ENSENADA, Mexico – While qualifying will be held on race week for three of the top 4-wheel vehicle classes, international rally racer Franciso Arredondo drew the first motorcycle starting position Thursday for this month’s 31st annual SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race in Baja California, Mexico.
Early entries from 24 U.S. States, host Mexico, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany and Guatemala are preparing for the popular season-opener of the four-race internationally-televised 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship. The event will be held March 29-April 2 in San Felipe, the quaint fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, 125 miles south of the U.S. Border at Calexico, Calif.
Thursday’s start draw determined the qualifying start order for the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division, unlimited Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec. This will be the first time qualifying has been held for any classes in the long history of this SCORE Baja race.
Guatemala’s Francisco Arredondo is a veteran SCORE racer who will be the rider of record on the No. 45x Chris Haines Racing Honda CRF450X. Arredondo and team owner Chris Haines are finalizing the co-rider list for the team.
While online racer registration continues until March 26, pre-running opens on the magnificent 271.9-mile race course on Saturday. Late, on-site registration will be held March 29, March 30 and March 31.
GOLDEN SCORE 2017
The 2017 season also marks the golden 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary season-ending SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all Desert Races to be held in mid-November. The SCORE Baja 1000 is the longest continuously held desert race in the world.
Celebrating the 31st anniversary of the youngest of the three legendary SCORE Baja races, sometimes referred to as the SCORE ‘baby Baja’, entries continue to be accepted on the SCORE website (www.SCOREInternational.com) for Pro and Sportsman entries for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads.
Pre-race festivities for this popular ‘Spring Break’ race will be held in San Felipe on March 29, March 30 and March 31 with race day on Saturday, April 1 concluding with the post-race awards fiesta at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, April 2.
The Monster Energy SCORE Kickoff Welcome Party will be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. PDT on Thursday (March 30).
For the first time in the history of this race, SCORE will hold a qualifying session on Thursday, March 30 to determine the starting positions within each class for the SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 and Trophy Truck Spec classes.
Qualifying first in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks will be veteran racer/chassis builder Damen Jefferies, Yucca Valley, Calif.
Drawing the first qualifying position in the unlimited Class 1 was veteran SCORE female champion racer Shelby Reid, Apple Valley, Calif., whose son Cody Reid is a champion racer in Class 10.
First to make a qualifying run in Trophy Truck Spec will be Las Vegas’ Bill McBeath, a prominent casino executive and former SCORE Trophy Truck racer.
MORE FIRST STARTS
Among the many classes where starting positions were drawn, starting on the pole in their respective classes will be Miguel Tornel Sr (Class 10) and his son Miguel Tornel Z-A drew first start in the SCORE Lites class.
Also drawing first starts were Roberto Romo (Class 1/2-1600), Marc Burnett (Pro UTV FI), Giovanni Spinali (Pro Moto 50), Dominic Fagundes (Pro Moto Ironman) and Donald Higbee (Pro Quad).
In the start drawing, the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division had the most entries in the drawing with 25 followed by Trophy Truck Spec with 17 entries, Class 10 with 15 entries, unlimited Class 1 with 14 entries, Pro UTV FI with 13 and SCORE Lites with 10.
Leading the motorcycle entries in the drawing was Pro Moto Unlimited with seven entries.
Racer registration will be held at the Hotel El Cortez from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (PDT) on Wednesday (March 29), from Noon to 8 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday (March 30) and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PDT) on Friday (March 31).
Media registration will be held at the Hotel El Cortez from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday (March 30) and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PDT) on Friday (March 31).
The pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway, contingency and tech inspection of the vehicles in the race will be held on Friday (March 31). Contingency will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) and tech/transponder check from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the picturesque Malecon, flanked by the Sea of Cortez on one side and the popular restaurants and night clubs of San Felipe on the other.
A MASTERFUL COURSE
SCORE President Roger Norman and SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva have worked with the government officials and ejidos of the Mexicali and San Felipe areas to develop a memorable SCORE San Felipe 250 race course of 271.9 miles.
This year’s grueling race course will be another beauty to behold but a tough challenge to race on. It runs in a counter clockwise direction running over high-speed dry lake beds, through low-speed winding, rock-strewn, twisting canyons and trails, along quick-paced dirt roads and through three of Baja’s most infamous washes in Chanate, Huatamote and Amarillo.
There will be two full stop checkpoints in addition to the start/finish line which will be located for the first time in the history of this race on the Malecon in the heart of San Felipe. Checkpoint 1 will be located at El Chinero and the second will be at Morelia Junction.
The course will also pass through La Ventana, Saldana and Borrego as well as the Diablo dry lake bed.
There will be two road crossings, both on Highway 3. The first will be going north at km 192 after checkpoint 1 and the second one coming south near Borrego, crossing at km 179 on the highway.
The start line and celebratory finish area will be on the SCORE ramps in front of the Rockodile night club on the Malecon.
SPRING BREAK HAPPENING
For over three decades, the annual motorsports festival that has brought the largest economic impact of any single event held annually in this lightly-populated portion of the ruggedly rough and bountifully beautiful Baja peninsula has been the SCORE San Felipe 250.
For more information, visit www.score-international.com.