A car/truck racer and a motorcycle/ATV racer from two upcoming major desert races in the U.S. and Mexico will earn free entries by way of the Dakar Challenge 2013 into the 2014 Dakar Rally, it was announced officially today by Roger Norman, owner of both the SCORE International and the High Desert Racing Association desert racing organizations.
The fastest qualified driver and rider in the Dakar Challenge 2013 will receive the corresponding free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally from combined finishes at the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico (May 30-June 2) and the 2nd annual Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 (July 12-14).
Officially announced jointly at the pre-race racer’s meeting at the recent 27th annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 by SCORE and A.S.O (Dakar organizing group), the special competition is open to all SCORE classes except 1/2-1600 and 5/1600 and racers who have not previously been a competitor in the Dakar Rally, even as a crew member.
“The Dakar Challenge has been initiated to help provide a wonderful new opportunity for talented up-and-coming SCORE and HDRA racers the possibility of competing in one of the most popular motorsports events in the world,” said Norman, a former champion racer who is in his first season as owner of the iconic SCORE International, producers of the world’s foremost desert racing series.
The two North American desert races will join the Dakar Challenge project and involves three other rallies on three continents for a total of four car/truck and four motorcycle/ATV entries who earn the entry package into the next Dakar Rally. They are the first races in North America to be part of the Dakar Challenge.
The Dakar Rally, originally known as the Paris to Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road race, organized by Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. The rally has been run in South America since 2009. The 2013 Dakar Rally started in Peru and finished in Chile while going through Argentina. The race is open to amateur and professional entries.
After making a unique presentation to the racers in San Felipe, Xavier Gavory, A.S.O. Head of Competitions Department-Sporting Coordinator, commented, “The Dakar Challenge is a significant link between desert racing around the world and the Dakar Rally. This is a broad initiative to detect emerging virtuosos of the handlebars and steering wheel and allow them the opportunity to quickly expand their racing resumes beyond, in this specific case, the SCORE and HDRA racing series. This cooperative adventure will provide significant exposure for the participants as well as the Dakar, SCORE and HDRA.”
The timetable of Dakar Challenge 2013 events:
-May 31-June 2, 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 1: Tecate SCORE Baja 500**
-June 15-22, 2013: Desafio Ruta 40 – Dakar Series
-June 20-23, 2013: Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race
-July 12-14, 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 2: Eldorado HDRA Reno 500**
-Sept. 20-27, 2013: Australasian Safari
Participant eligibility: Never having participated in the Dakar Rally, or finished among the top 10 in an FIM all-terrain rally (motorcycles), not having been in the list of FIA priority drivers (cars/trucks) and/or the Elite A.S.O. lists.
**The SCORE and HDRA races lead to a common general classicifcation and a single winner per category (one for motorcycles, one for cars/trucks)
Regulations and other information on Dakar Challenge 2013 are available at http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/dakar-challenge.html.
The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance race, called a rally raid rather than a conventional rally – the terrain the competitors traverse is traditionally much tougher, the race being split into separate daily stages with bivouacs spread throughout the course.
Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, open desert and rocks among others.
Covering a racing distance of over 3,000 miles over a two-week period, among the SCORE stars who have participated in the Dakar Rally include Robby Gordon, Larry Ragland, Mark Miller, B.J. Baldwin, Daniel McMillin and Andy Grider in car/trucks along with Johnny Campbell, Kurt Caselli, Quinn Cody, Jonah Street and Chris Blais in motorcycles/ATVs.
The 2013 Dakar Rally was the 34th running of the event and the fifth successive year that the event was held in South America. The event started in Lima, Peru on January 5 and finished in Santiago, Chile on January 19 after fourteen stages of competition. 448 vehicles in four classes of competition started the event, which comprised a total distance of over 5,000 miles. The motorcycle category was won by French rider Cyril Despres for a fifth time, riding a KTM; Marcos Patronelli (Argentina) took his second win in the quad competition riding a Yamaha; Stéphane Peterhansel (France) captured his eleventh overall Dakar victory (fifth in the car category) alongside co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret at the wheel of a Mini; and Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev’s maiden victory re-captured the truck category title for Kamaz.
ON THE BAJAscope
As the 40th anniversary celebration of SCORE International continues, Round 2 of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series will be the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 (May 30-June 2), followed by the season-finale at the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 (Nov. 14-17). Both races will start and finish in Ensenada.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF DESERT RACING
The 2013 SCORE Desert Series will also be part of the quickly-evolving World Championship of Desert Racing, which will combine points accumulated in the three SCORE Baja races along with points earned from three of the four-race 2013 HDRA Series, all held in the United States. Both the SCORE and HDRA series will crown their own individual class and overall point champions as well with a bonus purse for those racers who qualify for the World Championship of Desert Racing points bonus purse program to earn a desert racing World Champion title.
With a growing total, for the inaugural World Championship of Desert Racing bonus purse, an official total of $45,000 has been posted to date from new SCORE sponsors Amber Racing Services ($25,000), King Shocks ($10,000) and Rigid Industries ($10,000).
For car and truck classes with at least five starters in each qualifying race in 2013, the World Champion titles will be decided on combined points from the three SCORE races and three HDRA races with the bonus purse paid using the same formula based on total purse and number of starters in each class as is used currently for each SCORE race.
For the pro motorcycle and ATV classes, the World Championship of Desert Racing will include points earned in the three SCORE Baja races as well as the AMA National Hare and Hound race to be held during the HDRA Reno 500.
In addition to season class point championships and World Championship titles, the racers are also competing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings each race. There are also annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Awards including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Award that also receives a $2,000 cash bonus and custom-made driver’s race suit. Drivers in the Pro car and truck classes are also attempting to earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the race season. These awards are being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 28th consecutive year.
Norman acquired ownership of the world-renown SCORE International on Dec. 20, 2012 from Sal Fish, 73, the iconic godfather of desert racing who ran SCORE for 39 years.
As a hotel/casino owner in northern Nevada, business developer and a champion racer, Norman re-started the High Desert Racing Association, (HDRA) in 2011. HDRA was highly regarded when it was active originally in the 1980s and early 1990s. HDRA was actually bought out by Sal Fish in the early 90’s, thus making SCORE the dominant racing organization. Things have come full circle as HDRA owner, Norman, now buys SCORE.
In addition to business interests in both San Diego and Reno, Norman owns the Crystal Bay Casino in North Lake Tahoe, Nev. as well as Wide Open Excursions desert ride-n-drive tour company with branches in Ensenada, Mexico, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Reno, Nev.
Norman is a regular with his ‘Pit Stop with Roger’ segment on his new weekly webcast internet show on www.score-international.com-Dirt Live.
Official Sponsors of the SCORE Desert Series are fueled by Monster Energy-Official Energy Drink: Tecate Beer-Official Beer/Official Race Sponsor, BFGoodrich Tires-Official Tire, Amber Racing Services-Official Race Fuels (F&L, VP), Rigid Industries-Official Lights, King Shocks-Official Shock Absorber, Coca-Cola-Official Soft Drink, Wide Open Excursions-Official Tour Company, Crystal Bay Casino-Official Casino, Volaris Airlines-Official Airline, MasterCraft Safety-Official Safety Seats, Fox Car Rental-Official Rent-A-Car, Graham Watchmakers-Official Timekeeper, SatellitePhoneStore.com-Official Satellite Phone Rental Company, Slime-Official Tire Sealant, Symons Ambulance Company-Official Ambulance, Azunia Tequila-Official Tequila, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-Official Mexican Auto Insurance.
Additional SCORE Sponsors are – Visit Baja California Sur, Proturismo Ensenada, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, COTUCO Mexicali/San Felipe, Blue C Advertising, PCI Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
For more information, visit the official website of the new SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.