Race-record 387 already entered for June 1-3 race In Ensenada, Mexico, Round 3 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series LOS ANGELES--Noted chassis builder Mike Julson, young Hollywood actor Max Theriot, journeyman Marc Francke and veteran desert ...
Race-record 387 already entered for June 1-3 race In Ensenada, Mexico, Round 3 of six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series
LOS ANGELES--Noted chassis builder Mike Julson, young Hollywood actor Max Theriot, journeyman Marc Francke and veteran desert racer Carmen Cafro all drew pole positions in their respective classes during Friday's computerized drawing for starting positions in the upcoming 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Round 3 of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature over 450 entries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 1-3 in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 150,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world's best desert racers in action at this year's Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
For the first time in race history, Volkswagen of America officially entered two of its Dakar Rally factory teams. Driven by American Mark Miller and South African Giniel De Vilers, the two turbo-diesel VW Taureg midsize Sport Utility Vehicles will compete in a special SCORE Int'l Truck class.
"What an amazing lineup, both in quantity and quality, is entering this year's 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO and President. "The world's greatest desert racers will be coming to Mexico and SCORE is honored to have two factory Volkswagen teams join us at this great event. Powered by VW turbo-diesel engines, Volkswagen will show our sport a glimpse of the future with these types of powerplants. VW engines have long been a staple in desert racing, and it will be very interesting to see how these new diesels perform in Baja."
With late entries excepted up to race morning, over 450 entries are expected from 29 U.S. States, Mexico, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa. The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 1) 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 10 a.m.JThe race-record 387 that entered in time for Friday's drawing represent 60 more than the previous record set last year with 327.
Julson, 49, of Descanso, Calif., will drive the No. 20 Jimco Racing Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck built in his Jimco raceshop. Jimco is the leading car chassis builder in desert racing and has earned SCORE Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer of the year award 13 times.
Thieriot, 18, Petaluma, Calif., is a budding young Hollywood actor who races with his father Cam Thieriot and veteran desert racer Glenn Harris. Thieriot is currently sixth in Class 1 points for the year after finishes of ninth and seventh in the first two races of the year in the No. 101 RPS-Chevy.
Leading a veteran team that includes Dale Herron, James Hall and Jimmy Roberts, Francke, 32, Venice, Calif., drew first start in Class 22 to lead all of the motorcycle and ATV classes into the Baja desert. His team will ride the No. 2x Honda XR650R.
Cafro, 45, Vista, Calif., will lead a team of ATV champions to Mexico. Besides Cafro, teammates Lance Schoonmaker and Earl Thigpen all have ATV class wins in this race and they will ride the No. 21 Temecula Motorsports Honda TRX650 in Class 25.
All three overall winners from last year's race are all entered. Back to defend their overall 4-wheel vehicle and SCORE Trophy-Truck title is the team of Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz./Brian Collins, Las Vegas, in the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Chevy Silverado. Returning as the overall motorcycle and Class 22 champs is the team of Robby Bell, Murrieta, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif., on the No. 1x Honda CRF450X. Back to defend their overall ATV and Class 25 victory is the team of Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Carlsbad, Calif., on the No. 1a Honda TRX250R.
Ragland/Collins drew the ninth starting spot in SCORE Trophy-Truck while Bell/Norman will be 12th off the line in Class 22 while Prather/Cafro will start 10th in Class 25.
As of the Start draw, the Pro 4-Wheel vehicles classes with the most entries are: Class 1 (46), SCORE Trophy-Truck (39), SCORE Lite (25), and Class 1-2/1600 (21).
Leading the Motorcycle classes in entries so far are Class 22 (20), Class 30 (18), and with 17 each are Class 21 and Class 40.
Class 25 for open ATVs has 16 entries.
Among the Sportsman classes, SPT Motorcycles over 250cc has 37 entries and SPT ATV has 16.
Drawing the first start in SCORE Lite was Rick St. John, Carlsbad, Calif., in a Duvell-VW, while on the pole in Class 1-2/1600 will be Steven Eugenio, El Centro, Calif., in a Lothringer-VW.
Leading Class 30 (motorcycle riders over 30 years old) to the starting line will be the team led by Luis Valencia, of Rio Grande City, Texas.
Among the other early entries is venerable veteran Rod Hall, Reno, Nev., who has entered the Stock Mini class in a Hummer H3. Hall, 68, has 16 class wins in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Hall's oldest son Josh, 45, will drive a Hummer H2 in the Stock Full class.
Also among the entries today is another 16-time class winner, Larry Roeseler, 49, of Hesperia, Calif., who will start fourth in Class 1 with Troy Herbst, Las Vegas, in the Terrible Herbst Motorsports Smithbuilt-Ford.
Several crossover/celebrity racers are already entered in this year's race, led by NASCAR's Robby Gordon and Brendan Gaughan. Both second generation desert racers, Gordon, who has won this race three times, is a NASCAR Team Owner/Driver and is entered in SCORE Trophy-Truck while Gaughan, who is a NASCAR Truck Series driver, is entered in Class 1.
Seven-time World Rally Championship driver Armin Schwarz of Austria is returning to Baja for the second time to race in Class 1 and Pikes Peak Hill Climb record holder Rod Millen of New Zealand is back again to race in the Stock Mini class.
Millen's son Rhyss Millen, also a Pikes Peak Hill Climb veteran and a national drifting champion, will be a co-driver for Chet Huffman in SCORE Trophy-Truck.
Jamie Galles, a former Trans Am and Toyota Atlantic racer, will be a co-driver for Josh Rigsby in Class 1.
The three celebrity drivers who are all SCORE regulars are SCORE Trophy-Truck drivers Cameron Steele, Jesse James and MaxThieriot. Steele, who is a TV sports announcer for Supercross, X Games and Champ Cars, has entered three classes once again--SCORE Trophy-Truck, SCORE Lite and Class 22.
James, whose wife is legendary motion picture star Sandra Bullock, owns the world-famous West Cost Choppers company and was the star of the old Monster Garage television series.
The starting line area will once again be in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in downtown Ensenada, Mexico. The finish line will be where it was last year--inside the Campo de Softball Jose Negro Soto stadium at 11th Street (Calle Once)and Espinoza Avenue in Ensenada. The stadium is located approximately 1.5 miles east of the start line area. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race.
Pre-race festivities at the 39th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will include the colorful SCORE Midway and tech inspection between the San Nicolas Hotel and the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday (June 1). Racer registration will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the San Nicolas Hotel from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday (May 31) and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday (June 1).
The mandatory racer's briefing will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday (June 1) in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
At 11 a.m. on Sunday (June 3), the awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel.
As SCORE officials finalize the course layout for this year's race, pre-running will begin on Sat., May 19.
The 2007 SCORE Desert Series also includes the chase for the $75,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several 2007 SCORE Class point champions along with the run for the $12,000 Toyota True Grit and Toyota Milestone Awards.