Baja 500 pre-event news 2010-05-19

SCORE-record 42 SCORE Trophy-Trucks entered Pre-running begins Saturday in Mexico on rugged 438.81-mile Race course for 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race June 3-6 event in Ensenada has entries from 26 States, 9 countries; course map ...

SCORE-record 42 SCORE Trophy-Trucks entered

Pre-running begins Saturday in Mexico on rugged 438.81-mile Race course for 42nd Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race

June 3-6 event in Ensenada has entries from 26 States, 9 countries; course map available at

LOS ANGELES--With the release of the official course map, GPS files and course notes this week, pre-race activity increases significantly starting Friday when the world's best desert racers officially begin their pre-running and course logistics activities for next month's 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the second-oldest desert race in the world.

Round 3 of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series, the World's Foremost Desert Racing Series, will feature nearly 300 entries, competing in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, will be held June 3-6 in Ensenada, Mexico. Traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule, over 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the world's best desert racers in action at this year's 42nd anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.

With late entries accepted up to race morning, entries are expected from 26 U.S. States from Hawaii to Connecticut, and along with the additional countries of Mexico, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Japan. The green flag will drop for the race at 6 a.m. on Saturday (June 5) for the motorcycle and ATV classes in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, followed by the car and truck classes three hours after the last ATV at approximately 10 a.m. The elapsed-time race will start and finish in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Boulevard Costero in the heart of Ensenada, leaving and returning into the city through the spectator-laden Arroyo Wash.

The talented field of veteran desert racers heading to Baja includes 15 defending class winners out of the 25 Pro classes that had finishers in last year's race, including last year's overall 4-wheel vehicle winners Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner of Orange, Calif. (unlimited Class 1) and SCORE Trophy-Truck champion Rick D. Johnson/Brian Sallee, of Barstow, Calif.

The rugged course 438.81-mile course is a very similar to the last two years, although it is about eight miles longer and the terrain has changed significantly due to torrential rains that impacted both sides of the race course on the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez and in the middle in the summit section. The course, which runs in a clockwise direction, resembles a deflating balloon, winding east to Ojos Negros, down to near San Felipe, back West to the Pacific Ocean below San Vicente and back north east through Santo Tomas on the way back to Ojos Negros and then Ensenada.

"Without all of the immense and considerable help we have received from Ensenada Mayor Pablo Lopez in terms of rapid support, personnel and heavy equipment to repair significant rain damage on much of the course, we would be significantly challenged to finalize a course for this year's race," said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since soon after it was founded in 1974. "We just can't thank Mayor Lopez and all of his people enough for all they have done to support SCORE and our SCORE Baja races."

The only pre-running that will be allowed on the first 35.18 miles of the course will be outbound only and only on Thursday and Friday, June 3 and 4. No inbound pre-running on the last 35.18 miles of the course will be allowed. Pre-running of the rest of the course will start and finish in the Ojos Negros area.

The four official race checkpoints, where all vehicles are required to make a quick stop, will be located at race mile 84.03 (Santa Catarina), rm196.17 (Borrego), rm 307.30 (Pacific Ocean) and rm397.53 (Rancho San Antonio). The course will also have a number of virtual checkpoints. All vehicles are also required to run International Rally Consultants tracking devices and live vehicle tracking will be available during the race at

The featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800-horsepower, unlimited production trucks has a SCORE-record 42 entries in this year's Tecate SCORE Baja 500.

Prominent Southern California industrialist and desert racer Ed Stout, who finished third in season points last year in his marquee class and earned a SCORE Toyota Milestone Award, received the first starting positions for 4-wheel vehicles in his No. 31 Stout Industries Chevy Silverado.

While late entries will be accepted up to race morning, as of today, the Pro 4-Wheel vehicles classes with the most entries are: SCORE Trophy-Truck (42), Class 1 (23). Class 1-2/1600 (13) and SCORE Lite (11).

Leading the Pro Motorcycle classes in entries so far are Class 22 (13) and Class 30 (10). Class 24 leads the Pro ATV classes with 15 entries to date.

Among the Sportsman classes, SPT Motorcycles over 250cc has 24 entries and there are also 10 SPT ATVs to date.

Besides the Halopoff/Letner and Johnson/Sallee teams, other defending Pro class champions in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 entered this year to date are: Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug); Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger); Mike Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif. (Class 10, Lothringer-VW); Brent Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif./Brian Burgess, Riverside, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Moulton-VW); Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz., (Stock Full, Lexus LX570); Mike Johnson, El Paso, Texas/Rex Cameron, Albuquerque, N.M. (Class 30, Honda CRF450X); Eizaburo Karasawa, Japan (Class 50, Honda CRF450X); Nick Nelson, Tehachapi, Calif./Brandon Brown, Eumantilla, Ore. (Class 25, Suzuki LTR450); Craig Christy, Burbank, Calif. (Class 24, Honda TRX450R) and Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 26, Arctic Cat).

This popular SCORE early summer race began in 1969 under the auspices of the old NORRA organization and SCORE began its enduring run with it on July 26, 1974. This year will be the 37th anniversary of the first SCORE race in Baja.

For the third straight year and just the third time in the 42-year history of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race, the colorful pre-race Manufacturer's Midway and Contingency, the start and finish line will all be located in the heart of Ensenada, Mexico on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It will be the second time in race history that both the pre-race activities and the finish will be held on this historic boulevard.

The SCORE Manufacturer's Midway will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 4 on Blvd Costero. Racer registration will again be held in the Grand Ballroom of the San Nicolas Hotel. Registration hours will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 3 and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday June 4.

The awards celebration will be held poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel on Sunday, June 6 at 11 a.m.

-source: score

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