ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico — Officially stated to be approximately 68 miles, the loop course is short in length but definitely rugged in difficulty for next month’s special format Lucerna Hotels & Resorts Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge. Here is the link on the SCORE website – Course Map for 2018 SCORE Desert Challenge.
With entries so far from 17 U.S. States, host country Mexico, Canada, Italy and New Zealand, racer registration continues online for Round 3 of the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship on the SCORE website at www.SCOREInternational.com. Race dates and race-week festivities are Sept. 20-23.
Moving to the largest city on the Baja California peninsula last year, this race will again utilize a special split format two-day event with one lap each day 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.
Starting and finishing adjacent to Rancho Casian in Southeast Tijuana, the race route travels in a counterclockwise direction over the nearly 68 tough terrain miles 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) at around race mile 4 to race mile 17, 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 22.2 and Checkpoint 2 will be at race-mile 49.5.
At race- mile 8, the course goes around La Mesa and at rm 11 is goes through Cerro Valadero and at rm 24 is Loma del Gato then to rm 30 and passing through Sierra Cipres.
The course goes through the Valle de las Palmas area from rm 43 to rm 50, running on Arroyo Seco to Rancho Santa Anita.
Heading back to Rancho Casian, the race course goes by the popular Rumorosita at rm 56.5, a very popular area that is very rocky and rough. Pancho’s Place is at rm 60 and then a sprint to the finish line.
“After race-mile 17, it’s smooth and technical on the course all the way to the Valle de las Palmas,” said Grijalva. “Pitting will be allowed between race-mile 47 to race-mile 52 with access roads for teams out to Highway 3. The course is short, but tough and the racers will all know they have had a workout. Many teams will use two drivers, one for each day or each drive half way each day depending on the class. Motorcycle and quad riders may have as many as three or four and change riders at their pit.”
Grijalva also says that the last eight miles back into Rancho Casian are very fast.
Grijalva concluded, “Overall, the course is mostly tight technical roads with some rocky sections and washouts, nearly half of the course will be on public roads good enough room for passing and there is some silt from race-mile 5 to race-mile 8.”
WHERE THEY’RE FROM
With 83 official entries to date, there are racers from 17 U.S. States and five countries. Nations are USA, host country Mexico, Canada, Italy and New Zealand. States with entries so far are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
The unique-format race will be held in an area with a spectator-friendly start/finish line area located on the southeast outskirts of Tijuana at the popular Rancho Casian off of Boulevard 2000 (Highway No. 201) at Km 22.
While desert racing is a prime example of a family sport supporting one entry in an event, SCORE races have always had family members competing in different classes.
While numerous additional family members are expected to compete in the upcoming SCORE Desert Challenge, early entries include several family members entered in different classes including one mother and son and one husband and wife racing in separate classes.
With many more expected, the early entries include Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif. in Class 1 and her son Cody Reid, Apple Valley, Calif. racing in Class 10, Wayne Matlock, Alpine, Calif., is racing in the Pro UTV Forced Induction Class and his wife Kristen Matlock, will drive solo in the Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated class.
Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif. is racing in Class 1 and his younger brother Jeremy Davis, Montclair, Calif., is a rookie this season in SCORE Lites.
Among the family members racing together on the early entry list are brothers Alan and Aaron Ampudia of Ensenada, Mexico driving the No. 10 SCORE Trophy Truck, brothers Hiram, Evan and Eric Duran of Tecate, Mexico in the No. 1016 in Class 10, Kaden Wells and his father Travis Wells of St. George, Utah in the No. 1995 in Pro UTV Naturally Aspirated and Gerardo Iribe and his son Gerardo Jr, of Rosarito Beach, Mexico, in the No. 276 in Trophy Truck Spec.
Two cousins who have both entered in the unlimited Class 1 are Brian Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., in the No. 100 and Brad Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., in the No. 153.
With no qualifying for any classes in this race, the drawing for starting positions within each class will be held on Friday, Sept. 14. To be included in the start draw, online racer registration will close at 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Late, on-site racer registration will be held at the host hotel on Thursday and Friday (Sept. 20 and 21).
Pre-running on the official race course, exclusively for all car, truck and UTV classes will be held on Friday (Sept. 14) and Saturday (Sept. 15) and pre-running exclusively for motorcycle and quad classes will be held on Sunday (Sept. 16). There will be no pre-running on the race course allowed on Sept. 17-21.
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, Sept. 20 (2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PT) and Friday, Sept. 21 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT).
Media registration will be held at the Hotel Lucerna on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT and on Friday, Sept. 21 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. PTon Friday (Sept. 21) with tech inspection lasting one hour longer until 6 p.m.
Both being held at the Hotel Lucerna on Friday (Sept. 21), 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 event features two days of racing scored as one race. SCORE Race Director Jose Grijalva has put together a 68-mile loop course through the challenging hills in the area that each class will run a total of two laps over for 136 total race miles.
In the elapsed-time race with a three-hour time limit each day, starting at 7 a.m. PT each day, motorcycles, quads and several car classes will race their two sessions first on Saturday (Sept. 22) and second half on Sunday (Sept. 23).
The other car and truck classes, including the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck and SCORE TT Legend divisions will run the first half of their race (one lap) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 22) and final half (one lap) on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23).
Racing for those classes will start each day at 12:15 p.m. PT and racing will finish each day at approximately 5 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 (Sept. 23), starting at 6:30 p.m.PT.
Prior to last year’s SCORE Desert Challenge, only two races in SCORE history had started in Tijuana. The first was the inaugural SCORE Baja 1000 (then called Mexican 1000) in 1967 and then again in 1995. In both of those years the SCORE Baja 1000 finished in La Paz.
Next on the broadcast airwaves for SCORE, the BFGoodrich Tires 50th SCORE Baja 500 race coverage show is scheduled to debut on the El Rey Network at 3 p.m. PT on Sunday, Sept. 9.
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 visithttp://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 at www.SCOREInternational.com.
Lucerna Hotels and Resorts Tijuana
22nd SCORE Desert Challenge
Sept. 22-23, 2018—136 total miles (2 laps, 67.7-mile loop course)
Round 3 of four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico (Rancho Casian)
Total Entries: 83 (as of 8/29/18)
(from 17 U.S. States, Canada, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand)