Baja 1000: Series Thursday event summary

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Baja 1000: Series Thursday event summary

43rd Annual TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000 Nov. 16-20, 2010--Final round of five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series Ensenada, Baja California, to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico -- 1061.69 miles MEXICO'S...


43rd Annual TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000
Nov. 16-20, 2010--Final round of five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series
Ensenada, Baja California, to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico -- 1061.69 miles


MEXICO'S VILDOSOLASf AMPUDIA JR. LEADING 292 STARTERS THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF 43RD TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000


JCR/Honda Team Dominating Motorcycle Action on Tough 1061.69-mile Baja California Course

ENSENADA, Mexico -- Gustavo Vildosola Jr., and Sr. along with fellow Mexican racer Rodrigo Ampudia Jr., are currently pacing the overall four-wheel action Thursday near midway through the opening day of the 43rd edition of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 as the team attempts to make race history in the 1061.69-mile run from Ensenada from La Paz in Baja California.

Gustavo Jr., 28, and Gustavo Sr., 57, of Mexicali, Mexico, and third driver Rodrigo Ampudia Jr. are seeking to become the first Mexican nationals to capture the overall title in the "Granddaddy of all Desert Racing" in their No. 21 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck. No Mexican driver has won the TECATE SCORE Baja 1000 overall in the 43-year race history.

The Vildosolas came close to the overall victory in 2007 when they placed second to winners Mark Post and Rob MacCachren in the 40th anniversary event that finished in Cabo San Lucas.

With 292 starters leaving the Ensenada starting line Thursday morning, competitors from 37 states and 19 countries battled in the roughed terrain in cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in 33 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes. Massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 have lined the historic Baja peninsula to gain a glimpse of the competitors. Motorcyles and ATVs began leaving the start line in 30-second intervals at 6:32 a.m. Thursday while the first SCORE Trophy-Truck left the line at 11:45 a.m.

In the motorcycle categories, the Johnny Campbell's JCR/Honda Racing team with lead rider Kendall Norman was dominating the overall two-wheel action Thursday followed by another Campbell squad led by Colton Udall. K. Norman's chief competition in the event was the Dan Pearson-led KTM contingent with only one minute separating the top two riders in the first 200 miles. However, Pearson's motorcycle retired from the race at mile 220 with an engine failure.

Challenging the Vildosola team in the SCORE Trophy-Truck division Thursday was 2008 TECATE SCORE Baja 1000 overall winner Roger Norman, who is attempting to win by driving solo the entire distance. Norman, driving a Ford F-150, was within three minutes of the Vildosola pair in the middle of the race with former SCORE Desert Series SCORE Trophy-Truck point champion B.J. Baldwin just eight minutes behind the leaders. Defending SCORE Trophy-Truck Series champion and NASCAR Sprint Cup regular Robby Gordon was holding down the fifth position in the middle of the event in his Chevrolet CK1500.

Other early class leaders included Daniel McMillin in Class 1, Hector Garcia in SCORE Lite, Nils Castillo inProtruck and Peter Hajas in Class 10.

This year's TECATE SCORE Baja 1000 is the 36th time in the first 43 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it is the 18th time it is finishing in La Paz. The 292 starters represents the third highest number in the 18 years it has finished in La Paz and it is the 11th highest total in the 43-year history of the race. The first motorcycle left the Ensenada starting line at 6:30 a.m. PST with the first truck, R. Norman, taking the green flag at 11:22 a.m. PDT. The course will officially close at 10:02 a.m. PDT on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The fastest vehicles in the elapsed time race are expected to complete the course between 18 and 19 hours as all vehicles have a 45-hour time limit to complete the race.

-source: score

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