2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000: Tech & Contingency [Video]
Ensenada was abuzz with off-road activity today, as tomorrow marks the start of the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. It is the 44th running of the race, and the 692.82-mile racecourse will certainly challenge racers all day Friday and into Saturday morning. On the eve of the race, SCORE officials tell us there are 284 teams entered.
Local vendors lined the streets of Ensenada, as racecars and their crews made their way through city streets for contingency and then ended up at SCORE tech inspection. SCORE also held a press conference before the event, introducing local politicians that help make the race possible as well as racers participating in the event.
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Every year it seems racers at the press conference discuss the roughness of the course. This year is no different, as recent rains last weekend made large mud holes, standing water and giant ruts. As if the Baja terrain needs any help, the rains added an extra element of complication to this year’s race. Even the wash section at the very start of the race in Ensenada had standing pools of water as early as this morning, but crews have been working around the clock to get it ready for tomorrow morning’s start.
Other than the rough course conditions, there are more than a few interesting story lines heading into the race. Reality TV star and motorcycle builder Jesse James drew the first starting position and will be the first Trophy Truck off the line, and he is followed by none other than defending Baja 1000 Champions Gustavo Vildosola Jr. and Sr. in second.
In the fourth spot is the points leader in SCORE Trophy Truck Bryce Menzies, who won the Laughlin Desert Challenge and Baja 500 earlier this year. However, his previous teammate and mentor Rob MacCachren is only six points behind him in the chase but has a few more trucks to pass to catch Menzies since he starts ninth.
In the pro motorcycle class, Johnny Campbell Racing Honda’s dominance will be challenged at this year’s race by Bonanza Plumbing, THR Motorsports Kawasaki team. The loaded team of Shane Esposito, Robby Bell, Bobby Garrison, Steve Hengeveld and David Pearson will try to challenge defending champions Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody and JCR Honda 0x bike (in memory of Jeff “Ox” Kargola) of Colton Udall and David Kamo.
Event sponsor BFGoodrich Tires is also looking to make history at this year’s 1000. An overall win for the tire manufacturer would mark its 25th overall victory at the SCORE Baja 1000.
Be sure to check back with Off-Road.com on race weekend for more coverage of the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
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