After roughly eight hours of racing, the lead Trophy Trucks are at about race mile 500. BJ Baldwin is currently in the lead, with Bryce Menzies, Gustavo Vildosola, Rob MacCachren and Dan McMillin trailing him, respectively.

The AGM Trophy Truck team is about 40 miles off the pace as physically the 11th Trophy Truck – a pretty good start considering we were told they had two flats at the start of the race and came off the line 31st.  We’re waiting at San Ignacio at race mile 615, as Martin Christensen will take over for Armin Schwarz in the #15 TT and race the final 500-or-so miles to the finish.

LA PAZ, Mexico—As nighttime began to fall at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) over Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, desert racing action is heating up as 298 adventurers battle the terrain, the competition and their own endurance levels as the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 roars into the evening. Early leaders on unofficial corrected time in motorcycles is the 1x Honda team led by rider of record Colton Udall, San Clemente, Calif. and in four-wheel vehicles is the No. 97 Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy Truck driven by Las Vegas’ B.J. Baldwin.

With the bone-jarring 1,121.55-mile course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the granddaddy of all desert races started Thursday morning in Ensenada and will finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz, Baja California Sur.

In a strange turn of events, the start of the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was delayed this morning by over an hour. Although the bikes and ATVs left this morning at 6:30, only the first 13 Trophy Trucks made it off the line at about 11:30 a.m (Jesse James, shown below, headed off the line first). The problem? A construction semi-truck jackknifed at one of the road crossings only about 4 miles into the course. It’s a unique situation for the race, but it’s just kind of something that can happen in Baja.

This completely blocked the course for the trucks that had started, and it created a huge issue for racers and teams. Robby Gordon (below talking to Sal Fish), among other racers and teams, was concerned the first 13 trucks would gain an advantage. Then, bringing back the trucks would put those first 13 that already traveled four miles at a disadvantage, as they would not have teams nearby to help them refuel. The end result was that Sal Fish jumped into his VW Official SCORE Vehicle and led out the remaining Trophy Truck class to the site of the accident. Once the accident was cleared, the Trophy Trucks would start. That’s exactly what happened.

The Class 1 buggies, along with the 10s and all the other four-wheel truck and buggy classes, then took off from the official start line in Ensenada. All is well for the most part, but it’s going to make for a much longer day for racers and crews.

For more on the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, check out our additional race coverage:

Baja 1000: ATVs and Dirt Bikes Off the Line

2011 Baja 1000 Photo Gallery

2011 Baja 1000: Press Conference, Tech & Contingency

Baja Pre-Run with Nick Vanderwey & Team

Gustavo Vildosola Jr. & Sr., Rodrigo AmpudiaIn the first half of the race, it was the father-and-son team of Gustavo Vildosola Jr. and Sr. that led the field for the overall four-wheel racing in the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. The team, which also features Rodrigo Ampudia as the third driver, is trying to make history by being the first Mexican nationals to capture the overall title in the 1000 – something that has never been done in the 42-year history of the event.