2007 Baja 1000 course unveiled

SCORE releases 1,296.39-mile race course map Saturday at Off-Road Expo for 40th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Racers from 39 States, 13 countries entered in internationally-televised 40th anniversary of Granddaddy of all desert races; peninsula...

SCORE releases 1,296.39-mile race course map Saturday at Off-Road Expo for 40th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Racers from 39 States, 13 countries entered in internationally-televised
40th anniversary of Granddaddy of all desert races; peninsula run Nov. 10-16 in Mexico from Ensenada, Baja California to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

LOS ANGELES--Promising to add even more colorful lore to the already legend-filled desert race, SCORE International released Saturday the official 1,296.39-mile race course map for November's 40th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. To be held Nov. 10-16, this year's historic 40th anniversary odyssey of the world's most famous desert race will be a grueling and memorable adventure down Mexico's mysterious Baja California peninsula starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Sur.

The announcement was made from the SCORE Baja 1000 40th anniversary display at the first day of the massive Off-Road Expo being held through Sunday at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

An amazing total of 377 vehicles are entered to date and the length of the course is second only to the SCORE Baja 2000, the over 1,700-mile journey that started the new millennium that also was the only other time the race finished in Cabo San Lucas in its storied history.

This year's memorable internationally-televised adventure will cover the length of the rugged and tortuous Baja California peninsula, starting on the Pacific Ocean side and stretching across and down the majestic peninsula to the Sea of Cortez side and back to the Pacific before hugging the coastline to the finish line on the southernmost tip of Baja.

Over 400 entries from 40 U.S. States and 15 countries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs are expected to be part of this year's 40th anniversary tribute to the world's richest and most famous desert race. The granddaddy of all desert races is the season-finale of the six-race 2007 SCORE Desert Series, the world's foremost desert racing series.

"There are a couple of sections that have never been run before in the history of this great race and another section that was used only in 2000 so this will be a course for the ages," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO and President since soon after the Los Angeles-based SCORE International was founded in 1973. "Picture an artist's canvas and imagine painting every type of terrain from petrified rocks to silty sand to high-speed trails to tight-twisty mountain passes and you'll begin to capture the essence of what this incredible 40th anniversary race course will be like. Without a doubt, history will be made on a course that promises a thousand more SCORE Baja memories."

With massive crowds reaching over 300,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the point-to-point course, the race will start for the 33rd time in Ensenada and will finish for only the second time in Cabo San Lucas.

Open pre-running starting at race-mile 37.67 begins next Saturday (Oct. 13). Practice on the first section of the course will be allowed Nov. 9 through Nov. 12.

The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (PST) (Tuesday, Nov. 13) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 11 a.m. (PST), or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. The starting line will be on Blvd. Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 22 hours.

The finish line area in Cabo San Lucas will be inside the Campos de Futbol "Yenecamu" soccer fields next to the Villa del Palmar Resort, the official SCORE race headquarters. The SCORE Media Center and SCORE Race Operations will both be located at the Villa del Palmar. Passing times from all BFGoodrich Tires pit locations, of all vehicles, will be posted there as well to assist in monitoring the race progress.

Pre-race festivities on Monday, Nov. 12, for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including tech and contingency and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (PST) adjacent to Nico Saad's San Nicolas Hotel, the official SCORE race headquarters in Ensenada. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. (PST) at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (PST) on Sunday, Nov. 11 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (PST) on Monday, Nov. 12.

The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Award's Celebration will be held during the SCORE Fiesta in at the Playa Cascadas (adjacent to the Villa del Palmar) at noon on Friday, Nov. 16.

The four-wheel vehicle classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (32), Class 1 (29), Class 5/1600 (22), Class 1-2/1600 (21), Baja Challenge (18), SCORE Lite (15), and Protruck (12).

The motorcycle classes with the most entries in the drawing were: Class 22 (22), Class 40 (16) and Class 30 (11).

Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 45 entries to date.

This year's race course will feature 10 outlying checkpoints where each vehicle is required to quickly stop before continuing on. The checkpoints will be located as follows: Checkpoint No. 1--Santa Catarina (race mile 85.05), No. 2--San Telmo Road (rm 177.71), No. 3--El Rosario Wash (rm 306.21), No. 4--Coco's Corner (rm 441.97), No. 5--Bahia de Los Angeles (rm 519.09), No. 6--San Ignacio (rm 695.15), No. 7--Loreto (rm 867.59), No. 8--Insurgentes Crosssing @ KM 30 (rm 1,015.03), No. 9--Rancho Santa Fe (rm 1,120.38) and No. 10--El Refugio (rm 1,243.47)

NASCAR Nextel Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., whose roots are in SCORE desert racing, drew the fourth starting position in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the Team Gordon No. 71 Chevy CK1500. Gordon will again pull double-duty, driving the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 before flying to Homestead, Fla., to race in the NASCAR Nextel Cup season finale.

Also scheduled to return to their racing roots are NASCAR Truck Series regular Brendan Gaughan, Las Vegas, and NASCAR Grand National West Series regular Brian Ickler, Poway, Calif.

Among the other cross-over racers who are entered to date include World Rally champion Armin Schwarz, NASCAR Nextel Cup racer Boris Said, former IndyCar star Danny Sullivan, former NASCAR and open-wheel racer turned TV commentator Wally Dallenbach, actor/racer Patrick Dempsey, star of the ABC TV hit show 'Grey's Anatomy', former IndyCar racer Scott Atchison, Supercross motorcycle legends Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Johnson, Freestyle Motorcross superstar Mike Metzger, father and son Pike's Peak Hill Climb champions Rod and Rhys Millen, Snowmobile racers Paul Thacker and Chris Burandt, Snowboarder Luke Trembath, Rally racer Ken Block, TV show creator/producer Bud Brutsman, and BMX racer/TV personality Dave Mirra.

In his first full season in the SCORE Desert Series, TV personality Jesse James, of Monster Garage fame, will drive his new No. 54 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck.

Among the other early entries are Rod Hall, Reno, Nev., and Ron Bishop, Escondido, the only two individuals who have raced in all 39 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.

The legendary Hall, 69, of Reno, Nev., has a race-record 18 career class wins in this race and is the only driver to have competed every year in a car or truck class. Hall returns this year as the defending season point champion in a Hummer H3 in the Stock Mini class. His son's Chad and Josh will complete the Team Hummer entry, each driving different Hummers in the Stock Full Class.

Bishop, 64, who will lead a five-rider team as rider of record this year in Class 22, is the only racer who has competed every year on a motorcycle. He will be racing on a KTM 525XC motorcycle.

The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race course will be marked and open for pre-running on Saturday, October 13th.

Garron Cadiente in SCORE Trophy-Truck and Richard Lancaster in Class 22 for open motorcycles drew the pole positions for the 40th anniversary of the desert racing classic at a 'live' drawing for starting positions at the Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Casino on Sept. 22.

Cadiente, 31, of Mesa, Ariz., was the 2006 SCORE Rookie of the year and is third in this year's SCORE Trophy-Truck season point standings after winning September's SCORE Terrible's Primm 300 in the No. 38 G&R Racing Ford F-150. There are 32 entries so far in the SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for 800-horsepower, high-tech, unlimited production trucks.

Lancaster, 29, Santa Margarita, Calif., will lead 21 entries (to date) in Class 22 for open motorcycles on the No. 2x Honda XR650R. His additional riders are Peter Hardy, Pozo, Calif., John Kaisersatt, Los Osos, Calif., Fred Jowett, Atascadero, Calif., and Chris Whalley, Topanga, Calif.

Drawing the first start in the ATV classes was the championship team led by Danny Prather, 27, Ramona, Calif., who will ride the No. 1a American Honda factory Honda TRX450R in Class 25. His teammates are Mike Cafro, Bonsall, Calif., Levi Marana, Ramona, Calif., and Marc Speath, Warner Springs, Calif.

It's the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula.

This year's Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the fourth consecutive year, airing on Dec. 30 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.

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.

The race will also include the special $40,000 cash contingency purse provided by Volkswagen of America.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Boris Said , Robby Gordon , Rhys Millen , Danny Sullivan , Rod Hall , Jeremy McGrath , Armin Schwarz , Brendan Gaughan , Mike Metzger , Ken Block , Patrick Dempsey , Dave Mirra , Brian Ickler , Jesse James , Scott Atchison