SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - Feb 2017

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

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Page 12 of 90

MAN ON A MISSION SCORE’s New Liaison in Mexico, Juan Tintos Is Working To Further Strengthen SCORE’s Relationships With Mexico By Stephen Romero Photography: Courtesy of Juan Tintos Juan Tintos is a man on a mission to help SCORE maintain and strengthen its nearly 50-year relationship with Mexico. While it may seem like handshakes and meetings are part of the agenda, there’s much more responsibility and work that needs to be done. In his former role as Secretary of Tourism, Tintos lured some of the biggest celebrities and movie producers in Hollywood to Baja California. Fortunately for enthusiasts of SCORE desert racing, his new job is to roll out the red carpet for racers, teams, and the tens of thousands of spectators that participate in SCORE events such as the Baja 1000, Baja 500, San Felipe 250 and the Rosarito Beach Desert Challenge. As the newly appointed Mexico Liaison for SCORE International, Tintos explained that he will start by cutting through the confusing politics and putting innovation, security, safety and value at the forefront of the events. A Friend on the Border Tintos’ love of SCORE desert racing dates back many decades, watching and even participating in the same events that have given rise to so many Baja legends that we’ve all come to admire. That’s good news for race enthusiasts, who know they have a like-minded friend working on their behalf across the border. This was one of the reasons why Tintos was asked by SCORE president Roger Norman to pave the way for one of the best seasons ever in desert racing. Those who work behind the scenes to make the race run smoothly in a different country, know it takes vision, commitment and good-hearted people on both sides of the border to deal with the complicated state, local and even federal regulations in Mexico. Norman has made positive references to Tintos’ credentials and he has the confidence in him to follow through with new ideas. While, the aspirations of hundreds of competitors and teams often swings in the balance of international negotiations between countries, so do millions of dollars in tourism revenue, and that is where Tintos’ experience as a former Secretary of Tourism for Baja California comes into play. SCORE Journal interviewed Tintos from his newly established SCORE offices in Ensenada to learn more about how races are organized between SCORE and Mexico, and what steps are being done today to continue a relationship that has been going strong for 50 years. “It’s an honor to join the SCORE staff and it’s something that will be very good for both sides,” said Tintos. “Off-road racing and SCORE have been synonymous with Baja California, it’s part of our culture. As the former Secretary of Tourism, I worked closely with SCORE to generate all the benefits possible for them, and these desert races have long been the most popular tourism events on our state calendar.” Baja California and SCORE To understand the positive impact of SCORE racing has in Baja California, as one of the five most important tourism states in Mexico, one needs look no further than the teams, racers, and spectators that book the hotels, eat in the restaurants, use gas stations, markets and other amenities. Collectively, the positive financial benefits for Mexico are stimulating a precarious Mexican economy, appreciated by the citizens of Baja California and the businesses that dot its beautiful landscape. The continued good news is that travelers from more than 30 states in the U.S. and 25 foreign countries are still being drawn to Baja for SCORE racing, according to Tintos. During this 2017 season, SCORE will again hold four races in Baja. Tintos is already making some sweeping advances in how the state, local governments, and businesses respond to the crowds and teams wishes, who consistently descend on the deserts and towns. Promoting Racing in Mexico Promoting SCORE desert racing in Baja California is his main goal, but as he pointed out, each race presents its unique challenges. “People have heard about this mythical land and these famous races and so there is a lot of planning that has to done,” he said. “You may run a similar route year after year, but no race is exactly the same, the rivers and roads are constantly changing by the seasons. There are a lot of elements that come into play to organize a race in Baja California and it includes cutting through the red tape. We have to offer the racers and teams many things and that’s always the challenge. But we’re enjoying the relationship between Baja California and SCORE.” For more than four decades SCORE events have been individually tailor made, and that no two are alike as Tintos pointed out. He cited the Rosarito Beach Desert Challenge that kicked off in 2016, which was historic, because it included a 33-mile circuit race across three days. “That evolution of desert racing in Baja is what makes this interesting,” said Tintos. “We have more than 650 different cultural events yearly in Baja California and the wine, craft beer and food scene is growing. For example, the San Felipe 250 last year left over four million dollars in tourism money for Baja California, and that gets distributed across the many businesses and services, then employment increases,” he said. “The CBS Sports TV coverage from SCORE races also increases the awareness of Baja and that increases the value of desert racing in Mexico.” The rising attention to Baja California is definitely a plus for SCORE racers as its security, safety, road improvements and medical care get improved because of these cottage industries. “Juan Tintos has been a long-time family friend of ours and it is indeed an honor to have him be able to join our SCORE Management Team as our SCORE Mexico Liaison,” commented Roger Norman. “Juan has tremendous experience not only in the area of tourism, but even more experience and knowledge in dealing with all the different types of Mexican government officials and police agencies that we work with to produce our SCORE Baja races.” Tintos is excited. He sees desert racing in Baja California as a fraternity that captivates people. In other words, a friendship between SCORE and Baja California can surpass any hurdle he may encounter. “The presence of SCORE racing is Baja California is something that we never overlook,” said Tintos. New SCORE Offices in Ensenada New offices opened months before Juan for expanding SCORE staff to interact with officials, racers and fans more efficiently. “I communicate regularly with Roger, and we’ve always had a good exchange of information, even before I became a liaison. I want to create more awareness here in Baja California of what the off-road industry is doing.” The new SCORE office in Baja helps to maintain a foothold and good relationships with SCORE racers and sponsors. “BFGoodrich recently donated $10,000 to a children’s program, and I want racers, teams and fans to come down and see all the other things that Baja California offers,” said Tintos. “I want to generate more awareness through the presence of SCORE here in Baja California. The fact that more Mexican teams are also racing in Baja California is exciting.” As he works through the challenges, Tintos envisions big things for the 50th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000. He would like to see Dana Brown’s sequel Dust 2 Glory premiered in Baja California for starters, although nothing has been confirmed. But he’s hopeful. While he can’t disclose everything this soon, he does stand behind the economic facts that SCORE off-road races generate the bulk of tourism revenue for the events that happen within his state. SJ wrapped up the interview with one critically important question for Tintos in his first few months as liaison. Could an official Baja 1000 branded craft beer possibly be available about the time of the 50th anniversary race? He laughed, paused, then said, “Yes, perhaps, these craft beer guys in Ensenada are very creative.” Let’s just hope they don’t put racing fuel it for added punch. SJ

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