Epic race was season finale of four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship;
legendary 1,134.40-mile race included cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles & quads
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—Television audiences across the globe will begin viewing the epic 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 desert race when it premiers Sunday (Jan. 14) at 2 p.m. PT as a two-hour special on the El Rey Network in the United States.
The iconic season-finale of the four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship airs internationally via syndication following the El Rey Network broadcast.
Hosts of the ERN two-hour special race coverage show from the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 are Mexico’s SCORE racer Rodrigo Ampudia Jr along with professional BMX rider Mike Escamilla and car artist Cherry Martini.
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, the 2017 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 was held Nov. 14-18 over a rugged 1,134.40-mile memorable race course down Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting in Ensenada, Baja California Norte and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur. It started in Ensenada for the 43rd time and finished in La Paz for the 21st time.
An amazing total of 404 cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads started the race and 237 made it to the finish line within the 48-hour time limit in the staggered-start, elapsed-time race.
The show also features commentary by American actor Sung Kang (Fast and the Furious franchise) who is the executive producer.
Working with ERN to produce these shows for SCORE has been award-winning BCII TV of Los Angeles.
Mexico’s youthful superstar Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez teamed with his father Juan C. Lopez, himself a veteran champion racer, etched their name indelibly as the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck winners at the 50th annual BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 on Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula.
The Lopez tandem became the second Mexican Nationals’ son/father team to win this legendary race overall. They join Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr and his father Gustavo Vildosola who were the first to accomplish this feat when they won the point-to-point Ensenada to La Paz race in 2008.
As Baja itself claimed many of the frontrunners, turning great races into survival-mode finishes with several did not finishes, Apdaly, 23 and his father Juan C. Lopez, 43, both of Tecate, blasted through the terrain and the competition to earn a hard-fought struggle to capture the Golden checkered flag.
After two years of finishing second in this race behind Rob MacCachren, the third time was the charm as the Lopez team finished the unforgiving 1,134.40-mile race course in 19 hours, 53 minutes, 36 seconds with a very impressive speed average of 57.02 miles per hour in the No. 1 RPM Racing Chevy Rally Truck.
It also marked the 29th overall 4-wheel victory in the last 32 years for long-time SCORE sponsor BFGoodrich Tires who added a special Golden statue to their dynamic resume. BFGoodrich Tires also presented Lopez with a special record-contingency bonus of US$50,000 to honor his golden anniversary race victory driving on BFGoodrich Tires, a desert-racing staple for over 40 years.
TOP FIVE OVERALL 4-WHEEL
SCORE Trophy Truck recorded the top five overall placements among 4-wheel vehicle classes, when the dust settled officially finishing second to Lopez was Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif., in the No. 16 Desert Assassins Chevy Silverado in a time of 20:52:45 (54.33mph) and completing the podium in third place overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif., with a time of 21:13:10 (53.47mph), in the No. 23 Mark Racing Ford F-150
Fourth finisher overall was Billy Wilson, Corpus Christi, Texas, with a time of 21:22:41 (53.06mph) in the No. 15 Bevly/Wilson Racing Ford Raptor and fifth overall finisher and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Chris Miller, La Jolla, Calif., with a time of 22:20:09 (50.80mph) in the No. 40 Toyota Tundra.
ARREDONDO MOTORCYCLE MAGIC
In another memorable motorcycle battle, the motorcycles left the Ensenada starting line 10 hours before the four-wheel vehicles left on Nov. 16 and Guatemala’s Francisco Arrendondo paced a five-rider team in the No. 45x BREMEN-Arredondo-Haines Racing Honda CRF450X raced hard and long, leading much of the race before being passed on the tedious trek by the team led by Mark Samuels of Yucca Valley, Calif., on the No. 1x Ox Motorsports Honda CRF450X.
Arredondo and his talented team claimed their third straight victory of the 2017 season when apparent winner Samuels was penalized after the race by SCORE race officials for a reckless incident at the finish line ramp. Ian Young was the rider for the last 200 miles of the race for the No. 1x.
Arredondo, 40, a veteran international rally racer, shading riding responsibilities for this race with Shane Esposito, 43, Temecula, Calif./Justin Morgan, 27, El Cajon, Calif./Max Eddy Jr, 33, Barstow, Calif./Ty Davis, Oak Hills, Calif. The Arredondo team finished the gritty challenge in 21:07:17 while averaging 54.157 mph. Starting the race from the first position, they crossed the line at approximately 9:17 p.m. PT Nov. 16.
For Samuels’ Ox Motorsports, SCORE Race officials assessed a 30-minute penalty which moved the No. 1x to second place with an adjusted total time 21:26:47.
Rounding out the motorcycle overall podium was the team led by Ray Dal Soglio, Scottsdale, Ariz., with a time of 23:02:09 on the No. 3x Ox Motorsports Honda CRF450X.
Leading a group of 43 starters in three Pro UTV class, the overall and Pro UTV FI class winner was the team led by Brandon Schueler, Phoenix with a time of 27:43:44 in the No. 2919 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. His teammates in golden victory were Miles Martin, Peoria, Ariz./Pat Stone, Payson, Ariz./Mitch Guthrie, Glendora, Ariz./Matt Park, Newport Beach, Calif./Jason Spiess, Peoria, Ariz.
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship and for just the second time all four were held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
- 31st SCORE San Felipe 250, March 29-April 2, San Felipe, Mexico
- 49th SCORE Baja 500, June 1-4, Ensenada Mexico
- Tijuana 21st SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 20-24, Tijuana, Mexico
- 50th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico to La Paz, Mexico
Below is the four-race 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule. For the third consecutive year all four races are being held in Baja California, Mexico. Here is the complete 2018 SCORE World Desert Championship schedule:
- 32nd SCORE San Felipe 250, April 4-April 8, San Felipe, Mexico
- 50th SCORE Baja 500, May 30-June 3, Ensenada Mexico
- Tijuana 22nd SCORE Desert Challenge, Sept. 19-23, Tijuana, Mexico
- 51st SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.14-18, Ensenada, Mexico
EL REY NETWORK
The four-race 2017 SCORE World Desert Championship in Baja California, Mexico along with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience/SCORE Baja 1000 Qualifying in Las Vegas is airing on the El Rey Network in the United States. International distribution is by way of syndication. The season-ending 50th SCORE Baja 1000 will have a two-hour show produced while the other race shows will each be one-hour telecasts.
El Rey Network is available in 45 million homes across the country through cable and OTT providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 341 and Dish Network Channel 253. For more information on how to watch El Rey visit http://elreynetwork.com.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Official Race Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, Axial R/C-Official R/C Vehicle, El Rey Network-Official Television Partner, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.