LOS ANGELES—Many of the world’s top desert racers are expected to be entered in time for the computerized start draw on Feb. 12 for next month’s 25th Anniversary of the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race. With the drawing being held at the SCORE International headquarters in Los Angeles, the race itself will be held March 10-13 along the azure waters of the Sea of Cortez in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
As part of the festivities of the 25th anniversary of the popular SCORE race, SCORE has made it a memorial race to honor long-time SCORE Mexican liaison Jose ‘Pepe’ Limon, who passed away last November at 73.
With entries accepted up to race morning, over 275 entries from over 20 US States and 10 countries expected to enter as competition will be held in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the popular race. The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours after the last Sportsman ATV later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. The start line and finish line for the race is scheduled to once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe.
Following January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series will be visiting Mexico for the first of three annual SCORE Baja races in 2011.
The start draw for Round 2 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series will determine the starting order within each of the various classes in the elapsed-time race.
“San Felipe has always been a very popular race on the SCORE Baja racing schedule and it adds something even more special to our 25th anniversary of the event to be holding it in memory of our dear friend Pepe Limon,” said Sal Fish, SCORE CEO/President since soon after SCORE was founded in 1973. “Pepe was our go-to guy in Mexico for many years and while he hasn’t been active for the last several years, he certainly helped lay the foundation for the great relationships we continue to enjoy to this day with the government, ejidos and the people of Mexico, especially in Baja California.”
Fish also announced that the final course will be a combination of parts of both the 2009 and the 2010 routes, offering racers “the best of baja” once again. The course is expected to be finalized within the next week.
A unique part of next Saturday’s drawing will be the special drawing for the top 12 finishers from the nearest previous SCORE Baja race entered in the current race in both SCORE Trophy-Truck and the unlimited Class 1. For this race it will be the top 10 finishers in each class from last November’s 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
The top 12 finishers in SCORE Trophy-Truck from the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 were: Gus Vildosola Jr./Gus Vildosola Sr., Mexicali, Mexico, Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., Roger Norman, Reno, Nev., B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas, Gary Weyhrich/Mark Weyhrich, Troutdale, Ore., Troy Herbst/Brian
Collins, Las Vegas, Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas, Nick Vanderwey, Phoenix/Larry Vanderwey, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Jason Voss/Rich Voss, Cupertino, Calif., Mark McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Chuck Hovey, Escondido, Calif., Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif., Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz..
In the unlimited Class 1, the top 12 finishers from the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 were: Steve Appleton, Boise, Idaho, Daniel McMillin, El Cajon, Calif./Steve Sourapas, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Nick Johnson, Anaheim Hills, Calif., Juan C. Flores, Cabo San Lucas, Calif., Paul Keller, El Cajon, Calif., Rudy Cortez/Carlos Cortez, Henderson, Nev., Armin Kremer, Germany/Andreas Aigner, Austria, Cameron Thieriot/Max Thieriot, Petaluma, Calif., Todd Romano, Mesa, Ariz., Dale Lenk, Costa Mesa, Calif./Brent Lenk/Grant Lenk, Newport Beach, Calif., Kory Halopoff/Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., David Greenhill/Mike Greenhill, Crowley, Texas.
Last year’s overall 4-wheel, 2-wheel and ATV champions are all expected to enter this year as well. Last year’s overall 4-wheel champion was the unlimited Class 1 All German Motorsports team of Armin Schwarz, Germany/Martin Christensen, Escondido, Calif. (Denmark), 2-wheel champion was the JCR Honda team of Colton Udall/Jeff Kargola, San Clemente, Calif. on a Honda CRF450X and the Overall ATV winner was the team of Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif./Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif./Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif., on a Honda TRX700X.
The pre-race Manufacturer’s Midway and tech inspection of the vehicles in the race will be held on Friday, March 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the picturesque Malecon, flanked by the Sea of Cortez on one side and the popular restaurants and night clubs of San Felipe on the other.
As if winning his first overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck race in just his second try wasn’t enough, rookie Bryce Menzies of Las Vegas also finds himself atop the SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point leader board after the recent season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
After impressively coming from behind midway through the two-day race to earn the victory over another typical star-studded SCORE race field, Menzies, 23, leads defending SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., 67-61 after Round 1 of the five-race 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the world’s foremost desert racing series. Menzies, who finished seventh in his first SCORE Trophy-Truck race last June at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, drives the No. 70 Red Bull Ford F-150 for Menzies Motorsports while Jones, 45, pilots the No. 1 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150.
With just 27 points separating the top 25 in 2011 SCORE Overall points after Laughlin’s season-opener, SCORE racers are now preparing to begin official pre-running of the MasterCraft Safety Teacate SCORE San Felipe 250 which opens on Saturday, Feb. 26.
Menzies and Jones race in the marquee SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. With extremely tight competition, just 24 points separate the top 25 overall point leaders following the season-opener of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series. Ironically, the SCORE Trophy-Truck that Menzies drives was originally owned by Jones, who won his only race in it when he captured his class at last year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250.
After his surprising victory in Laughlin in the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars, tied for second in overall points with Jones is 17-year old Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif., last year’s SCORE Lite season point champion, in a Chevy-powered ESM open wheeler. While Menzies defeated a field of 32 SCORE Trophy-Trucks in Laughlin, Davis mastered a group of 26 stalwarts in Class 1 to earn his class win.
After a strong third-place finish overall and in SCORE Trophy-Truck in Laughlin, Mexico’s Gus Vildosola Jr., who won last year’s legendary Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 peninsula run with his father Gus Vildosola Sr., is fourth in overall points with 57 in the No. 21 Red Bull Ford F-150 of Vildosola Racing while fifth overall and second in Class 1 points with 55 is third-generation desert racer Harley Letner, Orange, Calif., who drives an Alpha-Chevy.
Round 2 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series, the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the popular six-week-long ‘Spring Break’.
The race began in 1982 and was not held between 1985 and 1989, the first five years of the seven-year combined High Desert Racing Association-HDRA/SCORE Desert Series of US and Baja races. It has been held consecutively each year since 1990.
In its first 24 years, the race was held in San Felipe all but 2007 when political issues forced a last minute move by SCORE, starting it in Ensenada and finishing it in Santo Tomas. Ironically, 2007 saw a race-record 394 starters and a race record 288 finishers even though the race was moved and the course changed just 10 days before the event. The records when the race actually started and finished in San Felipe are 341 for starters in 2006 and 220 for finishers, also in 2006.
In addition to season class point championships, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings in this event. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 26th consecutive year, a total of 72 drivers remain eligible after Round 1 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.
Current SCORE official annual sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Volkswagen of America-official vehicle, Sunoco Race Fuels -official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Slime-official tire sealant and Red Bull–official energy drink. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Blue C Advertising, SignPros, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
While MasterCraft Safety and Tecate are co-title sponsors of the 25th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, additional race sponsors are: the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe and Cotuco. Additional sponsors in Baja are the Office of the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California and ProTurismo de Ensenada.
For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.