Fort Mill, SC – July 18, 2012 – So you have a weekend off and are ready to jump in your four-wheel drive vehicle outfitted with General tires for a little off-road adventure.  Keeping with the spirit of “Anywhere is Possible” and looking to exceed the limits, your quest to tackle sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, and other natural terrain leaves you wondering…where should I go?  Well look no further.  With millions of miles logged across the Southwest deserts of the United States and the Baja peninsula of Mexico, Team GT’s professional desert off-road drivers revealed their favorite spots for a weekend getaway (in no particular order) and now we’re sharing them with you.  So check it out:

Fort Mill, SC – April 24, 2012 – What do a rooster and a hurricane have in common? They will both be at the General Tire NORRA (National Off-Road Racing Association) Mexican 1000. Friends, and teammates, Rick “Hurricane” Johnson and Jim “Rooster” Riley will once again embark upon the 1,100-mile race down the exotic Baja peninsula from Mexicali to San Jose Del Cabo. This year’s rally marking the third time since the Mexican 1000 revival in 2010 that racers from all generations have piloted their vintage vehicles across one of the world’s most notorious deserts.

Johnson in his 1979 winged sprint car named “Jalopy” and Riley in the famed “Snortin Nortin” will both tackle the gritty, old school style of racing that has laid the groundwork for what we know as off-road racing today. Both historians of the sport, Johnson and Riley sat down to talk about the history of the General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000, vehicle preparation, challenges, strategy, and socializing with 300 of their closest off-road friends. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: What does it mean to you to compete in a race that laid the groundwork for today’s off-road racing?

A (Johnson) – Competing in the 2012 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 returns us to a place in time where man and machine first challenged the unknown terrains of BAJA California, Mexico. It’s an honor for me to represent General Tire and retrace the routes of my childhood heroes who laid the groundwork for a race that is now known as the famous Baja 1000. In 1965 Ted Mangels was the first person to record a registered time in a 4-wheeled vehicle beating the previously set time of motorcycle racer Dave Ekins.

Las Vegas, NV – March 23, 2012 – General Tire announced today, in conjunction with the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA), that they will title sponsor the 2012 Mexican 1000. The General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 will run April 28 – May 2, 2012 and cover more than 1,100 miles down the exotic Baja peninsula from Mexicali to San Jose Del Cabo. This year’s rally, the third since the Mexican 1000 revival in 2010, is comprised of gritty, old school racing and a variety of unique social activities and is sure to be one for the history books.

Known as “The Happiest Race on Earth”, the Mexican 1000 is gaining a reputation for bringing fun and a shared sense of adventure back to Baja off-road racing. The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year rally spotlights vintage off-road vehicles, motorcycles and ATVs, as well as rally cars, a limited number of modern desert racecars, and classes for prerunner-type trucks and buggies. The four-day, on and off-road rally offers teams high-speed off-road driving with unparalleled views of Mexico’s scenic Baja peninsula, as well as offering new levels of the hospitality and social camaraderie that is the heart of the General Tire Mexican 1000 experience.

With its dates and rally format firmly solidified, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) opened online registration to all participants for the 2012 Mexican 1000 on New Year’s Day. Since then rally registrations have surged to new pre-event levels. While there are still over three months left before teams converge at the historic bullring in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico for pre-rally technical inspections and an opening night “Welcome Fiesta and Driver’s Meeting,” nearly three dozen teams have already added their names to what should be record year for the unique four-day competition.  (See below for the first 30 Mexican 1000 entries.)

The first three entries came from enthusiastic rally veterans Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan and Butch Jensen. Additional entries arrived courtesy of veterans Brian Collins, Mark Post and Mark Stahl. It is expected that two-time rally winner Bob Gordon will join Malcolm Smith, Bud Feldkamp, Frank “Butch” Arciero Jr., Larry Roeseler, Don Adams, Dave Westhem, Randy Salmont and many others making plans for the journey down the Baja peninsula this April 28 – May 2, 2012.

Evans, an iconic figure in the world of off-road motorsports, will return with his famous Dodge Class 8 pick-up truck that took him to so many victories in the 1980s. At last year’s Mexican 1000 a mechanical issue forced him to retire on Day 2 just outside of beautiful Bahia De Los Angeles, but the beloved racer is looking forward to his return to this vintage-flavored event.

“Well, here is the real story,” explained Evans, who entered his first NORRA Mexican 1000 back in 1969. “I love Mexico. I love everything about the place. I am at the age and at the time of my life when I want to give something back to the place that has given me so much. The new NORRA Mexican 1000 is the perfect way to do that; four fun-filled days of seeing that beautiful peninsula while having time to visit with old friends and locals. It’s the most fun you can have, and I intend to have a good time, I can tell you that!”

Ensenada, Mexico (November 17, 2011) – Robby Gordon and the No. 77 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires team will return to the Baja Peninsula for the 44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, November 17-20.  The race marks the fifth and final round of competition in the 2011 Tecate SCORE International Off-Road season.

In a race that is known for its grueling course and tough competition, Gordon will be faced with competition from approximately 275 other racers.  Drivers from 34 U.S. states and 16 countries will gather in Ensenada, Mexico, to compete in the 36 Pro and six Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.  Gordon will compete directly against 33 other competitors in the elite Trophy Truck class, including ten of the 17 previous season point champions.  The Trophy Truck class is the marquee SCORE racing division featuring 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks, and is expected to be the largest class competing in the Baja 1000.

The Baja 1000 will take place over a 692.82-mile course, with the competition both beginning and ending in Ensenada, Mexico.  The trophy truck class is scheduled to roll off at approximately 11:30 a.m. PST on Friday, November 18.  The vehicles will leave the grid in 30-second increments for the timed event, which is expected to take the fastest competitors just 14 hours to complete.

Gordon, a three-time overall Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 champion, finished second in the 2010 edition of the race.  While Gordon is racing his No. 77 SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires Trophy Truck across the Baja Peninsula, Reed Sorenson will be working with the SPEED Energy team to prepare the No. 7 Dodge Charger R/T for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I’m very excited for the Baja 1000 this weekend,” commented Gordon.  “I love this race.  Growing up in off-road racing has made this particular event extremely important on a personal level.  For that reason, I’ve always made it a priority to race in the Baja 1000 throughout my NASCAR career even if I wasn’t able to compete in the entire SCORE schedule.  This is a very tough and physical event; every year about a third of the guys who enter the race never cross the finish line.  Fortunately, my team has been known for producing quality off-road vehicles that are up for the challenge, and I’m sure that the SPEED Energy / Toyo Tires Trophy Truck will be no different.  Despite damaging our truck and needing to replace the drive shaft, we finished second last year.  We hope to improve on that this year and bring home the winning trophy.”

Baja California, Mexico – November 14, 2011. Team General Tire (Team GT) is ready to dominate the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race. The legendary race, held on the treacherous Baja Peninsula, will begin and end in Ensenada over the course of two days (November 18-20). And with six members of Team GT entered, there’s a good chance you’ll see the red and white General Tire logo roll across the finish line in first.

Team GT will be well-represented as they storm the desert in Baja California, Mexico. Off-road champion “Ballistic” BJ Baldwin, Rick D. Johnson, and Bobby Baldwin will all compete in the Trophy Truck class. Kent Kroeker is entered in Class 8, Mikey Childress in Class 1 and Jim Riley is debuting the R8 in the SCORE Series. The latest edition to Team GT is off-road powerhouse Colton Udall, former teammate of the late Jeff “Ox” Kargola. He is entered in Class 22 with his motorcycle number “0x”. These drivers will join over 250 other entrants in a test of mental and physical toughness where only the strongest survive.

“The Baja 1000 is a tough race,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing, General Tire. “It’s physically demanding on the drivers and the equipment but I know the Grabber is the best tire out there to help Team GT bring home a win. Every guy on Team GT is capable of winning and we’re proud to support them through one of the most arduous races around.”
General Tire is “unleashing the fury” for a fifth season of off-road action with the Grabber competition tire. Designed with a tough, three-ply Duragen™-reinforced body construction to stand up to the rigors of off-road conditions, the Grabber also features a specially-engineered, competition-specific tread compound. In addition, the Grabber name and General Tire logo are prominently featured on the sidewall in red and white letters. The Grabber competition tires are designed in size 37×12.50R17 for Class 8 and Trophy Truck/Trick Truck and 35×12.50R17 for Class 1, 6, 7, 7 S, Stock Mini and Protruck.

General Tire also has a complete line of Grabber tires for the passenger and light truck market, including the new Grabber DOT-approved off-road tire; the Grabber HTS, which delivers the perfect synergy of comfort, durability and performance; the Grabber UHP, which sets a whole new standard in performance and ride quality for SUVs, light trucks and crossover vehicles; and Grabber AT2, designed for aggressive all-terrain traction in all weather conditions.

If you can’t be there to see all the action first-hand, you can get up-to-the-minute information on all the races at www.twitter.com/teamgt.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 16, 2011) – Two Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) champions will now have a chance to be SCORE Baja 1000 champions, courtesy of BFGoodrich® Tires’ expanded contingency program. For the second straight year, BFGoodrich Tires will award two SCCA National Runoffs Champions seats in the 44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 in the “Baja Challenge” (BC) class in November. The 2011 SCCA National Championship Runoffs will take place Sept. 19-25 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

“We received a fantastic response to the announcement of our SCCA Baja 1000 contingency program when it launched last year, so it was an easy decision to bring it back in 2011, especially now that BFGoodrich Tires is the ‘Official Street Tire’ of the SCCA,” said Silvia Mammone, BFGoodrich Tires motorsports and sponsorship manager. “It gives us a great opportunity to accentuate BFGoodrich Tires’ legendary success both on- and off-road. Last year, Chad Gilsinger won the seat, and it was fun to see him do well at the Baja 1000 – a race and environment that was completely unfamiliar to him.”

Captivating thousands of fans who lined the race course of the 43rd SCORE Baja 500, FOX Racing Shox racers dominated the top three spots on the podium among the elite SCORE Unlimited Trophy Truck class.  SCORE Trophy Trucks are the top class in desert racing featuring 800 horsepower racing across the desert at incredible speeds.

Las Vegas racing phenom, Bryce Menzies, driving the Red Bull #70 truck, was the overall 4-wheel winner after 452.84 miles of racing.  Menzies finished in 9 hours, 4 minutes and 52 seconds, followed closely by one of desert racing’s most feared competitors, Rob MacCachren, driving the #20 Rockstar Energy Drink Trophy Truck.  Last year’s winner, Andy McMillin, driving the McMillin Realty-BFGoodrich Tires Truck took third.
All three racers are FOX athletes competing at the top of their game with the ability to win races at anytime.

Irvine, Calif.  – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Casey Currie saddled up his KX™450F this morning and ventured across the U.S. border into Tecate, Mexico to begin the 1,400-mile, eight-day adventure to the tip of the Baja peninsula. The Desert Assassin’s Rip to the Tip, which debuted in 2006, was created by Cameron Steele and Larry Badgwell who were originally looking to share their love of Baja with their closest riding buddies. They recruited 12 of their friends, known as the Dirty Dozen, and embarked on the challenging adventure from the U.S. border-town of Tecate, Calif., through the length of the Baja peninsula, finishing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Since its inception, the event has proven a success and has grown in notoriety over the past five years. This year’s event will host more than 40 riders, including Currie, who will spend over a week riding through blazing-hot desert, treacherous single-track mountain trails, sand washes, dunes, beaches, boulders, canyons, and steep grades in hopes to make the full-pull, all the way to Cabo San Lucas.

NEW YORK, N.Y.—SCORE International and Aura360 have jointly announced the release of the official DVD of the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.  The special collection DVD, celebrating last November’s legendary granddaddy of all desert races, will go on sale beginning Thursday via the internet.  With almost 60 minutes of content (including race footage unseen in the NBC TV broadcast of the race) plus five additional bonus chapters, the colorful DVD will provide a comprehensive and memorable look at the 2010 race.

In a year when the course spanned the entire Baja peninsula for the 20th time in race history and dreams were made and broken across all 1061.69 miles, few teams would emerge unscathed as the 43rd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 once again proved itself as one of the most grueling challenges in all of motorsports.