2013 SCORE Tecate San Felipe 250 Preview

Mar. 09, 2013 By Josh Burns

With new President and CEO Roger Norman now manning the helm of SCORE International after purchasing it from Sal Fish late last year, the new era of the organization kicks off with the first race of the 2013 SCORE calendar, the Mastercraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.

The San Felipe 250 has been a staple in the SCORE desert race series for decades, but this is the first time in many years that it has undergone so many changes. Norman is looking to expand the sport while also making it safer for spectators and participants. There’s an infusion of new ideas with Norman leading SCORE, and San Felipe is the first time his impression will be felt.

The party atmosphere surrounding the event was even more enhanced this year, as SCORE and Monster partnered to host a pre-race party under the arches that lead into town, complete with driver interviews, thumping music and plenty of Tecate and Monster mixed drinks. All of the action was broadcast live on http://www.score-international.com/ by the Dirt Live crew, and there will be more coverage of the race throughout the weekend.

MORE SCORE San Felipe 250
Roger Norman Interview

San Felipe 250 Photo Gallery

Some of the biggest news for racers is major changes to the course, as the it now travels north of highway 3 for the first time in many years. SCORE is also not running through the Matomi Wash this year, as reports indicate the section is impassable due weather erosion. This means a huge chunk of the course is new for SCORE (some sections are used in CODE races), meaning previous race winners like Rob MacCachren might not have the same veteran advantage heading into the race as in years past.

“The track’s a lot more tight and technical than usual,” defending San Felipe winner MacCachren said. “This one has some new routes where they burned a new trail in, if you want to call it that, where it’s very tight and technical, and when it’s like that it’s difficult to pass anyone and it also slows the speed down. I love San Felipe – it’s actually the roughest race that we have but it’s also the fastest mph that we have.”

Rodrigo Ampudia

San Felipe may no longer be the fastest race, however. Even MacCachren noted the speeds will realistically be down this year and that the finishing times will probably not be as quick as in years past.

“There’s been a lot of talk about trying to smooth the track out,” he said. “We even heard rumors about grading stuff, but you know I welcome that [rough] stuff. It’s what separates the men from the boys.”

AGM Team Pre-Running

Trophy Truck drivers Bryce Menzies and Armin Schwartz echoed the same sentiments today at tech and contingency, with Schwartz saying a 50 mph average might be realistic for the rough and tight course (not in the high 50s like years past). Some of the new precautions Norman has instituted –slowing or stopping at road crossings, 4.5-hour gap between bike and truck start, 1-minute Trophy Truck starting gap – hope to make the event safer for everyone, but it will be an adjustment for racers. We look forward to seeing how it all plays out tomorrow. 

Driver Meeting

The San Felipe 250 will kick off tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. with the bikes heading off the line first followed by ATVs. Trophy Trucks will be lead the full-sized four-wheeled vehicles off the line at 10:30 a.m. to give the bikes and ATVS a 4.5-hour head start. 

MORE SCORE San Felipe 250
Roger Norman Interview

San Felipe 250 Photo Gallery

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