SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - DECEMBER 2017

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

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Page 12 of 132

CELEBRATING A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY The 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 Goes Down In History As One Of Off-Road Racing’s Most Iconic Moments By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Off-road motorsports elite gathered in Ensenada, Mexico to conquer the Baja desert in what is considered to be the most difficult and grandest off-road race in history. The 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, however, is different from all the other Baja races. This race celebrates all of its iconic moments in history dating back from the official start in October of 1967. With a celebration of its 50th anniversary, everyone in the off-road community came out to celebrate and honor decades of the men and women who chose to try and conquer it. The Baja 1000 started when Bud and Dave Ekins, along with Bill Robertson Jr., decided to gain some publicity by riding motorcycles 1000 miles along the Baja peninsula in 1962. The publicity stunt turned into a race to beat their original time and in 1967, the first Baja 1000 race was officially launched by Ed Pearlman as the Mexican 1000. Five decades after the first Baja 1000, the race has launched many careers, turned people and machines into legends, and continues to be the one race that everyone in off-road racing must win. Just like the first race, the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 was slated as a point-to-point race, that started in Ensenada and ended in LaPaz. The course was put together by SCORE Race Director Jose A. Grijalva and SCORE CEO/President Roger Norman, to include 1,134.40-miles of Baja desert terrain. Off-road racing’s legends were everywhere in Ensenada, including BOBBY FERRO, BRUCE MEYERS, Ivan Stewart, Malcolm Smith, SAL FISH, MIKE PEARLMAN AND MANY MORE. Two of the most important men in SCORE’s history Sal Fish, and Roger Norman, represent the past and present of this 50th anniversary of the race Although most people might think that the Baja 1000 course consists of wide open desert terrain, the facts are that it is made in such a way that veering off of it can incur penalties for racers, and includes five physical and 147 virtual checkpoints, to make sure that the competitors stay on course. There were also 20 speed zones on this year’s course and despite what some might think, not all of the race is actually on dirt. There’s a total of 162.87 miles that are on pavement, which includes the starting line in front of the Riveria del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. Sal Fish As Grand Marshall The Grand Marshall for the 50th-anniversary race was none other than Sal Fish. Fish ran SCORE International for 38 years and was the significant force in keeping the race an ongoing event that led up to its 50th anniversary. “It is a privilege and honor to stand up here at the 50th anniversary of the most famous and recognized races in the world,” said Fish. “I didn’t have a business plan 45 years ago when Mickey Thompson first brought me down to Baja. I never thought I would be standing up here 50 years later! “Fish went on to thank the people that helped make the race last so long. “To the members of the press, without your help and publicity, we would never have been able to promote SCORE to this level,” said Fish. “For the racers, without you, we would not have a series or fans. BFGoodrich Tires, without your support and pit support we would not be able to have sustained SCORE for this many years. Thank you to all for having me here.” Two-Day Contingency One of the highlights of this year’s 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, was a two-day Contingency. With the amount of people, celebrities, racers and sponsors at this year’s event, SCORE officials decided to spread the Contingency event over a two-day period, where motorcycles, quads, Sportsman, and other classes lined the Boulevard Costero in Ensenada on November 14th, while the Trophy Trucks and other vehicle classes were on display the following day. The result added more excitement and anticipation for the race and allowed the huge crowds to meet many of the teams in all categories, as well as get photos with their favorite racers. Sponsors had a variety of swag and decals to give away and street vendors showcased the city’s diversity of food, arts & crafts, and the festive atmosphere of the event that makes coming to Ensenada fun and exciting. Contingency lasted two days, giving fans plenty of time to meet their favorite racers and teams The flavor and color of Ensenada, along with anticipation for the race was also a part of the two-days of Contingency BFGoodrich Tires had a huge Hospitality tent, where it gathered more than 100 of the company’s dealers and media for a variety of events, dinners, and announcements. Racers shared some of their Baja experiences with BFG dealers and included, Armin Schwarz, Dan McMillin, Apdaly Lopez, and the BFGoodrich Tires official BC1 team that was taking on the 50th. The company also shared a video on Rob MacCachren as he prepared for the race. BFGoodrich Tires VIPs also had a great view of the starting line with the company’s raised platform. Invited guests could view Contingency days and the start of the 50th BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000 from a fantastic vantage point, and then be escorted to La Paz to be at the finish line. SJ

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