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Gerardo Novelo SCORE PERSON OF THE YEAR SCORE International Awards Gerardo Novelo as SCORE “Person Of The Year” By Dan Sanchez Photos by Jack WrighT With more than 30-years as a racer and promotor of off-road racing, the Mexican Federal Senator of Baja California, Gerardo Novelo, was awarded SCORE’s 2019 “Person Of The Year.” Novelo, a distinguished member of the Mexican Senate and a long-time supporter of SCORE International. In this role, he was instrumental in implementing the Strategic Tourism Alliance between the Mexican Federal Government and SCORE International. “My first impression when I found out I was SCORE’s ‘Person of the Year’ was one of surprise,” said Novelo. “It’s truly an honor and something I didn’t expect.” Looking back at when he began the journey to reach this point in his career, he said he was motivated to enter into government service in order to make significant changes in Mexico, ones that would benefit the people and change the status-quo. “I never wanted to simply occupy a government post,” he said. “I began to fight for true change in Mexico back in 2005, supporting the current President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had made three attempts at the presidency. At the time there was a growing wave of social nonconformity and I finally had the opportunity to be a founder of my party, Morena, in Baja California and my home town of Ensenada. Our goal is to summon all Mexicans, men, women, poor, and rich, from the fields and cities, religious and free thinkers, to build a national movement in making honesty a way of life for us and our government.” In his work to improve the tourism sector in Mexico, and as a supporter of SCORE races, Novelo was a key figure in helping to organize the Strategic Tourism Alliance, an important moment in the more than five decades of SCORE’s history in working with the Mexican government. “It was truly a pleasure working with Juan Tintos from SCORE International, Hector Mares from my staff, and the Secretary of Tourism,” said Novelo. “The alliance itself wasn't difficult, but it did require the political willingness in the legislative level that I represent in the Senate. It’s here where everyone’s voice is heard to make the best decisions. In this case, it was a win-win situation for the country, for Baja California, and for SCORE International.” The alliance allows for additional national promotion of SCORE races alongside the MEXICO brand. “The State of Baja California and SCORE International will be promoted within Mexico’s 32 states, as well as 90 countries worldwide within the MEXICO brand, as far as two months before every race held in Baja California,” said Novelo. “Also, these promotions will be issued through various federal government programs such as "Young People Building the Future" where youth are encouraged to become involved in the organization of various events.” While many fans come to Mexico to enjoy the races, it’s difficult to see what goes on behind the excitement and the sound of horsepower, and witness the organization it takes to produce a SCORE racing event. “Communication with the three levels of government is strategic to organize events of the magnitude SCORE brings to Baja California,” said Novelo. “It takes extraordinary coordination and willingness from all parties involved. To receive thousands of tourists in Baja California from these races is an obvious opportunity for the tourism sector of the state, but it must be a priority to make their visit a pleasant one, because SCORE fans also generate many important economic benefits. For this, we are grateful for all of the SCORE races that take place in our state.” Novelo’s vision for the Mexican government and SCORE International’s influence in Baja California comes from his involvement in the sport. “It all began in 1988 at Parker, Arizona when I participated in the Parker 400 and finished third in Class 7s,” said Novelo. “I loved the experience but I never imagined that off-road racing would be so satisfying for me and my family, who are all part of my team. We won the SCORE Baja 1000 three times in Class 7 and Class 7sx in 2019, we also won the Barstow 250 in 1995 and the SCORE Baja 500 in 2019. We have been racing with SCORE for more than 30-years and will cherish the memories forever.” Over his years of racing, Novelo has also won two Class Championships, one in 2017 and another in 2018, all while continuing to be an advocate for SCORE International and tourism in Baja Mexico.

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