SAN DIEGO — Entries from all across the United States and around the world continue to pour in prior to Tuesday night’s live start position drawing for the upcoming 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Round 2 of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series will be held May 30-June 2 in Mexico’s Baja California Norte, starting and finishing in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
SCORE is celebrating its 40th year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization in 2013 and this race is traditionally one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule. Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s 45th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
It is an elapsed-time race with staggered starts with the green flag on Saturday (June 1) dropping first for the motorcycles and ATVs at 6 a.m. and several hours later for the cars and trucks.
SCORE DRAW FIESTA
To enjoy the history-making anniversary race, entries from up to 30 U.S. States and 12 countries are expected with competition offered in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. Entries have already been received from Hawaii to Florida in the U.S. along with entries to date from the additional countries of Australia, Austria, Belize, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and host country Mexico.
A live drawing for starting positions within each class will be held during the broadcast of Roger Norman’s Dirt Live Internet show Tuesday airing on the SCORE website. The live drawing party and webcast will be held at the SCORE Tech shop in El Cajon, Calif., a suburb of San Diego.
Tuesday’s Monster Energy SCORE Fiesta will be open to all SCORE members from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the live drawing starting at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be available.
QUALIFYING A FIRST
For the first time in SCORE Baja racing history, qualifying for starting positions will be held. On Thursday, May 30, qualifying for both the SCORE Trophy Truck and the unlimited Class 1 will be held over a special course near Ensenada. The April 23rd live drawing for these two classes will determine their qualifying order for May 30.
The drawing will also have a pre-draw (for qualifying order) for the top 12 finishers from this year’s Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 who have entered by tonight. While most entries in these two top classes are expected to qualify, those who elect not to will be given the remaining start positions in the elapsed-time race based on the original drawing or entry into the race.
Tampa Digital Studios and Tempt Media Films will tape all qualifying vehicle for broadcast use on the ground and from the SCORE TV helicopter.
Online registration, with classes grouped into four Pro and two Sportsman levels is ongoing through the SCORE website. In order to be included in the start drawing, entries must be received with full payment by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 22. Questions regarding SCORE racer registration should be directed to Elise Norman at 775.690.2306.
Official entries received after the drawing will be given the next available starting position within their respective classes. Late entries received after May 24 or registering on-site will be assessed a $200 late fee.
The race will feature a course of just over 500 miles that includes new or seldom-used areas as several new festivities will be held surround the event as the celebration continues for the 40th season of SCORE International desert racing.
SCORE has also announced the pre-running on the race course will begin officially on Wednesday, May 15, except for the portion from the start to Ojos Negros (approximately 35 miles), which will be used in both directions during the race.
When finalized by Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose Grijalva, the historic race course will be another memorable example of all that Mexico’s Baja California has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, majestic Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the seashore with elevations from sea level to over 4,000 feet. The course will be another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California. The course will be presented for the first time on the Dirt Live Internet show on Tuesday, May 14.
Colorful race week festivities will include several first-time events for SCORE, starting with qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck and Class 1 followed by the Monster Energy SCORE Kick Off Party on Thursday, May 30 from 7 p.m. until Midnight at the start/finish line area in the heart of Ensenada. With donations for La Cruz Roja Mexicana (Mexico’s Red Cross), the event will be preceded by a racer’s autograph party and vehicle display starting at 6 p.m.
Friday, May 31 will see the day-long, pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and contingency festival in the start finish line area in Ensenada.
During the race on Saturday, June 1 the Monster Energy SCORE VIP hospitality area, will be part of the start/finish line compound. Tickets will be available for the VIP area, which will include live streaming from the race course as well as updated leaderboard and Internet tracking display of the race vehicles.
All of the week’s festivities will be aired both live and same-day including the race, on the Dirt Live SCORE race week shows, airing via the internet on the SCORE website.
AT THE RIVIERA
The Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, in the heart of Ensenada, will again be the site of many of the activities surrounding the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Racer registration and Media registration will be held in the Red room at the Riviera on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 30-31, June 1) and the SCORE Media Center will be in the Red room during the race with internet access and live race updates including unofficial elapsed times.
In the Cathedral Room at the Riviera will be pre-race media conference as well as the mandatory pre-race racer’s meeting on Friday (May 31). The post-race awards celebration will be in the outdoor Riviera amphitheater at noon on Sunday (June 2).
The start/finish line for the race will once again be adjacent to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center as well.
DAKAR CHALLENGE 2013
This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 (July 12-14) are part of a special program where the combined best qualified car/truck finisher and combined best qualified motorcycle finisher in the two races will each receive special entry packages into the 2014 Dakar Rally in South America. Regulations and other information on Dakar Challenge 2013 are available at http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/dakar-challenge.html.
Roger Norman has also announced that the grand marshal for this year’s 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be Sal Fish, the iconic godfather of desert racing, who was a vital part of the first 39 years the popular race was produced by SCORE. Fish, 73, sold SCORE International to Norman on Dec. 20, 2012.
The Tecate SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were asked by Mexican government to take over the event in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE to Roger Norman in December of 2012.
Ensenada has been the heart and soul of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race. This year will mark the 40th time it has started and 36th time it has finished in Ensenada.
IT’s DIRT, LIVE!
Roger Norman’s Dirt Live one-hour weekly show is broadcast live on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on the SCORE website. The show content is centered around his two desert racing series, the SCORE Desert Series and the High Desert Racing Association as well as the new bonus points program he has developed called the World Championship of Desert Racing. Broadcast studios are located at the SCORE tech shop in El Cajon, Calif., a suburb of San Diego.