Pre-raceaction starts Tuesday for over 300 entries from 37 States, 19 countries in internationally-televised desert race down Mexico's Baja California peninsula ENSENADA, Mexico--Colorful pre-race festivities begin Tuesday for the 43rd ...
Pre-raceaction starts Tuesday for over 300 entries from 37 States, 19 countries in internationally-televised desert race down Mexico's Baja California peninsula
ENSENADA, Mexico--Colorful pre-race festivities begin Tuesday for the 43rd Anniversary celebration of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race, but when the green flag drops on Thursday morning in Ensenada, Baja California, the racing will be as intense as it gets with 2010 SCORE Desert Series season point championships on the line. The granddaddy of all desert races, which is the season-finale of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series will be held on Mexico's magnificently mysterious Baja California peninsula Tuesday through Saturday.
With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 33 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in the internationally televised race, entries have come from 37 U.S. states and 19 countries. Among the entries are 27 Pro class winners from last year's race. Late entries will be accepted up until race morning.
Massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 are anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged 1,061.69-mile course that travels on both sides of the peninsula as the world's most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz in Baja California Sur.
This is the 43rd anniversary of the race shrouded in mystery that continues to lure adventurers and manufacturers from across the globe who all share the dream to conquer the Baja.
The race will start on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada at 6:30 a.m. (PST) Thursday with the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed at approximately 11:30 a.m. with the start of the car and truck classes. It will finish on the outskirts of La Paz near the Grand Plaza Hotel, race headquarters for the southern half of the event. Vehicles will start in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and all vehicles will have a 45-hour time limit to become official finishers. The fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course between 18 and 19 hours.
This year will be the 36th time in the first 43 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 18th time it has finished in La Paz.
In addition to the 37 U.S. States, racers have entered from Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the US Territory of Guam.
While all the rugged regulars in the world's foremost desert racing series are headed to Mexico, the lure of this amazing race also attracts crossover racers as well as adventurers from all walks of life.
The talented field of desert-racing veterans includes 109 racers who have combined for 323 class wins in this race. In that group are 13 racers who have combined for a total of 39 overall 4-wheel vehicle wins and six more riders who have combined for a total of 27 overall motorcycle victories. Included in the past overall winner's group are the last six 4-Wheel winners and the last 13 motorcycle winners.
Pre-race festivities Wednesday for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including the vastly popular tech and contingency of all vehicles and the SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer registration starts today at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel and will go through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The post-race awards celebration and fiesta will be held on the Malecon in downtown La Paz, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday. The entire event will be conducted on Pacific Standard Time.
One of the special entries this year is three-time SCORE Baja 1000 overall champion Ivan Stewart who will drive the final section to the finish line in a Toyota 4Runner in the Stock Mini class. Stewart has a total of 22 career class wins in the three SCORE Baja races.
Among the other entries venerable Hall, Reno, Nev., the only individual who has raced in all 42 previous Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 races.
The legendary Hall has a race-record 21 career class wins in this event and is the only driver to have competed every year (all in a car or truck class). Hall, who will turn 73 on Nov. 22, will be looking for two more class wins this year as he is entered as the second driver for his sons Josh and Chad Hall in SCORE Trophy-Truck in the new No. 61 Rod Hall Racing Chevy Silverado and in Stock Full as a driver for Sam Edgar in the No. 861 Hummer H3Alpha. As a family, the Halls have 33 class wins in this race as Chad has eight and Josh has won his class four times.
After four events, Andy McMillin and his father Scott McMillin (No. 31 SCORE Trophy-Truck) have just a six point lead over Jesse Jones (No. 76 SCORE Trophy-Truck) in both SCORE Trophy-Truck and the 2010 SCORE Overall point standings. Third and fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck are Nick Vanderwey (No. 84) and Robbie Pierce (No. 30) while fifth is Class 1 point leaders Kory Halopoff and Harley Letner. In the class point battles, Class 1-2/1600 and Class 22 for open motorcycles are the tightest. In Class 1-2/1600, Hiram Duran and his brothers Eric and Evan, lead Luke McMillin by just one point. In Class 22, the team of Colton Udall/Timmy Weigand lead the No. 1x of Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody by seven points. The overall motorcycle point leaders however are the Class 30 leaders, led by rider of record Francisco Septien, who have just a two-point margin over Class 40 leaders, led by rider of record Louie Franco and four points over Udall/Weigand.
SCORE points are based on starting and finishing as well as the number of starters in each class and placement position in every race. All class titles will go down to the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (35), Class 1 (21) and Class 1-2/1600 (15) and SCORE Lite (14).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 for open motorcycles has the most entries to date with 11.
Leading the seven Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 41 entries so far.
Veteran desert racer Roger Norman received the first starting position during the computerized drawing for the race in October. While the 2008 SCORE Baja 1000 overall winner (with Larry Roeseler) will pilot his No. 8 Norman Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck, starting first among the motorcycle and ATV classes will be Gabriel Williams, of Provo, Utah, on a Honda CRF450X motorcycle. Both of these racers will be competing solo with no assistance from another driver or rider.
Drawing the first start among the ATV classes was the Class 25 team led by Felipe Velez, San Felipe, Mexico, who will ride a Honda TRX700XX.
The challenging race course for this year is very similar to 2006, the last time the race finished in La Paz, although the terrain has obviously changed significantly because of weather conditions and natural use. Andy McMillin teamed with Robby Gordon to with the 2006 SCORE Overall 4-wheel and SCORE Trophy-Truck title in the race.
With 10 mandatory checkpoints and 20 visual checkpoints spread down the peninsula, the course starts on the Pacific Ocean-side of Baja California in Ensenada and heads southeast to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez before heading south through Coco's Corner, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, back to the Pacific at San Juanico, then back to the Sea of Cortez at Loreto, back to the Pacific at Ciudad Insurgentes heading down along the Pacific through Santa Rita before turning back east and down into La Paz for the finish.
All entries are provided with GPS programs defining the course and all are required to utilize special data recording devices that plot the actual route and speeds each vehicle takes during the mammoth race.
Under the sponsorship of BFGoodrich Tires and production services of Aura360, live tracking will be available through the special www.baja1k.com website and www.BFGoodrichTires.com websites will have live audio and video steaming updates starting with contingency, from the start/finish line and other locations around the course will be available at www.thebajaunlimited, and www.DirtNewz.com. Living tracking will be available also at www.racetheworld.net. Another popular internet site, www.race-dezert.com, will offer special news coverage, live audio streaming of SCORE race operations as well as unofficial timing updates and split times from several locations on the course.
In 2010, BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating its 35th year in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for three and a half decades, BFG has been the tire of choice for 23 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including 23 of the last 24 years and a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005.
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 seventh consecutive year, airing on Dec. 19 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International. It is being produced again by Aura360, SCORE's electronic media partner, in association with SCORE.
As a special incentive to help bolster entries for the relatively new Class 4, Langley Productions owner and SCORE racer John Langley has posted a special winner-take-all $10,000 SCORE/COPS Racing/BFG Tires bonus for the first-place finisher in the class for unlimited open-wheel, single or two-seat desert race cars with either a limited 2.2 or 2.4-liter GMC Ecotec sealed engine. COPS Racing, named for the popular television series produced by Langley Productions, has three vehicles entered in this year's race in three different classes.
This race also features the prestigious Sal Fish SCORE IronRider awards presented to each motorcycle or ATV rider who completes the course within the time limit while riding solo. To date, 20 individuals have declared that they will be attempting to complete the course riding solo, 19 on Motorcycles and one on an ATV.
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 25th consecutive year, a total of 17 drivers remain eligible after Round 4 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series. The total mileage for the 2010 season will be 2,133.88 miles. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.