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

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Page 26 of 124

BACK IN SAN FELIPE The BFGoodrich Tires SCORE San Felipe 250 Gathered Off-Road Racing’s Elite By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo With 269 entries at the BFGoodrich Tires 34th SCORE San Felipe 250 Presented by Ford, the race ranked third in the most amount of competitors since its inception 34 years ago. It was evident that off-road racing’s elite wanted to return to Baja for the SCORE 2021 season and challenge Baja’s toughest terrain. The race was postponed last year due to COVID restrictions, which limited the 2020 SCORE season to only two races, the SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000. Despite the 2021 race still being under Mexico’s Bio Security Health and Safety Protocols, which meant no fans on the start/finish line or any pre-race celebrations, racers still showed up from the U.S., Mexico, and 10 other countries to compete. Sohren Family As Grand Marshals Before the 2020 SCORE San Felipe 250 was postponed for the season, the race was slated to honor “Pistol” Pete Sohren as honorary Grand Marshal. This was carried over to the 2021 race in which Sohren’s family including wife Cami, and kids Farrah, Van, Blair and Paige acting as Grand Marshal in his honor. Sohren’s children also competed in Class 3000 in their dad’s bright yellow BajaLite Chevy, which brought many memories and honor to the man who loved this SCORE race and who introduced and encouraged many racers to compete in SCORE. In addition to Pete Sohren honored as Grand Marshal, the Sorhen family and the Forever Pit Crew with Chad Bunch, offered a $2222.22 Contingency prize to the Class 5 winner of the race. This was a class that Sohren loved and appreciated and believed it was a good entry point into off-road racing. This year, the prize was given to Greg Sullivan in the #508 car who won the class. Qualifying Action The first official event of the 2021 SCORE San Felipe 250 was qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck, Class 1, and Trophy Truck Spec racers, which took place Thursday April 15th. In the SCORE Trophy Truck division, which had 35 competitors in this race, qualifying was key to getting int the right spot for the win. At the end of the day, Bryce Menzies had the fastest qualifying time followed by Andy McMillin and Luke McMillin. Tavo Vildosola, who was making his first SCORE race appearance since the 2019 season qualified in fourth place ahead of Alan Ampudia and Robby Gordon. After Class 1 qualifying, Broc Dickerson qualified with the fastest time ahead of Mason Cullen and 2020 SCORE Class 1 champion Cody Parkhouse who got the third starting position. The SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class also had a large number of competitors with 35 entries, but it was Kyle Jergensen who finished with the fastest time over Pierce Herbst, followed by Jason McNeil. In other classes, starting positions were chosen by a draw, which put some competitors in a good place for a better chance at winning, while others were pushed to the middle or back of the pack. In some classes, racers preferred a rear start, further changing up the order to make for an exciting race. A Fast But Tough Course  This year, the race course for the SCORE San Felipe 250 was 280.2 miles, slightly shorter than the more than 300 miles of courses mapped out in previous years. With COVID protocols still in place, the race start and finish line were held on the grounds of the El Dorado Ranch, the same as they were for the 2020 SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000. The course ran in a clockwise direction with two physical full stop checkpoints, 82 virtual checkpoints and just four speed zones for a total of 9.3 miles. This course also ran through five of Baja’s infamous washes, the Azufre, Huatamote, Chanate, Amarillas and Las Cuevitas. With several new sections, the entire race course ran south of Highway 3 for the first time in several years. In addition, all Sportsman classes, as well as Class 7SX, Class 11 and the Baja-3 class raced on a reduced course of 242.88 miles. With this course layout, the racers were expected to complete it in a relatively quick time, but one never knows what to expect once you’re on it. Given all the difficulties and problems that can occur during a SCORE race, all of the competitors were given 14-hours to complete the course in order to document a “finish” to the race. Contingency Day After a day of qualifying, racers went through the start/finish line for an interview with SCORE’s host, Rat Sult, during Contingency Day. While some of the drivers were out pre-running the course, team members drove their vehicles up the ramp to be a part of SCORE’s Livestream of the event. Race Day The long-awaited SCORE San Felipe 250 began early Saturday morning with the Pro Moto riders lining up and taking off from the starting line at 6 am. The rest of the field of racers which included the SCORE Trophy Trucks and all of the other four-wheel car and truck classes lined up for their start at 9am. All of the racers had a 14-hour time limit to complete the 280.2-mile course and become an official finisher of the race. SJ

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