Rd 2, 2009 SCORE Desert Series Collins looking to repeat as pre-running starts Saturday for 23rd Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 Nearly 225 cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs from 20 U.S. States, six countries expected in March 14 popular desert race...
Rd 2, 2009 SCORE Desert Series
Collins looking to repeat as pre-running starts Saturday for 23rd Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
Nearly 225 cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs from 20 U.S. States, six countries expected in March 14 popular desert race in Mexico; Motorcycle and ATV classes to be featured on NBC Sports show
LOS ANGELES--As pre-running starts Saturday for next month's 23rd Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, veteran Las Vegas desert racer Brian Collins and his Collins Motorsports team are finalizing plans to repeat as overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck winners of the popular spring race. With four class wins in this race, Collins is the defending Overall winner in this event in the No. 12 Collins Motorsports Dodge Ram1500.
Round 2 of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series will be held March 13-15 in Mexico's quaint and picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
With nearly 225 entries from 20 U.S. States and six countries expected to compete in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the 232.4-mile race, the green flag will drop at 6 a.m. local time on Saturday, March 14, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. local time. The start line for the race will once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. The race will finish just south of the Arches, directly behind the Tecate building. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with a 10-hour time limit to become an official finisher.
Following January's season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series will visit Mexico for the first of three races in 2009.
"We appreciate all that the Mexican officials have done to provide us with the same race route as last year as well as continuing all of the other safety-related support they provide for all of the SCORE Baja races," said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO. "This will be another exciting a memorable adventure and we look forward to spending 'Spring Break' in San Felipe with the world's best desert racers."
This year's race will use the same 232.4-mile race course as 2008, running in a counter clockwise direction out of San Felipe up to and then back West along Highway 3 and back South and down through three of the most picturesque and challenging washes in all of Baja.
After the start at the landmark San Felipe Arches, the race will proceed north towards Zoo Road. The area approaching the Zoo Road crossing was bladed last year, making a safer approach to the popular spectator area. That area will again be fenced and patrolled so that spectators can watch the action but not put themselves in way of the action.
This will be one of the few times that SCORE will run through the majestic Matomi Wash in the early part of the race instead of near the end. After Matomi, the challenging course will run through two more of the infamous Baja washes--Azufre and Huatomote before heading back Northwest for the final 19.6 miles to the finish line.
Collins, who also captured the overall victory in this race in 1990 to give him two career San Felipe overalls, is one of 10 overall San Felipe race winners out of the last 13 years who is entered this year.
"We have done pretty well in the SCORE San Felipe 250 over the years and running the same course this year will help our mental as well as physical preparation for the race," said Collins, who has five career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins in the 15-plus year history of the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks. Among his victories were back-to-back triumphs in the 2006 and 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
Leading the way of returning overall winners with three victories are Las Vegas brothers Tim and Ed Herbst (1999, 2000, 2001) who after taking last year off of desert racing will debut their new No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck.
Mark Post, Laguna Beach, Calif. also has three San Felipe overall wins, one in Class 1 (1998) and two in SCORE Trophy-Truck (2004, 2007). Post won with Jerry Whelchel in 1998 and 2004 and in 2007, his second driver was current teammate Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, in the No. 3 Riviera Racing Ford F-150.
MacCachren has two San Felipe overall wins, having also won in 2003 as the second driver for Mexico's Gus Vildosola. Vildosola will be the second driver this year for his son Gus Vildosola Jr., in the popular No. 4 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck.
NASCAR's Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, who is the current SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point leader after his season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, won in San Felipe in 1996 and will be driving this year in the No. 77 Robby Gordon Racing Chevy CK1500.
Curt LeDuc, Cherry Valley, Calif., won the San Felipe overall in 1997 and will be second driver this year for Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix, in the No. 84 Flying Dutchmen Chevy Silverado.
SCORE Trophy-Trucks have won 13 overalls in San Felipe in their 15-year history. Post/Whelchel in 1997 and San Diego's son/father team of Andy and Scott McMillin (2005) have the only two Class 1 wins since SCORE debuted the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division in 1994.
Champion Southern California desert racers Damen Jefferies and Robby Bell received the pole positions for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles in the computerized drawing for starting positions held Feb. 21. Jefferies races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Bell competes in Class 22 for open motorcycles.
Jefferies, 36, of Apple Valley, Calif., is a veteran SCORE desert racer who has three career SCORE Class season point titles in three different classes, including the 1997 SCORE Overall point championships. Also a successful desert chassis builder, Jefferies is racing the No. 22 Jefferies Racing Chevy Silverado this year with Luis Ramirez Jr. of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Jefferies is eighth in his class point standings this year after finishing fifth last season.
Bell, 23, of Sun City, Calif., has left the factory Honda team after winning the two-wheel overall title in San Felipe the last three years and will be teamed with another former Honda rider Mike Childress on the No. 1x Kawasaki KX450F. Bell drew the first start last year as well for the JCR team owned by SCORE Baja racing legend Johnny Campbell.
SCORE Trophy-Truck has the most entries to date with 20, followed by Class 1-2/1600 with 15 and the unlimited Class 1 with 14. Late registration will be accepted up until race morning and as many as 30 more entries are expected.
Besides Collins and Bell the other defending class winners expected back this year are: Germany's Armin Schwarz (Class 1), Adam Pfankuch, Carlsbad, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600), Donald Moss, Sacramento (Class 3), Marcos Nunez, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600), John Holmes, Olivenhain, Calif. (Class 7SX), Rodrigo Ampudia Jr., Ensenada, Mexico (Class 8), Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11), Anna Cody, Simi Valley, Calif. (Class 20), Jim O'Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. (Class 30), Bret Helm, Poway, Calif. (Class 40-Scott Myers is rider of record this year) and Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 25).
Also back to defend his Sportsman class win among those entered to date is Sportsman Car winner Peter Lang.
The pre-race Manufacturer's Midway and tech inspection of the vehicles in the race will be held on Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the picturesque Malecon, flanked by the Sea of Cortez on one side and the popular restaurants and night clubs of San Felipe on the other.
At 10 a.m. on Sunday (March 15), the awards celebration will be held in front of The Beachcomber Night Club on the Malecon.
Through the efforts of SCORE's electronic media partner, Aura360, SCORE has also announced that the motorcycle and ATV race will be featured in the April 26 NBC Sports telecast of the Jeep World of Adventure Sport.
This will mark the third time these classes have been featured on that NBC show and Aura360 will also produce a complete-race DVD on the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 for the first time. For the past five years, Aura360 has produced special DVDs of both the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races. The special DVD from the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, featuring the 43-minute NBC broadcast of the race along with special never-before-seen bonus coverage is on sale now through www.thebajaunlimited.com.
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 car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 24th consecutive year, a total of 52 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series.
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, Off-Road, American Suzuki, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie's Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
Associate sponsors for the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 are the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe, and Cotuco.
The race annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the entire month-long 'Spring Break'.
For more information regarding the series, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2009 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.