November 10, 2021
Who is really the fastest?
Motorcycles have had the fastest overall time 38 years,
Cars/Trucks 15 times in annual iconic SCORE Baja 1000
Starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur
for legendary season-finale of four-race 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship
NOTE: list of ‘Fastest of the Fastest’ racers in SCORE Baja 1000 at bottom of text
ENSENADA, Baja California, Mexico—While SCORE clearly recognizes three overall group winners, the endless bar-stool debates on whether two-wheel or four-wheel vehicles are fastest in the desert will play out once again at this month’s iconic internationally-televised season-ending BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—the Granddaddy of All Desert Races.
The SCORE Baja 1000 endures at the pinnacle of motorsports as the oldest, most iconic, most prestigious, toughest and longest continuously held desert race in the world.
This year’s race is a peninsula run of 1226.35 miles down Mexico’s majestic Baja California, starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur.
There will be SCORE Overall 4-Wheel, SCORE Overall 2-Wheel and SCORE Overall UTV champions at this year’s race—awarded to the vehicle with the fastest elapsed time in each of the three groups of classes. But the never-ending debate will rage on way past the final checkered flag on whether the 4-wheel vehicles or the 2-wheel vehicles are the fastest in this legendary international motorsports treasure.
BIO SECURITY UPDATE
Closed to the public because of the BioSecurity health protocols in Baja California, pre-race Contingency/Tech will be held (Nov. 16 and 17) along with the start of the race (Nov. 18) in the SCORE compound located in a new site alongside the Marina in Ensenada, just across from the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. No spectators will be allowed around the SCORE compound.
Spectators, adhering to the protocols, will be allowed to watch the race from down the entire length of the race route.
SCORE Racer and SCORE Media Registration will be held next Monday through Wednesday (Nov. 15-17) in the Red Room at the Riviera.
SCORE International is well known around the globe as the ‘World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization.’ Celebrating its 48th season in 2021, this race is the flagship event of the SCORE World Desert Championship.
While every year for the Granddaddy of All Desert Races is mesmerizing, a peninsula run down Mexico’s magnificent Baja California peninsula is, for lack of a better term, hypnotizing.
Most of the world’s best desert racers will be in action at this year’s massive BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The 2021 season-finale will be televised on a delayed basis as a one-hour special on ESPN2’s World of X Games programming.
First air date domestically is scheduled for January 9, 2022. Lead announcer will again be Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee/TV commentator/SCORE Trophy Truck race champion Cameron Steele.
Race week activities will be held Nov. 14-20.
Nearly 300 vehicles are expected at the start line with racers from nearly 40 U.S. States and as many as 20 countries anticipated. Pro and Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads will be competing in the Granddaddy of All Desert Races.
Ensenada, “The Off-Road Capital of the World” 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.
La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is the gateway to the Sea of Cortez and 1,000 miles south of the U.S. Border at San Diego.
With a total time-limit of 50 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 2 a.m. (PT) on Thursday, Nov. 18 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with their start on at 9 a.m. (PT). While the fastest vehicles are expected to cover the course in approximately 22 1/2 hours, all vehicles will have 50 hours from the time each starts to become an official finisher.
This iconic race will start for the 47th time in Ensenada, finish for the 22nd time in La Paz, 24th time overall to run down the peninsula as 2000 and 2007 finished in Cabo San Lucas. It will be the first peninsula run since the 50th SCORE Baja 1000 in 2017.
This race is annually the grand finale of the SCORE World Desert Championship, which has been held exclusively for the past six years in Baja California.
NUMBERS SAY—BIKES RULE????
Statistics relate a telling story and while the endless debate continues on who is the fastest of the fastest overall in the iconic SCORE Baja 1000, motorcycles have had the fastest, fastest time overall 38 times in this race while car/truck classes have produced 15 overall, overall fastest times.
Interestingly, car/truck vehicles won six of the first seven years of the legendary behemoth race as well as nine of the last 11 years, but in between, the fastest, fastest overall times in the race have gone to motorcycles except in 1993 when Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart was the fastest, fastest in his unlimited Class 1 Toyota SR5 truck.
The longest motorcycle streak has been 18 consecutive years with the fastest, fastest overall time in this race from 1975 through 1992.
With help first from factory teams from Kawasaki and later from American Honda, motorcycles also had another run of fastest, fastest overall times for 16 years from 1994 through 2009.
In 2010, Mexico’s Gustavo Vildosola and his son Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr broke the motorcycle streak by becoming the first Mexican Nationals to win the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division and be the fastest of the fastest in the peninsula run from Ensenada to La Paz.
With the course distance and actual terrain different each year, times between years can’t be accurately compared.
Individually, a trio of legendary SCORE Baja desert racers have recorded the fastest, fastest overall times in the iconic event. Johnny Campbell leads the way with 11 top times on Honda motorcycles. His 11 fastest of the fastest times were earned in just a 12-year period from 1997 through 2008.
Next is Larry ‘Mr. Baja’ Roeseler with 10 top times on three different motorcycles—Husqvarna, Yamaha and his final five on Kawasaki. Roeseler earned his fastest of the fastest between 1976 and 1994.
Steve Hengeveld earned seven fastest of the fastest top times all on Honda motorcycles in an eight-year period between 2000 and 2007.
Recording fastest of the fastest times in eight of the last 11 years have been SCORE Trophy Truck, the marquee SCORE racing division for high-tech, 950 horsepower, unlimited custom trucks. Pacing this group has been Rob MacCachren who won three consecutive times (2014, 2015, 2016) in his No. 11 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck.
In 2020, the team of Luke McMillin and Larry Roeseler captured the overall victory in McMillin’s No. 83 Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy Truck.
Included in the firs t279 official entry applications of the nearly 300 anticipated starters for this year’s renewal of the world’s most iconic desert race are racers from 35 U.S. States and 18 countries.
U.S. States represented in the field of competitors to date are from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
The countries are United States, U.S. Territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, host country Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, India, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Spain and Sweden.
Of the first 280 entries to date, in the iconic race, 213 are cars, trucks or UTVs and 68 are motorcycles or quads.
Led by the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division with 30 entries (including seven in SCORE TT Legend for drivers over 50 years old), 11 classes already have double-figure entry totals.
Among 4-wheel classes, besides SCORE Trophy Truck the classes with double-figure entries so far are Class 1 (10), Trophy Truck Spec (28), Class 10 (18), Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) (29), Pro UTV NA (Naturally Aspirated) (12), Class 1/2-1600 (12), Pro UTV Stock (12) and the venerable Class 11 for stock VW sedans (12).
Among the 2-wheel classes, Pro Moto Ironman (solo riders) has 13 official entries and Sportsman Motorcycle also has 13.
The race features a course, designed and plotted by SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva, of 1226.35 miles of raucously rugged Baja California terrain.
The challenging race course is another memorable example of all that Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula has to offer, including high-speed dirt trails, sandy, rocky and silty natural terrain, beautiful Baja washes and canyons, stretches along the ocean and the seashore with elevations from sea level to over 3,000 feet. The course is another jewel reflecting the stark beauty of Baja California.
It runs east from Ensenada to Ojos Negros, south to Valle de Trinidad, back southwest to Colonet, south to San Quintin. The course starts heading inland to Catavina then south to Coco’s Corner to Bahia de Los Angeles. From there it heads inland to San Ignacio and back to the Pacific Ocean at race mile 750.
At about race mile 825 it heads east to the Sea of Cortez at race mile 880 and down along the Sea of Cortez past Loreto. After Loreto it runs southwest and back along the Pacific past Villa Insurgentes and Ciudad Constitucion until race mile 1180 were it turns southeast and finally into the finish in La Paz.
The historic race course features three physical checkpoints, 236 virtual checkpoints, including 23 speed zones (37 or 60 miles per hour) for a total of 196.18 miles.
The three physical (full stop) checkpoints will be Checkpoint No. 1 at Chapala (race mile 421.30), Checkpoint No. 2 at the Vizcaino road crossing (race mile 633.31) and at Insurgentes (race mile 999.91).
All Sportsman classes, Class 3, Class 7SX, Class 11, Vintage Trailblazer and Baja Challenge will run reduced course of 1,214.01 miles.
The official course map, course notes, racer brief, penalty bulletin and GPS files are posted on the SCORE website under race info for the SCORE Baja 1000.
During contingency on Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 16-17) and the race on Thursday (Nov. 18) until the course closes on Saturday (Nov. 20) late afternoon, live streaming will be broadcasting race activities and start activities, finish line interviews and live racing action along the race course.
With increased live race coverage from along the race route, popular Rat Sult, who has been the voice of SCORE over the last six seasons, will once again serve as emcee and lead announcer of the SCORE Live streaming. Assisting Sult will be veteran Dave Arnold along with Matt Moghaddam and Morgan McBride.
SCORE live is being produced again by SCORE Media House, Aaron Laub, producer, Alberto Luna-director, Parker Alexander coordinator.
SCORE live may be launched from the home page of the SCORE website.
The SCORE Baja 1000 will be an elapsed-time race with staggered starts as the green flag on Thursday, Nov. 18 will drop first for the motorcycles and quads at 2 a.m. (PT) and 9 a.m. (PT) for the cars, trucks and UTVs. While the fastest vehicles are expected to finish in around 22 hours, all vehicles will have a 50-hour time limit to become official finishers in the elapsed-time race.
BFGOODRICH TIRES UNMATCHED
BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for 45 years, received two awards for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. BFGoodrich Tires was honored after the 2020 season as the SCORE Contingency Company of the year for the 30th time as well as being voted the SCORE Pit Support Team of the Year for the 32nd time.
BFGoodrich Tires has been the choice of 33 of the 53 overall winners of the popular SCORE Baja 500 and 31 of the 53 overall winners of the legendary SCORE Baja 1000. BFGoodrich Tires is also the title sponsor of both of the iconic races again in 2021.
BFGoodrich Tires also has been the choice of 28 of the 34 overall winners of the SCORE San Felipe 250, all three SCORE Desert Challenge races, the lone SCORE Challenge of Champions in San Felipe, the one SCORE Baja Sur 500 and the first SCORE Baja 400.
BFG BIG BONUS
SCORE major sponsor BFGoodrich Tires has posted a US$40,000 contingency bonus for the overall 4-wheel race winner to help commemorate the Granddaddy of All Desert Races.
Presenting sponsor for this year’s BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 500 is 4 Wheel Parts, the official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner of SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship.
ESPN TV NETWORKS AGAIN IN 2021
For the third straight year, the 2021 SCORE World Desert Championship races are airing on the ESPN family of networks. The four-races will air as specials on the World of X Games program 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 journalists Sam Posey and Jack Arute.
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. The shows are co-produced by SCORE International and SoCal’s award-winning BCII TV.
Here are the dates for the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship which will be held exclusively in Baja California, Mexico for the seventh consecutive year:
- 35th SCORE San Felipe 250—
March 29-April 3, San Felipe, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 54th SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—
June 1-5, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
- 3rd SCORE Baja 400—
September 13-18, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts—
November 15-20, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
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 and PCI Race Radios.
SCORE Official Partners: 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, Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association, Ensenada Tourism Marketing Committee, Cruz Roja Mexicana, San Quintin Municipal Council, Baja California Sur State Government, Baja California Sur Secretary of Tourism and Sustainable Economy, Municipal Government of Mulege, Municipal Government of Loreto, Municipal Government of Comondu and Municipal Government of La Paz, B.C.S.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.
SCORE Baja 1000 FASTEST Overall Champions
YEAR DRIVERS/RIDERS VEHICLE TIME
1967 Vic Wilson/Ted Mangels Meyers Manx VW 27:38
1968 Larry Berquist/Gary Preston Honda 20:38:28
1969 Larry Minor/Rod Hall Ford Bronco 20:48:10
1970 Drino Miller/Vic Wilson Miller VW 16:07
1971 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 14:59
1972 Parnelli Jones/Bill Stroppe Ford Bronco 16:47
1973 Bobby Ferro/Johnny Johnson Funco VW 16:50:25
1974 NO RACE (Fuel Crisis)
1975 Al Baker/Gene Cannady Honda 18:22:55
1976 Larry Roeseler/Mitch Mayes Husqvarna 11:30:47
1977 Brent Wallingsford/Scot Harden Husqvarna 14:37:07
1978 Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson Husqvarna 10:23:47
1979 Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson Husqvarna 19:48:04
1980 Larry Roeseler/Jack Johnson Yamaha 12:45:13
1981 Scot Harden/Brent Wallingsford Husqvarna 17:14:05
1982 Al Baker/Jack Johnson Honda 17:25:27
1983 Dan Smith/Dan Ashcraft Husqvarna 14:48:10
1984 Chuck Miller/Randy Morales Honda 14:34:34
1985 Randy Morales/Derrick Paiement Honda 17:44:42
1986 Bruce Ogilvie/Chuck Miller Honda 18:05:52
1987 Dan Ashcraft/Bruce Ogilvie Honda 12:02:14
1988 Paul Krause/Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte Kawasaki 11:33:45
1989 Larry Roeseler/Danny LaPorte/Ted Hunnicutt Jr. Kawasaki 17:53:16
1990 Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr./Danny LaPorte Kawasaki 11:11:45
1991 Larry Roeseler/Ted Hunnicutt Jr./Marty Smith Kawasaki 13:35:25
1992 Danny Hamel/Garth Sweetland/Paul Ostbo Kawasaki 16:50:12
1993 Ivan Stewart Toyota SR5 13:29:11
1994 Danny Hamel/Larry Roeseler/Ty Davis Kawasaki 10:20:47
1995 Paul Krause/Ty Davis/Ted Hunnicutt Jr. Kawasaki 19:31:19
1996 Paul Krause/Ty Davis/Greg Zitterkopf Kawasaki 14:11:02
1997 Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab/Greg Bringle Honda 13:19:59
1998 Johnny Campbell/Jimmy Lewis Honda 18:58:48
1999 Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab Honda 14:15:42
2000 Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab/Craig Smith/Steve Hengeveld Honda 30:54:12
2001 Johnny Campbell/Tim Staab Honda 13:51:40
2002 Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Andy Grider Honda 16:17:28
2003 Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Bruce Ogilvie Honda 15:39:52
2004 Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Kendall Norman, Honda 15:57:37
2005 Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Mike Childress, Honda 14:20:30
2006 Steve Hengeveld/ Mike Childress/Quinn Cody, Honda 18:17:50
2007 Robby Bell/Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Kendall Norman, Honda 24:15:50
2008 Robby Bell/Kendall Norman/Johnny Campbell, Honda 12:29:18
2009 Kendall Norman/Timmy Weigand/Quinn Cody, Honda 13:27:50
2010 Gus Vildosola Jr./Gus Vildosola Sr., Ford F-150, 19:00:04
2011 Kendall Norman/Quinn Cody/Logan Holladay, Buellton, Calif., Honda, 14:14:25
2012 B.J. Baldwin, Ford F-150, 20:00:59
2013 Timmy Weigand/Colton Udall/David Kamo/Mark Samuels, Honda, 18:29:14
2014 Rob MacCachren/Andy McMillin/Jason Voss, Ford F-150, 22:31:28
2015 Rob MacCachren/Andy McMillin, Ford F-150, 15:58:32
2016 Rob MacCachren/Jason Voss, Ford F-150, 17:12:58
2017 Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez/Juan C. Lopez, Chevy Silverado, 19:53:36
2018 Justin Morgan/Mark Samuels/Justin Jones, 16:23:26
2019 Alan Ampudia/Aaron Ampudia, Ford Raptor, 16:10:36
2020 Luke McMillin/Larry Roeseler, Ford F-150, 19:10:25
4-wheel vehicles Total: 15
Motorcycles Total: 38