and San Felipe, several times in La Paz, a few times in Mexicali, Santo Tomas, Ojos Negros and Cabo San Lucas, and once each in Loreto and Rosarito Beach.
Moving to the largest city on the Baja California peninsula last year, this race utilizes a special split format two-day event with two laps each day over a 33.7-mile loop course (134.8 total race miles) as the Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge.
Hotel Lucerna Tijuana on Avenida Paseo de los Heroes in the Zona Rio area of Tijuana is the official event hotel and the hospitality group (Lucerna Hotels & Resorts) is the SCORE Official Hotel for the SCORE World Desert Championship.
Race headquarters will be the Hotel Lucerna in the heart of the Rio Zona area of Tijuana on Avenida Paseo de los Heroes. Racer registration will be held in the hotel on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.
Media registration will be held at the Hotel Lucerna on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.
Contingency will be held in directly in front of the headquarters hotel on the historic Avenida Paseo de los Heroes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on Friday with tech inspection lasting one hour longer until 6 p.m.
Both being held at the Hotel Lucerna on Friday, the mandatory aircraft pilot safety meeting will be held at 6 p.m. PT followed by the mandatory racer meeting will be held at 7 p.m. PT.
The unique-format race will be held in an area with a spectator-friendly start/finish line compound located on the southeast outskirts of Tijuana at the popular Rancho Casian off of Boulevard 2000 (Highway No. 201) at Km 22.
RACE DAYS SKED
The event features two days of racing scored as one race. SCORE Race Director Jose Grijalva has been forced to change the race route to a 33.7-mile loop course through the challenging hills in the area that each class will run two laps each day for four total laps and 134.8 total race miles. The classes will be split into three groups and will run one session each day to determine the final results.
The elapsed-time race with a two-hour-fifty minute time limit each day for Groups 1 and 2 and 2:20 for Group 3 will start at 6:30 a.m. PT each day. Group 1 will have motorcycle and quad classes, Group 2 will have the bulk for the car and truck and all UTV classes and will start their two-lap run at 11 a.m. PT each day..
Group 3 with the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck and SCORE TT Legend divisions along with the Unlimited Class 1, Trophy Truck Spec and Hammer Trucks will run the first half of their race (two laps) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 22) and final half (two laps) on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23).
Racing for Group 3 featuring the SCORE Trophy Trucks will start each day at 3:30 p.m. PT and racing will finish each day at approximately 6 p.m.
Celebrating its 25th year as the featured SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950 horsepower unlimited trucks, SCORE Trophy Trucks, the post-race awards celebration will be held in the start/finish line area on Sunday, at 5:30 p.m. PT for Group 1 and Group 2 and at 7:30 p.m. PT.
“SCORE welcomes spectators to go to all of its races but consistently encourages safety and caution”, said Juan Tintos Funcke, SCORE Advisor.
“The colorful Contigency day and Manufacturer’s Midway from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday in front of Hotel Lucerna on Avenida Paseo de los Herores in the Zona Rio area of Tijuana, will provide a great pre-race family atmosphere to see the incredible desert racing cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycle and quads and meet many of the famous racers”.
“On race days, spectators are advised that the Boulevard 2000 has heavy traffic at certain times of the day, but that is the principal road in order to reach Rancho Casian from Tijuana or Rosarito Beach. The course map is available on the SCORE website.”
Tintos added that there will be several access points to the race course all of which will have Police presence including the Start/Finish line at Rancho Casian. There will be parking, food vendors and restrooms at that area.
“Extreme caution and awareness is always needed by spectators” Tintos continued. “Any spectators wanting to go inland on the route either from the Start/Finish area, from anywhere on the Boulevard 2000, from the Tecate-Ensenada road or the toll-free highway from Puerto Nuevo-Rosarito Beach, must do so before 6:00 am, because the road will be closed once the racing begins.”
“We can’t emphasize caution enough” said Tintos “All we ask is that spectators respect the danger and view the race from a hill or a distance of 30 meters. Having a large vehicle or hill to use as cover is a very good idea. Never drive or walk on the race course as this puts the spectators and racers in extreme danger and never stand or camp anywhere near the outside of turns or a curve.”
With no qualifying for any classes in this race, the drawing determined starting positions within each class.
Among the racers who drew first starts along with the number of entries to date in their respective classes are: SCORE TT Legend – No. 12L Gustavo Vildosola Sr, Mexicali, Mexico/Scott Bailey, Riverside, Calif. Chevy Silverado (builder-ID Designs) (14 Entries to date); Trophy Truck Spec – No. 276 Gerardo Iribe, Miami, Fla. (Rosarito Beach, Mexico), Curry/ISRT-Chevy 1500, (14 entries); Pro UTV FI – No. 2971 Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif., Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo (race-high 18 entries); Class 1 – No. 129 Brandon Bailey, Riverside, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy (six entries); Class 10 – No. 1062 J.J. Schnarr, Reno, Nev., Alumi Craft-Chevy (14 entries); SCORE Lites – No. 1258 Jeremy Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., Porter-VW (seven entries) and Pro UTV NA – No. 1985 Adrian Arellano, Jamul, Calif., Polaris RZR XP1000 (six entries).
Leading the motorcycles onto the course will be the No. 1x of Shane Esposito, Temecula, Calif., Honda CRF450X (nine entries) in the Pro Moto Unlimited Class. Starting first in the Sportsman Moto class will be the No. 200x of Miguel Pena, Tijuana, Mexico, KTM 450EXC (10 entries).
WHERE THEY’RE FROM
With 151 official entries to date, there are racers from 22 U.S. States and six countries. Nations are USA, host country Mexico, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and Peru. States with racers so far are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
Starting and finishing adjacent to Rancho Casian in Southeast Tijuana, the race route travels in a counterclockwise direction. The 33.7 tough terrain miles were designed and put together by SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva. It covers much of the land used in last year’s 23.4-mile loop, especially from Rancho San Vicente (where the race started last year), considered the roughest section of the course.
There will be two full-stop checkpoints on the course. Checkpoint No. 1 will be at race-mile 16.1 and Checkpoint 2 will be at race-mile 25.8.
The hot pit area for competitors will be in the area around race-mile 3.6.
Heading back to Rancho Casian, the race course goes by the popular Rumorosita, a very popular area that is very rocky and rough.
The final sprint of several miles back into Rancho Casian at the end of each lap is expected to be the fastest section of the race course each day.
While this is the second time in Tijuana, the SCORE Desert Challenge has been held 21 previous times since it first began in 1995. It was held in Laughlin, Nev., USA, from 1995 through 2012, in Plaster City, Calif., USA, in 2014, in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico in 2016 and in Tijuana in 2017.
The 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship airs domestically on the El Rey Network and internationally through syndication and ESPN International.
El Rey Network is a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network and 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 and official race title sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel and official race title sponsor, 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.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Mexicali Ayuntamiento, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Cruz Roja Mexicana, Corporate Helicopters, McKenzie’s Performance Products, Advanced Color Graphics.
Lucerna Hotels & Resorts 22nd 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, Lucerna Hotels and Resorts, Asociacion de Hoteles del Noroeste.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship atwww.SCOREInternational.com.
22nd SCORE Desert Challenge
Round 3 of four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship
Sept. 20-23 Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Brief Schedule of Events (All times PDT)
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018
Noon-5pm SCORE Chassis Inspection and Pre-Tech – Location TBA
1pm-6pm Media Registration –Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
2pm-8pm Racer Registration –Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
9am-4pm Racer Registration – No late, walk-in entries after 3 pm – Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
9am-5pm Media Registration – Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
9am-5pmContingency Row – In front of Hotel Lucerna on Avenida Paseo de los Heroes
9am-6pmTech Inspection/Transponder Checks – at Contingency-Avenida Paseo de los Heroes
6pmMandatory Aircraft Pilot Safety Meeting – Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
7pmMandatory Racer Meeting – Hotel Lucerna-Tijuana
Race Days Schedule(All times PDT – Schedule, grouping subject to change)
Each segment 2 Laps Single Lap—33.7 miles 134.8 total race miles
Start Interval: TBA
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 – (Start/finish at Rancho Casian)
6am-6pmSCORE Media Center Open – Rancho Casian—Start/finish line
Group 1 – Segment 1 Start 6:30am Time Limit 2:50 from vehicle start
Pro Moto Unlimited, Pro Moto 40, Pro Moto 30, Pro Moto 50, Pro Moto Limited, Pro Moto Ironman, Pro Moto 60, Pro Quad, SPT Quad, SPT Moto, 13
Group 2 – Segment 1 Start 11am Time Limit 2:50 from vehicle start
Class 10, Class 8, SCORE Lites, 1/2-1600, Pro UTV FI, Pro UTV NA, 7, 5, HM, BC, 5-1600, Pro UTV Unltd, 3, TL, PT, SF, 7F, 7SX, Baja-e, SPT Unl Truck, SPT Buggy, SPT UTV Unl, SPT Stock UTV FI, SPT Stock UTV NA
Group 3 – Segment 1 Start 3:30 pm Time Limit 2:20 from vehicle start