SCORE Latest News

Pre-running opens Saturday for SCORE San Felipe 250

SCORE MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic Clark, March 17, 2023 ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Desert Racing Excellence’ March 28-April 2 in San Felipe King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, Fueled by Baja Vida Pre-running opens Saturday at 8 a.m. on 262.80 course; Novelo, E. Yee, DA-Steele, Burnett, among new entries   Opener of 4-race 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship on 262.80-mile course, Pre-running opens Sat., March 18; motos, quads have two separate course sections Fish Grand Marshal for 2023 season--Cornwell, Butler--2023 SCORE San Felipe 250   NOTE: Current unofficial numerical entry list, by class, at bottom of text   ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico – ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Desert Racing Excellence’ this year, pre-running opens Saturday at 8 a.m. PT on the unique 262.80-mile race course for this month’s King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, fueled by Baja Vida, that features two special sections only for motorcycles and quads. Attempting to reduce the number of motorcycles and quads that would be passed by the fastest cars and trucks, this is the second time in the history of SCORE International that there will be two sections part of the overall race course just for motorcycles and quads. Round 1 of the four-race 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship will be held March 28-April 2 on a 262.80-mile race course in and around the quaint, peaceful village of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico. QUICK FACTS Pre-race Contingency and Tech Inspection and the start/finish line compound will be located on the picturesque El Malecon in San Felipe along the inspiring azure waters of the Sea of Cortez. San Felipe is 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif. on the eastern side of the Baja peninsula. All four 2023 SCORE races will be held on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the eighth consecutive year. SCORE, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, is celebrating its 50th season in 2023. BY THE NUMBERS      With over 300 entries anticipated at the start line to launch the 50th season of SCORE desert racing, 250 total entries have been received so far for the popular ‘Spring Break’ event, with racers representing 28 U.S. States, and 13 countries. The countries with at least one racer so far are United States, host country Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru. DOUBLE DIGITS With double-digit entries to date are the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck (high-tech, unlimited, 1000-horsepower, custom trucks) with 32, Trophy Truck Spec (SCORE Trophy Trucks with spec engines) with 42, Class 10 (17), Pro UTV Open (18), Pro UTV FI (23), Pro UTV Stock (12) and Pro Moto Ironman (solo riders) with 16. ANOTHER AMAZING COURSE     With pre-running opening Saturday for the King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Baja Vida, SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva and Co-Race Director Rodolfo Fernandez have put together another memorable race course to challenge the world’s best desert racers. “This year’s SCORE San Felipe 250 race course will be another memorable one that will challenge even the veteran SCORE Baja racers,” commented Grijalva. “There is a little bit of everything including the tire-crunching Mini Summit and the unforgiving metal-bending five Baja washes that will help make this year’s race one on of the toughest ever. We are very pleased with the two special separate sections we have identified for the motorcycle and quad classes that will give them a beautiful race without having to look behind to see if a car or truck is catching them. This race and this race course will be a wonderful way to launch the 50th year of SCORE International.” Starting and finishing back on the picturesque El Malecon, the race is 262.80 miles, running in a counter-clockwise direction and features one physical full stop checkpoint (Morelia Road Crossing).      For just the second time and for safety reasons, SCORE has developed two separate sections within the overall race course for motorcycles and quads only, but all classes will still cover 277.00 total miles of magnificent Baja terrain. There are 113 virtual checkpoints for cars/trucks/UTVs, 139 for motos/quads. The course has seven speed zones for a total of 2.62 miles. The course heads North to the Zoo Road crossing up to the El Chinero area North for a large loop through Laguna Salada, South to Borrego, down through Laguna Diablo, over the Mini Summit to the Morelia Junction road crossing before winding West and South through four of the gloriously infamous Baja washes in this order: Amarillas Wash, Chanate Wash, Huatamote Wash and Azufre Wash, the Boulder Canyon (before Azufre) before heading North to the finish line. The moto/quad first deviation of the course is a RM 52.76 north of El Chinero and rejoins the overall course at RM 107. The second deviation starts at RM 235.52 at the East end of Azufre Wash where those classes will take a longer course through Matomi Wash, then run North parallel to the car/truck/utv course before joining back up at rm 258.41, for the four miles to the finish line on El Malecon. All Sportsman classes will run a reduced course of 237.74 miles.      The official course map, GPS files, course notes and Racer’s Brief are all available on the SCORE website. They are located under race info for the SCORE San Felipe 250. NEWEST ENTRIES Among the newest entries for this year’s race are Gerardo Novelo, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 7F), Eli Yee, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 5), Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif. (SCORE Trophy Truck) and Marc Burnett, Chula Vista, Calif. (Pro UTV FI). THREE DECADES-PLUS Celebrating the 36th anniversary of the youngest of the three legendary SCORE Baja races, sometimes referred to as the SCORE ‘Baby Baja’, entries are being accepted on the SCORE website under Race Info at for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. ENTRY DEADLINES The deadline to apply online and be included in the drawing for starting positions within each class is 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 16. Starting positions for the classes that aren’t qualifying will be determined by a random drawing after the close of online racer registration. Results of the start draw will be posted on the SCORE website by 6 p.m. PT on Friday, March 17. Late entries may register in person at the SCORE Ensenada office will have until 5 p.m. PT on Friday, March 24. Those late entries, however, will not be included in the start draw. Late, on-site entries will receive the next starting position within the class entered. Questions should be directed to Shannon Lund, SCORE Registration and Membership Director at 775.852.8907 or PRE-RUNNING Pre-running on the official 262.80-mile race course opens at 8 a.m. PT on Saturday (March 18). Pre-running starts at race-mile .63 and it is a shared course outbound/inbound to rm2.07. This year’s race course runs in a counter-clockwise direction with one physical checkpoint at the Morelia Junction Road crossing. Motorcycle and quad classes have two deviations to the overall race course, but all vehicles will run the exact same total mileage. QUALIFYING For just the fourth time in the history of this popular ‘Spring Break’ race, SCORE will hold a qualifying session starting at 7 a.m. PT on Wednesday, March 29 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend and Trophy Truck Spec classes. The starting order for qualifying in each class will be the order in which they entered the race. Entries received in the qualifying classes received after Friday, March 24 will be given then next available starting slot within their respective classes. Start order for qualifying will be determined by the date and time that they are received. Qualifying will be held on a 5.10-mile course not used before by SCORE. Qualifying is not open to the public and will be held on an approximately five-mile course that is not part of the official race course. Qualifying will be part of the SCORE Live streaming of the event accessed through the SCORE website. ELI YEE Another of the prominent and veteran Mexican racers in the SCORE World Desert Championship, Eli Yee, 49, of Tijuana has won numerous races and the 2020 class point title in Class 1/2-1600. Yee has raced with SCORE for nearly 30 years and among his recent class wins are in the SCORE Baja 500 and the SCORE Baja 1000 in both 2020 and 2021. In 2022, after an unsettling DNF in the San Felipe, Yee marched back with three consecutive class wins at the SCORE Baja 500, the SCORE Baja 400 and the SCORE Baja 1000 in his class to finish second in the Class 1/2-1600 season point standings. Yee has switched classes for this year and will be racing in Class 5 in his No. 511 Chevy-powered Jake’s Baja Bug. In the SCORE San Felipe 250, Yee has three Class 10 victories (2002, 2003, 2004). SENIOR STATESMAN Born in Ensenada, Mexico, prominent businessman and long-time government official, Gerardo Novelo, 57, returns for this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, fueled by Baja Vida. Long a champion of SCORE Baja racing, Novelo was one of the key individuals that helped establish the SCORE strategic tourism alliance with the Mexican government in 2019. Novelo and his team will drive the No. 700F Nissan Hardbody King Cab in Ensenada in Class 7F. Team manager James Murphy, 66, of Lomita, Calif., will share driving duties with Novelo. Novelo is a three-time SCORE season Class point champion, having won titles in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018 in Class 7SX and last year in Class 7F. Part of the family that owns the luxurious Estero Beach Resort south of Ensenada, Gerardo Novelo was selected as the 2019 SCORE Person of the Year for his continuing contributions to the welfare of SCORE International in Mexico. In both of this year’s races, Novelo and his team have had rare did not finishes. In his long and championship SCORE racing career, Novelo will be looking for his first class win in the SCORE San Felipe 250. DA-STEELE He may not play a musical instrument or carry a note singing, yet he is another of the many second-generation SCORE desert racers. Cameron ‘Steely Cam’ Steele is not only a two-time SCORE Trophy Truck race winner he is also the affable leader of the Desert Assassins race team. He also finds time to help operate his SoCal Baja HQ aftermarket company, lead both an annual motorcycle and his annual ‘Trail of Missions’ truck tour down the Baja peninsula, emcee numerous events, host live stream internet shows, and is an action sport TV commentator who has announced a variety of competitions from IndyCar to the SCORE race coverage TV shows. As far as racing is concerned, Steele, 55, of San Clemente, Calif., loves to stay busy and in years past has competed and had podium finishes in multiple classes in the same race, but now focuses on his No. 16 Desert Assassins Ford Raptor, built by Geiser Bros, in SCORE Trophy Truck. Steele won the last two SCORE Trophy Truck races of the 2018 season after finishing second in the iconic 50th anniversary of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000 in 2017. Steele’s second driver will once again be third-generation champion racer Ryan Arciero, 48, Foothill Ranch, Calif., who has four career SCORE Trophy Truck race wins. Steele/Ryan will be searching for their class win in the SCORE San Felipe 250. MARC BURNETT Marc Burnett, 52, Chula Vista, Calif., is a veteran champion SCORE desert racer, with over 30 years of accomplishments in SCORE Baja racing. For this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250, Burnett will again be among the favorites in the Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class, driving solo in his No. 2905 Can-Am X3. Burnett started racing motocross at the tender age of five, eventually riding for Factory Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki motorcycle teams in SCORE Baja racing. Burnett eventually moved to racing Class 6 trucks where he again earned first place in the 2008 SCORE San Felipe 250, first place at the 2008 SCORE Baja 1000 and first place in at the SCORE Baja 500 in 2011. Overall, Burnett has earned three SCORE season point championships in his career (1995, 2014 and 2017) including three class wins in the SCORE San Felipe 250 (2009, 2014, 2016). Burnett has also earned four prestigious Rod Hall SCORE Milestone Awards in his career for completing every required mile in 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2019. Burnett also founded FreestyleMX in 1997, the group that traveled across the globe presenting Freestlye motorcycle shows for over 20 years. SCORE LIVE During qualifying on Wednesday, contingency on Thursday and Friday and the race on Saturday until the course closes on Sunday early morning, SCORE Live streaming will be broadcasting race activities and start and finish line interviews as well as live action from Drones, ground cameras and in-car cameras from around the race course. There will also be live Zoom interviews for individuals around the race course as part of SCORE Live for this race. Popular Rat Sult, who is starting his eighth season as the voice of SCORE, will once again serve as host and lead announcer of the expansive SCORE Live streaming. Assisting Sult will be veteran voice Dave Arnold. Sult and Arnold will be announcing from the SCORE start/finish ramp while the show will also include SCORE studio announcers in El Cajon, Calif., providing live info and updates throughout the race. SCORE live is being produced again by SCORE Media House, Aaron Laub, producer, Alberto Luna, on-site director. Coverage will also include hourly updates throughout the race from Austin Farner of Fishgistics. SCORE live may be launched from the home page of the SCORE website or from the SCORE App. GREEN FLAG The King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Baja Vida, will be an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Saturday, April 1 will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 6 a.m. (PT) and 9 a.m. (PT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in around four and one-half hours, all vehicles will have a 14-hour time limit in the 262.80-mile race to become official finishers in the iconic race. GRANDEST MARSHAL FOR GOLDEN YEAR Sal Fish, admired as the iconic ‘godfather’ of SCORE desert racing, has agreed to be the Grand Marshal of the Year for the entire four-race 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship as SCORE is ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Desert Racing Excellence.’ Revered all over Baja California, Fish, who will turn 84 on May 2, is a former publisher of Hot Rod Magazine and a 2006 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. He led SCORE for 38 years, from 1974 until he sold the organization on Dec. 20, 2012. His footprint left an indelible mark on all of desert racing as he was an extraordinary innovator and visionary for SCORE and the entire world of desert racing. SAN FELIPE GRAND MARSHALS      SCORE has announced that Dan Cornwell and Pat Butler will join Sal Fish as the co-Grand Marshals for this year’s King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, presented by Baja Vida. Cornwell, a long-time SCORE racer who raced in multiple classes, won the overall in the Inaugural SCORE San Felipe 250 back in 1982. Cornwell drove the No. 103 Chenowth-VW to victory in that first SCORE race in San Felipe. For nearly a decade now, Cornwell has been the SCORE Tech Director so he will be even busier at this year’s SCORE San Felipe 250. Butler, a prominent U.S. developer, opened the prominent El Dorado Ranch in 1989. Spending most of his time in San Felipe, Butler has been a staunch supporter of SCORE and the entire San Felipe municipality for over three decades. Butler is a former International Vice-President of the Marriott Corporation. SCOREscope 2023 GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY SCHEDULE Here are the dates for the four-race 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship Golden Anniversary season, ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Desert Racing Excellence’, which will be held totally in Baja California, Mexico for the eighth consecutive year:

  • King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, fueled by Baja Vida—
March 28-April 2, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico
  • BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 500—
May 31-June 4, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
  • 4th SCORE Baja 400, presented by VP Racing Fuels—
September 12-17, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
  • BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 1000—
November 13-18, La Paz, Baja California Sur to Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico SCORE SPONSORS… Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, , Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber and Race Title Sponsor, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel and race presenting sponsor, Baja Vida-Official Snacks and race presenting sponsor, Optima Batteries-Official Batteries, Rugged Radios-Official Radios, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino. SCORE Official Partners: The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance. Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Tourism, MEXICO Secretary of Tourism, San Felipe Foundational Municipal Council, Ensenada Municipal Government, San Felipe Marketing Tourism Committee, Ensenada Marketing Tourism Committee, Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association, Proturismo Ensenada and Cruz Roja Mexicana. For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Desert Racing Excellence’ King Shocks 36th SCORE San Felipe 250, Fueled by Baja Vida Opener of four-race 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship March 28-April 2 – 262.80 miles – San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico Total Entries: 224 (as of 3/13/23) (from 26 U.S. States, host Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Peru) (Numerical order, by class) Pro Cars/Trucks/UTVs