RACE RECAP: 2007 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
40 years in the making
The most epic race on the face of the earth is now in the books—the 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Running the full length of Baja California, from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico the 1,296.39 grueling miles of desert and coastal terrain made this one of the most scenic and challenging Baja 1000 races to date.
A total of 424 racers from 44 U.S. states and 20 foreign countries started the race. Grand Marshall Rod Hall was there to flag them all at the Start. This year’s Baja 1000 had the highest percentage of finishers with 239 completing the race in the 53-hour time limit.
Taking the win in SCORE Trophy-Truck was No. 3 Mark Post and Rob MacCacheren along with 2007 CORR Pro-4 Champion Carl Renezeder in the Riviera Racing Ford F-150. “To win the overall SCORE Baja 1000 in the SCORE Trophy-Truck is a dream come true,” commented Post.
The No. 3 Riviera Racing team ran a flawless race and broke new records: fastest average speed during a Baja 1000 and the first time a SCORE Trophy-Truck has won the overall points championship. “I have never had the overall win and I finally got that done,” commented MacCacheren. Riviera Racing finished the race in 25:21:25 and averaged 53.43 mph. This was Post’s first Baja 1000 win and MacCacheren’s fifth.
In Pro Motorcycle there was an exiting race between Factory Honda 1x and Honda 14x—but the real excitement was in the potential shift of powers between Honda 1x and KTM’s Baja team 7x. Honda 1x started fifth off the line, but quickly took on its opponents one by one, moving into the top position by the first checkpoint. KTM’s 7x had moved up right along with 1x, but then had a tire blow out before RM 250, dropping to third. By nightfall, 14x had moved up eleven spots and was gaining on the leader 1x. KTM’s 7x had another tire blow out and then a major crash before the end of the race. All of this eventually cost them their chance of winning the race.
In the end, Factory Honda 1x took the checker flag winning the Pro Motorcycle (SCORE Class 22). They completed the course in 25:34:45 with an average speed of 50.68 mph. After the top finishing times were compiled, the overall winner of the 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was Factory Honda 1x. The boys riding red for Factory Honda 1x were Robby Bell, Steve Hengeveld, Kendall Norman, and Johnny Campbell. This marks 18 overall motorcycle wins for Honda.
In Class 1 the No. 100 Terrible Herbst/Rock Star truggy driven by Troy Herbst and Larry Roeseler took the win, making it the highest finishing Class 1 vehicle in SCORE history. “We are really happy to be here. No flats today. Larry Roeseler started the day and did a heck of job,” commented Troy Herbst. This win marks Roeseler’s 16th SCORE Baja 1000 victory, the second highest ever. The No. 100 Terrible Herbst truggy completed the race in 26:30:10 with an average speed of 48.92mph. No. 105 Billy Gasper finished in fifth place ensuring the 2007 Class 1 points championship.
Danny Prather 1a made it a back-to-back win in Pro ATV Class 25 (over 251cc) riding their Temecula Motorsports HondaTRX450R.Prather of Ramona, CA along with Mike Cafro, Levi Marana, Dana Creech, and Marc Spaeth took this year’s Baja 1000 win and also the 2007 class point championship. This is only the second time a Class 25 team has been able to defend their title in the SCORE Baja 1000. “This was definitely a big win for us,” commented Mike Cafro. Team 1a completed the race in 29:48:58 with an average speed of 43.48mph. 5a Wayne Matlock in second with only a 10-minute margin.
In Pro ATV Class 24 (under 250cc), 103a Francisco Servin and Co-rider Rocky Merino took the win on their Honda TRX450R. They had an 8-hour lead on the next ATV. “It was a great day today. No flats. No problems on the bike. This race was flawless,” commented Merino.
Defending SCORE Lite champion Tim Noe and Tom Watson took the win in the No. 1200 VW powered Jimco. Their Baja 1000 win was the first of the season. They lead season points, making them the first ever defending champion to repeat since the inception of the class in 1997. Co-driver Vic Bruckman commented, “The car had no third gear since mile 200. It was pretty tough.” This is Vic Bruckman’s seventh SCORE Baja 1000 win.
In Stock Mini, No. 760 Rod Hall finished his 40th Baja 1000 in a Hummer H3. Hall extended his class championships to 19. He won the first edition of the race in production 4WD class back in 1967. He is one of two racers to compete in all 40 SCORE Baja 1000 races—truly an amazing race career.
The official last finisher of the 40th Tecate SCORE Baja was Class 11 Ramon Fernandez. One second later and Fernandez would have not completed the race; they completed the race in exactly 53 hours. Fernandez was also the class winner. Class 11 favorite Eric Solorzano did not finish this year.
Another year, another season, another Baja 1000. Countless stories and numerous people have made off-road history. Forty years in the making, SCORE International’s president Sal Fish put together one of the most amazing Baja 1000 race courses ever. “It’s very special being here at the 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. I hope I can do this for another 10 years and be here or in La Paz for our 50th anniversary,” commented Fish.
You can also count on Off-Road.com being here providing great off-road race coverage for the next 10 years leading up to the 50th anniversary of the granddaddy of all off-road races—the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
TOP CLASS FINISHERS
PRO TRUCKS & CARS
SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK (Unlimited Production Trucks)—1. Mark Post, San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas/Carl Renezeder, Laguna Beach, Calif., Ford F-150, 25 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds, (53.43 miles per hour).
CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)—1. Larry Roeseler, Hesperia, Calif./Troy Herbst, Las Vegas, Smithbuilt-Ford, (26:30:10 48.92mph).
CLASS 1-2/1600 (VW-powered, single or two-seaters to 1600cc)—1. Arnoldo Ramirez/Misael Arambula/Jacob Gutierrez, Ensenada, Mexico, Curry, 31:13:51 (41.51mph).
CLASS 3 (Short Wheelbase 4X4)—1. Donald Moss, Sacramento, Calif./Kenneth Moss, Marysville, Calif./David Grundman, Elk Grove, Calif./Gary Dunn, Bakersfield, Calif., Ford Bronco, 40:41:38 (31.89mph).
CLASS 5 (Unlimited VW Baja Bugs)—1. Drew Belk, Coachella, Calif./Jim Anderson, Reno, Nev./Dave Bonner, Norco, Calif./Mike Belk, Indio, Calif., 30:35:27 (42.38mph).
CLASS 5/1600 (1600cc VW Baja Bugs)—1. Ernesto Arambula/Roberto Green/Adolfo Arambula/Hector Ramos, Ensenada, Mexico, 33:35:07 (38.60mph).
CLASS 7 (Open mini trucks)—1. Dan Chamlee/Tom Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif., Ford Ranger, 42:27:59.
CLASS 7S (Stock mini trucks)—1. Mike Horner, Mission Viejo, Calif./Chuck Forman, Mira Loma, Calif./Carl Sosa, Lake Forest, Calif./Greg Foreman, Mira Loma, Calif., Toyota Tacoma, 51:43:31 (25.06mph).
CLASS 7SX (Modified, open mini trucks)—1. Noe Sierra, San Bernardino, Calif./Tony Sierra, Fontana, Calif., Ford Ranger, 36:32:00 (33.64mph).
CLASS 8 (Full-sized two-wheel drive trucks)—1. Glen Greer, Green Valley, Ariz./Thomas Greer, Tucson, Ariz./Bruce Greer Jr, Oro Valley, Ariz./Shane Pavolka, Vail, Ariz., Dodge Ram2500, 34:55:30 (37.12mph).
CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc)—1. Matt Cullen, Long Beach, Calif./Juan Avila, Ensenada, Mexico/Matthew Balkeman, Fountain Valley, Calif./MarkParriott, Mission Viejo, Calif., AlumiCraft-VW, 30:09:25 (42.99mph).
SCORE LITE (VW-powered, Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc)—1. Tim Noe, San Diego/Tom Watson, El Centro, Calif./Gary Arnold, El Cajon, Calif./Vic Bruckmann, Lemon Grove, Calif., Jimco, 28:30.44 (45.47mph).
CLASS 11 (Stock VW Sedans)—1. Ramon Fernandez/Tomas Fernandez/Rogelio Robles, Ensenada, 53:00:00 (24.46mph).
STOCK FULL (Stock, Full-sized trucks)—1. Chad Hall/Rod Hall/Sam Edgar/Josh Hall, Reno, Nev., Hummer H3, 36:27:25 (35.56mph).
STOCK MINI (Stock, mini trucks)—1. Rod Hall/Mike Winkel/Chad Hall/Josh Hall, Reno, Nev., Hummer H3, 40:04:30 (32.34mph).
PROTRUCK (Limited Production Trucks)—1. Rick L. Johnson, Oak Hills, Calif./Dane Cardone, Huntington Beach, Calif./Jimmy Nuckles, Brawley, Calif., Toyota Tundra, 28:28:44 (45.52mph).
CLASS 17 (Identically equipped Jeep Cherokees)—1. Mike Shaffer, Dayton, Nev./Dave Schneider, Reno, Nev./Lance Clifford, Georgetown, Calif., Jeep Cherokee, 46:18:20 (28.00mph).
BAJA CHALLENGE (Identically equipped, Wide Open Baja touring cars with Subaru Engines)—1. Jim Christensen, San Juan Capstrano, Calif./Matthew Christensen, Newport Beach, Calif./John Anderson, Fallbrook, Calif./Jesse McRae, Laguna Niguel, Calif./Mark Stahl, Savannah, Ga., 34:28:57 (37.60mph).
CLASS 22 (250cc or more)—1. Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Hesperia, Calif./Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Johnny Campbell, San Clemente, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 24:15:50 (53.43mph).
CLASS 21 (126cc to 250cc)—1. Francisco Arredondo, Guatemala/Kent Pfeiffer, Costa Mesa, Calif./Kurt Pfeiffer, Riverside, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 28:28:54 (45.52mph).
CLASS 20 (125cc)—1. 151x Ryan Penhall, Corona, Calif./Chad Black, Laguna Hills, Calif./Brian Radovich/Brian Bebeck, Westminster, Calif./Jeremy Yeasley, Moreno Valley, Calif., Honda CRF250X, 30:53:10.
CLASS 30 (Riders over 30 years old)—1. Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif./Scott Myers, Sun City, Calif./Jeff Sheets, Henderson, Nev./Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico /Taber Murphy, Wenatchee, Wash./Mouse McCoy, Santa Monica, Calif./Jimmy O’Neal Jr., Chatsworth, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 26:43:15 (41.98mph).
CLASS 40 (Riders over 40 years old)—1. Brett Helm, Poway, Calif./Louie Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif./Jon Ortner, Santa Barbara, Calif./Craig Adams, San Clemente, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Bob Johnson, Temecula, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 28:01:11 (46.27mph).
CLASS 50 (Riders over 50 years old—1. Chris Haines, Dana Point, Calif./Jack Johnson, Boulder City, Nev./Craig Adams, San Clemente, Calif./Scott Pfeiffer, Costa Mesa, Calif./Jimmy Sones, Honda XR650R, 28:35:30 (45.34mph).
CLASS 60 (Riders over 60 years old)—1. Richard Jackson, Acton, Calif./Bill Nichols, Peoria, Ariz./Gary Colbert, Bishop, Calif./John Etchart, Hemet, Calif./Gary Vanderpool, Morgan Hill, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 38:31:23 (33.65mph).
CLASS 25 (over 251cc)—1. Danny Prather, Ramona, Calif./Mike Cafro, Bonsall, Calif./Levi Marana, Hemet, Calif./Marc Spaeth, Warner Springs, Calif./Dana Creech, Murrieta, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 29:48:58 (43.48mph).
CLASS 24 (under 250cc)—1. Francisco Servin, Chula Vista, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 32:05:50 (40.39mph).
OVERALL SPT CAR— Paul Bailey/Jillian Rootring/Amber Bailey/Tom Rootring, Yorba Linda, Calif., Bunderson-VW, 41:12:15 (31.46mph) (9 Starters, 2 Finishers).
OVERALL SPT TRUCK— Mark Growe/Keith Growe, Placentia, Calif./Tim Brown, Escondido, Calif./Bryan O’Lear, Lakeside, Calif./Mike Sabbarese, Huntington Beach, Calif., Hummer H1, 42:24:40 (30.57mph) (7 Starters, 1 Finisher).
OVERALL SPT M/C<250cc—Jesus Rios/Alejandro Olguin/Alfredo Osornio/Joel Leal, Mexicali, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 33:14:00 (39.01mph) (5 Starters, 3 Finishers).
OVERALL SPT M/C>250cc—Bill Eddings/Sean Kinkor, Lomita, Calif./Eric Schettler, Mesa, Ariz./Jeff Weiner, Redondo Beach, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 31:19:33 (41.38mph) (54 Starters, 22 Finishers).
OVERALL SPT ATV—David Corbani, San Felipe, Mexico (Italy)/Raul Guardano, Mexicali, Mexico, Honda TRX450X, 34:14:57 (37.86mph) (17 starters, 10 Finishers).
(Source: SCORE International)