Rob MacCachren and Andy McMillin appear to have defended their Baja 1000 victory. Photo:

In off-road racing, nothing is official until it’s official, but it appears as though Rob MacCachren and teammate Andy McMillin defended their 2014 SCORE Baja 1000 victory with a win this morning in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

That win, however, may not have been exactly how the team drew it up.

Tavo talking to reporters prior to the start of today's race, which could be an historic race for he and the people of Mexico.

Tavo talking to reporters prior to the start of today’s race, which could be an historic race for he and the people of Mexico.

Story and Photos by Scott Rousseau

Just as they did in 2010, Gustavo Vildosola Jr., Gusavo Vildosola Sr., and the Mexicana Logistics Ford Trophy Truck team have a chance to make SCORE Baja 1000 history.

Back then, the Vildosolas became the first Mexican-based team to win the prestigious SCORE Baja 1000 overall. Now, five years later, they have the chance to become the first Mexican team in history to earn the SCORE Desert World Championship. With a 22-point lead in the Desert World Championship series standings and a second-place start in in the 48th running of the Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 today, the odds are in their favor, although anything can happen. Vildosola Jr. is well aware of that, and just minutes before the start of the race he said that the team’s goal is to play it conservative in the hope locking down the SCORE series title.

Tomorrow morning, 242 race teams will embark on an epic off-road journey for the 2015 Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000. Covering more than 820 miles of treacherous terrain in Baja California, Mexico, the racers will begin and end their day at the start/finish line in Ensenada. Motorcycles and ATVs will begin the race at 6 a.m. with racers leaving in 30-second intervals, while the trucks, buggies and UTVs will leave five hours later at 11 a.m.

The unlimited Trophy Truck class will be first off the line at 11, and aside from the fame and the glory of taking home a SCORE Baja 1000 victory, there’s also a tight battle on the line for the class championship. Last year’s winner, Steven Eugenio, sits in fifth place in points but is essentially out of the running to defend his title this year, but he knows there’s still plenty on the line in tomorrow’s race.

SCORE-Imperial-Valley-Logo-3-24-14RENO, Nev. — SCORE Trophy Truck superstars B.J. Baldwin and Rob MacCachren of Las Vegas along with Mexico’s Gus Vildosola Jr. are the headliners among the entries in this week’s Inaugural SCORE Imperial Valley 250 desert race. Round 2 of the five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series will be held this week just west of El Centro, Calif and approximately 100 miles east of San Diego.

With nearly 150 entries competing in 35 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles, UTVs and ATVs expected at the start line on Saturday, entries to date have come from 17 U.S. States along with Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Mexico.  With late entries accepted up to 5 p.m. Friday, the field to date includes nearly two dozen racers from the Imperial Valley area including El Centro, Imperial and Holtville.

Tavo qualified in third place for the 2013 Baja 1000 Trophy Truck start. Photo: Scott Rousseau

Tavo qualified in third place for the 2013 Baja 1000 Trophy Truck start. Photo: Scott Rousseau

Vildosola Racing didn’t have a great SCORE Baja 500 by their standards. Gustavo Vildosola Jr., known by many as “Tavo,” spun out during his qualifying lap, putting the team much further back in the pack than they had hoped for at SCORE’s first-ever qualifying session. The team then suffered mechanical issues during the race that led to an early exit in the 500.

For this year’s Baja 1000, Tavo qualified third in Trophy Trucks and will head off the line near the front of the pack. Although this year’s race is shorter in mileage at 883.1 compared to last year’s “peninsula run” of 1121.55 miles, it will be the longest loop race ever for the 1000, and most racers expect it to be one of the toughest.

SCORE Officials announces today a shakeup in the overall finishers at the 2013 Mastercraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. After receiving a penalty for veering too far off the course (a 500-foot rule was instituted by SCORE’s Roger Norman), Bryce Menzies moved backed to second place which meant Gustavo Vildosola moved into the first-place spot for the overall victory. Finishing after Menzies in third place was last year’s winner Rob MacCachren, who moved up a spot after Juan Carlos Lopez was assessed a penalty.

In the Pro Motorcycle class, KTM-mounted Kurt Caselli was unofficially named the winner but later penalized for straying too far off course, giving the win to JCR Honda’s Timmy Weigand. Caselli moved back into second place, while Kendall Norman (who solo-ed the race) moved up into the final podium spot.

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.