Colorado Springs, CO -  For the first time in four attempts, I have finished the Baja 1000. The BFGoodrich Team of Bud Brutsman, Andrew Comrie-Picard, Roger Lovell, Joel Weinberger, Kyle Tucker, and myself overcame major mechanical issues to finish with of time of 27:42:26. We were 6th in Class 10. While I am proud of our position, the challenge itself is more memorable and significant.

The race is so many things that it’s indescribable in a few paragraphs. Only a few miles from the start a semi truck jackknifed and completely blocked the course which in turn caused a logjam of trophy trucks. Mud holes and hazards both manmade and natural littered the first 30 miles. Our car came through cleanly and made it to BFG Pit #1 in good time. Roger and I jumped in the car and waited patiently as the Wide Open crew replaced both CV shafts. We bolted from the pit and brought the car up to pace before tackling the rock filled mountains.

Its no secret that our expertise is in the rocks and we passed several racers on the way to the summit. We blew the siren and tapped a class 8 (full size truck) before making quick tracks down the other side. We must have insulted the driver as the truck later caught us in a sand wash and unquestionably tried to wreck us as he passed, an attack I will remember. South of Laguna Salada we cautiously approached an enormous silt bed. It was terribly worse than what we saw in the pre-run and stuck cars littered the area. I floored it before we were blinded and threw the car into oblivion. Bushes, cars, silt holes, and ditches flashed from the blinding dust as I did my best to keep the tires clawing through the powder. Running 4th in Class 10 we broke free of hellish silt and sped south.

About 20 miles later we noticed a sudden drop in oil pressure accompanied by flames shooting off the back of the car. Something had punctured an oil galley covering the hot exhaust with oil which in turn started a fire. We got the fire out and eventually reached the chase crew via sat phone. After nearly 5 hours of hard work, new parts, and a little bit of luck, we had a functional car. Once again adrenaline took hold as we blasted over whoops, rocks, and sand. We were again struck with mechanical demons but able to fight the car into BFG Pit #2. Brief repairs were made and we ventured into the desert at full strength with Roger now behind the wheel.

I have heard plenty of stories about big whoops but nothing compares to San Felipe whoops. The unending monstrous corrugations only yielded when sharp rock filled the course. Soon we found ourselves clawing through another frightful silt bed and this time we became mired. I jumped out into the moonscape and started to dig. I stuffed twigs under the tires and Roger worked the car back and forth. We repeated the process several times and made slow progress. Finally we were free and I was exhausted. We covered another 60 rough miles before handing the car off at BFG Pit #3. With 320 miles down we were well behind the field but making encouraging progress.

Its hard to wait in the pit with no knowledge of where your car is. Rumors abound and there is nothing to do but listen for a radio call. The call finally came before Joel Weinberger and Bud Brutsman rolled into Pit #4. They handed a strong car off to Andrew Comrie-Picard and Kyle Tucker who would be on their own for the last 240 miles of high speed shelf roads, rocks, and hills.

Hours later we nervously waited at the finish line as a race broke out between us and car #1001. They swapped positions several times in the last 40 miles but at the finish our team’s unending effort paid off as we beat them by a handful of minutes.

At this 44th running of the Baja 1000, BFGoodrich captured their 25th overall victory. I’m proud to be part of such a fantastic Baja 1000 effort and experience the rich heritage built over decades by SCORE and BFGoodrich. Thanks to BFG, Wide Open, our chase crew, and everyone who supported us in this endeavor.

The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 brings out fans by the thousands. Americans and Mexicans set up shop at jumps and major road crossings, in the wash near the start of the race and everywhere in between. The locals love the race and the excitement and speed that comes with off-road racing, but sometimes fans take it too far.

We came across a video on Saturday that shows a fan going way too far. If nothing else, it’s an example of what not to do when watching an off-road race. This spectator positioned himself in a large rut hoping to get a cool shot of a buggy jumping over him. One buggy did jump the stupido spectator, and he survived to tell about it, but as the 1204 Class 12 car of Zak Langley comes by, the spectator has nowhere to go. Fortunately Langley avoided him and moved on, but it’s the perfect example of what not to do at an off-road racing. It’s amazing this guy didn’t get hit.

Check out the video below.


Like clockwork, SCORE officials kicked off the 2011 at 6:30 a.m. as advertising from Ensenada, Mexico. SCORE updated the number of total official entries this morning to 285. Due to the heavy rains last weekend, major mud hole sections forced SCORE to add a few miles additional course, increasing the total race course distance to 705 miles (up from 692).

There were 96 bikes and ATVs leaving the start line this morning, with the trucks and buggies scheduled to leave four hours after the last bike (at about 11:30 a.m.). This included 55 professional teams and 41 sportsman entries.

FULLERTON, CA. – (Nov. 14, 2011) – There’s plenty at stake for Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored off-road racing husband and wife team Cameron and Heidi Steele as they head to Ensenada, Mexico for the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 17-20.

Heidi, a three-time titlist, is looking to capture championship number four in the Class 6 SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) division. She’s in first place heading into the season-ending Baja race, having won twice this year in San Felipe. Also at stake is chance for her to earn a prestigious Toyota Milestone award, which goes to the pro car and truck drivers who finish every required mile in the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series. As always, San Clemente, California-based Heidi and her co-driver Rene Brugger will battle the rugged 692.82-mile course in a Ford Ranger riding on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+® tires.

“We’re ready for the Baja 1000,” said Heidi. “Our Yokohama tires can definitely take on the tough terrain and help bring us home another championship.”

Cameron, a Trophy Truck class veteran, TV commentator and two-time SCORE Person of the Year, is looking for his first SCORE win of the year. At San Felipe, he powered his trademark No. 16 Geiser Brothers Chevrolet truck to a season-best fifth-place finish in the ultra-competitive Trophy Truck division, and seventh overall among all 77 racers. The 800-horsepower machine is mounted with newly developed 40-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions.

“The 40-inch tires are already race-tested,” said Cameron, “and they performed great. We’re definitely ready to take on Baja.”

In addition to Cameron’s #16, the Desert Assassins team will campaign a second Yokohama-shod Geiser Brothers Trophy Truck and have enlisted the help of Rick Geiser, Josh Daniels and Pat Dean to share in the driving duties between the two trucks.

“The Baja 1000 is the most prestigious and challenging off-road race in the world,” said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama’s senior manager of motorsports.  “We really like our odds this year with two Geiser Brothers Trophy Trucks, an excellent driver lineup and the 40-inch Geolandar tire. We’re also looking for Heidi and Renee to bring home another Class 6 championship.  Conquering the Baja 1000 would be a great way to close out the season.”

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ – the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

LOS ANGELES—Reality TV star Jesse James has received the first starting position during Saturday’s drawing for November’s 44th running of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. While James, who lives in Austin, Texas, will pilot his No. 54 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck, starting first among the motorcycle and ATV classes will be Craig Bowman on a Honda CRF450X.

This year’s internationally televised granddaddy of all desert races, the mammoth finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with race week festivities scheduled for Nov. 17-20.

A solid total of 202 vehicles officially entered in time for Saturday’s drawing held at SCORE International’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

The race itself starts on Friday, Nov. 18 and official entry forms are available online along with all pertinent race information and prerunning rules on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com.

LOS ANGELES—Continuing its dedicated efforts to stabilize costs during these challenging economic times, SCORE International has reduced the entry fee by over 25 percent for its regular Sportsman Four Wheel classes, as well as added an additional special Sportsman 5-1600 class for this year’s 44th running of the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. This year’s internationally televised granddaddy of all desert races will be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, with race week festivities scheduled for Nov. 17-20.

With the race itself starting on Friday, Nov. 18, official entry forms are available online along with the proposed course map and prerunning rules on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com. Entries from over 30 US States and 15 countries are expected to take the green flag in November, competing in 35 Pro and seven Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

LOS ANGELES — With all of the many other desert races seeming to serve as a prelude each year, motorsports enthusiasts from around the world are now turning their collective focus to the granddaddy of all desert races, the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.  This year’s internationally-televised 44th anniversary celebration will be a large loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico as race week festivities will run from Nov. 16-20.

With the season-finale of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series starting on Friday, Nov. 18, official entry forms will be available online starting Monday on the SCORE website at www.score-international.com. Entries from over 30 US States and 15 countries are expected to take the green flag in November, competing in 35 Pro and six Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

The official course map for the 2011 will be released publically by SCORE CEO/President Sal Fish on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Off-Road Expo in Pomona, Calif. The computerized drawing, by class, for starting positions, will be held in the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 15.