ENSENADA, MEXICO – This week marks the 46th running of the annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, and BFGoodrich® Tires is ready to continue its dominance of the legendary race. Beginning and ending in Ensenada, the brutally-rugged 883-mile loop race will showcase the widely-acknowledged toughness of the brand’s portfolio of recreational and professional off-road products. In various SCORE classes, racers will mostly use the BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A®KO tire, BFGoodrich® Mud-Terrain T/A®KM2, BFGoodrich® Baja T/A®, and BFGoodrich® Baja T/A®KR. A win at the legendary off-road desert race would earn BFGoodrich its 26th title in 28 years of racing.
Team BFGoodrich members Rob MacCachren and Bryce Menzies lead a group of Trophy Truck class drivers looking for the overall title. BFGoodrich has 77 overall victories in SCORE desert racing, including 25 Baja 1000 titles.
Earlier this year, Menzies placed third and MacCachren seventh overall at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Overall, BFGoodrich placed seven of the top 10 finishers at that race. Additionally, a strong run in the Mastercraft Safety Tecate San Felipe 250 gave Menzies a runner-up finish and MacCachren a third place finish. The race featured a podium sweep for the tire manufacturer as Gustavo Vildosola and son Tavo took the title, while 19 of the top 20 finishers were on BFGoodrich Tires.
In looking for his second overall Baja 1000 victory, MacCachren will team with co-driver and three-time overall Baja 1000 winner Andy McMillin, also a member of Team BFGoodrich. Menzies will share his Trophy Truck with Jesse Jones for this year’s race.
BFGoodrich’s firepower heading into this year’s race includes its two different entries in the Baja Challenge (BC) class. As in previous years, BFGoodrich Tires will continue to place several of its brand ambassadors alongside a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Champion. Last year, the Team BFGoodrich secured the win by nearly an hour with Hollywood TV producer Bud Brutsman, Kyle Tucker, Brad and Roger Lovell and two SCCA Runoff Champions- Luke Wilwert and Mike Crawford
This year’s double BC buggy crew comprises Team BFGoodrich members Andrew Comrie-Picard, Terry Earwood, Brian Finch, Brad Lovell, Roger Lovell, Dan McKeever, Rich Minga, Kyle Tucker, and John Williams. Also included this year are Mike “Junior” Johnson of the Evolution Performance Driving School, Larry McRae of Poison Spyder Customs, and BFGoodrich®’ SCCA National Champion and returning Baja racer Chad Gilsinger of Honda Performance Development.
“We are thrilled with the year our drivers have had in the SCORE off-road series so far and are looking forward to another great showing at this year’s SCORE Baja 1000,” said Peter Calhoun, motorsports manager for BFGoodrich Tires. “We are proud to outfit the world’s best drivers with off-road tires that are tough enough to withstand the most grueling course in Baja 1000 recent memory. We wish all of the drivers who race on BFGoodrich Tires the best of luck this year.”
The BFGoodrich Tires Baja Challenge teams will be among many teams riding on BFGoodrich® All-Terrain tires, the exclusive tire of Wide Open Excursions.
Key Storylines at the 46th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
· Run for the Championship – Drivers sporting BFGoodrich Tires sit in the top three spots in the 2013 Trophy Truck point standings. Led by Bryce Menzies (196), Gus Vildosola (190) and Rob MacCachren (185), drivers on BFGoodrich Tires cover nine of the top 10 spots in the season points standings. Likewise, three of the top five racers in the standings for the 2013 Desert Racing World Championship will be running BFGoodrich Tires in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 looking to secure the inaugural title. Tim Herbst currently leads the overall standings by 34 points after four top-five runs in the five races this year. Just behind Herbst is Justin Davis who won the HDRA King Shocks 250 and finished second in the HDRA Reno 500. Troy Herbst is currently fifth in the standings.
· A Legendary “Hall” – Off-road Motorsports Hall of Famer and Team BFGoodrich member Rod Hall will be competing in his 46th consecutive SCORE Baja 1000. He is the only racer to have competed in every Baja 1000 since its inception and was the winner of the inaugural race. Hall, who will be 76 in late November, will be racing with his granddaughter, Shelby Hall, in the No. 762 Hummer H3 in the Stock Mini class on BFGoodrich Tires.
· Roeseler Runs Again – Joining the heralded Rod Hall among the veteran winners at the Baja 1000 is Larry Roeseler. Roeseler has 17 total wins to his credit and has earned a race-record 13 overall race wins in the Baja 1000. He will be racing with Tim Herbst in the No. 19 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck. Roeseler also has 11 career SCORE season class point crowns on his resume. Roeseler won the overall 2008 Baja 1000 title, alongside co-driver and current SCORE International President Roger Norman.
· Success in Baja in 2013 – BFGoodrich Tires has seen continued success in the desert this year. With performances at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 and the Mastercraft Safety Tecate San Felipe 250, the tire manufacturer claimed 17 of the top 20 finishes combined and 16 total class wins.
· A Family Affair – Desert racing has always been a family affair and it continues this year. Famous names like Gordon, McMillin and Vessels have dotted the landscape of Baja for decades. This year is no different. Along with these families are long time veterans of desert racing. Other family ties in the race include: the Gus and Tavo Vildosola entry; the Herbst brothers Troy and Tim and three different McMillin family members racing (Andy, Dan and Luke) and Gary and Mark Weyrich. Add to that the pairing of Brad and Roger Lovell in the BFGoodrich Tires BC team and there is no denying that desert racing runs in many bloodlines.
· Race Tire Development Never Ends – When Armin Schwarz and Martin Christensen rolled their All German Motorsports BMW X6 Trophy Truck to the line at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, it was more than a slick looking truck. The entry was riding on a developmental BFGoodrich race tire. An overall finish position back in the pack didn’t cover the fact that the team was running strong in the first third of the race and the tire performed as expected. The project reaffirmed how BFGoodrich uses the deserts of Baja to prove the toughness of its tires in the most grueling of terrain, something the brand has been doing for decades. For the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a number of teams will be racing the new BFGoodrich Baja T/A®KR2 for the first time, as this new ‘pure racing’ product continues in its development phase.
“Folks who were paying attention at the Baja 500 saw the KR2 run in its native environment for the first time,” said Chris Baker, Motorsports Director for Michelin North America and BFGoodrich. “At this year’s Baja 1000, more of these tires in both 37″ and 39″ sizes will be deployed by our partner teams as we continue our development. The venerable KR, having served valiantly and having been continually improved throughout its racing service life, is nearing the end of its famous tenure as Baja champion.”
Baker continued, “As the technology of the trucks and buggies has progressed and as speeds have increased, we have been working for some time, quietly, on the next generation of Baja-winning race tires. Perhaps not this year, but soon, the KR2 will assume its rightful place and start its own history as Baja champion. BFGoodrich’s off-road tire development is a continuum between our ‘pure race’ tires and the tires that you and I can buy. For those at this year’s Baja 1000 who are really paying attention, then, you might catch a glimpse of the future.”
· The desert tires– For the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a number of teams including the full Baja Challenge class will choose to run BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires– and for good reason. The BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A®KO tire invented the all-terrain category and just like many off road tires, used the Baja peninsula as a proving ground for its toughness and performance. Launched nearly 35 years ago, this tire claimed its first of many overall Baja 1000 wins in 1986 in an entry driven by Mark McMillin and Ralph Paxton. That started a run that witnessed the BFGoodrich Tires Company claiming 20 consecutive overall Baja 1000 titles.
From there the BFGoodrich Baja TA KR tire became the tire of choice for more race teams in Baja than any other tire. Starting in the early 1990s, the KR tire helped evolving, faster and heavier Trophy Trucks to victory. The BFGoodrich Baja KR and KRT tire has taken home more overall Baja 1000 wins than any other tire combined.
BFGoodrich supports unique entries – While more than half of the entries will be running on BFGoodrich tires in multiple classes, the tire manufacturer is supporting some unique, first-time entries as well. In the SCORE lite class, Rafael Navarro IV will team with leading sports car road racer Patrick Long. Long is the only American factory Porsche race car driver and has a history of success in endurance racing including wins in the Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of LeMans. Navarro, better known as R4, won the 2011 SCORE Lites class and their entry in a Jimco-VW buggy will be running to support the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) Racing4Research (R4R).
Another entry in the Stock Full class is the full size 4×4 van outfit for the desert from Quigley Motor Company. Todd Quigley and his co-driver Rene LeBran visited Baja for a first-hand look at the course and are ready to test their customized van in the grueling conditions.
BFGoodrich Tires Series, Pit and Communications Support Continues
BFGoodrich Tires’ commitment to SCORE International and desert off-road racing extends far beyond its sponsorship and product support. For the 2013 race, BFGoodrich Tires will dedicate seven full-service pits, staffed by more than 160 volunteer and active personnel at areas located along the racecourse to support the more than half of the field that will compete on BFGoodrich Tires. The pit areas include volunteer emergency medical technicians (EMTs), race mechanics, welders, fabricators, and communications specialists- these services have been provided by BFGoodrich since 1981.
BFGoodrich Tires’ racer support network also includes organization and mobilization of parts, tires, fuel and service equipment exclusively for teams using BFGoodrich Tires. This network also includes satellite communications and mountain-top relay stations to coordinate race communications.
With the BFGoodrich Tires pit crews, teams who never could have taken on a desert race can compete with only one or two chase vehicles and use BFGoodrich Tires support for everything else – this is a level of support not offered by any other company, in any other form of racing.
Drivers depend on the BFGoodrich Tires team to support them and get them to the finish line. The BFGoodrich Tires pits are an indispensable tool as they offer services like fueling, vehicle welding, tire changes, mechanical repair, bottled water and much more.
BFGoodrich Tires does more than just support teams at each race. In the months before major races, BFGoodrich Tires pre-runs courses to help SCORE officials map the official race route, prepare driver instructions, find any and all access routes from the pavement to the race course and set up the infrastructure of the BFGoodrich race communications network. All of this information is compiled with printed course maps and pit stop location diagrams and distributed free-of-charge to all teams using BFGoodrich tires. Over the years, this resource the BFGoodrich Tires team assembles has become known as “The Desert Bible.”
Visit the BFGoodrich Tires Racing site at http://www.bfgoodrichracing.com.