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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BAJA CALIFORNIA - Tecate SCORE Baja 1000


Adventurers From 35 States, 15 countries Already in Lineup For November’s 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
30 days left before 1072.67-mile internationally-televised Granddaddy of all desert races.
36 SCORE Trophy-Trucks set for race down Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, Nov. 16-20.
LOS ANGELES—As the race clock quickly clicks down to 30 days remaining before the green flag drops and as teams finalize logistics, vehicle prep and prerunning trips, entries continue to arrive from around the globe for November’s 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja, the legendary granddaddy of all desert races.
This year’s legendary desert classic, the final event of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series, will be held Nov. 16-20 in Mexico on a brutally-rugged 1072.67-mile Sal Fish signature desert race course.
With massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 anticipated to again be spread out along the rugged course that travels on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race will start in Ensenada, Baja California and finish all the way down the peninsula in La Paz in Baja California Sur.
This year will be the 36th time in the first 43 years of the storied race that it has started in Ensenada and it will be the 18th time in has finished in La Paz.
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the mother of all desert races has been run over the mysterious and majestic Baja California peninsula.
With over 300 expected entries for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs competing in 33 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes in the internationally televised race, entries have already come from 35 U.S. states and 15 countries. In addition to the 35 U.S. States, racers have entered from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the US Territory of Guam. With 30 days before the green flag drops on Thursday, Nov. 17, entries will be accepted up to race morning.
As the World Series is to baseball and the Super Bowl to football, the legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 stands as tall at the pinnacle of the motorsports world today as it did when it began 42 years ago.
This year’s historic 43rd anniversary race will be held Nov. 16-20. It will start and finish in the heart of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico and finish on the outskirts of LaPaz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. It will be the 43rd anniversary of the race shrouded in mystery that continues to lure adventurers and manufacturers from across the globe who all share the dream to conquer the Baja.
“Without the SCORE Baja 1000, desert racing would not be where it is today,” said Sal Fish, SCORE International’s President and CEO, which has sanctioned and produced the event since 1975. “The SCORE Baja 1000 continues to draw interest from all over the world and we now find second and even third generation racers appearing at the starting line with their family patriarchs cheering for their off-spring. This event continues to be the focal point of the SCORE Desert Series each year and to celebrate our 43rd anniversary with a peninsula run will surely add another colorful chapter to the legacy of the SCORE Baja 1000.”
The first known record run occurred in 1962. Dave Ekins and Bill Robertson Jr. timed their trip from Tijuana to La Paz on a pair of Honda 250 motorcycles. Ekins made it in 39 hours, 54 minutes, Robertson in less than an hour slower. There were no official timers, of course, and to establish that they had made the trip, the two motorcycle racers time-stamped a sheet of paper in the Tijuana telegraph office and time-stamped it again at the telegraph office when they arrived in La Paz.
Capitalizing on the pioneer effort of Ekins and Robertson, Chevrolet commissioned car builder Bill Stroppe to prepare a small fleet of trucks for the run to La Paz. Late that year they left Long Beach, Calif., and all of them reached La Paz. Advertising and publicity campaigns heralded the feat as “the roughest run under the sun.”
Enthusiast Ed Pearlman established the Mexican 1000. It started officially in Tijuana on October 31, 1967 with 68 entries. They actually motored at leisure speeds to Ensenada and restarted the next day.
Pearlman continued to organize the Mexican 1000, which came to be known as the Baja 1000. In 1968, Pearlman moved the start of the race to Ensenada, where it stayed with one exception until 1993. In 1972 he started it at Mexicali and ran the first half of the race down the east coast of the peninsula through the treacherous Three Sisters section. Pre-running for this race, Parnelli Jones and Walker Evans were among a group of competitors who nearly got swept out to sea during a tropical storm.
Pearlman’s last race, from Ensenada to La Paz, was in 1973. At that point, Mexican officials revoked his permits to stage races in Baja.
After the fuel crisis of 1974 forced local officials to cancel the event, SCORE International, founded by the late Mickey Thompson and headed soon after by Sal Fish, was invited by the northern state of Baja California to hold the race in 1975. The Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 became a loop event starting and ending in Ensenada.
In 1979, the government of Baja California Sur granted permission to resume the Ensenada-to-La Paz format and SCORE has used this route intermittently ever since.
The 1979 race was notable for Walker Evans’ overall win in a Dodge truck, the first truck to win the overall title of the race.
In its first 42 years, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 has started 35 times in Ensenada, three times in Mexicali (1972, 1993, 1994), twice in Tijuana (1967, 1995) once in Santo Tomas (1998) and once in Ojos Negros (1999). The legendary race has finished in Ensenada 20 times, in La Paz 17 times, in Mexicali two times (1993, 1994), twice in Cabo San Lucas (2000, 2007) and once in Ojos Negros (1999).
Prior to the current global recession, entries and finishers for this legendary race peaked in 2006 and 2007 when a race-record 431 vehicles started the 2006 race to La Paz (231 finishers) and a race-record 237 finished the 2007 40th anniversary race to Cabo San Lucas (424 starters).