SCORE Journal


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

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Page 9 of 78

2024 SEASON PREVIEW SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva Offers Insight Into The New Season By Dan Sanchez The 2023 SCORE World Desert Championship season was one of the most exciting with the 50th Anniversary of SCORE and the first SCORE Baja 1000 Peninsula run from La Paz to Ensenada. SCORE’s President and Race Director Jose A. Grijalva builds upon what was achieved in the previous season to keep making SCORE race events better for the next. SCORE Journal had an opportunity to get Grijalva’s insight into some of the achievements in 2023, and what to look forward to for the 2024 World Desert Championship Season. SCORE Journal: Looking back at the 2023 50th Anniversary Season, many challenges arose and new things you wanted to accomplish. What efforts did it take to make the season successful? Jose Grijalva: The 2023 season was one of the biggest challenges we have ever tackled, specifically the SCORE Baja 1000 starting in La Paz. This was new for the people there, and it took a year to work out the details, but it was well worth it. The landowners, were great all year and we have developed a good relationship with most of them. Environmental permits and all of the rest are always a challenge but thanks to the hard work of our team we got everything in on time. SJ: After such a great finale at the 56th SCORE Baja 1000 can you ever foresee another race that starts in La Paz in the future? JG: Yes we do see a big opportunity there. I think that shortly, we will see one race starting in Ensenada and the following Peninsula run in La Paz. SJ: Many of the race vehicles are much faster and gain more traction than they ever have before, such as AWD SCORE Trophy Trucks. Does this change how future courses are laid out, and will there be sections to slow down the competition for safety reasons? JG: All of the classes are getting faster but the SCORE Trophy Truck Class has gone crazy fast! We do try to make the courses more technical or use speed zones for safety like we will do in lake beds, highways, towns, etc. SJ: Other classes are getting popular and thus more crowded. In some, the call from racers has often been to let them start where they qualify. Is that something SCORE is looking to implement soon? JG: We are thinking of adding classes to qualify for the 2025 Season. SJ: In the past, you were concerned that many younger racers were lacking in SCORE competition. Is there a pathway you can suggest for them to become interested and participate in the sport? JG: Yes I still think the new generation is not that interested in extreme sports like off-road. We need to take kids out to enjoy the desert, along with teaching and showing them the greatness of riding and desert racing. SJ: With a decline of Off-Road racing Stateside, what can SCORE, race teams, and fans do to preserve off-road racing in Mexico for the future? JG: Mexico is a different world to race and Baja still has a lot to offer. We have to keep working hard to keep roads open. Baja racing is unique as only here do you see thousands of spectators, have opportunities to pre-run and use new or different trails, etc. What’s hurting the sport to me is all of the weekend warriors that come down in UTVs and run trails without any permits, open locked gates, and fences to ride through them. There’s no such thing as public roads here, it’s all private and or protected areas and people should respect the land, owners, and local people. SJ: There has been a huge increase in the local (Mexican) fan base for SCORE racing. Is this growth something SCORE has wanted to increase and what benefits does it bring to the sport? JG: Yes, and this is due to the hard work of many people like Tony Lozano, Gabriel Garcia, and others working within our social media and media presence, which is paying off. SCORE Desert Racing is everywhere now, and this helps a great deal because people know what we do and love it. SJ: You have been working with Mexico’s Environmental Agencies for a while now, how has their input changed the way courses are now laid out, and are there other agencies that help with clean-up and such? JG: As in all of the rest of the world things have changed, there are more areas we can’t use. That’s why we are always looking for other options and a variety of courses. We also work with ejidos and land owners to do post-race cleaning, it’s another income for locals and we do our part. Baja must stay clean from trash and misuse! SJ: Looking forward to the 2024 SCORE World Desert Championship Season, are there any significant changes and what can racers and fans look forward to? JG: Our racers and fans can expect bigger and better challenges, we will not disappoint them! SJ

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