Race to honor memory of long-time SCORE Mexican liaison Jose ‘Pepe’ Limon
LOS ANGELES—As pre-running over the rugged race course heats up for next week’s 25th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, SCORE Trophy-Truck star Jesse Jones leads 25 defending SCORE Desert Series season point champions among a veteran field that includes many of the world’s best desert racers who have entered this popular spring race.
Attracting entries from 22 states and nine countries, the lineup includes 28 entries in SCORE Trophy-Truck, the marquee racing division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks. Round 2 of the 2011 SCORE Desert Series will be held next weekend in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
With nearly 250 entries expected, competition will be held in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the 252.09-mile race. The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. Pacific time next Saturday, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. local time. The start and finish line for the race will once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with an 11-hour time limit to become an official finisher.
As part of the festivities of the Silver anniversary of the popular SCORE ‘spring-break’ race, SCORE has made it a memorial race to honor long-time SCORE Mexican liaison Jose ‘Pepe’ Limon, who passed away last November at age 73.
Following January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series will be visiting Mexico for the first of its three annual SCORE Baja races.
Jones, 45, Litchfield Park, who won the 2010 SCORE Trophy-Truck and SCORE Overall season point title in his No. 1 Jones Motorsports Chevy Silverado, is one of 14 of the 2010 SCORE Pro class season crown winners who also won their respective classes in this race. Jones won his class and was second overall in San Felipe last year. Jones also won the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Primm 300 last year to give him two career SCORE Trophy-Truck class wins in the 17-plus year history of the featured SCORE racing division.
The 13 other 2010 SCORE season champs entered who won their respective classes in last year’s MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 are Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug), David Caspino, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger), Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico. (Class 8, Ford F-150), Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico (Class 11, VW Sedan), Joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570), Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 30, Honda CRF450X), Lou Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X), Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif. (Class 50, Honda XR650R), Donald Lewis, Marlborough, Conn. (Class 60, Honda CRF450X), Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore. (Class 24, Honda TRX450R) and Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 25, Honda TRX700XX).
The other eight defending SCORE Pro season point titlists entered this year who did not win their respective classes in San Felipe last year are: Harley Letner/Kory Halopoff, Orange, Calif. (Class 1, Alpha-Chevy), Luke McMillin, El Cajon, Calif. (Class 1-2/1600, AlumiCraft-VW), Clyde Stacy, Bristol, Va. (Class 9, Mayoral-VW), Sergio Salgado, Mexicali, Mexico (Class 10, Jimco-Honda), Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif. (SCORE Lite, Seagrove-VW), Reid Rutherford, Montrose, Colo. (Class 7-2, Mason-Chevy), John Langley, Santa Monica, Calif. (Class 4, Racer-Chevy) and Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Quinn Cody, Buellton, Calif. (Class 22, Honda CRF450X). Stacy (SCORE Trophy-Truck and Class 4), Davis (Class 1) and Langley (Class 10) have moved to different classes, while the others will be racing in their same respective classes this year in San Felipe.
Three of the 2010 SCORE Sportsman class season point champions are also entered in this year’s San Felipe race as wellReturning to race in Sportsman classes are 2010 season point champions Peter Lang, Santa Rosa, Calif. (SPT Car, Homebuilt-Chevy), Ken Fraizer, Wadell, Ariz. (SPT Truck, Chevy Silverado), and Thomas Graves, El Cajon, Calif. (SPT UTV, Yamaha Rhino).
Fraizer won his class in last year’s race.
This year’s race will use a course of 252.09 miles that is very similar to the past two years with a few modifications beyond those caused by normal weather conditions. Running in a counter clockwise direction out of San Felipe up to and then parallel to Highway 3 (south side) and then south back down through three of the most picturesque and challenging washes in all of Baja.
After the start at the landmark San Felipe Arches, the race will proceed north and then Northwest and then south to the entrance of majestic Matomi Wash. After Matomi, the challenging course will run through two more of the infamous Baja canyons—Huatomote and Chanate before heading back Northwest for the final sprint to the finish line.
The four checkpoints will be located as follows over the 252.09-mile desert race route: CK1-race mile 60.7; CK2-rm 121.8; CK3-rm 164.3, CK4-rm 235.7
SCORE Trophy-Trucks have won 14 overalls in San Felipe in their 17-year history.
To date, SCORE Trophy-Truck had the most entries with 28, followed by the unlimited Class 1 with 20, SCORE Lite with 15 and Class 1-2/1600 with 13. While 218 official entries have been received as of this evening, late registration will be accepted up until race morning and as many as 40 additional entries are expected.
Among the Pro motorcycle classes, the open Class 22 and age group Class 30 have the most vehicles entered so far with eight each. Leading the Pro ATV classes so far is Class 24 with 16 entries.
Leading the Sportsman classes is SPT M/C 450> with 16 entries to date.
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. The awards celebration is scheduled for Sunday, March 13 at 10 a.m. at the Plaza on the Malecon.
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, which includes a $2,000 MasterCraft bonus.
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 and Slime-official tire sealant. 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.