Baja 1000: Pre-race news 2008-10-21

Over 350 entries expected from SCORE Trophy-Truck to M/C Sidecar, 37 U.S. States, 15 countries among entries in 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races to be held Nov. 19-23 in Ensenada, Baja ...

Over 350 entries expected from SCORE Trophy-Truck to M/C Sidecar, 37 U.S. States, 15 countries among entries in 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races to be held Nov. 19-23 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

LOS ANGELES--Legends have a way of becoming even more legendary as time goes by and with over 350 entries from across the world, November's 41st Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 promises to add even more diamonds in the brilliant crown of the world-famous Granddaddy of all desert races.

From Connecticut to Florida and Alaska to Hawaii in the U.S. and from Japan to Australia and England to New Zealand, entries for the internationally-televised greatest spectacle of desert racing in the world have come from 37 U.S. States and 15 countries. With over 350 entries expected to enter in 28 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, the greatest spectacle of desert racing in the world will be held Nov. 19-23 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

Completing its 35th year as the World's foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2008 SCORE Desert Series.

While a majority of the international entries are motorcycles and ATVs, non-US entries appear in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division along with the unlimited Class 1 and most of the car and truck classes as well.

From SCORE Trophy-Truck, where there are entries from Mexico and Canada along with the U.S., there is also an international entry in the special Sportsman Sidecar motorcycle class with an international rally team with riders from Switzerland and Italy.

With entries accepted up until the start of the race (Friday, Nov. 21), among the 319 vehicles entered to date are racers from five continents.

In addition to the United States and host country Mexico, entries so far have come from Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.

"Not only does this race continue to attract the world's best desert racers year after year, it also attracts adventurers and crossover racers from every corner of the globe," said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO who has been part of the organization since soon after it was founded in 1973. "The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is truly everyman's race and we have 'Joe the plumbers' from all over the U.S. and the world. It is a privilege for SCORE to be able to produce an event that is so carved into the culture of international motorsports."

The race will start for the 34th time and finish for the 19th time in Ensenada. The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (Friday, Nov. 21) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line. 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 14 hours. All vehicles will have a 31-hour time limit to become official finishers in the legendary adventure.

The race will start and finish on Boulevard Costero along the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.

While the U.S. will represent well over half the field, Mexico will be second with as many as 75 drivers/riders of record.

Among the top Mexican nationals racing in the event are SCORE Desert Series regulars in the car and truck classes: Gus Vildosola Jr. and Francisco Cervantes in SCORE Trophy-Truck, Luis Ramirez Jr. and Lobsam Yee in the unlimited Class 1, Ernie Negrete, Mario Reynoso, Carlos Iribe, Ernesto Arambula, Jose Montoya and Marcos Nunez in Class 5/1600, Jose Canchola Jr. (Class 7), Juan C. Lopez and Andrea Tomba (Class 8) and Eric Solorzano (Class 11).

Leading the Mexican contingent entered to date in Motorcycle and ATV classes are Gabriel Williams (Class 22), Marco Bernaldez and Edy Garcia (Class 21) and Javier Robles (Class 25).

Canada is also among the countries with the most entries, including its first two entries ever in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division. Jeff Smith (No. 92) and Lloyd Sproule (No. 78) will both make their SCORE debut in this race.

Among several entries from Australia is the Class 1 team led by Brian Robinson while Germany has two drivers in Class 1 who are SCORE regulars-Armin Schwarz and Armin Kremer.

Switzerland and Italy have entered an international rally team of Sandro Lanaro and Ruedi Howald.

Japan will also have several entries in sportsman motorcycle over 250cc including Tomoki Hayashi and Yuji Kikuchi.

Leading several sportsman motorcycle entries from Israel will be Yoram Lavee, a prominent racer including supermoto, who has entered solo in the SPT M/C under 250cc class.

With massive crowds reaching nearly 300,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged course that travels through the Pine Forest to near Mexicali, down Laguna Salada to San Felipe and back to the Pacific Coast through Santo Tomas covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula.

Pre-race festivities on Thursday, Nov. 20, 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 Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Racer and media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor's Celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23.

The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy-Truck (30), Class 1 (28), Class 5/1600 (15), SCORE Lite (14 each) along Class 1-2/1600, Class 10 and Baja Challenge Class (with 13 each).

Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 has the most entries to date with 15, followed by Class 30 with 11.

Leading the seven Sportsman classes in the race to date is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc with 35 entries and Sportsman Motorcycle under 250cc with 15 entries.

Pre-running on the 634-mile loop course will officially begin on Saturday, Nov. 1. Pre-running will be allowed only from Ojos Negros and back. One way pre-running from the start to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Wednesday and Thursday of race week (Nov. 19 and 20).

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 Granddaddy 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 fifth consecutive year, scheduled to air at 1 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 14 on the NBC Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the U.S. on ESPN International.

-credit: score

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Series Score
Drivers Armin Schwarz , Armin Kremer , Jeff Smith , Luis Ramirez Jr.
Teams Williams