LOS ANGELES—As pre-running over the revamped rugged race course starts Saturday for next month’s 26th annual of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, a growing field that includes many of the world’s best desert racers have entered this popular spring race. Attracting entries from 25 U.S. states and 10 countries so far, the lineup includes 24 entries in SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks.
Round 3 of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series will be held March 9-11 in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez. This is the 39th year of SCORE, which produces the world’s foremost desert racing series.
This year’s 248.64-mile race course will utilize two washes that have never before been used for racing – Cuevitas and Amarillas. The Cuevitas Wash will replace the Three Poles to Borrego section of previous courses.
The course runs in a counter-clockwise direction and starts and finishes at the landmark San Felipe arches. For the first time the race course will also include five infamous washes–Matomi, Azufre, Huatamote and Chanate along with Amarillas before heading to the finish line. The course includes four physical checkpoints as well as 51 virtual checkpoints to help insure the safety and the integrity of the challenging race course.
The four physical checkpoints, where all vehicles are required to come to a complete stop, will be located as follows over the 252.09-mile desert race route: CK1-race mile 63.99; CK2-rm 124.13; CK3-rm 166.87 and CK4-rm 218.32.
Pre-running will be allowed on the actual race course from Saturday through Friday, March 9.
“It has taken a tremendous amount of work and effort on behalf of the many people involved, and SCORE is fortunate to be able to offer another SCORE Baja race with some new course elements added to the already-unique adventure,” commented Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since soon after it was founded in 1973. “Not only are we running on much of the most majestic desert in all of Baja, we have been able to add two new washed that have never been used for racing before as well as being able to string five washes together for the first time during the second half of the race.
“SCORE would like to especially thank Baja California Governor Jose Gudalupe Osuna Millan and BC Secretary of Tourism Juan Tintos Funcke for their continued support of and assistance with SCORE Baja racing.”
SCORE Trophy Trucks have won 15 overalls in San Felipe in their 18-year history. Southern California’s Mark Post/Jerry Whelchel in 1997, San Diego’s son/father team of Andy and Scott McMillin (2005) and Armin Schwarz (Germany)/Martin Christensen (Denmark) (2010) have the only three Class 1 wins since SCORE created the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division in 1994.
While Post is not entered in this year’s race, the Andy McMillin will be among the favorites in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division. Post and McMillin now race in SCORE Trophy Truck and Schwarz/Christensen will be racing for the first time in this year’s race in SCORE Trophy Truck.
With entries accepted up to race morning, over 250 entries are expected to enter the race. Entries have come from 25 US States and 10 countries as competition will be held in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the popular race.
The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours after the last Sportsman ATV later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. The start line and finish line for the race is scheduled to once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with an 11-hour time limit to become an official finisher.
Following January’s season-opening two rounds of the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series will be visiting Mexico for the first of its three annual SCORE Baja races.
To date, SCORE Trophy Truck had the most entries with 24, followed by the unlimited Class 1 with 14 and SCORE Lites with seven. While 153 official entries have been received as of today, late registration will be accepted up until race morning and as many as 100 additional entries are expected.
Among the Pro motorcycle classes, the open Class 22 had the most vehicles entered so far with eight. Leading the Pro ATV classes so far is Class 25 with eight entries.
Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C 450> with 12 entries to date.
In all, 10 of last year’s 17 SCORE Trophy Truck finishers are entered led by class winner Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas. (No. 20 Ford F-150).
Besides MacCachren, the other finishers in SCORE Trophy Truck from last year entered so far this year are third place Andy McMillin, National City, Calif. (No. 31 Ford F-150), fourth Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix (No. 84 Chevy Silverado), fifth Gary Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore. (No. 98 Ford F-150), eighth Jesse James, Austin, Texas (No. 54 Chevy Silverado), ninth Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif. (Dan McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., is driver of record this year), (No. 23 Ford F-150), 10th Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif. (No. 19 Ford F-150), 11th Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif. (No. 16 GMC Sierra), 14th Ken Losch, Tempe, Ariz. (No. 34 Chevy Silverado), and 16th Pete Sohren, Glendale, Ariz. (No. 2 Ford F-150).
Last year’s overall 4-wheel vehicle winner MacCachren and Mike Brown of Murrieta, Calif., received the pole positions for four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles in the computerized drawing for starting positions for the race. While MacCachren races in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division, Brown competes in Class 22 for open motorcycles.
Drawing the first starting slot for the unlimited Class 1 open-wheel desert race cars was Ronny Wilson of Long Beach, Calif.. Riding the first ATV off the line will be Class 25 team led by Mike Cafro, Fallbrook, Calif. Wilson Motorsports actually has four total entries in the race with Ronny Wilson’s brother Randy also in Class 1 and their sons Brad and Brian Wilson both driving in Class 1/2-1600.
MacCachren, 46, a six-time AARWBA All-America motorsports team member and eight-time SCORE season class point champion who has 10 career SCORE Trophy Truck Race wins, will lead a strong field in SCORE Trophy Truck that features many of the world’s top desert racers in the No. 20 MasterCraft Racing Ford F-150.
MacCachren won this race last year as well as the special September race that was also held in San Felipe. He also opened this season with a win in Round 2 in Laughlin after a ninth-place finish in Round 1 and is currently second in the 2012 SCORE Trophy Truck point standings.
Bell, 39, will ride a KTM 450SX-F motorcycle in Class 22 as the KTM Factory Off-Road Team has two entries in this year’s race with Kurt Caselli drawing the second Class 22 start position.
Last year’s overall 4-wheel, 2-wheel and ATV champions are all part of the field. While MacCachren was last year’s overall 4-wheel champion, the returning 2-wheel champion is the JCR Honda team led by of Colton Udall, San Clemente, Calif. on a Honda CRF450X and the returning overall ATV winner is the team led by Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore., on a Honda TRX450R.
Traveling all the way from Bristol, Tenn. and Bristol, Va., Justin Matney’s RPM Off-Road, which opened the season with 11 total class wins in the two rounds in Laughlin in January, has a race-record eight entries in this year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Leading the class point standings in seven classes after the first two races of 2012, RPM has vehicles entered in SCORE Trophy Truck (Juan C. Lopez, driver of record leads the class point standings after two second place finishes in Laughlin), Class 1 (Clyde Stacy), Class 6 (Eduardo Laguna), Class 5-1600 (Stacy), Class 8 (Rodolfo Iribe), Class 4 (Derek Fletcher), Class 2 (Stacy) and Sportsman Buggy (Jim Bunn).
Besides Lopez in SCORE Trophy Truck, Stacy, Bristol, Va., leads both Class 5-1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bug) and Class 2 (PSD-Chevy). The other RPM class point leaders are Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 6, Chevy Colorado), Rodolfo Iribe, San Ysidro, Calif. (Class 8, Chevy Silverado), Derek Fletcher, Abingdon, Va. (Class 4, PSD-Chevy) and Jim Bunn, Bristol, Va. (Sportsman Buggy, Geiser-Chevy). Stacy, Laguna, Iribe, Fletcher and Bunn each won their respective classes in both of the Laughlin races.
Round 3 of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series, the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the popular six-week-long ‘Spring Break’.
Pre-race festivities on Friday, March 9 will include Contingency row and Tech inspection on the colorful Malecon in San Felipe. Contingency will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tech will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The post-race awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 11 at 10 a.m. PDT time. Daylight Savings Time begins in Baja and the United States at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11.
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 each race. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting 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 27th consecutive year, a total of 61 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series after the first two rounds in the five-race 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. All categories, except Engine Builder and Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer, will be determined by public on-line voting while Engine and Buggy awards are determined by season points.
Tecate Beer is the title sponsor of the three SCORE Baja races.
MasterCraft Safety is co-title sponsor of the 26th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Desert Series are:
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Baja 1000 are:
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2012 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.
26th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 8, 2012 (Times are PST)
9pm-5pm–Racer Registration-Hacienda Don Jesus Hotel
1pm-5pm–Media Registration-Hacienda Don Jesus Hotel
Friday, March 9, 2012 (Times are PST)
9am-5pm–Racer Registration-Hacienda Don Jesus Hotel
9am-5pm–Media Registration-Hacienda Don Jesus Hotel
10am-5pm–Contingency Row-Downtown on the Malecon
10am-6pm–Tech Inspection-Downtown on the Malecon
7pm–Mandatory Racer Meeting-El Cortez Hotel
Saturday, March 10, 2012 (Times are PST)
5:30am-11am–Late Registration & Tech-Los Arcos Motel (Start line)
5:30am-8pm–Media Center Open-Los Arcos Motel
1pm & 4pm–Posting of Unofficial Results-Los Arcos Motel
8pm–Competition Review Board-Los Arcos Motel
Sunday, March 11, 2012 (Times are Pacific Daylight Time)
10am–Awards Celebration-Plaza on the Malecon
Saturday, March 10, Race Schedule (Subject to Change)
START/FINISH LINE- west side of Highway 5 (Southbound lanes) at the San Felipe Arches (Vehicles start one every 30 seconds)
22, 21, 30, 40, 50, 20, 60, 25, 24, SPT M/C>, SPT M/C<, SPT ATV, 26
TT, 1, 10, SL, 8, PT, 1/2-1600, 4, 5, 6, 7-2, 7, 7SX, 5-1600, 2, 3, SF, SM, 9, 17, SPT TRUCK, SPT BUGGY, 11, SPT UTV