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

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THE RACE UP THE PENNINSULA Preview To The BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE BaJa 1000 Presented by K&N By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo One of the greatest off-road racing adventures is about to take place November 13-18, 2023, the BFGoodrich Tires 56th SCORE Baja 1000 Presented by K&N. What is special about this particular peninsula run, is that for the 50th Anniversary celebration of SCORE International, the race will for the first time, start in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and end in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Racers, fans, and the people living in the Northern and Southern states of Mexico’s Baja California are extremely excited for this first-time course of a historic race that is bound to be exciting and more spectacular than ever. The race is the fourth of the SCORE World Desert Championship Season and Championships are on the line for many classes where the season points totals are close enough that it’s important for racers to finish. For those racers riding on BFGoodrich Tires, a $25K payout is also up for grabs for the Overall Winner if they are running on BFGoodrich tires. While some racers are looking to finish off a season with a win, and or a championship, many racers want to simply take part in off-road racing history, competing in the first South to North Peninsula run in SCORE history. THE COURSE With the announcement of the 50th Anniversary of SCORE last year, came the idea of a special 56th SCORE Baja 1000 race that would have a course that traveled up the Baja Peninsula, starting in La Paz and ending in Ensenada. Throughout the 2023 season, teams and fans were anxious to find out the location of this unique course. It wasn’t until the 2023 Off-Road Expo in Pomona, at the end of September, that SCORE International revealed the 1310.94-mile course to off-road enthusiasts attending the event and packing into Building 7 of the SCORE area. The course begins on the Malecon in La Paz November 16th. After racers leave the city, they head North passing several legendary Spanish Missions. It will also run across Arroyo Second and adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Racers will head to the top of Sierra de La Giganta and pass by the Mission de San Javier, then go through the El Malecon in Loreto and alongside the Sea of Cortez. Close to halfway through the course, racers will cross from Baja California Sur into Baja California and pass alongside the Pacific Ocean again, near Bahia Blanco. Afterward, the course extends through numerous Baja washes and then up towards Valle de Trinidad and up the Goat Trail. It then heads to Santa Catarina to Ojos Negros and up to the finish line in Ensenada. Sportsman, Class 11, and Class 7SX racers will run a reduced course of 1197.04 miles for safety reasons. Download the official 56th SCORE Baja 1000 course map here: ART OF PERFECTION This 2023 season has seen several racers compete and win every race in their class, and are hoping to finish with another win at the 56th SCORE Baja 1000 for a perfect season. Among these racers, there are only two in the four-wheel classes, Gus Vildosola Sr, with Ricky Johnson, in the SCORE TT Legends class, and Eli Yee in Class 5 Unlimited. In the Moto Classes, it is not a surprise to see Jano Montoya leading with three wins in the Pro Moto 30 class, New Zealand rider Robert Cremmers and the 501zx team in Pro Moto 50, Kevin Ward on the No. 644x bike in Pro Moto 60, Nicholas Velez and the 1a team in Pro Quad, and Faelly Lopez in Pro Quad Ironman. With the amount of talented competition his season, reaching this level of race-winning events is quite an achievement, but they still have the 56th SCORE Baja 1000 which these racers want to win but also need to finish. RACE FESTIVITIES At this year’s SCORE Baja 1000, there will be two days of Contingency and Tech Inspections taking place on Tuesday, November 14th, and Wednesday, November 15th, on the Malecon overlooking the Sea of Cortez in La Paz, Mexico. Contingency and the race itself will be streamed live, airing via the internet on the SCORE website and SCORE social media channels. Included in the exclusive race coverage, along with vehicle tracking, will be live drone and in-car camera footage from various locations around the race course. There will also be hosts in the SCORE Studio bringing live updates during the race. The race start will begin Thursday, November 16th with Motorcycle and Quad teams leaving at 1 a.m., followed by Opening Ceremonies at 8 a.m. Then the remaining competitors in all other classes will start at 9 a.m. beginning with the SCORE Trophy Truck Class. Each class will have a 50-hour time limit to finish the race, but it is expected that the fastest vehicles will finish in about 23 hours. 2022 SCORE Baja 1000 Memorable Moments At last year’s SCORE Baja 1000, Luke McMillin partnered with Rob MacCachren to compete in the SCORE Trophy Truck class. The effort led to McMillin winning his third SCORE Baja 1000 race in a row, and for MacCachren it was his sixth Overall win in this race. McMillin and MacCachren will once again partner together for the 2023 race and will hopefully bring home another win and championship season.  Class 1 buggy battles are always great to see at any SCORE race, but at last year’s SCORE Baja 1000, Kyle Quinn of the Wilson Motorsports team dealt with a broken control arm in the suspension but managed to fix it and win the class for back-to-back SCORE Baja 1000 wins. In the SCORE Pro Moto Unlimited class, Mark Samuels returned for the season to take the win with co-riders Justin Morgan and Kendal Norman. It was Samuel’s seventh win in this race and for Norman who is a veteran of the sport, it was his eighth, and for Morgan, his sixth. In the extremely competitive SCORE Trophy Truck Spec class, Elijah Kiger did not have a great 2022 season, but at the SCORE Baja 1000, he asked Jason Coleman and Jason McNeil to partner with him. The team made sure to run a clean race and at the end, although finishing behind, the Herbst team, they won the race due to fewer penalties on the course. In the UTV classes, Branden Simms was able to get through the crowded field in the SCORE UTV Open class and win in the only race he competed in 2022. In his No. 1869 Polaris Pro R, he managed to stay ahead of Craig Scanlon in the No. 1831 Polaris RZR Turbo, and both Wayne and Kristen Matlock who were piloting their own Polaris RZR Pro R cars.

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