Lassally joins Ellis and Abello for Baja 1000

SPEEDCOM's Lassally To Join Ellis And Abello in Grand-Am Drivers' Assault On Legendary Baja 1000 This Week In Mexico Trio Set In Sister Car of Hyper Sport's Joe Foster, Rick Skelton and Patrick Dempsey DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 19,...

SPEEDCOM's Lassally To Join Ellis And Abello in Grand-Am Drivers' Assault On Legendary Baja 1000 This Week In Mexico

Trio Set In Sister Car of Hyper Sport's Joe Foster, Rick Skelton and Patrick Dempsey

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 19, 2008) ¡V SPEEDCOM Communications principal Toto Lassally will co-drive with Barry Ellis and Marcelo Abello in the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 this weekend as part of a two-car team that also includes a second entry for fellow Grand-Am drivers Joe Foster, Rick Skelton and racer and television star Patrick Dempsey.

Both teams will compete in the Baja Challenge Class for identical Baja touring cars, which newcomers to off-road racing might describe as a dune buggy. Lassally, a veteran international sports car endurance race driver, will be making his first start in the famous Baja 1000 race and was invited to join the team earlier this month by Ellis and Abello.

"This invitation was totally unexpected but is highly appreciated and I can't wait to make my first run at Baja," Lassally said. "Driving with Barry and Marcelo will make it even better and having some familiar friends like Joe, Rick and Patrick on our team too is great, although I am not sure how much we will even see them. The Baja 1000 is one of the most famous but unforgiving events in all of racing and I am honored to be a part of it."

Memorialized in films such as Dust to Glory and equally respected and feared as one of the most grueling tests of man and machine against the elements, the Baja 1000 is the king of all off-road races. This year's 41st running of the event will both begin and end in Ensenada-Baja California, Mexico, and over 375 entries from 39 U.S. States and 24 countries will take up the challenge. The race takes more than a full day and night to finish with all competitors subject to a 31-hour time limit.

Lassally and his teammates represent the multi-national nature of the Baja event. Although both now live in Ellis's home state of Florida, Lassally is a native of El Salvador and Abello hails from Argentina. Lassally's teammates are executives in the corporate airline industry and regular competitors in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, where they have raced Ranger Sports Racing Porsches in the GS division the last few seasons. Team sponsor Hop-A-Jet Worldwide Jet Charter is owned by Ellis and a partner.

"I have been told to expect constant dust clouds, cliffs and drop-off ditches, pitch-black night conditions, rain and sleet, extreme heat and freezing cold and possibly even snow," Lassally said. "And you have to deal with all of that while driving on unfamiliar roads that aren't really roads at all. I have raced on some of the best circuits in the world in some of the toughest endurance races, but this will be a challenge like no other."

The SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 starts this Friday morning. For more information go to www.score-international.com and, starting November 19, www.2008SCOREBaja1000.com for more detailed event coverage.

-credit: speedcom racing

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Series Score
Drivers Rick Skelton , Marcelo Abello , Barry Ellis , Joe Foster , Patrick Dempsey , Toto Lassally