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Off-Road Nirvana: Gearing Up for the 46th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Off-Road Nirvana: Gearing Up for the 46th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

Perhaps the most prominent sporting events in Baja California over the past few decades have been the wildly popular races known as the Baja 500 and the Baja 1000. The legendary off-road races are organized and managed by SCORE International, which was originally founded by racing champ Mickey Thompson in 1973.  Over the past 40 years, they have gained a worldwide reputation for being two of the most exciting desert races on the planet.

The latest episode of the classic Baja 1000, which also happens to be the final event of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, will be held November 13 – 17.  The brutally rugged race course that has been mapped out covers almost 900 miles of desolate territory, and is strewn with a variety of naturally occurring obstacles that may prevent many competitors from finishing. The race will start and finish in Ensenada. It’s the longest course in race history that begins and ends at the same location.

Over time, many celebrities have tried their luck at conquering the formidable badlands of Baja, including actors James Garner and the late Steve McQueen, as well as rock musician Ted Nugent in the 1970s.  The 1982 race was attended by Mark Thatcher, son of Great Britain’s then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Academy Award winning actor, racer and race team owner Paul Newman joined in the 2004 event. Jesse James, of ‘Monster Garage’ fame, and Hollywood film and TV star Patrick Dempsey have also competed in the legendary off-road challenge.

The Baja 1000 is the world’s most famous off-road race.

This year’s event will commemorate the achievements of legendary desert racers like Rod Hall, Ron Bishop, Johnny Johnson and Larry Roeseler.  Hall, who will turn 75 on November 22, holds the all time record with 22 class wins, including an overall win in 1972.  He is the only person who has competed in each of the previous 45 races.

The 46th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 is expected to draw competitors from at least 40 states north of the border, and from over 25 countries around the globe.  It will include entrants in the SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1 All Pro Motorcycle and Pro ATV categories.  The new owner of SCORE International, Roger Norman, has announced that for the first time in race history there will be qualifying for start positions within several vehicle classes.

Baja Gears Up for Legendary Off-Road Race

Each racer’s progress is monitored throughout the event.

SCORE has announced that this year’s race will boast the longest course in its history, starting and finishing in the heart of Ensenada, and covering both sides of the Baja California peninsula: from its beginning near the Pacific Ocean, over to San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez, and back to Ensenada. The most lengthy course distance previously was 822 miles back in 1985.  There will also be eight physical checkpoints used during the race, as well as over 70 virtual checkpoints to verify the ongoing progress and position of the racers. 

The Baja 1000 is also an occasion for convivial social events.

Every year, SCORE endeavors to make sure that the next Baja 1000 is even better than the last one, and this 46th annual race should provide enough excitement and entertainment for everyone …whether you are actually eating dust in the Baja desert, or simply sipping your favorite cold beverage as an enthusiastic bystander.   

 

OFFICIAL SCHEDULE OF THIS YEAR’S EVENTS (All times PST):

TUESDAY, Nov. 12
10a.m. – 4 p.m. – Annual SCORE Chassis Inspections (Hacienda Hotel)
2 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Racer Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center (adjacent to S/F)
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. — Media Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Qualifying-SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1—LOCATION RESTRICTED
Noon – 2:30 p.m. – Qualifying-Pro Motorcycles, Pro ATVs—LOCATION RESTRICTED
Noon – 6 p.m. –Racer Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center (adjacent to S/F)
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. — Media Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
7 p.m. – Midnight – Monster Energy SCORE  Papas & Beer Street Party, Avenida Ruiz (adjacent to Papas y Beer). All are welcome.

THURSDAY, Nov. 14
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Racer Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Media Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Contingency Row, Boulevard Costero, Next to Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Technical Inspection, End of Contingency Row
4 p.m. — Wildman Cenni First Ever 360 Truck Barrel Roll in the wash just off the start line.
7 p.m. — Mandatory Racer Meeting-Cathedral Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
7 p.m. – 2 a.m. – BAJA 1000 GOES GREEN, Monster Energy SCORE Motorcycle Start Party, Blvd Costero (adjacent to S/F). All are welcome.
10 p.m. – Midnight (Nov. 14) – Late Motorcycle/ATV racer registration—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
10 p.m. – Midnight (Nov. 14) — Late Tech Inspection (Motorcycles & ATVs), start line, next to Riviera CC
10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. (Nov. 14-15); BFG Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism/SCORE Media Center—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
11 p.m. – RACE START – Pro Motorcycles, Pro ATVs, Sportsman Motorcycles, Sportsman ATVs

FRIDAY, Nov. 15
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Racer Registration, Casino Room-Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
7 a.m. – 9 a.m. – Late car & truck racer registration—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
7 a.m. – 9 a.m. — Late Tech Inspection (Car & Truck), start line, next to Riviera CC
8 a.m. – Midnight –  BFG Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism/SCORE Media Center—Casino Room, Riviera CC
9:00 a.m. (APPROX) RACE START – Cars and Trucks

SATURDAY, Nov. 16
12:01 a.m. – 11 p.m. – BFG Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism/SCORE Media Center—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center

SUNDAY, Nov. 17

7 a.m. – Noon — BF Goodrich Tires/Baja California Secretary of Tourism/SCORE Media Center—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
8 a.m. — Posting of final unofficial results—Casino Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center
10 a.m. — Awards Celebration-Amphitheater, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center

 

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Photos courtesy of SCORE International.

 

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About Tom Gatch

For over a decade, Hooked on Baja author, Tom Gatch, has built a solid reputation as one of the foremost writers and columnists focusing on travel and recreational activities in Baja and southern California. His company, El Puerto Creative Consultants provides professional copy writing services and creative support for business entities on both sides of the border.

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