LOS ANGELES—Always known to be much more than a race, veteran desert racer Cam Thieriot’s team is one of several in next month’s 45th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 that is supporting a worthy cause beyond the challenge of the race down Mexico’s majestic Baja California Peninsula. To get things started on his ‘pledge’ race for Stand Up To Cancer, Thieriot is pledging $10 per every mile his No. 1001 Class 10 Chevy-powered Racer open-wheel desert race car completes in the grueling 1,121.55-mile adventure.
This year’s legendary granddaddy of all desert races, the final event of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series, will be held Nov. 14-17 in Mexico on a brutally-rugged 1121.55-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 in Baja California Sur.
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 driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious and majestic Baja California peninsula.
RACING FOR A CAUSE
While some like Thieriot’s efforts are very visible, many SCORE racers have followed the lead and example set by SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish and provided countless product and cash donations to charitable causes within Baja California, striving to give something back to the country and the people that have embraced them and the SCORE Baja races so dramatically for all of these decades. Legendary SCORE desert racer Malcolm Smith actually founded the El Oasis orphanage in Baja. And countless others make annual donations of food, toys, supplies, computers and other necessities to orphanages and schools throughout Baja California.
Led by Thieriot’s efforts for StandUp2Cancer.org, this year’s race will be no exception as several of the more visible projects include HERO Racing (Helping Everyone Reach Out), Cancer Treatment Centers of America, RaceForTheWounded, HeroOffRoad, and at least two teams comprised of firefighters who will be provided firefighting equipment and uniforms to several small towns along the race route in Baja California. Erich Reisen’s firefighters team that races in Class 5-1600 is from Canada and Mike Lombardi, from Long Beach, Calif., is another firefighter who has provided equipment for Baja fire departments and races with Matt Cullen.
With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 35 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes in the internationally televised race, entries have already come from 32 U.S. states and 18 countries. In addition to the 32 U.S. States, racers have entered from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and the US Territory of Guam. With 30 days before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 15, late entries will be accepted up to race morning.
As the World Series is to baseball and the Super Bowl to football, the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 stands as tall at the pinnacle of the motorsports world today as it did when it began 44 years ago.
Long a supporter of a variety of children’s cancer charities, Thieriot, 57, is carrying the torch in this year’s race for the highly-visible StandUp2Cancer.org organization, the very visible group started by members of the entertainment industry. “I have supported children’s charities for years but StandUp2Cancer is taking the entire situation to another level and a different approach,” said Thieriot, of Tustin, Calif., who will be racing the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 with second-generation desert racer Kash Vessels, 33, of Bonsall, Calif.
“It was an easy decision for me to step up and make a sizeable pledge and I hope others will call me and make their pledge as well so that we can really help this great effort. For those folks involved with this race who aren’t already tied to a charitable cause, please consider StandUp2Cancer and call me at 707.529.5554 and make a pledge that suits your budget.”
Started by San Diego County businessman Paul Thomas, HERO Racing (Helping Everyone Reach Out) has entered three motorcycle teams in the race, including the no. 2x of rider of record Chris Ridgway in Class 22 for open motorcycles. All three teams will ride on Honda CRF450X motorcycles and the Ridgway team will be the first all-amputee team to compete in this legendary race. Assisting the Operation Rebound program, All HERO Racing donations are being processed through the Challenged Athletes Foundation with proceeds of their fundraising efforts going to that organization as well as the purchase of wheelchairs, prosthetics and other necessary items for young, disabled individuals in Mexico. For more information, contact Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visiting their website will show just how this group of U.S. military veterans who are reaching out through this unique project to race funds directly for the national Wounded Warrior Project. Led by rider of record Brett Robinson, the team will be riding the No. 201x Honda CRF450X motorcycle in the Sportsman Motorcycle under 250cc class.
CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS OF AMERICA
A spokesman for the Center Treatment Centers, Joe Bacal, of Anthem, Ariz. is a SCORE desert racing champion who is also a cancer survivor. He races in the Stock Full class in the no. 861 Lexus LX570. Their website is cancercenter.com.
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 28 racers, all on motorcycles, have declared the intent to ride the entire race solo in their quests for the Sal Fish SCORE IronRider Award.
STRIVING FOR GOLD…
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 Tecate 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.