This week in Laughlin, Nev.
Former champs B.J. Baldwin, Gordon, MacCachren, Weyhrichs leading 29 SCORE Trophy-Trucks to 17th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge
Pre-race festivities Friday:
SCORE Trophy-Truck Qualifying at 1:30 p.m., the $16,000
SCORE Laughlin Leap at 7 p.m.
LOS ANGELES--Two-time champion B.J. Baldwin along with former champions Robby Gordon, Rob MacCachren and brothers Mark Weyhrich and Gary Weyhrich return to the banks of the Colorado River this week to lead a stellar field of 29 SCORE Trophy-Trucks entered in the 17th Annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
For the 17th straight year, motorsports fans and racers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Denmark and Germany will convene in Laughlin, Nev., the desert resort town near the shores of the Colorado River for the popular SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge. The first major motorsports event of the year in the United States will be held Friday through Sunday, launching the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series.
With 19 classes of cars and trucks divided into five groups, the single race is divided into multi-lap segments split over two days. Starting at 7 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, each group will race a pre-determined amount of laps each day over the fan-friendly 6.25-mile loop. The featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division will run 8 laps over the 6.25-mile course at 1 p.m. each day followed by the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars that will run their 8 laps at 3 p.m. each day.
The combined elapsed time and number of laps completed from both days will determine the final finishing position for each vehicle. Two vehicles will leave the start line every 15 seconds.
Over 125 expected entries, from 14 U.S. States, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Mexico will compete in 19 classes for cars and trucks for nearly $300,000 in prize money and contingency postings during the three-day SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
One of the event's most popular features, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, revs up the fun and helps get the weekend off. The SCORE Laughlin Leap will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday. The SCORE Laughlin Leap will start with a fireworks display.
Drivers will enjoy the spotlight at the Laughlin Events Park, competing for a $16,000 purse, the SCORE Laughlin Leap, a dirt ramp built into the middle of the stadium portion of the race course, challenges the most daring of drivers. This year's competitors will be attempting to break the event record in the SCORE Laughlin Leap of 161' 6" set in 2009 by Larry Roeseler in the Norman Motorsports Ford F-150.
For the fourth straight year, qualifying for starting positions for the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division will be held this Friday before the race from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. With free admission to the grandstand seating area, SCORE Trophy-Truck qualifying will feature each truck being timed over one solo lap of the 6.25-mile course to determine the start order in that class for Saturday's first half of the race.
Friday's pre-race activities will start with the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway and vendor's village from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the heart of Laughlin. SCORE Contingency, which includes each vehicle being pushed down the lanes in front of the displays, will be held in front of the Edgewater and Colorado Belle Hotels on Casino Drive.
Tickets are on sale through the visitlaughlin.com website with three designated spectator areas and a special VIP section as well. Three-day passes are also available.
A total of 19 different classes for cars and trucks are split into five groups, each running as part of multiple-lap races over the much-abbreviated 6.25-mile loop each day. Racing action runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The marquee racing division is SCORE Trophy-Truck, featuring high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with 29 entries so far and the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars with 26 entries to date have the largest entry fields in the race. The other classes with the largest entry fields are SCORE Lite with 12 and Class 1-2/1600 with 10.
The Laughlin Events Park, with grandstand seating, vendor's village and food court is just minutes from the destinations eight resorts and includes an infield with switchbacks, whoops, minijumps and the SCORE Laughlin Leap.
Daily general admission tickets, good for grandstand seating, are $20 each per day for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, children 10 and under are free. Daily VIP tickets are $40 each per day for the each day, good for admission to the Laughlin Hospitality Chalet, including food, beverage and special seating.
Facing the infield stadium seating area will be the video monitors, showing footage from around the race course.
Tickets, priced at $5 each per person, will also be available each race day (Saturday and Sunday) for 'SCORE Hill', which overlooks the infield, start/finish area and the main pits. The SCORE Hill will have grandstands and standing room areas along with vendors, concessions and the other public safety services available.
The Laughlin Tourism Commission is also selling three-day general admission passes for $50 and three-day VIP passes for $100. With the purchase of a general admission or VIP ticket, spectators can also buy pit passes for an additional $10 per day.
The newest spectator area, dubbed the Cougar Corral, opened in 2008 adjacent to Laughlin High School off of Cougar Drive, allows entry at $10 per person, as space allows for vehicles as well as walk-in spectators, to the backside of the course with a view of much of the 6.25-mile loop. Tickets for the Laughlin High spectator area will be available only on each day of racing (Saturday and Sunday) at the entrance off of Cougar Drive.
Since its debut in 1995, the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge has helped establish Laughlin as a viable host for special events. Thousands of spectators join over 100 of the world's best desert racers and their crews in converging on the city each year to watch the best of the best desert racers compete in a unique-format, two-day race that includes a temporary stadium surrounding the start/finish line area and the main pits.
The 17th annual SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is sponsored by the Laughlin Tourism Commission, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in association with Las Vegas Events. The race is sanctioned and produced by SCORE International of Los Angeles.