Coverage of the four-race 2019 SCORE World Desert Championship concludes on ABC TV this Sunday with the first of multiple airings of the BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The one-hour show will be broadcast on the World of X Games show on ABC on Sunday (Jan. 5) at 11 a.m. PT. and 2 p.m. ET.
When the final checkered flag fell, a total of 264 vehicles left the start line early Saturday (Nov. 23) with racers from 39 U.S. States and 22 countries. When the course closed at 11:27:28 p.m. PT on Sunday (Nov. 24), there were 145 official finishers for a 54.92 finishing percentage, especially good considering the difficulty of the race course that was made more difficult with a 24-hour delay to the start because of more than four inches of rain that fell in the Ensenada area and around the course on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of race week.
The results were made official following complete data tracking review of the devices on each vehicle in the event early Monday morning (Nov. 25).
52ND BAJA MIL
The world’s most iconic, oldest, prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s epic 52nd SCORE Baja 1000 was held over a rugged 800.50-mile race course over the Northern part of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula, starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California Norte.
Ensenada, “The Off-Road Capital of the World" is a coastal city on the Bahia de Todos Santos area of the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of the U.S. border at San Diego.
As it has for over four and one-half decades, SCORE has put together another memorable race course for the 52nd anniversary, this one a loop race, with all of the foreboding, unforgiving terrain and inspiring beauty that the northern state of the majestic Baja California peninsula has to offer.
SCORE President/Race Director Jose A. Grijalva designed and finalized this year’s race course of 800.5 miles. The course had three physical checkpoints and approximately 281 virtual checkpoints along the way to the finish line.
Starting and finishing in the heart of Ensenada adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, the course traveled East to Ojos Negros and then ran counter-clockwise in a weaving route around both the West and then the East side of the northern part of the peninsula.
The course ran in a counter-clockwise direction after the two-way section to the Ojos Negros area and down along the Pacific Ocean through Uruapan, Santo Tomas, Erendira, Santo Domingo Wash and San Quintin.
From there it traveled Northeast going by Rancho El Coyote, across and around Mike’s Sky Rancho, down by Simpson’s Ranch. The route then continued up to a speed zone on Highway 3 before going down over Laguna Del Diablo through Morelia Junction down and back up past San Felipe before heading back up through Laguna Salada, then South back through Santa Catarina to Ojos Negros and the finish on the two-way section back into Ensenada.
The course also went through two of Baja California’s infamous washes on the east side of the course—Matomi Wash and Amarillas Wash.
The three physical checkpoints were located starting with Checkpoint 1 which was near Vicente Guerrero (race mile 224.25), Checkpoint 2 was at the El Chinero Highway 3 Road Crossing (rm535.94) and Checkpoint 3 was near Santa Catarina (rm 708.47).
SCORE TROPHY TRUCK WINNER
Ensenada’s hometown heroes and brothers Alan and Aaron Ampudia made some lasting history on Nov. 24 by winning the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck title in the iconic BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, the iconic Granddaddy of All Desert Races.
Second generation desert racers from Ensenada, brothers Alan, 28 and Aaron, 26 split the driving in their No. 10 Papas & Beer Ford Raptor built by ID Design to a winning time of 16 hours, 10 minutes and 36 seconds while averaging 49.48 miles per hour over the rugged, rain-soaked race course. Their older brother Rodrigo Ampudia, 34, was a navigator for both his brothers during parts of the race.
Alan Ampudia started the race and drove to race mile 350. Aaron Ampudia then drove from race mile 350 to race mile to 695. Alan Ampudia got back in and drove from race mile 695 to the finish line.
Both class winners in different classes, it was their first career SCORE Trophy Truck race win as the Ampudia brothers became just the third team of Mexican Nationals to win the legendary race.
First to accomplish it was the father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola Sr/Gustavo ‘Tavo’ Vildosola Jr in 2010 and the son/father team of Carlos ‘Apdaly’ Lopez/Juan C. Lopez at the 50th anniversary race in 2017. Both of those first two accomplishments were races that started in Ensenada and finished in La Paz.
Joining the Ampudia brothers on the podium were 2019 Dakar Rally champions Nasser Al-Attiyah/Toby Price and Luke McMillin/Larry Roeseler.
Al-Attiyah, of Qatar and Australia’s Price, finished second with a penalty-free time of 16:21:06 (48.96mph) in Jesse Jones’ new Mason-Built No. 76 Ford F-250. Jones was scheduled to drive as well but a leg injury forced him to the sidelines.
Finishing third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck after leading much of the race, San Diego’s third-generation desert racer McMillin and Hall of Fame racer Roeseler, Imperial, Calif. covered the unforgiving course in the No. 83 Racer-built Mark Racing Ford F-150 in a penalty-free 16:21:33 (48.93mph), just 27 seconds behind the Dakar Duo.
MORGAN’S MOTORCYCLE MAGIC
Riding the No. 1x Honda CRF450X, Justin Morgan, 29, El Cajon, Calif. and his four-rider team raced to the overall motorcycle victory for his eighth consecutive overall motorcycle win in the SCORE World Desert Championship. The trio crossed the finish line in 17:34:28 with an average speed of 45.55mph.
Morgan split the riding with Shane Esposito, Temecula, Calif./Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif. and David Kamo, Caldwell, Idaho.
Morgan started and rode to race mile 35. Shane Esposito rode from race mile 35 to race mile 200. Max Eddy Jr. rode from race mile 200 to race mile 350. David Kamo rode from race mile 350 to race mile 540 and Morgan rode again the final 260 miles to the finish line.
For Morgan it was his second overall win in the SCORE Baja 1000 while it was also the second for Esposito, third for Eddy Jr and fourth for Kamo.
The victory was also the 29th overall motorcycle win in this legendary race for American Honda.
CLASS 1 SUPERLATIVE
Second generation SCORE desert racer and long-time NASCAR Cup racer Brendan Gaughan, Las Vegas, captured the unlimited Class 1 by over an hour while finishing 20th overall among four-wheel vehicles in the No. 162 Chevy-powered HMS open-wheel desert race car. His winning effort was completed in 20:57:38 (38.19mph). He defeated 12 starters in his class for his first class win in the SCORE Baja 1000.
Sharing the driving duties with Gaughan were two other desert racing veterans in R.J. Anderson, Menifee, Calif. and Buddy Feldkamp, Redlands, Calif.
Defeating 27 starters in his class and 48 total UTVs to win the overall UTV title in this year’s race was Justin Lambert, Bakersfield, Calif., with a winning time of 21:00:43 in his No. 2918 Polaris RZR XP4 Turbo. He also won his Pro UTV FI (Forced Induction) class.
Here is the four-race 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship and for the fifth consecutive year all races will be held in Baja California, Mexico:
- 34th SCORE San Felipe 250, March 25-29, San Felipe, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, June 3-7, Ensenada, Mexico
- 2nd SCORE Baja 400, Sept. 16-20, Ensenada, Mexico
- BFGoodrich Tires 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, Nov.16-21, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur
ABC TV IN 2019
The one-hour special on the BFGoodrich Tires 52nd SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts, is scheduled to air on Sunday, Jan. 5 on ABC TV’s World of X Games program.
All of the SCORE race coverage shows also continue to air internationally in nearly 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and South America via syndication and ESPN International.
Official SCORE Sponsors: BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire and Race Title Sponsor, Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink, 4 Wheel Parts-Official Off-Road Retailer and Race Presenting Partner, Ford-Official Truck and SUV, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Polaris RZR-Official UTV, RACELINE Wheels-Official Wheel, VP Racing Fuels-Official Fuel, Lucerna Hotels & Resorts-Official Hotel, Wide Open Excursions-Official Arrive and Drive Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino.
SCORE Official Partners: PCI Race Radios, The Satellite Phone Store, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance.
Additional SCORE Associate Partners: Baja California Secretary of Tourism, XXIII Ensenada Municipal Government, XXIII Mexicali Municipal Government, Mexicali and San Felipe COTUCO, Cruz Roja Mexicana.
For more information regarding SCORE, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.SCOREInternational.com.