LOS ANGELES—Continuing its dedicated efforts to stabilize costs during these challenging economic times, SCORE International has reduced the entry fee by over 25 percent for its regular Sportsman Four Wheel classes, as well as added an additional special Sportsman 5-1600 class for this year’s 44th running of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. This year’s internationally televised granddaddy of all desert races will be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with race week festivities scheduled for Nov. 17-20.
With the race itself starting on Friday, Nov. 18, official entry forms are available online along with the proposed course map and prerunning rules on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com. Entries from over 30 US States and 15 countries are expected to take the green flag in November, competing in 35 Pro and seven Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.
The drawing for class starting positions will be held in the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 15.
“SCORE is extremely aware of the difficult economic times we are enduring right now, and when the SCORE Baja 1000 has been a loop race, we have kept the entry fee the same for all of our classes since 2005, and we also want the Sportsman adventurers from around the world to be able to live the experience of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000,” commented Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO since soon after it was founded in 1973.
“Therefore we have reduced the Sportsman Four Wheel fee for this race to help encourage all of those weekend warriors to live the dream they have had for so many years.
“Conducting SCORE races at the high level that we have for 38 years is extremely expensive, but we are committed to helping the racers control their costs, so we have done our part since 2005 by keeping the entry fee at the same level for the SCORE Baja 1000 loop races.”
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a racer. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula every year except 1974 when the international fuel crisis forced a cancellation.
This year’s race will start for the 37th time and finish for the 21st time in Ensenada. Completing its 38th year as the world’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series. The race will start and finish on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the iconic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.
Prerunning on the approximately 710 mile loop course will officially begin on Nov. 4.
The course itself is a combination of much of the 2008 and the 2009 courses. The rugged course that travels from Ensenada east through Ojos Negros, down Laguna Salada to San Felipe, down through the three legendary Baja canyon washes of Matomi, Huatomote and Chanate, joining familiar routes to the six-mile turnoff before Mike’s Sky Rancho, heading over to the Pacific Coast crossing Highway 1 near San Vicente and to Erendira, then through Santo Tomas, Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros, covering much of the northern half of the majestic Baja California peninsula to and from Ensenada.
The famous and not-so-famous have tried their hand at conquering the Baja and they have come from all walks of life. Mark Thatcher, son of Great Britain’s then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher, raced in the 1982 SCORE Baja 1000. Celebrities James Garner, Ted Nugent and the late Steve McQueen all battled the Baja in the early 1970s and many racers from other forms of motorsports crossed over to try their skills.
Among the drivers from other arenas who have tested the Baja were Indy Car racers Rick and Roger Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Ongias, Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Buddy Rice, Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia, Roberto Guerrero, Michel Jourdain Jr., Johnny Unser and Mike and Robbie Groff, NASCAR’s Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Boris Said and Brendan Gaughan, SCCA legend Elliot Forbes-Robinson, World Rally Championships’ Armin Schwarz, Armin Kremer, Andreas Aigner and Harri Pavanpera, world motorcycle champions Malcolm Smith, Larry Roeseler and Destry Abbott, Motocross legends Ricky Johnson and Jeremy McGrath, XGames star Travis Pastrana, drag racers Don Prudhomme and Larry Minor and legendary SCORE founder and motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson.
The late Academy Award winning actor, racer and race team owner Paul Newman raced in the 2004 event. Jesse James, of ‘Monster Garage’ fame, and Hollywood film and TV star Patrick Dempsey have both raced this classic several times in the last nine years.
This year’s race will commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson, and Larry Roeseler. Hall, who will turn 73 on Nov. 22, has a record 21 class wins (including one overall win in 1972), and is the only racer who has competed in all 43 SCORE Baja 1000 races. Bishop is the only racer who competed in the first 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races.
Hall will be racing this year for the second time in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division where he will split the driving with his sons Josh and Chad. As he attempts to add to his legacy, Hall will also be an additional driver in both the Stock Full and the Stock Mini classes.
Bishop is the only racer who competed every year of the first 40 on a Motorcycle, but is not scheduled to race this year at this time. Johnson, now retired, had 15 class wins, amazingly in eight different classes.
Roeseler, has won 17 times in this race, including 13 overall wins (10 on a motorcycle). Roeseler will share driving duties this year in SCORE Trophy Truck with Tim Herbst in the No. 19 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150. Roeseler won the unlimited Class 1 for four consecutive years (2004-2007), driving with the youngest of the three racing brothers, Troy Herbst, in the Smithbuilt-Ford open-wheel desert race car that was known as the ‘Land Shark’. Roeseler is the only racer in the history of the event to win the overall 4-wheel in a truck and also in a car as well as the overall 2-wheel title as well.
This race also features the prestigious Sal Fish SCORE IronRider awards presented to each motorcycle or ATV rider who completes the entire course within the time limit while riding solo.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings for the race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all Pro car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 26th consecutive year, a total of 27 drivers remain eligible after Round 4 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Current SCORE official sponsors are:
–BFGoodrich Tires-official tire
–Volkswagen of America-official vehicle
–Sunoco Race Fuels-official fuel supplier
–Slime-official tire sealant
–Symons Ambulance Company-official ambulance
–Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance
–Lightforce Performance Lighting-official driving light of the SCORE Baja 1000
Additional SCORE sponsors are: Coca-Cola of Mexico, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.