Suzuki expands associate sponsorship

American Suzuki expands sponsorship of SCORE to include 2006 Rookie of the Year; SCORE Medical support at SCORE Baja 1000 Set for Nov. 15-18, internationally-televised granddaddy of all desert races will be a peninsula run to La Paz; Awards ...

American Suzuki expands sponsorship of SCORE to include 2006 Rookie of the Year; SCORE Medical support at SCORE Baja 1000

Set for Nov. 15-18, internationally-televised granddaddy of all desert races will be a peninsula run to La Paz; Awards Celebration will be held for the first time on the Malecon boardwalk

LOS ANGELES--American Suzuki has expanded its associate sponsorship of the 2006 SCORE Desert Series by adding a special award for the 2006 SCORE Rookie of the Year as well as a unique program to help enhance the extensive SCORE Medical operations for the upcoming 39th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, it was announced today by Sal Fish, President/CEO of Los Angeles-based SCORE International.

Suzuki, in the second year of its current sponsor program with the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, will provide the 2006 SCORE Rookie of the Year with a choice of either a Suzuki RM-Z450 Motocross Motorcycle or a Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 ATV.

Further, Suzuki has donated to SCORE an additional Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 ATV for the distinct purpose of being raffled off with all proceeds going to expand the resources, equipment and overall operations of the highly-regarded SCORE Medical and Rescue team for November's granddaddy of all desert races. This year's season finale of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series will be an intense endurance race down the Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada and finishing in La Paz. It will be held Nov. 15-18.

The legendary race will again be televised in the U.S. as a one-hour sports special on NBC TV for the third consecutive year and for the first time, through the efforts of SCORE TV production partner Aura360, will be televised worldwide on ESPN International. Second unit personnel from Spyglass Entertainment, who is producing a full-length feature film about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, will also be doing research and scene shots at the event.

"American Suzuki has been an extremely pro-active sponsorship partner with SCORE for nearly two years and we salute the initiative they have taken in adding these new elements to their 2006 associate sponsorship with SCORE," said Fish, who has been at the helm of SCORE since shortly after it was founded in 1973. "It will be very special to honor our 2006 SCORE Rookie of the Year with this special bonus. Additionally, our SCORE Medical and Rescue team, which already is as good as it gets in the world of motorsports, will benefit significantly from this significant Suzuki donation."

The Motorcycle/ATV Division of American Suzuki Motor Corporation, Brea, Calif., was founded in 1963 by Suzuki Motor Corporations. ASMC markets motorcycles and ATVs via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. ASMC's parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation, based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, automobiles and marine engines. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, it has 120 distributors in 191 countries.

"American Suzuki and SCORE desert racing share many common goals, not the least of which emphasizes a strong and dynamic grassroots racing program and we are excited to increase our 2006 involvement with SCORE in these two different, but very relevant programs, " said Mel Harris, Suzuki's Vice President of Marketing. "SCORE International is the premier desert racing organization in the world and there isn't a better place for American Suzuki to be to reach this sizeable market demographic."

The Suzuki RM-Z450 Motocross Motorcycle won this year's AMA National Motorcross and Supercross championships and the Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 ATV captured the 2006 WPSA ATV Series crown.

Suzuki's continuing on-site presence at SCORE events remains intact, including banners, inflatables and numerous trash receptacles The trash containers help SCORE maintain its program of leaving the desert areas they use cleaner than they were before each event.

For this year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Team Suzuki will enter a factory team in the open Class 22 motorcycle class with X-Games superstar Travis Pastrana as the rider of record, joined by SCORE motorcycle race winners Andy Grider and Mouse McCoy.

SCORE announced in June that the course will go through Loreto in Baja California Sur for the first time. Logistically, the race route has never been able to go through Loreto because there were no existing trails or dirt roads from the original course in Baja California Sur. Through the efforts of the Loreto race organization, whose desire is to make Loreto a major desert-racing destination, a trail to town and back out again has been developed from Canipole through the Wash and back to San Javier's Mission. The new section of approximately 60 miles, will re-join the previously-used course near the San Javier Mission. Now, racers during pre-running, along with support crews and spectators during the race, will be able to stop and stay in Loreto with easy access to the race course.

SCORE confirmed in June that the finish line for the granddaddy of all desert races will be in La Paz, Baja California Sur, for the 17th time, SCORE International, the world's foremost desert racing organization, has signed an extensive marketing and promotional agreement with the government of Baja California Sur along with the Department of Tourism for Baja California Sur. The 'city of peace' is where the legend of one of the world's most famous motorsports events began in 1967.

With festivities set for Nov. 15-18, the start for the world's oldest and most prestigious desert race for the 32nd time will be Ensenada, Mexico, located on Todos Santos Bay on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja California peninsula, 65 miles south of the U.S. Border near San Diego. The start line will again be on Boulevard Costera, adjacent to the Rivera del Pacifico Cultural Center.

With more than 300 anticipated entries, competition will be held in 27 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. La Paz is located on the Sea of Cortez, near the Southern tip of the Baja California peninsula. When finalized, the complete route for this year's race will again cover more than 1,000 miles of the mysterious and foreboding Baja California peninsula.

SCORE previously announced that for the first time in the event's history, the awards celebration for this year's race will be held alongside of the Sea of Cortez on the malecon boardwalk in the heart of downtown La Paz. The SCORE awards fiesta on Saturday, Nov. 18, starting at noon, will include live music, entertainers and race vendors, the class-winning vehicles along with a special display area honoring all of the survivors of the grueling odyssey. As in past years, the race will finish on the outskirts of the city.

The race will finish in La Paz for the first time since 2004. The 16 previous years the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 finished in La Paz were: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1979, 1982, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2002 and 2004.

Annually, the popular Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 draws entries from over 30 U.S. States and approximately one dozen other countries. From Snowboarding to NASCAR, the race draws a number of crossover racers.

Besides this race from Ensenada to La Paz, the 2006 SCORE Desert Series schedule includes five completed races. The season began on Jan. 12-15 at the 12th SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in Laughlin, Nev., and continued March 10-12 with the 20th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, the 38th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in Baja California, Mexico and the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible's Cup II (July 27-29) at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and last weekend's 11th SCORE Las Vegas Primm 300 (Sept. 8-10) in Primm, Nev..

-credit: score

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