NOTE: Unofficial results pending complete data tracking review…
Course closes on Saturday at 10:02 a.m. PST
Vildosolas make history, Kendall/Cody, Appletons among unofficial
Early winners as 43rd Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 continues in Mexico
JCR/Honda Racing team dominates motorcycle action on tough
1061.69-mile Baja California course
LA PAZ, Mexico–Son and father desert racers Gustavo Vildosola
Jr., and Sr.made history early Friday morning along with Kendall
Norman/Quinn Cody and the Appleton brothers who are all unofficial
early winners of the 1061.69-mile 43rd edition of the legendary Tecate
SCORE Baja 1000 desert race down Mexico’s mysteriously magical Baja
Peninsula from Ensenada from La Paz. The season finale of the
five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series continues until the course
officially closes at 10:02 a.m. Saturday.
Gustavo Jr., 28, and Gustavo Sr., 57, of Mexicali, Mexico have
become the first Mexican national team to capture the overall title in
the “Granddaddy of all Desert Racing” in their No. 21 Ford F-150 SCORE
Trophy-Truck in the 43-year history of the world’s most famous desert
Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif. and Cody, Buellton, the JCR/Honda
Racing team stars, dominated the motorcycle portion of the race on
their Honda CRF450X and brothers Steve and Chris Appleton of Boise,
Idaho, withstood the challenge and conquered the Baja in the unlimited
class 1 in a Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car.
As desert adventurers continue to make it to the La Paz finish
line, all results are unofficial pending the final review of data
tracking devises each vehicle has for reviewing the actual route each
has taken along with their speeds on the over 170-miles of paved roads
that were required to run at a speed of under 60 miles per hour.
The Vildosolas came close to the overall victory in 2007 when
they placed second to winners Mark Post and Rob MacCachren in the 40th
anniversary event that finished in Cabo San Lucas.
In this year’s race, Gus Vildosola Jr. started and finished and
Gus Sr. drove a section in the middle the grueling route. They
finished with an unofficial overall time of 19 hours and four seconds,
averaging 55.67 miles per hour, marking the first time a 4-wheel
vehicle has recorded a faster time than the motorcycles since 1973 in
a peninsula run to La Paz.
The Vildosola victory also have BFGoodrich Tires, celebrating its
35th year of SCORE Baja racing in 2010, its 24th overall 4-wheel
victory in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, including the last four
Norman and Cody gave Honda its 21 overall motorcycle victory
including its 14th consecutive triumph, after Norman drove the first
and final sections and Cody the middle to a winning time of 19:22:22
with an average speed of 54.87mph. It was the fifth overall career win
for Norman and fourth straight in this race while Cody picked up his
third career Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 overall motorcycle victory.
Norman crossed the finish line at approximately 1:53 a.m. PST
Friday while Gus Jr. took the checkered flag at 6:30 a.m. Friday.
Steve Appleton also drove the first and the final sections and
Chris Appleton the middle part to finish sixth overall among 4-wheel
vehicles in addition to winning Class 1 for the second time this year
after his win in June at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Their finishing
time on Friday was 20:29:48.
Defending SCORE Trophy-Truck season point champion and NASCAR
Sprint Cup regular Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., was second overall
4-wheel vehicles and in SCORE Trophy-Truck, finishing unofficially
22:18 behind the Vildosolas in his No. 1 Chevy CK1500 SCORE
Awaiting the finalization of the review of the ‘black boxes’ by
SCORE officials, third and fourth overall in 4-wheel vehicles and
among SCORE Trophy-Trucks was a battle between a pair of Nevada
racers—Roger Norman and B.J. Baldwin. Norman, of Reno, appears to have
finished 53 seconds ahead of Las Vegas’ Baldwin on elapsed time.
Norman drives the No. 8 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck while Baldwin
teamed with Chad Ragland, Vista, Calif. in this race in the No. 97
Chevy Silverado SCORE Trophy-Truck.
Following the extremely popular finish in Baja, Gus Vildosola Jr.
commented, “This race means a lot to me and my family. Every time we
go out and race, I say we have the privilege of representing Mexico
because we’re the only Mexican SCORE Trophy-Truck team. It’s obviously
an honor to finally be able to win a race for them and for all of our
fans who have been supporting us for all these years. And it is
especially great for my dad, as well. He bought this SCORE
Trophy-Truck eight years with the dream to win a Tecate SCORE Baja
1000 overall and today we were able to fulfill that dream.
“Everybody knows this is not a one-person sport – it’s a team
sport and we’ve got over 180 people down here supporting us. It just
all fit together perfectly, I think. It’s such a special day for
Mexico with the bicentennial of the (Mexican) revolution and the
centennial of Mexican independence, so everything just kind of fell
into place and we’re very happy about it. It’s just perfect. We
started second off the line and we were basically going to see what
Roger’s (Norman, the first starter) pace was and what his plan was for
the day and then go from there. Roger had a pretty aggressive pace off
the line and we just decided to sit back and pressure him. Roger got a
flat a little south of San Felipe and we were able to get around him
there and really never looked back.
“We were able to set our own pace and not be pressured by anyone
else. We knew this was a peninsula run and you weren’t going to win it
in 500 miles – it was 1,061 (miles). We executed it perfectly and
obviously we also had a little bit of luck on our side this race.”
With 292 starters leaving the Ensenada starting line Thursday
morning, competitors from 37 states and 19 countries are battling in
the ruggeded terrain in cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs in 33 Pro
and 7 Sportsman classes. Massive crowds reaching nearly 250,000 have
lined the historic Baja peninsula to gain a glimpse of the
competitors. Vehicles left the start line in 30-second intervals and
all vehicles will have 45 vehicles to become official finishers of the
After his victorious march down the Baja Pensinsula, Kendall
Norman stated, “The fog was really thick for about 100 miles – it was
as bad as I’ve seen it. It really tested me and what I had. It took
everything I could to keep the bike moving and keep my goggles clean
and just keep going. I can’t say enough for my teammate Quinn, he did
an amazing job. It was flawless.
“It has been a very long year, waking up every day thinking of
this race. We finally made it and made all my dreams come true this
year. We pretty much had a flawless day. Quinn got a rear flat tire
and other than that we really didn’t have a problem all day long. That
was our strategy: Ride within ourselves, where we are not going to
make mistakes. You really can’t screw up in this race. You’ve got to
have this perfect race. Man, this is the toughest single day of desert
racing in the world and to win five? I can’t even fathom it.
This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is the 36th time in the first
43 years of the storied race that it started in Ensenada and it is the
18th time it is finishing in La Paz. The 292 starters represents the
third highest number in the 18 years it has finished in La Paz and it
is the 11th highest total in the 43-year history of the race.
This year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race will be televised
on a delayed basis as a one-hour NBC Sports special for the seventh
consecutive year, airing at noon (PST) on Sunday, Dec. 19 on the NBC
Television Network. It will also air on a delayed basis outside of the
U.S. on ESPN International.
The post-race Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Survivor’s Celebration will
be held during the SCORE Fiesta on the Malecon beachwalk in La Paz,
which starts at 4 p.m. (PST) on Saturday. Many of the finishing
vehicles will be on display and many of the racers will participate in
the public fiesta.