35th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.
New dates-Nov. 20-23
Ensenada to Host Start, La Paz Finish
Granddaddy of all desert races is Final Round of six-race 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series
LOS ANGELES--Sal Fish, CEO of SCORE International, announced today that November's 35th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the oldest and most prominent desert race in the world, held annually in Mexico's Baja California peninsula, will start for the 27th time in the sea-side community of Ensenada, Baja California Norte, and finish for the 15th time in the colorful Sea of Cortez city of La Paz in Baja California Sur. SCORE also announced that because of numerous conflicts with other motorsports-related events, the dates for this year's race have been moved ahead two weeks to Nov. 20-23.
All pre-race activities, including driver/rider registration, and the popular manufacturer's midway and technical and safety inspection of the participating race vehicles will also be held in the city of Ensenada, 60 miles south of San Diego on the Pacific Ocean.
"By moving the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 ahead two weeks for this year, it eliminates the significant overlap of events for manufacturers, sponsors, race teams, fans, the city of Ensenada, and even the motorsports media," said Fish, the SCORE President and CEO who has overseen this race since 1975.
"With expanded racing seasons in NASCAR and NHRA plus the largest automotive aftermarket show in the world (SEMA Show in Las Vegas) and other tourism events in Ensenada, we have an overload of conflicts on our traditional dates, forcing SCORE to make the decision to move the race ahead two weeks this year. All things considered, we are convinced it was the right decision and will put the world's motorsports spotlight on one event--the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000."
SCORE officials expect the course will be close to what was the best from both the 1995 and the 1998 race routes, with racing on both sides of the Baja California peninsula. The top finishers are expected to make it to La Paz after about 19 fatiguing hours in the Baja desert.
While the final race route is still being plotted, SCORE officials have indicated that the final distance should be right around the 1,000-mile mark.
"While this race will be challenging by its very nature and its distance," Fish added, "we think we have helped the economics of it for the race teams by keeping the race course as close as possible to Mexico's Highway 1 to help chase crew access to the race course to assist their race vhicles."
"We have had tremendous cooperation from both states in Baja California, as well as the officials from Ensenada and La Paz...in the true spirit of Baja," added Fish. "We are visitors in their country and we need all of their assistance to continue the legend of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000."
Fish particularly cited the cooperation and assistance SCORE has received from numerous Mexican officials, singling out: Baja California Governor Eugenio Elorduy; Baja California Sur Governor Leonel Cota; Baja California Secretary of Tourism Alejandro Moreno; Baja California Sur Tourism Director Roberto Van Wormer; President Anselmo Saad of the Ensenada Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ensenada Mayor Jorge Catalan and La Paz Mayor Victor Manuel Guluarte.
The last time this race finished in La Paz was 1998, when it started for the only time in race history in Santo Tomas, south of Ensenada. The only other times in the '90s it finished in La Paz were 1992 when it started in Ensenada, and 1995 when it started in Tijuana. To help commemorate the new millennium in 2000, SCORE held the once-in-a-lifetime Tecate SCORE Baja 2000, which started in Ensenada and finished in Cabo San Lucas.
Nearly 220 entries, competing in 24 Pro classes and five Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs are expected to start the race, which will cover more than 1000 challenging miles of Baja California terrain before it reaches La Paz. La Paz is located near the southernmost tip of the Baja California, on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula.
While the official start line will be adjacent to Riviera Convention Center in downtown Ensenada, the official finish line in La Paz is still being determined.
Pre-race activities will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 20, the race will start in Ensenada on Thursday, Nov. 21, and the survivor's celebration will be held in La Paz on Saturday, Nov. 23.
In addition to more than 30 U.S. States, entries traditionally come from Canada, Europe and Japan along with a large contingent of racers from the host nation-Mexico.
The race will be the sixth and final event in the 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series, which features three races each in the United States and Mexico. Duralast Battery is the title sponsor of the series; BFGoodrich-official tire of SCORE; 76 Racing Fuel-official fuel of SCORE, Bilstein-official shock of SCORE and Duralast Batteries is the official battery of the Duralast SCORE Desert Series. Major race sponsors for the season-ending race are Tecate, Coca-Cola of Mexico and Fondo Mixto De Promocion Turistica De Ensenada and Instant Mexico Auto Insurance.
Plans are being finalized for the television broadcast of the 2002 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which will air nationally as well as internationally on a delayed basis.
For more information, contact the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles at 818. 225.8402 or visit the official website of the Duralast SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
REVISED remaining 2002 Duralast SCORE Desert Series schedule: 34th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 (Ensenada, Mexico-May 31-June 2); Inaugural SCORE Henderson's Terrible 250 (Henderson, Nev.-July 11-14); 7th SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300 (Primm, Nevada-Sept. 13-14); 35th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (Ensenada, Baja California Norte to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico-Nov. 20-23).