SCORE Desert Diaries–
BIDING TIME, Parte Tres
SCORE star racers Robbie Pierce, Sara Price are focused while waiting for end of COVID-19
A Hall of Fame industry pioneer and racer who is also owns an award-winning vehicle manufacturing company along with a developing super star racer in the SCORE World Desert Championship, SoCal’s Robbie Pierce and Sara Price are determinedly waiting to be able to get the 2020 SCORE Baja racing season started.
With the 2020 season reduced to three races while the battle rages against Coronavirus (COVID-19), desert racers around the world are hoping to start the 2020 SCORE season at the 52nd annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4Wheel Parts, in Baja California.
Launching its 47th season as the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, the season-opening event of the three-race internationally-televised 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship has been moved to June 17-21 in Ensenada. Ensenada is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
Most the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s celebration of one of the top 10 motorsports events in the entire world. All three 2020 SCORE races will be run on the northern part of Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula for the fifth consecutive year.
Domestically, the entire 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship will be televised on a delayed basis on the World of X Games show on the ABC Television Network as co-produced by SCORE International and award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles. It will also be syndicated internationally on to 25 countries including ESPN International.
Robbie Pierce, 60, of Alpine, Calif., is owner of award-winning Jimco Racing Inc., Santee, Calif. He is also a SCORE Trophy Truck driver and an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee (2018).
Pierce is a veteran SCORE desert racer and for 2020 is planning to team with Bobby Patton, Fort Worth, Texas, in the No. 30L Jimco Ford Raptor in the SCORE TT Legend class for SCORE Trophy Truck drivers over 50 years old. But Pierce may also be in another class as the 2020 season arrives as he has also driven in the unlimited Class 1 and Trophy Truck spec as a second driver for some of his racing clients.
Pierce, who bought Jimco in 2018 from the (Jim) Julson family, has been around the off-road racing industry for decades. He’s owned other race component manufacturing businesses that were suppliers to Jimco, including Mastercraft Safety and Impact Racing Products.
Pierce sold Impact by MasterCraft Safety to the Italian firm Sparco in 2017. Less than a year later, Robbie announced his acquisition of Jimco Racing. Jimco’s talented craftsmen have built and developed more than 500 race cars, trucks and UTVs leading to hundreds of victories and championships around the world.
Pierce is known for his innovations and commitment to safety in off-road motorsports. He also has developed mass-production methods for welding titanium golf club heads and aerospace components.
Sara Price, 27, Canyon Lake, Calif., is a professional motorsports racer having competed in desert racing, motocross, rallying, the X Games and Stadium Super Trucks. Price has won 19 amateur national motocross championships and she has medaled in the X Games.
Racing since the age of eight, Price impressed the motorsports world in 2019 by finishing in second place in her class while driving solo in each of the four races in the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship to become the first female racer to win the super-competitive Trophy Truck Spec Class while also finishing an unprecedented second in the 2019 SCORE Overall point standings.
Selected the 2016 Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Rising star in 2016, Price has raced the last two years for the powerful RPM Racing team of Bristol, Tenn. in the No. 204 Geiser-built Chevy.
With RPM Racing on a sabbatical this season as team principal Justin Matney recovers from heart surgery, Price is hoping to pick up a position as a second driver in a truck in this year’s SCORE World Desert Championship.
When she isn’t racing, Price works as a spokesperson, professional stunt driver/rider, performing on motorcycles, and in vehicles and as a precision driver for commercials, television and film.
Robbie Pierce shares some responses for Jimco Racing while Sara Price comments for SP Motorsports responding to some questions from SCORE regarding this down time from life as we have known it.
SCORE: How are you and your family coping overall with this virus situation?
RP: Like everyone else life is a little surreal right now, it is amazing how fast life has changed for everyone. I miss racing, watching hockey and most of all sitting down in a restaurant where someone brings me food.
SP: We are coping well. Just catching up on everything we don’t get around to during the busy times and racing time. We are trying to stay as safe as possible and live with hand sanitizer always close. My parents are great as well.
SCORE: Is everybody healthy at home?
RP: So far so good, we are fortunate to work and live in a little bit more rural area than most so our exposure is less.
SP: Everyone is healthy and great. Parents are awesome, my dad is busy working on his new Polaris RZR Turbo S.
SCORE: How is your business handling this situation?
RP: So far we are doing okay, after the California Governor initiated the shutdown, we decided to take a more measured and proportionate response by closing our showroom and facility down to the public. We have kept the prep and manufacturing going in the back. We gave the staff the option to work or not and all decided to continue. We have implemented COVID-19 work policies, everyone has their own projects to work on, we have enough hand cleaner to wash a battle ship so all in all I think our staff is as safe here as anywhere. We are fortunate to have plenty of work to hopefully see this through as long as we can continue to get raw materials, parts and services from our vendors.
SP: My Auto Touch Up Business SP Enterprises is still working but it’s slow as dealerships are slow and taking extra precautions, then stunt work is non-existent as all Productions are pretty much at a stand still right now.
SCORE: What are you doing with your race team during this time?
RP: Most of the race team members are volunteers with their own jobs or businesses to deal with during this time, so like everyone else they are on hold waiting to resume race speed.
SP: Catching up on all the projects and builds and maintenance while we can and creating content for our partners and sponsors.
SCORE: What are some things you and your shop team are working on to keep ready to race?
RP: The first few weeks were a chance to catch up on things we had put off and do a little extra testing, but now even our fluids cabinet is in alphabetical order.
SP: We are working away! But following the CDC protocols for health and safety
SCORE: Is your race shop still working?
RP: No, but there isn’t a lot to do, the truck is prepped, the chase trucks are loaded, we are all dressed up with nowhere to go.
SP: Fine tune all we can and organize all we can.
SCORE: How are you keeping in touch with your race team?
RP: I believe like most through email or social media, this is the one area social media is helpful.
SP: I see them still very often, we are small. And we use email and texting, of course.
SCORE: Have you done or are planning to do any form of vehicle testing in the near future?
RP: We have a couple of vehicles that will need testing soon, we hear the deserts are closed, but we are the outlaws of motorsports I’m guessing we’ll figure out how to make that happen when needed.
SP: In my Polaris RZRs yes as for Race Trucks not currently.
SCORE: Have you had a chance to play the new SCORE Baja Big Air Game yet on Apple Apps or Google Play? If so, how did you do?
RP: Of course I’m in the game I had to. I’m only about half way through. Just like Baja I keep stopping for tacos.
SP: I have and I am horrible. I need lots more practice. haha
SCORE: How hard has the adjustment been for you to just sit and wait while the virus is eradicated?
RP: There is no just sitting in my life, there is always something to do and I don’t believe we should just be sitting. This is the first time in history that I know of that we have quarantined the healthy people, yes we need to take precautions, but they need to be measured.
SP: Not bad, just the difficulty to get things done because of places being closed is tough.
SCORE: What are you doing to get some physical and mental exercise and stay physically sharp during this challenging time?
RP: The only thing left at the grocery store is Butter Pecan ice cream. That seems to work for me.
SP: Riding dirtbikes and mountain bikes.
SCORE: What is your best race memory of the 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship?
RP: For me it was the SCORE Baja 1000, one of the toughest I have ever done. We had a good finish at seventh in SCORE Trophy Truck No. 30, but the best part for me was that all of the trucks that Jimco prepped and supported finished in the top 10. It was great seeing all of the horses make it back to the barn.
SP: Winning the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec season point championship…not much can top that! It was a great season title for all female racers as well. It is an extremely tough class to race in, let along win a season championship.
SCORE: Which SCORE Baja race is your most favorite and why?
RP: I’m sure my answer will be the same as most “A peninsula run SCORE Baja 1000” there is just nothing like it, it ruins everything else you do. The amount of preparation, planning and effort that goes into that race is incredible. The level of competition is the best in the world and then you have to deal with Baja and what she throws at you at the same time you are doing 100 mph past magnificent Boojum trees in the middle of the night. It’s just an incredible adventure and challenge.
SP: The SCORE Baja 500 for me. It’s a blast to pre run for and still long enough to where it takes true endurance but also very feasible for our team for logistics before and during so that makes it twice as nice!
The SCORE Baja 500 is one of the top motorsports events in the world. It was started originally in 1969 by the NORRA organization. Mickey Thompson and his SCORE International organization were invited by the Mexican government to take over the event starting in 1974. Sal Fish ran and later owned and produced the SCORE Baja 500 for 39 years until he sold SCORE in December of 2012.
The first Baja 500 organized and produced by SCORE was held on July 26, 1974 as the first of over 150 SCORE Baja races.
Ensenada is the heart and soul of the SCORE Baja 500 as the popular summertime race will start for the 47th time there and finish for the 43rd time there.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
As part of their massive SCORE Contingency program for 2020, long-time SCORE sponsor partner BFGoodrich Tires is offering a large contingency bonus for each overall winner in the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. For the 52nd annual SCORE Baja 500, the contingency bonus is US$25,000. BFGoodrich Tires is entering its 44th year as the Official Tire of SCORE and in 2020 the company will also be the title sponsor of both the 52nd SCORE Baja 500 and the 53rd SCORE Baja 1000.
Presenting sponsor of both of those iconic races will be 4 Wheel Parts.
BFGoodrich Tires is celebrating over four decades as a major player in SCORE Baja racing. In addition to being the official tire of SCORE International for over four decades, BFGoodrich Tires has now produced the tire of choice for 30 of the overall 4-wheel vehicle winners in the SCORE Baja 1000, including 30 of the last 34 years along with a record-run of 20 straight from 1986 through 2005. In total, BFGoodrich Tires has now be the tire of choice for the overall 4-wheel vehicle winner in 92 SCORE Baja races including 32 in the SCORE Baja 500.
Here is the REVISED three-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship (as of April 3, 2020) schedule of events, for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
- BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 17-21, Ensenada, Mexico
- 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, Sept. 16-20, San Felipe, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.17-22, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California
ABC TV AGAIN IN 2020
For the second straight year, the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship aired on the ABC family of networks. The four-races air as one-hour specials on ABC TV’s World of X Games program with replays on ESPN2.
ABC first covered the 1967 and 1968 Baja 1000 races on the old ABC Wide World of Sports show with Jim McKay and again in the late 1980s with veteran motorsports journalist Sam Posey.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows also continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance, Lucerna Hotel.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.