ENSENADA, Mexico — History will be made in Mexico as a week of firsts will honor the legacy, tradition and charisma of the world’s most legendary desert race as the iconic 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race is held in Ensenada, Baja California.
When qualifying and all the other colorful pre-race festivities end, the green flag drops Thursday night at 11 p.m. PT for motorcycles and ATVs and Friday morning at 9 a.m. PT for cars and trucks, the growing starting grid for the upcoming 46th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will include 93 racers who have combined for 319 class wins in the granddaddy of all desert races. They part of a field of nearly 300 expected starters from 34 U.S. States, the U.S. Territory of Guam and 22 total countries.
This year’s legendary desert classic, the final event of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, will be held this week in Mexico on a brutally-rugged 883.00-mile SCORE signature desert race course. With the rugged course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race will start and finish in Ensenada, Baja California Norte. It is the longest course in race history for a loop race, starting and finish in the same location.
Pre-race festivities on Thursday, 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 also be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
Racer registration will be held in the Casino Room at the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Racer registration will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, from Noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Thursday and 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday. Media registration will be held as well in the Casino Room at the Riviera from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and the BFGoodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism SCORE Media Center will be open from Thursday at 10:30 p.m. until the course closes at approximately 11 p.m. on Saturday and will re-open on Sunday from seven a.m. until Noon.
Two special Monster Energy parties, open to the public will be held before the race starts. On Wednesday, the Monster Energy SCORE Papas & Beer Street Party on Avenida Ruiz in front of Papas & Beer will start at 5 p.m. On Thursday starting at 7 p.m. at the start/finish line area will be the SCORE Baja 1000 Goes Green-Monster Energy SCORE Motorcycle Street Party.
On Thursday at 4 p.m., short-course racer ‘Wildman’ Adrian Cenni will attempt to complete the first 360 truck barrel roll in the wash that’s part of the race course just of the start/finish line area.
As the celebration continues throughout Thursday night, all day Friday and Saturday while official finishers cross the line and tales are added to the legacy of the event, the post-race awards fiesta will be held in the Amphitheater at the Riviera starting at 10 a.m. (PT) on Sunday.
In motorcycle competition, the storyline is the same as it has been for a decade and a half, who will beat Honda. Honda leads with 23 overall victories in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 including 16 straight years of race championship teams. Leading the JCR Honda No. 1x team is team owner and Baja legend Johnny Campbell, who was part of 11 of those 16 straight wins as a rider and has put together the winning team for the last four years.
JCR Honda’s red team this year is the team of Tim Weigand, Valencia, Calif./Colton Udall, San Clemente, Calif./David Kamo, Caldwell, Idaho, Honda CRF450X with Campbell listed as a replacement rider, if needed.
The two primary challengers to unseat the mighty Honda magicmen are factory-supported teams from Kawasaki and KTM.
The KTM orange challengers is the No. 2x Kurt Caselli, Murrieta, Calif./Ivan Ramirez, Ensenada, Mexico/Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn./Kendall Norman, Govita, Calif. on a KTM 450XS-F. The Kawasaki green team is the No. 4x Robby Bell, Glendora, Calif./David Pearson, Panaca, Nev./Steve Hengeveld, Flagstaff, Ariz./Taylor Robert, Scottsdale, Ariz. Kawasaki KX450F.
While the Caselli team and the Bell team each won a race last year, the Weigand team won last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 and both the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 and the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 this year.
This year will mark the 39th time in the first 45 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 22nd time it has finished in Ensenada as well.
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.
HAPPY ’VERSARY SCORE
This race not only culminates the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, but concludes the celebration of the 40th anniversary year of SCORE International, the world’s foremost desert racing organization.
Completing his first year as the new owner of SCORE International, based in Reno, Nev., Roger Norman has announced a first for SCORE as all Pro motorcycle, Pro ATV and Sportsman Motorcycle and Sportsman ATV classes will start on Thursday night with all the car and truck classes starting an Friday morning, in the elapsed-time race where each vehicle will leave in various intervals.
This week’s race will cover much of Mexico’s majestic Baja California Norte portion of the peninsula, starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California. Upwards of 300 entries, from nearly 25 countries and 40 U.S. States, competing in 42 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, truck, motorcycles and ATVs are expected to compete in this year’s international challenge.
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 45 years ago.
Norman has also announced that for the first time in race history, there will be qualifying for start position for several classes. Held on Wednesday and not open to the public because of safety concerns, qualifying will be held for SCORE Trophy and the unlimited Class 1, by class along with all Pro Motorcycle and Pro ATV classes with each division grouped together. It will be held outside of Ensenada on a location that doesn’t include the race course.
Live pre-race and race days internet coverage produced by the SCORE Dirt LiveHD team will be airing on www.score-international.com. This race will also debut SCORE’s new tracking system that will be accessed through the SCORE website. On-site in the start/finish line area, fans will be able to enjoy the live coverage of the race displayed on SCOREvision, SCORE’s new huge LED screen. Coverage will also include live HD streaming from Wednesday’s qualifying sessions along with unofficial real-time results.
To date, in addition to 34 U.S. States and the U.S. Territory of Guam, racers have entered from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan and Uruguay. Late entries are being accepted up to the start of the race for each group.
‘PICK-SIX’ SCORE TROPHY TRUCK SHOWDOWN
With nearly 35 SCORE Trophy Trucks entered, leading the way in the battle for the season point championship are six racers separated by just 15 points heading into the season finale in Baja. SCORE Trophy, created by SCORE in 1994, is the marquee racing division in the sport for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks.
The top-six point leaders entering the season-finale are: Bryce Menzies, Las Vegas/Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., No. 70 Menzies Motorsports Red Bull Ford F-150 (196 points); Gustavo Vildosola Sr/Gus Vildosola Jr, Mexicali, Mexico, No. 21 Vildosola Racing Red Bull Ford F-150 (190); Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas/Andy McMillin, San Diego, No. 11 MacCachren Motorsports Rockstar Ford F-150 (185); B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, No. 1 Baldwin Motorsports Monster Energy Chevy Silverado (184); Tim Herbst, Las Vegas/Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Terrible Herbst Motorsports Monster Energy Ford F-150 (183)and Juan C. Lopez/Carlos Lopez, Tecate, Mexico, No. 18 RPM Racing Speed Energy Chevy Silverado (181).
OLYMPIC CELEB SIGHTING
In the race where everyone is a celebrity, another cross-over athlete has been added to the record list of the mover visible celebs as racing in Class 8 with Derek Fletcher for RPM Racing will be U.S. Olympic snowboarder and two-time X-Games medalist Nick Baumgartner of Iron River, Mich.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
In 2013, BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating its 38th year as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for nearly four decades, BFGoodrich Tires 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 27 years along with a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005.
BFGoodrich Tires also provides unmatched pit support for pre-registered racers using their tires with seven full-service pit areas along the race course out of and back into Ensenada along with complete radio relay the entire 883.0 miles.
SCORE IRONMAN CLASS
This race will mark the debut of the SCORE Ironman class, where eight Pro motorcycle entries to date will compete against each other and the clock as they attempt to complete the entire course under the time limit while riding solo. To date, a total of nine racers, have entered the class with the intent to ride the entire race solo in their quests to earn a SCORE Ironman award.
AWARDS LIKE NO OTHER
Iconic GRAHAM-Watchmaker of Switzerland, has returned as the Official Timekeeper of SCORE International. GRAHAM has designed and produced for the second year a high-end 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 collectible timepieces will be awarded to each of the three overall race division winners—the overall 4-wheel vehicle and overall motorcycle champions at this year’s granddaddy of all desert races.
In addition to the once-in-a-lifetime GRAHAM 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 and World Championship titles, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. There are also the numerous annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Awards. 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 race season. With 44 racers still in the hunt, these awards are being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 28th consecutive year.
For more information, visit the official website of the new SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.