2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Underway

Nov. 18, 2011 By Josh Burns
Sal Fish shakes the hand of each and every driver that leaves the start line at the SCORE Baja 1000.

It wasn’t the smoothest of starts, but SCORE has launched all 285 racers (technically only 278 made the start) off the starting line – in one way or the other – from Ensenada, Mexico.

With bikes and ATVs heading off the line earlier this morning at 6:30, the Trophy Trucks were set and ready to lead the four-wheel vehicles off the line. Less than 15 trucks started, however, as a major semi-truck accident blocked the road crossing just a few miles into the course, forcing the 13 trucks to stop and SCORE officials to stop the remaining trucks from leaving the line (see And They're ... Off?).

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Robby Gordon expresses his concern over potential issues with the Trophy Truck restart due to a semi-truck accident that blocked the course only a few miles into the race.

After a few minutes of confusion and uncertainty as SCORE officials sorted out how to best handle the situation, the plan was to taxi out the remaining Trophy Truck drivers out to where the other trucks were stuck waiting for the accident to be cleared and restart the trucks. It seemed like the only fair way to handle the situation.

All four-wheeled trucks and buggies had to wait until the Trophy Trucks restarted at the accident scene before they could leave the originl start line.

There were talks of making the trucks that already started come back to town to restart, but that wasn’t quite fair to them as they wouldn’t have chase crews in town to top off their fuel tanks. It also wouldn’t be fair for there to be a large gap between the racers that had already started and those who hadn’t. The restart at the accident scene seemed to make the most sense for the Trophy Truck class. Now how they will bridge the time gap between the Class 1 vehicles and the trucks will be another story.

Bryce Menzies is hoping to stay near the front of the pack (and ahead of mentor Rob MacCachren) to earn the Trophy Truck season championship.

The motorcycles are still battling. As of race mile 460, Johnny Campbell Racing’s 1x bike of Kendall Norman and Quinn Cody held a roughly six-minute lead over the 11x THR Motorsports bike team that features Shane Esposito, Robby Bell and others.

All the four-wheel drivers and their crews are in for a longer night however, since start times were delayed at least an hour. Jesse James was first off the line and he has managed to stay near the front. Gustavo Vildosola was pressuring him up to the 75-mile mark but was stopped with steering issues shortly thereafter. The father-son team of Andy and Scott McMillin are in the mix, and Bryce Menzies is sitting near the top five, and if he can maintain his position the season championship should be his.

The Class 1 buggies blasted off the line a few hours later than anticipated.

Be sure to check back with Off-Road.com for more on the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. 

More 2011 Baja 1000:

Baja 1000: Tech & Contingency (Video)

Baja 1000 Photo Gallery

Pre-Running the Course with Nick Vanderway 

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