Baja 1000: Pre-event news 2010-11-05

1061.69-mile internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races also has 11 of 16 former SCORE Trophy-Truck race champs entered in race down Mexico's Baja California peninsula LOS ANGELES--As pre-running the rugged 1061.69-mile desert...

1061.69-mile internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races also has 11 of 16 former SCORE Trophy-Truck race champs entered in race down Mexico's Baja California peninsula

LOS ANGELES--As pre-running the rugged 1061.69-mile desert race course from Ensenada to La Paz continues this week at an accelerated pace as race days draw closer,the growing starting grid for the upcoming 43rd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 already includes 106 racers who have combined for 311 class wins in the granddaddy of all desert races. The season-finale of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be held on Mexico's magnificently mysterious Baja California peninsula Nov. 16-20.

Massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 are anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged course that travels on both sides of the peninsula, the world's most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz in Baja California Sur.

This year will be the 36th time in the first 43 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 18th time in has finished in La Paz.

With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 33 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in the internationally televised race, entries have already come from 35 U.S. states and 18 countries.

The race will start on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada at 6:30 a.m. (PST) on Thursday (Nov. 18) with the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed at approximately 11:45 a.m. with the start of the car and truck classes. It will finish on the outskirts of La Paz near the Grand Plaza Hotel, race headquarters for the southern half of the event. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and all vehicles will have a 45-hour time limit to become official finishers. The fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course in approximately 19 hours.

Leading the group of 38 racers, each with at least three class wins in this classic, with 220 combined class wins are father and sons Rod, Chad and Josh Hall (33 combined class wins), Larry Roeseler (17), Craig Adams (15), Johnny Campbell (11), Steve Hengeveld (10) along with Jim O'Neal and Eric Solorzano with nine each.

In all, there is at least one class winner entered this year from 35 of the first 42 years of this event, includingat least one from the last 32 consecutive years.

The most notable new team in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division for this race is Rod Hall Racing of Reno, Nev., the winningest family in the history of this race with 33 class wins between father Rod Hall (race-record 21 class wins) and sons Chad Hall (8) and Josh Hall (4). With Josh Hall, 49, as driver of record, and Chad, 47, as the second, the father and son team will split the driving in the No. 61 Rod Hall Racing Chevy Silverado, marking the Halls first race in SCORE Trophy-Truck. Rod Hall, who will be 73 on Nov. 22, is the only person who has raced in all 42 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races. The Halls are also the winningest family in race history as well.

In addition to the 35 U.S. States, racers have entered from Australia, Austria, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the US Territory of Guam. With just two weeks before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 18, entries will be accepted up to race morning.

Roeseler, 52, Huntington Beach, Calif., who has a race-record 13 overall race wins including 10 on a motorcycle, is back with Terrible Herbst Motorsports where he will be the third driver in No. 19 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck of Tim and Ed Herbst. Roeseler also has 11 careers SCORE season class point crowns to his credit.

One of the most versatile age-group motorcycle co-riders in all of SCORE Baja racing, Craig Adams, 52, San Clemente, Calif., will be one of the members of the Class 50 (riders over 50 years old) team led by rider of record Jim O'Neal.

With a race-record career 11 overall motorcycle race victories in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Baja legend Johnny Campbell, 39, San Clemente, Calif. now oversees the operation of his own JCR/Honda Racing factory-supported two-vehicle team and is race-ready and listed as a co-rider, if needed. The JCR/Honda riders of record on twin Honda CRF450X bikes are Kendall Norman (1x) and Colton Udall (8x).

Another of the top SCORE Baja racing motorcycle riders, Steve Hengeveld, 34, Oak Hills, Calif., has seven overall wins in this race and will be riding this year as one of the three co-riders with rider of record David Pearson on the factory-supported 7x Bonanza Plumbing/KTM Off-Road KTM 530XCW.

Owner of the noted motorcycle apparel and riding gear company that bears his name, Jim O'Neal, 64, Simi Valley, Calif., continues to put together age-group championship teams and this year will lead a Class 50 team that includes 15-time class winner Craig Adams. O'Neal has 14 career SCORE class season point championships, tying him for first all-time in SCORE history with Dan Smith and Rod Hall.

The leading Mexican national in terms of class wins in this race with nine and class season point titles with nine as well, Eric Solorzano continues to run at the front of the pack in the easily-recognizable Tecate-sponsored Baja Bug in Class 11 for stock VW sedans, the class he has race in since his first Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race win in 1993.

Pre-race festivities on Wednesday, Nov. 17, for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including the vastly popular tech and contingency of all vehicles and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from Saturday, Nov. 13 through Wednesday, Nov. 17. Media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from Noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

The post-race awards celebration and fiesta will be held on the Malecon in downtown La Paz, starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. The entire race will be conducted on Pacific Standard Time.

While entries will be accepted up to race morning, late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.

The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (36), Class 1 (21), Class 1-2/1600 (14) and SCORE Lite (13).

Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 for open motorcycles has the most entries to date with 11.

Leading the seven Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which had 38 entries so far.

Under the sponsorship of BFGoodrich Tires, live tracking will be available through www.BFGoodrichTires.com and live audio and video steaming updates starting with contingency, from the start/finish line and other locations around the course will be available at www.thebajaunlimited, and www.DirtNewz.com. Living tracking will be available also at www.racetheworld.net. Another popular internet site, www.race-dezert.com, will offer special news coverage, live audio streaming of SCORE race operations as well as unofficial timing updates and split times from several locations on the course.

In 2010, BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating the 35th year in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for three and a half decades, BFG has been the has produced the tire of choice for 23 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including 23 of the last 24 years and a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005.

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 seventh consecutive year, airing on Dec. 19 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International. It is being produced again by Aura360, SCORE's electronic media partner, in association with SCORE.

As a special incentive to help bolster entries for the relatively new Class 4, Langley Productions owner and SCORE racer John Langley has posted a Special winner-take-all $10,000 SCORE/COPS Racing/BFG Tires bonus for the first-place finisher in the class for unlimited open-wheel, single or two-seat desert race cars with either a limited 2.2 or 2.4-liter GMC Ecotec sealed engine. COPS Racing, named for the popular television series produced by Langley Productions, has three vehicles entered in this year's race in three different classes.

This race also features the prestigious Sal Fish SCORE IronRider awards presented to each motorcycle or ATV rider who completes the course within the time limit while riding solo. To date, 13 individuals have declared that they will be attempting to complete the course riding solo.

In addition to season point class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also racing to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 25th consecutive year, a total of 17 drivers remain eligible after Round 4 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. The total mileage for the 2010 season will be 2,133.88 miles. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.

-source: score

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Series Score
Drivers Rod Hall , Steve Hengeveld , Larry Roeseler , David Pearson , Johnny Campbell