Baja 500: Pre-event news 2008-05-21

13 overall wins for VW-powered vehicles SCORE Int'l selects Volkswagen as official Grand Marshall for 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Anniversary Celebration May 29-June 1 event in Ensenada has entries from 24 States, 9 countries; VW major part of...

13 overall wins for VW-powered vehicles
SCORE Int'l selects Volkswagen as official Grand Marshall for 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Anniversary Celebration

May 29-June 1 event in Ensenada has entries from 24 States, 9 countries; VW major part of sport since it started

LOS ANGELES--Moving away from the tradition individual selection, SCORE International has announced that a manufacturer--Volkswagen--part of the sport of desert racing since it began in 1967, has been selected as the Grand Marshall for this month's 40th anniversary celebration of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the second-oldest desert race in the world.

Round 3 of the five-race 2008 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, featuring over 300 entries, competing in 27 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held May 29-June 1 in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world's best desert racers in action at this year's 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

With late entries accepted up to race morning, entries are expected for the 441.15-mile race from 24 U.S. States from Hawaii to Connecticut along with the additional countries of Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Japan. The green flag will drop for the elapsed-time race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (May 31) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 9:30 a.m. In the elapsed-time race, motorcycles and ATVs will start one every 15 seconds, while the faster car/truck classes will start one every 30 seconds and the slower ones will start in 15-second intervals. All starters will have a 20-hour time limit to become official finishers.

"SCORE is humbled and honored that Volkswagen would accept our invitation to be recognized as the first manufacturer to ever be selected as 'Grand Marshall' of a SCORE desert race," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since shortly after it was founded in 1973. "It is only fitting that the vehicle that has been such an integral part of our sport since its beginning should be congratulated in this manner."

Representing Volkswagen, SCORE's first official vehicle in 1973 and currently back in the same relationship with SCORE, at the race will be Clark Campbell, Volkswagen of America Motorsport Manager. In 1973, the eclectic VW Thing was SCORE's Official Vehicle and now it is the sophisticated Volkswagen Touareg mid-sized SUVs.

Volkswagen has been a mainstay in desert racing, with a long and winning history, including in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Vehicles powered by sturdy and depending air-cooled Volkswagen engines have earned a race-high 13 overall victories in this race. The first was in 1971 when veteran Hollywood stunt driver Bobby Ferro drove a Funco-VW to victory circle.

Last year, Volkswagen of America successfully raced two Dakar Rally turbo-diesel Volkswagen Race Touareg 2's in a special class in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, finishing an impressive 11th and 18th overall out of a SCORE-record 492 total starters.

Currently, Volkswagen is building a turbo-diesel Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 to begin competing in the elite SCORE Trophy-Truck division. Plans call for the new TDI diesel race vehicle, driven by American desert racing stars Mark Miller and Ryan Arciero, to debut at this November's 41st annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

This race began in 1969 under the auspices of the old NORRA organization and SCORE began its enduring run on July 26, 1974. This year is the 35th anniversary of the first SCORE race in Baja.

Founded in 1973 by the late Mickey Thompson, current SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish has been the principal in the desert racing organization since 1974.

SCORE currently has three Pro classes open exclusively to VW Baja Bugs, Beetles, Rabbits (Class 5, Class 5/1600) and VW Sedans (Class 11). Three additional classes (Class 1-2/1600, SCORE Lite and Class 9) are required to have VW powerplants exclusively in open-wheel desert race cars. The Unlimited Class 1 and Class 10 car classes have an option of using a VW motor.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Mark Miller