For the 17th year in a row, a Honda crossed the finish line first in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The Johnny Campbell Racing Honda team of Tim Weigand, Colton Udall, David Kamo and team newcomer Mark Samuels came into the event with a lot of question marks but finished the race with an exclamation point. The team won the overall motorcycle race, covering the 883.1-mile distance in a time of 18 hours, 29 minutes, 14.240 seconds, at an average speed of 47.768 mph.
For even casual off-road racing fans, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart needs no introduction. His name rests in the most elite pantheon of competitors who have braved the Baja Peninsula in a quest for glory. With three Baja 1000 wins and an amazing 17 Baja 500 wins, Stewart has more than made his mark in Baja racing’s fabled lore.
UPDATE: As of 8:15 a.m. PST on Friday, November 15, SCORE Ops showed the 2X FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM and the 1X JCR Honda together at Race Mile 454. The 349X Honda was at Race Mile 411, and the 4X THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki was at Race Mile 402.
FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM’s Kurt Caselli made a little history right off the starting line at the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the 30-year-old becoming the first rider to start the race at night, leaving Ensenada promptly at 11 p.m. to start KTM’s quest for a Baja 1000 victory.
For SCORE CEO Roger Norman, most of the hard work done for the 2013 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The 883.1-mile race, which promises to be a thrilling event, kicks off this evening when the motorcycle and ATV classes leave the starting line at 11 p.m. Talk has centered around the sheer brutality of this year’s course, we took the opportunity to chat with Norman about the race and the state of SCORE as its first season under his guidance enters the final countdown.
A lot of racers have chimed in on how difficult this year’s Baja 1000 course is going to be.
Well, as you know for the first two races of the year, we made the San Felipe 250 a true 250-mile race, and we made the Baja 500 over 500 miles. All the races that we’ve done were different, and we’ve had some new course, which keeps it exciting. It’s just a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do. It’s a lot of work, and it is more than what anyone could imagine. And it’s not just me. It is a lot of other people. There is no way that I could do it without the help of a lot of great people that love this sport as much as I do.
The top pro motorcycle teams joined the Trophy Truck and car teams in Ensenada today for the traditional press conference prior to the start of every Tecate Score Baja 1000. The only difference is that, this time, after finishing their various speeches and interviews, the motorcycle guys had to switch into full race mode for tonight’s scheduled 11 p.m. motorcycle and ATV class start. In light of the race schedule, attendance by the riders was sparse. Here is what they had to say.
FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM
Antti Kalonen, Team Manager: “I have Kurt Caselli with me today. Unfortunately the rest of the riders are on the course, getting ready for tonight’s start. We have Kurt starting today for the first part of the night section, and then Kendall Norman will get on in San Felipe for the rest of the night section. Then Mike Brown is going to get on the bike, and we’re going to have a couple more riders along the way, taking the shorter sections toward the end. It is a long race, and we have been working very hard for this one. Preparation has been going well. We learn, every race, something new. I’m excited, and I want to thank Roger (Norman) for making some necessary changes to the rules and the course and making the sport better and the racing better. I am looking forward to this one, and we hopefully we can cross the finish line on the top spot.”
The Pro Motorcycle class took a new turn in Baja California, Mexico, today, even before the official start of the 46th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Racers took part in a timed qualifying format on a slightly modified version of the five-mile course that the Trophy Trucks used, just outside of Ojos Negros, to set the front of the field for the race, which is scheduled to start at 11 p.m. Thursday night.
In a frantic sprint unlike anything that many of the racers are used to, FMF/Bonanza Plumbing KTM’s Kurt Caselli is generally acknowledged to have claimed the top spot, although official results were not available as of our post time. Caselli is said to have completed his flying lap between one and three seconds faster than Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s Colton Udall, with THR Motorsports/Monster Energy Kawasaki’s David Pearson timing third quickest, setting the front three starters for the grueling 883.1-mile race.