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BACK TO ENSENADA  A Preview Of The BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 500  By SCORE Journal Staff  Photos by Get SOme Photo The 2024 Season of the SCORE World Desert Championship started with breaking records at the King Shocks 37th SCORE San Felipe 250. Now racers and fans return to Ensenada, Mexico for the BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 500. Entries for this race continue to climb with approximately 260 teams representing the top racers in off-road motorsports who are expected to compete.  Tens of thousands of SCORE fans are also expected to converge in Ensenada from May 29th through June 2nd, for the race and to celebrate SCORE International Day, every first Saturday in June, (this year June 1st).  While many attend the race festivities in person, others can enjoy watching the SCORE Live Stream of the Method Race Wheels Qualifier, Tech and Contingency Day, as well as race coverage on SCORE’s social media channels and website. During the SCORE San Felipe 250, viewership of the SCORE social media outlets attracted nearly 28 million people and 1.3 million engagements.  Race week begins with the opening of the 483-mile course or pre-running, followed by the Method Race Wheels Qualifier scheduled for May 30th. SCORE Trophy Truck,  TT Legends, and TT Spec classes will be challenged to qualify on a short course for starting positions within their classes. The starting order for other classes will be determined by a random draw for each class.  Tech and Contingency Day will be held on May 31st at Ensenada’s Boulevard Costero across from the Riviera Del Pacifico Cultural Center. SCORE fans attending will be treated to racers and teams lined up along the Boulevard to speak with SCORE announcers Rat Sult and Gabriel Garcia at the top of the SCORE ramp. Fans are allowed to meet racers and teams to take photos and get autographs and swag while enjoying the festive atmosphere.  The start of the BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 500 begins early on June 2nd with the motorcycle and quad classes starting at 2:30 am. Later that morning, the SCORE Trophy Trucks and all of the four-wheel classes lineup for their green flag start at 6:15 am. This allows a 3.5-hour head start for the moto and quad classes for safety purposes. Racers will have a 20-hour time limit from their starting time, to finish the race, and be eligible for points towards a season class championship.  2023 Flashback  It was no surprise when Bryce Menzies earned his fourth win in the SCORE Baja 500, as he had been running extremely fast that season, and continues to prove he is one of the top SCORE Trophy Truck competitors in recent SCORE history.  Finishing first in Class 1, Cody Reid in the RPI big-block Chevy-powered Alumicraft buggy, battled against the Wilson Motorsports team and Damen Jefferies, and Al Torres. The victory helped cement Reid with the 2023 Class Championship which indicates how important winning this race can be for any team. In the SCORE Trophy Truck Legend Class, Gustavo Vildosola Sr. and Ricky Johnson  in the 1L Mason AWD truck, continued their winning streak at this race and carried it on throughout the 2023 season winning the Class Championship.  The SCORE TT Spec class is full of extremely tough competitors in which one mistake can cost you the race. At last year’s SCORE Baja 500 Jason McNeil had to endure an accident with a TT Legends truck, but still managed to finish first for the win.  In Class 10 Francisco Vera won his first SCORE Baja 500, which also led to his finishing the season with a Class Championship. Likewise, it was also the first win for Class 7 racer Ethan Ebert in the Honda Ridgeline, but the Honda team did not race the entire season for a class championship.  In the Pro Moto Divisions, young Arturo Salas Jr. started his 11x team, with co-rider Clayton Roberts, and took their first SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited victory at last year’s SCORE Baja 500. The win led to Salas Jr. to carry the 11x moniker into the 2024 season as the HERO team with Carter Klein as co-rider. They won the Pro Moto Unlimited class at the SCORE San Felipe 250 this year and will have to prove themselves again at this year’s SCORE Baja 500.  Pro Moto Ironman champion Brandon Wright was the 2022 Class Champion who, had a difficult time on the 2023 SCORE Baja 500 course but managed to win the race in his class.  In the popular UTV classes, Polaris Factory Team and SCI Motorsports racer Brock Heger took the Overall UTV and SCORE Pro UTV Open class win in this race last year. The win would also help him earn enough season points to take the 2023 Class Championship.  SJ

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