LOS ANGELES — After more than a decade of registering entries, assisting media operations and recording times of speeding vehicles as a SCORE race official, Texas wife/mother/desert racer Monica Greenhill finds herself not only third in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series points standings in the unlimited Class 1 but she will also be the first female driver of record to start first in the high-powered division for unlimited open-wheel desert race cars in next month’s 45th anniversary of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Following in the tracks of such notable SCORE female desert racing stars as Judy Smith, Bekki Freeman-Wik, Anna Cody and Heidi Steele, Greenhill will take the green flag as the first vehicle in Class 1 in the No. 101 Greenhill Motorsports Chevy-powered Jimco race car. Class 1 will leave the start line immediately after the SCORE Trophy Truck division to begin the four-wheel vehicle start in the elapsed-time race where one vehicle starts every 30 seconds.
This year’s legendary desert classic, the final event of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series will be held Nov. 14-17 on a the brutally-rugged 1,121.55-mile Sal Fish signature desert race course. With the rugged course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 35 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes in the internationally-showcased race, entries have come from 32 U.S. states and 19 countries. In addition to the 32 U.S. States, racers have entered from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the US Territory of Guam. With 19 days before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 15, late entries will be accepted up to race morning.
WHO IS THIS LADY
Originally from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Monica Greenhill, 39, moved to her adopted home in Crowley, Texas when she married her husband David Greenhill in July of 2011. Long a fan of the desert, instilled by her parents, Greenhill (whose maiden name was Jackson), worked for over a decade at SCORE races, primarily in timing and scoring operations, but also assisting racer registration as well as media registration at various times.
Things started to change after she met her future husband David, 44, who started racing in the SCORE Desert Series in 2009, as she was pulled more into the desert and out of the SCORE timing and scoring trailer.
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID
As she and her teammates make final preparations for this grueling race, Monica Greenhill said, “I am very excited to be able to compete in the peninsula run and to be going in tied for third in points. I can’t even comprehend that we have consistently finished every mile of every SCORE Baja race since this same race in 2010 which was our first in Class 1.”
“When they called my name as the first starter, I about fell over at the Off-Road Expo. I was ecstatic at first then quickly became worried. It is an unbelievable surreal feeling to know that I am going to be the first woman to start first in Class 1 in the SCORE Baja 1000 is just really amazing.”
“Our team is really not about winning and losing. We are about driving smart, drive to what you can see, have fun, and finish, finish, finish. Doesn’t matter if you finish in last place in your class as long as you make it there where that feeling of crossing the finish line is indescribable.”
Started in just 2009, Greenhill Motorsports of Crowley, Texas has already developed a formidable team than includes not only Monica Greenhill and her husband David Greenhill, but also David’s brother Mike Greenhill. All three Greenhills are part of Greenhill Air, a family-owned Heating and Air Conditioning business (opened in 1983) with offices both in Crowley and Anaheim, Calif.
The brothers Greenhill were formerly short course off-road racers in the 1980s in Texas and were introduced to the sport by their late father James Greenhill, who raced an unlimited single seat buggy in the 1970s.
Monica first started racing with her then fiancé at the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which was a peninsula run like this year.
This season has been a productive one for Monica and Greenhill Motorsports as they have finished every required race mile of the first four races which keeps them in the hunt not only for the season Class 1 point championship, but also she is one of 24 SCORE Pro four-wheel vehicle racers in the running for a coveted SCORE Toyota Milestone Award, an award which has been presented to every racer from this group who has completed every required race mile for the past 27 years.
In a consistent performance in 2012, Greenhill finished 14th in class in Laughlin Round 1, 10th in Laughlin Round 2 and ninth both in San Felipe in March and Ensenada in June.
WHAT’S THE POINT
After four very solid races in the 2012 SCORE Desert Series, Monica Greenhill is tied for third in Class 1 points with Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va., who drives a Geiser-Chevy. Greenhill Motorsports and RPM Racing both have 199 points and trail Class 1 season point leader Cody Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., who has 241 points in a Jimco-Chevy and second-place Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif., who has 208 points in another Jimco-Chevy.
WHAT IS IT?
With the chassis built by award-winning Jimco and the 650-horesepower Chevy LSX engine by prominent Wiks Racing Engines, the Greenhill Motorsports Class 1 desert race car also includes BFGoodrich Tires, King Shocks, 20” of wheel travel and a Fortin 5-speed sequential transmission with TCS torque converter.
In addition to working in the family business and driving desert race cars, Greenhill is helping raise the couples’ two year old son-Maxum Dean Greenhill.
This year will be the 38th time in the first 44 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 19th time in has finished in La Paz.
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 legendary race has been run over the mysterious and majestic Baja California peninsula.
The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (Thursday, Nov. 15) with the car and truck classes starting at approximately 11:30 a.m., or four hours after the last ATV leaves the line. The fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 20 hours.
Completing its 39th year as the world’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series. The race will start 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. It will finish on the outskirts of La Paz on Highway 1 near the Grand Plaza Hotel, race headquarters for the southern half of the event.
Pre-race festivities on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. The pre-race mandatory driver/rider briefing will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
Racer registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from Sunday, Nov. 11 through Wednesday, Nov. 14. Media registration will be held at the San Nicolas Resort Hotel from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
As the celebration continues throughout all day on Friday (Nov. 16) and Saturday morning (Nov. 16) while official finishers cross the line and tales are added to the legacy of the event, the post-race awards fiesta will be held on the Malecon in downtown La Paz, starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. The entire race will be conducted on Pacific Standard Time.
BY THE NUMBERS
While entries will be accepted up to race morning, late entries will be assigned the next available number and starting position within each class.
The car and truck classes with the most entries to date are SCORE Trophy Truck (38), Class 1 (23), and Class 10 (11).
Among the motorcycle and ATV classes, Class 22 for open motorcycles has the most entries to date with 12.
Leading the entries in the seven Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 35 entries so far.
Pre-running on the majority of the race course from Ojos Negros to La Paz begins today (Friday, Oct. 26) and pre-running from the start line in Ensenada to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Tuesday and Wednesday of race week, Nov. 13 and 14. Preliminary pre-running, without GPS files, from San Felipe to La Paz, opened on Oct. 6.
This year’s historic 45th anniversary race will run down the length of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula. It will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
The challenging race course for this year is somewhat similar to 2010, but longer than the last time the race finished in La Paz, although the terrain has obviously changed significantly because of weather conditions and natural use.
With eight mandatory checkpoints spread down the peninsula plus the finish line, the course starts on the Pacific Ocean-side of Baja California in Ensenada and heads southeast to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez before heading south through Coco’s Corner, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, back to the Pacific at San Juanico, then back to the Sea of Cortez just above Loreto, back to the Pacific near Ciudad Insurgentes heading down along the Pacific through Santa Rita before turning back east and down into La Paz for the finish.
All entries are provided with GPS programs defining the course and all are required to utilize special data recording devices that plot the actual route and speeds each vehicle takes during the mammoth race.
Leading the car and truck classes into the Baja desert will be the featured SCORE Trophy Trucks, the high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks that have been the showcase of SCORE since Sal Fish created the spectacular class in 1994. To date for this year’s race there are 38 official entries in SCORE’s marquee racing division, including class winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 from eight of the last nine years.
In 2012, BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating the 37th year as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for nearly four decades, BFG has been the has produced the tire of choice for 25 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including 25 of the last 26 years and a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005.
BFG also provides unmatched pit supports for races using their tires with eight full pit areas along the race course to La Paz and complete radio relay the entire 1,121.55 miles.
SAL FISH IronRider AWARDS
This race also features the prestigious Sal Fish SCORE IronRider awards presented to each motorcycle and ATV rider who completes the entire course within the time limit while riding solo. To date, a total of 29 racers, all on motorcycles, have declared the intent to ride the entire race solo in their quests for the Sal Fish SCORE IronRider Award.
AWARDS LIKE NO OTHER
Iconic GRAHAM-Watchmaker, headquartered in Switzerland, the Official Timekeeper of SCORE International, has designed and produced a limited-edition, high-end Chronofighter Oversize SCORE Baja 1000 collector’s timepiece that will also be one of two unique and special awards to be presented to the overall winners of the race. One of the unique, individually numbered collectible timepieces will be awarded to each of the three overall race division winners—the overall 4-wheel vehicle, motorcycle and ATV champions at this year’s granddaddy of all desert races. The three overall category champions will be awarded a category customized/personalized Chronofighter Oversize SCORE Baja 1000 limited-edition timepiece.
In addition to the once-in-a-lifetime GRAHAM Chronofighter Oversize SCORE Baja 1000 timepieces, the overall champions in the race will also receive, like they have for over 20 years from SCORE, the specially-designed bronze statue of Cuauhtémoc, the last of 11 Aztec emperors from early Mexican history, one of the most revered figures in the history of the country.
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 24 drivers are still in the hunt for the awards for the 2012 SCORE Desert Series after four 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 MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
Official Sponsors of the 45th SCORE Baja 1000 and the SCORE Desert Series are:
-Tecate Beer, Official Beer
-BFGoodrich Tires, Official Tire
-Graham Watchmakers, Official Timekeeper
-Red Bull, Official Energy Drink
-Volkswagen of America, Official Vehicle
-Sunoco Race Fuels, Official Race Fuel
-Coca-Cola, Official Soft Drink
-Slime, Official Tire Sealant
-Symons Ambulance Company, Official Ambulance
-Bullet Liner, Official Spray-On Bedliner
-SatellitePhoneStore.com-Official Satellite Phone Rental Company
-Volaris Airlines, Official Airline
-Fox Car Rental, Official Rent-A-Car
-Lightforce Performance Lighting, Official Driving Light
-Maxtrax, Official Vehicle Recovery Device
-Azunia Tequila, Official Tequila
-Bilstein, Official Shock Absorber
-Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Official Mexican Auto Insurance
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Baja California Sur Tourism, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information regarding SCORE International and the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, with links to the newly enhanced SCORE social media platforms, visit www.score-international.com or call SCORE at 818.225.8402.