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The 2020 Two-Race Season SCORE’s President and General Manager discuss the impact of COVID-19 and the upcoming 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE BaJa 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts By SCORE Journal Staff The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak forced SCORE International to postpone races for the SCORE 2020 World Desert Championship season. During this process, SCORE International has been working diligently with Mexico’s federal and local authorities to somehow continue racing this season, with the priority of keeping the people of Mexico, racers, their families, and crews safe. SCORE’s President and Race Director Jose A. Grijalva and General Manager Juan Tintos have been in constant meetings with Mexico’s health officials, local and federal governments, the department of tourism, as well as hotel and restaurant association leaders to come up with dates and plans to maintain racing in Baja, Mexico. These efforts will help the local economy that depend on SCORE races, while maintaining proper government mandated COVID-19 protocols. Grijalva and Tintos answer some of the questions SCORE fans, racers, and the communities of Baja Mexico have in regards to the rescheduled race days of the 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts taking place this September. SCORE Journal: How has COVID-19 impacted Mexico and especially areas of Baja California? Jose Grijalva: “Same as in most of the world. The Covid-19 virus has impacted every aspect of our life. We are all doing our best to stay safe. We all know that it’s time to learn to live with this virus because it’s here and it’s not going away. The safest place is home but it can also be safe in a race vehicle.” Juan Tintos: “Tourism is one of Mexico’s and Baja California’s main economic activities, and it’s been hard hit. Events and cruise ship arrivals have been canceled but fortunately hotels, restaurants and other tourism services have been authorized to operate at a reduced percentage under government health guidelines. Many have started to see some business.” SJ: What effects has the COVID-19 pandemic had on the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship?  JG: “We started postponing one race when this pandemic started and we ended up reducing our 2020 World Desert Championship to only two races.” JT: “We announced this year’s race calendar last summer never imagining we would end up postponing the SCORE San Felipe 250 and the SCORE Baja 400, and rescheduling the 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500 Presented by 4 Wheel Parts to San Felipe. All of this was done based on the close monitoring of the COVID-19 situation with all of the authorities involved.”  SJ: How did you determine to schedule the SCORE Baja 500 and the SCORE Baja 1000 as the 2020 points Championship? JG:  “The SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000 races are the two biggest and famous races. If we had to cut our schedule down to only two races this year, we wanted to run the best. We are always innovating and are not afraid to make changes, so we moved the SCORE Baja 500 to the end of September and to San Felipe. This would give our racers a different SCORE Baja 500, all of it in the desert, and will make passing much easier.” JT: “We actually got important feedback from race teams, sponsors, and from various authorities, that if we were going to do a two-race season it should be a points championship based on our two most famous races. To make things more interesting, this is only the second time in 52 years that the SCORE Baja 500 will take place in the city of San Felipe.” SJ: What changes in the race logistics can the race teams expect because of COVID-19? JG: “We will substitute the drivers meeting to a document with photos and explanations which we would normally cover at a physical meeting. On race day the only difference will be that we will restrict the number of team members that can enter our start/finish area and there will be no inauguration or awards ceremony.  Whatever we have to do to make our events safe, we will do in order to have the race.” JT: “Our two races will take place under the health guidelines of a government approved Biosecurity Protocol we have prepared. I think that one of the most important changes is that the public will not be permitted during the reduced race activities, and there will be restricted access to race teams, media, and even SCORE staff as this is a basic health guideline.” SJ: What are some of the health measures that SCORE will apply in the races? JG: “A very strict health protocol will be in place at qualifying, registration, contingency, tech, start/finish area, etc. Wearing masks will be mandatory, temperature checks, and only three or four persons at a time will be allowed during registration. No kids under 16 will be allowed in our areas in order to keep them safe. We will have more detailed information available soon that will help answer additional logistical questions.” JT: “First of all, anyone who feels sick, has symptoms, or has been in contact with someone who’s had COVID-19 shouldn’t come to the race. Our protocol includes familiar requirements that will be monitored with the support of government officials including use of facemasks, taking temperature readings of people entering into SCORE areas, maintaining safe distances, constant hand washing, etc. All hotels, restaurants, shops and more in San Felipe will be required to comply with these health guidelines. The huge advantage is that our races are outdoors and there is plenty of space for fans to safe distance.” SJ: What is SCORE going to innovate for the 2021 race schedule? JG: “We changed our traditional dates to avoid the heat. This will allow us to race more in the desert where it’s open. We will have big surprises for 2021.” JT: “We are always looking to innovate and generate new and exciting challenges for our race teams and fans. For our four-race 2021 Championship we are including new dates, new race sections, and an always spectacular SCORE Baja 1000 to La Paz. Be sure to stay tuned.”

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