Next week in Ensenada, Mexico
Like Ampudia, Bio, Baldwin, Hall, Herbst, McMillin, Vildosola, Wilson--it's all about family at 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
326 Racers entered to date, including 35 SCORE Trophy-Trucks, from 39 States and 14 countries in internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races
LOS ANGELES--From Ampudia to Wilson, desert racing is all about family ties and among the nearly 350 entries for next week's 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 are over 30 entries with multiple-family members competing in the granddaddy of all desert races.
With racers competing in 29 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, the legendary race will be held Nov. 19-22 in Ensenada, Mexico. Completing its 36th year as the World's foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series. To date, adventurers and the world's best desert racers have come from 39 U.S. States and 14 countries to gather on the majestic Baja California peninsula.
While many entries have family members on support crews that can swell to as high as 50 people and some entries now have third-generation desert racers, the Ampudia, Bio, Baldwin, Hall, Herbst, McMillin, Vildosola and Wilson families are among the prominent SCORE Baja racers that have multiple family members competing either in the same vehicle or in separate vehicles this year in the world's most challenging desert race.
"There is no sport in the world that attracts more family participants than desert racing," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since soon after SCORE International started in 1973. "SCORE is both humbled and honored to have so many of the greatest racing families in the world competing with us in the most incredible desert race in the world. To think with everything going on in the world today that we have nearly 350 entries heading to Ensenada is a true testament to the preeminent position this race holds in the motorsports world."
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 Granddaddy of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula. Because of the economics and logistics involved, some years it is a peninsula run while most years it is a loop race, starting and finishing in Ensenada.
This year's 672.85-mile race will start for the 35th time and finish for the 20th time in Ensenada. The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (PST, Friday, Nov. 20) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. 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 14 hours. All vehicles will have a 31-hour time limit to become official finishers in the legendary adventure.
Rodrigo Ampudia Jr., of Ensenada, splits driving in Class 8 with his father Rodrigo Sr. while Cisco Bio and his father Pancho Bio, of El Cajon, Calif., will share the driving in two classes--Cisco as driver of record in SCORE Lite and Pancho as DOR in Class 9.
B.J. Baldwin and his father Bobby Baldwin, of Las Vegas, drive separate Chevy Silverado trucks in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Rod Hall will drive in two classes, one with each of his sons.
The venerable Hall, Reno, Nev., is only individual who has raced in all 41 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.
The legendary Hall has a race-record 19 career class wins in this event and is the only driver to have competed every year (all in a car or truck class). Hall, who will turn 72 on Nov. 22, will be looking for two class wins this year as he is entered as the second driver for his sons Josh and Chad Hall in Hummer H3 vehicles in both the Stock Mini and Stock Full classes.
The three-generation McMillin Racing family, who all live in the San Diego area, continue to follow in the racetracks of family patriarch Corky McMillin, who raced until shortly before he passed away at 76 in 2006.
Corky's sons Mark and Scott will both drive in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division. Mark will share driving with longtime team member Brian Ewalt while Scott will be the second driver for his son Andy, who won the 2006 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 driving with Robby Gordon.
Mark's sons Daniel and Luke McMillin will share the driving in a Class 1-2/1600 entry.
McMillin Racing has 12 class wins in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, led by Mark McMillin's eight class wins which includes five overall titles.
Another prominent Mexican race team, Gus Vildosola Jr. and Gus Vildosola Sr., share the driving in a Ford F-150 in the SCORE Trophy-Truck division.
Wilson Motorsports of Long Beach, Calif., is another of the prominent multi-generational SCORE Baja race teams. In this year's race, Randy Wilson and his brother Ronny will team up in Class 1 where Randy is the current class point leader heading into the season finale. In Class 1-2/1600, cousins Brian Wilson and Brad Wilson will share driving with Las Vegas' Sammy Ehrenberg. Brian Wilson enters the race currently tied for the Class 1-2/1600 point lead.
The only husband/wife combination entered as drivers of record this year are Cameron Steele and Heidi Steele of San Clemente, Calif. Cameron Steele races in SCORE Trophy-Truck while Heidi Steele is the Class 6 point leader in her Ford Ranger.
Both racing in motorcycle classes, leading the brother and sister racers entered this year are Quinn Cody and Anna Cody. Quinn Cody, Los Olivos, Calif., is a team rider for Johnny Campbell Racing in the open Class 22 while Anna Cody, Simi Valley, Calif., is the rider of record for a strong team in Class 20.
Among the other father/son teams competing together are Las Vegas' Rudy and Carlos Cortez (Class 1), Stuart Chase, Burbank, Calif. and Eric Chase, San Diego (Class 1), Mexico's Carlos and Gerardo Iribe (Class 1-2/1600), Mark and Shea McIntyre, Oakland, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600), Dan and Thomas Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7), Lee and Lee Banning Jr. (SCORE Lite), Luis and Luis Barragan Jr., Mexicali, Mexico (SCORE Lite), Brian and Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif. (SCORE Lite) along with Ron and Jeremy Purvines, Henderson, Nev. (Class 21).
John Langley, the Producer of the popular COPS Television show, has two family vehicles entered in the SCORE Lite class. He is driver of record in one vehicle with his son Zak as a co-driver and his other son Morgan is driver of record in the second vehicle.
This year's race also features two sets of twin brothers racing together. Arturo and Able Velazco, Banning, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600) and Matt and Max Eddy, Barstow., Calif. (Class 22) are the two sets of twins.
Leading the brothers racing separately are England's Darren and Gavin Skilton. Darren Skilton races in Class 3 while Gavin Skilton competes in the Stock Mini class. The brothers each won their respective classes in this race last year.
Among the other brothers racing together are: Phoenix's Nick, Larry and Mike Vanderwey (SCORE Trophy-Truck), Eric and Hiram Duran, Tecate, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600), Sacramento's Donald and Kenneth Moss (Class 3), Scott Wisdom, Lake Forest, Calif. and Brady Wisdom, Huntington Beach, Calif. (SCORE Lite) and Ryan and Connor Penhall, Corona, Calif. (Class 22).
The race will start and finish 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.
Pre-running on the 672.85-mile loop course officially began this past Saturday. Pre-running is allowed from Ojos Negros and back, starting at race mile 43.3. One way pre-running from the start to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Wednesday and Thursday of race week (Nov. 18 and 19). During the race, the first section of the course, approximately 40 miles, will be used both leaving the city and returning to Ensenada.
While late entries are accepted up to race day, a total of 326 entries have officially been accepted for the race as of today which will put the starting field in the top 10 in the 42-year history of the storied event.
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (35), Class 1 (24), Class 1-2/1600 (15) and SCORE Lite (14) and Class 10 (10).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, the open motorcycle Class 22 has the most entries to date with 18 followed by Class 30, riders 30 years old and over, which has 13.
Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 37 entries and Sportsman Motorcycle under 250cc which has 15 entries to date.
The defending overall champions are all in this year's field: Roger Norman, Reno, Nev./Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., in the No. 8 Norman Motorsports BFGoodrich Tires Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck, the No. 1x Class 22 open motorcycle team led by Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif., on a Kawasaki KX450 and the No. 1a Class 24 open ATV team led by Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif., on a Honda TRX700XX.
With massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged course that travels from Ensenada to Ojos Negros, east down Laguna Salada to San Felipe, down through the legendary Matomi Wash, around Mike's Sky Ranch, through both Rancho Las Truchas and Rancho El Coyote, down the infamous Simpson's Hill and back to the Pacific Coast below San Vicente and up through Santo Tomas, Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros, covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula to and from Ensenada.
Pre-race festivities on Thursday, Nov. 19, 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 4 p.m. on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer and media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.
The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor's Celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22.
This year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special, in association with SCORE and Aura360, for the sixth consecutive year. It is scheduled to air on NBC at 2 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 19 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.
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 drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 24th consecutive year, a total of 16 drivers remain eligible after Round 4 of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.
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, 28 individuals have officially declared that they will be attempting to complete the course riding solo.
Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels -official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull--official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Terrible Herbst Inc., Blue C Enthusiast Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
Additional associate sponsors for the 2009 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 are Proturismo de Ensenada and the State Tourism Department of Baja California.