Baja 1000: 2007 Grand Marshals named

Racers Rod Hall and Ron Bishop; Ensenada's Nico Saad Named Grand Marshals for 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Internationally-televised 1,296.39-mile Nov. 11-16 adventure down Mexico's Baja California peninsula LOS ANGELES--Veteran desert...

Racers Rod Hall and Ron Bishop; Ensenada's Nico Saad Named Grand Marshals for 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Internationally-televised 1,296.39-mile Nov. 11-16 adventure down Mexico's Baja California peninsula

LOS ANGELES--Veteran desert racers Rod Hall and Ron Bishop along with local Mexican businessman Nico Saad have been named as Grand Marshals for the upcoming 40th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races.

To be held Nov. 11-16, this year's historic 40th anniversary odyssey of the world's longest non-stop and most famous desert race will be a grueling and memorable 1,296-39 mile adventure down Mexico's Baja California peninsula starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Sur.

Hall and Bishop are the only two individuals who have raced in all previous 39 events and Saad has been active in working with the government and tourism officials since the race began in 1967.

The season-finale of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series will feature nearly 450 entries from 43 U.S. States and 16 countries. From weekend warriors to Hollywood actors and producers, the famous and not-so-famous will compete in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

"What a natural to be able to select Rod Hall, Ron Bishop and Nico Saadas the Grand Marshals for the 40th anniversary of this amazing race," said Sal Fish, SCORE President and CEO since soon after the Los Angeles-based racing organization was founded in 1973. "No one, including even me, has been part of this event for every year except these three great ambassadors of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Their passion for our sport and this race is as great as mine and I know they will enjoy this accolade as much as we enjoy bestowing it on them. There have been many, many people over the years who have been intensely involved with this race, but none of been part of it for four decades except these three exceptional gentlemen."

Hall, Reno, Nev., will celebrate his 70th birthday in Cabo San Lucas on Nov. 22 and he is the only individual who has raced in a car or a truck in every race. On the other hand Bishop, 64 of Escondido, Calif., is the only individual who has raced on a motorcycle every year.

Saad has been extremely involved in helping negotiations between race organizations and Mexican government and tourism officials since the race began. He also owns the San Nicolas Resort which is the official SCORE Headquarters in Ensenada, continuing to be a remarkable host.

Hall, whose 18 Class wins in this race are the most by any racer, will compete again this year from Team Hummer in the Stock Mini Class in the No. 760 Hummer H1. Sharing driving duties will be his two sons Josh and Chad, who each are driving their own Hummers in the Stock Full class. Hall plans on starting and finishing the race, but he is also listed as a co-driver on his son's two vehicles in case he needs to assist them and help himself secure his 19th class win.

Bishop, who has one class win in this race and is a member of the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame, is the rider of record this year in Class 22 for open motorcycles on the No. 16x KTM XC525. Planning on riding the first 200 miles of the race plus another 100 midway through the course, his co-riders for this year's adventure are Don Myll, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Russ Mitchell/Justin Hambleton, San Diego/Bill Rogers, Escondido, Calif.

The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (PST) (Tuesday, Nov. 13) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 11 a.m. (PST), or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. The starting line will be on Blvd. Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 23 hours.

Pre-race festivities on Monday, Nov. 12, for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including tech and contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (PST) adjacent to Nico Saad's San Nicolas Hotel, the official SCORE race headquarters in Ensenada. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. (PST) at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (PST) on

Sunday, Nov. 11 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (PST) on Monday, Nov. 12.

The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Award's Celebration will be held during the SCORE Fiesta at the Playa Cascadas (adjacent to the Villa del Palmar) at noon on Friday, Nov. 16.

Previous Grand Marshals of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 have been Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti and Paul Newman.

The four-wheel vehicle classes with the most entries to date are Class 1 and SCORE Trophy-Truck (32 each), Class 1-2/1600 (25), Class 5/1600 (23), SCORE Lite (19), Baja Challenge (18), Class 8 (14), Protruck (13), Stock Full (12) and Class 5 (11).

The motorcycle classes with the most entries so far are: Class 22 (24), Class 40 (16) and Class 30 (11).

Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 54 and Sportsman ATV with 17 entries to date.

It's the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over Mexico's majestic yet mysterious Baja California peninsula.

This year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the fourth consecutive year, airing on Dec. 30 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.

The 2007 SCORE Desert Series also includes the chase for the $75,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several 2007 SCORE Class point champions along with the run for the $12,000 Toyota True Grit and Toyota Milestone Awards.

The race will also include the special $40,000 cash contingency purse provided by Volkswagen of America. Top finishers in all classes where VW engines are required or allowed will be eligible.

-credit: score

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Score
Drivers Mario Andretti , Parnelli Jones , Paul Newman , Rod Hall