SCORE Journal


SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 82 of 105

THE PROUDEST FINISHERS Various Car And Truck Classes Celebrate Finishing The SCORE BaJa 1000 By Dan Sanchez Photos By GetSomePhoto One of the great aspects of participating in any SCORE race is that there are classes for just about every kind of vehicle from old, to new, and the surprising. In Class 7 one of those surprises was Rhys Millen and his Ford 2.3L EcoBoost powered truck. Millen took on the 2019 reigning champion Dan Chamlee in his Ford Ranger, as well as Jeff Proctor in the Honda Ridgeline. While the horsepower and drivetrains vary in Class 7, the Honda Ridgeline broke down on the course and Millen passed to go on for the class win. Between Millen and Chamlee was James Bluth in his Ford Ranger, who kept his pace and crossed the finish line in second-place. “All we had to do was to keep going because the car didn’t have a single problem, it was very reliable,” said Bluth. “The silt wasn’t that bad, this truck just ate it up. It was pretty rough this year but we never got stuck. Even in this different year, the atmosphere was still amazing here in Baja and even a fan came out to help us with his four-wheel drive the only time we got stuck.” The reigning champ finished third, but Chamlee is known for his consistency, and ultimately won his 16th Class 7 Championship. “What a rocky, nasty, and rough course,” said Chamlee. We broke a spindle, and we didn’t have a spare one. The team had to go buy one and get it to us on course at a spot that was really hard to get to. The team came through as usual, they were awesome. It was a hard race and a bumpy one.” Pinuelas Takes The SCORE Lites Class Win Gustavo Pinuelas in the number 1218 car had a nine-man team that kept them fast and fresh on the course to the finish line, but the car still had issues of its own. “We had some complications with our transmission at the beginning but our chase team did a great job to get it fixed,” said co-driver Mario Aguilar. “The course was difficult in some sections, but this is how it is in Baja. It demanded a lot from us and from our car.” The team’s co-drivers also included, Cesar Castillo, Jose Robles, Armando Ventura, Alberto Cruz, Mike Aguilar, Pedro Marzeco, and Enrique Mendoza. Finishing second in SCORE Lites was the 1205 car of Miguel Cortez. “We were physically and mentally ready for a difficult race, but the key was to keep the car one piece,” he said. “These are always difficult courses which can put you in trouble in a lot of different ways, but that’s part of the adventure. We heard it’s the longest SCORE Baja 1000 loop course, and that makes us even prouder that we managed to finish it.” Cortez had co-drivers Cesar Quirate, Mike Ley, Jesse Lopez, and Rojelio M. In third place was the number 1229 car of Doug Satterfield with co-drivers Black Roberts, Alfredo Ramirez, Daniel Gutierrez, Allen Yost and Robby Kennedy. 30th Time For Yee In 1/2-1600 Winning the SCORE 1/2-1600 Class was Eli Yee in the #1616 car, who has been racing the SCORE Baja 1000 for the 30th time. “I had finished second a total of eight times but had never won it before,” said Yee. “We started well, built a one-hour advantage, and that helped us set the pace. It’s special to win this one, which was certainly the most difficult I’ve ever raced in my career.” Yee celebrated with his co-drivers Angel Barajas, and Alejandro Corona. Second place went to the #1626 car of Martin Rangel with co-drivers Carlos Augilar, Emilio Salcido, Armando Bonilla, and Daniel Pacheco. Finishing in third was the #1665 car of Raul Rodriguez with Edison Cruz, Eric Gallindo, Victor A. Valdez, David Pena, and Victor Valdez. Putting The Hammer Down In BaJa Team Nitto Tire driver Paul Horschel entered his number 4419 Rock Crawler into the Hammer Truck class with five other competitors. Horschel was the only one to finish with co-drivers Mitchell Sweatt, Zig DeGroot, Josh Markham, and Champion rock-crawler Loren Healy. “I was lucky and didn’t have to deal with any incidents, but Loren had to change the driveline and take our front CV apart. That cost us one hour or two,” said Horschel. “There was silt on and off for 50 miles, it was insane. But luckily, our truck has four-wheel drive so when the others trucks got stuck, we went around them. It’s exciting to get this one done and to win it.”    Old Bugs Keep On Winning Miguel Pabloff in the #507 car used his friend Greg Sullilvan’s old Baja Bug to compete in this year’s SCORE Baja 1000. “I’ve been away from racing for ten years between 2007 and 2017 but Greg Sullivan (#508) brought me back. We raced together a few times and he allowed us to use his old car in this race after he got a new one. He’s a great person and I’m really excited that he got to finish the SCORE Baja 1000 too.” Sullivan may have wanted his old car back after Pabloff took the Class 5 win and Sullivan finished in second place. Pabloff was aided by co-drivers Ramon Fernandez, Thomas Fernandez, Jesus Marquez, Ricardo Rodriguez and Alejandro Cedeno. Sullivan was aided by co-drivers Mike Sullivan, Ben Swift, and ORMHOF inductee Jerry Penhall. In Class 5-1600, the number 555 car of Edmundo A. Fernandez won the class with co-drivers Cesar Vela, Jorge Vela, and Sergio Sarmiento. Finishing second was the number 553 car of Cesar Iniguez with co-drivers Miguel Estrada, Victor Tamuno, Francisco Gutierrez, and Jorge Gutierrez. Muncey Finishes In BC4 Ed Muncey who has driven in the Baja Challenge class for several years now, won in the Baja Challenge Class driving the BC4 car. “The course posed a lot of challenges for everyone, and it was definitely very difficult, but it was made for this car,” said Muncey. “It ran perfectly. You can go and change the course as much as you want, this car is going to do it. Hats off to the entire SCORE team that has been working on this race for a long time and has put together an extremely safe race for each of us.” The BaJa Boot Rides Again SCORE’s Class 2 once again had two unique vehicles competing, not necessarily against each other, but mostly against an extremely difficult course. The SCG Baja Boot is a late-model version of the original vehicle built by Vic Hickey and driven in the Baja 1000 by Steve McQueen. The Boot successfully finished and won its second SCORE Baja 1000 with Darren Skilton heading the team of drivers which included hometown hero Viry Felix (Class 5 champion). Also driving were John Krellwitz, Tyler Thomas, Elliot Pollack from Armada Engineering, and Mike Rossey. “The course was tough and there were people getting stuck everywhere and the dust just hung in the air,” said Skilton. “You couldn’t go much more than 20 miles/hour for four-hours. It was a race for patient drivers.” Finishing in second place was another unique vehicle, the Ford Bronco R SUV that was headed by Cameron Steele of the Desert Assassins. A Ford Motorsports engineering vehicle, the Bronco R had difficulties at last year’s SCORE Baja 1000 but came back to complete the course and finish the race. The team included some legendary racers such as Johnny Campbell, Curt LeDuc, Jason Scherer and granddaughter of the late Rod Hall, Shelby Hall. “The team was just unbelievable,” said Cameron Steele. “The drivers all nailed their sections and the entire crew was on point. It’s an honor to be working with each of them and it’s been humbling to see the dedication of everyone to this project.” “This race was our mission,” said Shelby Hall. “Each of us has put so much time and effort into it. I’m so proud of the team, they really stepped up. Every experience and lesson we had were important and we’re all learning from them. The Ford Bronco R is a great vehicle and now it will be Baja-proven. I’m so happy to be part of this project.” Ford Rangers Finish In 7F and 7SX Justin Park, in his number 714 Ford Ranger, won in Class 7F with co-drivers Josh Tieman, James Tiglio, and Eduardo Perez. Finishing first in Class 7SX was Dario Serrano in the number 744 Ford Ranger. He was aided by co-drivers Jorge Serrano, and Sergio Gudino. “This was our first experience at the SCORE Baja 1000 and I couldn’t be more impressed,” said Serrano. “The course was very technical and demanded a lot from us physically. It was our goal to finish the race and I’m proud we did it. Now we want to come back for every SCORE race in 2021.” In the Stock Full Class, Marc Van Tassell drove his number 8155 Toyota Land Cruiser through the tough Baja course and made it to the finish line to win the class. Van Tassell was aided by co-drivers Ryan Davis, Darren Webster, Kurt Williams, Dave Connors, and Will Carroll. Official Finishers  CLASS 7  (unlimited, six-cylinder, production appearing trucks or SUVs) 1. 727 Rhys Millen, 48, San Juan Capistrano, CA (New Zealand)/Nathan Moreno, 29/Hudson Hall/Matt McBride, RMR-Ford, 25:26:28 (35.31 mph);  2. 720 James Bluth, 53, Mesa, Ariz./Randy Bluth, Mesa, Ariz./Louis Gilbert/Jason Spark, Mesa, Ariz., Ford F-150, 30:40:41;  3.700 Dan Chamlee, 58, Montecito, CA/Kurt Kimball, 57, Santa Barbara, CA, Ford Ranger, 35:10:24. (5 Starters, 3 Finishers) SCORE LITES (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc) 1. 1218 Gustavo Pinuelas, 44, Mexicali, MX/Cesar Castillo, 33, Mexicali, MX/Jose Robles, 30, Mexicali, MX/ Armando Ventura, Rosarito, MX/Alberto Cruz, Ensenada, MX/Mario Aguilar, Tijuana, MX/Mike Aguilar, San Diego, CA/Pedro Marzeco, Mexicali, MX/Enrique Mendoza, San Diego, CA/Jimco, 29:11:57 (30.77 mph);  2. 1205 Miguel Cortez, 51, San Diego/Cesar Quirate, Tijuana, MX/Mike Ley, Tijuana, MX/Jesse Lopez, San Diego, CA/Rojelio M., San Diego, CA Obel, San Diego, CA, Curry, 29:52:10;  3.1229 Doug Satterfield, 43, San Diego/Black Roberts, 37, Santee, CA/Alfredo Ramirez, 33, Tecate, MX/Daniel Gutierrez, 54, San Diego/Allen Yost, 41, San Diego/Robby Kennedy, 57, Newhall, CA, ORAF, 38:53:17. (4 Starters, 3 Finishers) CLASS 1/2-1600  (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc) 1. 1616 Eli Yee, 46, Tijuana, MX/Angel Barajas, 43, Ensenada, MX/Alejandro Corona, 25, Ensenada, MX, Krager, 29:34:32 (30.38 mph);  2. 1626 Martin Rangel, 39, Mexicali, MX/Carlos Aguilar/Emilio Salcido/Armando Bonilla/Daniel Pacheco, Romo, 37:44:03.  3. 1685 Raul Rodriguez, 55, San Diego/Edson Cruz/Eric Gallindo/Victor A. Valdez/David Pena/ Victor Valdez, Fisher, 38:34:22. (5 Starters, 3 Finishers) HAMMER TRUCK UNLIMITED (unlimited, 4-wheel drive Rock Crawler) 1. 4419 Paul Horschel, 44, Park City, UT/Loren Healy/Mitchell Sweatt/Zig DeGroot/Josh Markham, Custom-Chevy, 24:44:00 (36.32 mph). (5 Starters, 1 Finisher) CLASS 5  (Unlimited Baja Bugs, VW concept engines allowed) 1. 507 Miguel Pabloff, 63, Ensenada, MX/Ramon Fernandez, 60, Tomas Fernandez, 61/Jesus Marquez, 59/Ricardo Rodriguez, 22/Alejandro Cedeno, Ensenada, MX, Penhall-Chevy, 31:07:06 (29.50 mph);  2.508 Greg Sullivan, 57, Helena, Mont./Mike Sullivan, 29, Helena, Mont./Ben Swift, 30, Newport Beach, CA/Jerry Penhall, Penhall-Chevy, 33:08:56. (3 Starters, 2 Finishers) CLASS 5-1600  (1600cc VW Baja Bugs) 1. 555 Edmundo A. Fernandez, 48, Ensenada, MX/Cesar Vela, Guadalajara, MX /Jorge Vela, Guadalajara, MX/Sergio Sarmiento, Ensenada, MX, 35:53:51 (25.50 mph);  2. 553 Cesar Iniguez, 36, Mexicali, MX/Miguel Estrada, 29, Mexicali/Victor Tamuno, Mexicali/Francisco Gutierrez, Mexicali/Jorge Gutierrez, Mexicali, 36:51:09. (2 Starters, 2 Finishers)     BAJA CHALLENGE  (Spec, Subaru-powered Baja Touring Cars equipped with BFGoodrich Tires) 1. BC4 Edward Muncey, 49, San Diego, 35:10:26 (25.54 mph). (1 Starter, 1 Finisher)    CLASS 2  Unrestricted cars/trucks including turbo and superchargers) 1. 2022 Darren Skilton, 53, Long Beach, CA/Viry Felix, 47, Ensenada, MX/John Krellwitz, 41, Upland, CA/Tyler Thomas, 29, Moorepark, CA/Elliott Pollack, 35, Woodland Hills, CA/Mike Rossey, 48, Rochester, Mich., Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) Boot-Chevy, 27:15:46 (32.95); 2. 2021 Cameron Steele, 52, San Clemente, CA/Shelby Hall, 33, Reno, NV./Johnny Campbell, 49, San Clemente, CA/Curt LeDuc, 65, Cherry Valley, CA/Jason Scherer, 44, Danville, CA, Ford Bronco R (Geiser), 32:31:21. (2 Starters, 2 Finishers) CLASS 7F  (Stock frame, 2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-size trucks) 1. 714F Justin Park, 44, Encinitas, CA/Josh Tieman, 39, Carlsbad, CA/James Tiglio, Oceanside, CA/Eduardo Perez, Ford Ranger, 39:17:15 (22.87 mph). (3 Starters, 1 Finisher)   CLASS 7SX (2 or 4-wheel drive mini or mid-sized trucks) 767.06 miles 1. 744 Dario Serrano, 38, La Paz, MX/Jorge Serrano, 37, La Paz, MX/Sergio Gudino, 50, La Paz, MX, Ford Ranger, 34:57:24 (25.70 mph). (4 Starters, 1 Finisher)   STOCK FULL Stock full-sized 2 or 4-wheel drive trucks, SUVs 1. 8155 Marc Van Tassell, 48, Ely, NV/Ryan Davis, 42, Farmington, UT/Darren Webster, 53, Holladay, UT/Kurt Williams, 40, Sandy, UT/Dave Connors, 46, Brigham City, UT/Will Carroll, 42, Murphy, TX, Toyota Land Cruiser, 38:49:48 (23.14 mph). (2 Starters, 1 Finisher)  

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - SCORE-Journal-December-2020