Following final additional data tracking review of their two respective classes, race officials have confirmed youthful SoCal desert racers Cody Parkhouse and Mike Lawrence as class winners in last weekend’s 27th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race in San Felipe, Mexico.
Following data tracking review and the assessment of penalties for various infractions from missing a virtual check point or a deviation from the prescribed course, Mexico’s vastly popular father/son team of Gustavo Vildosola/Gustavo Vildosola Jr powered past a talented field of 250 starters Saturday to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory.
Driving the No. 21 Red Bull Vildosola Racing Ford Raptor in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division, Vildosola, 59, and Vildosola Jr, 30, covered the rugged and technical 253.0-mile course over much of Mexico’s Baja California Norte in four hours, 13 minutes, 39 seconds at an amazing average speed of 59.85 miles per hour.
With the exception of a few classes, results were declared official early Sunday morning (March 10) following review of the International Racing Consultants data tracking recording devices used by each vehicle that resulted in many time penalties being imposed by SCORE officials for course violations in the race and missing one or more of the 60 virtual checkpoints spread the entire length of the course.
Parkhouse, 25 of Garden Grove, Calif., won for the first time in the unlimited Class 1 driving a Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car to victory against 14 starters in the class in a time and speed of 4:29:31 (56.32 miles per hour). He also finished seventh overall as SCORE Trophy Truck entries have won the overall victory 17 times in San Felipe in the 20-year history of featured racing division.
Lawrence, 24 of Sunset Beach, Calif., outdistanced a field of 21 starters to capture the Class 10 win in a Chenowth-Chevy, overcoming the large, talented field in his class with a time of 5:19:53 (47.45 mph).
Lawrence was not accessed any penalties in the race, including from the final additional data tracking review of the past several days. Each entry in the race is required to use an IRC data tracking device and back-up data recorders-‘black boxes’ that are reviewed after the course closes.
“We had to hold the results in Class 1, Class 10, Class 21 and Class 24,” the SCORE Competition Review Board (CRB) said in a prepared statement. “While there were many penalties, we view them as minor, yet costly as it determined the final outcome in several classes, including the three overall wins. It is our goal to protect the integrity of the sport and to ensure the racers are all competing under the same guidelines.”
Providing a more detailed explanation, the SCORE CRB statement elaborated: (Many racers elected to make their own interpretation of rules regarding lines that could be taken and how far they could stretch a line from the main course itself). “The primary areas of concern during this race in San Felipe were where competitors chose to ‘straight-line’ the course and in some cases missing checkpoints and virtual checkpoints. A course deviation was assessed with a five-minute penalty. Missing a virtual checkpoint (VCP) was assessed a 10-minute penalty. The attention was focused on infractions with racers that were able to gain a competitive advantage by deviating from the course by double the allowable distance, or more.”
“The check point 2 area received the most penalties, in which 24.8% of the 177 race finishers ‘straight-lined’ it, missing it by over 1000 feet and were assessed with a five-minute penalty. Another area of concern was between VCP19 and VCP 20 (virtual checkpoints) where racers took a faster route between the two VCP’s deviating more than 1000 feet from the course. Racers were allowed 500 feet deviations on either side of the course, and were penalized when the deviations were excessive. The line between VCP21 and VCP22 was straight-lined by 22% of the 177 finishers, leaving the allowable 1000 feet corridor by more than 800 feet. The area between VCP47 and VCP48 was also critical as 14.6% of the 177 race finishers left the sand wash and re-entered the sand wash thus cutting off a section of the course.”
“While it was the intention that the sand washes would be ‘open’ it was not the intention that the racers would leave the sand wash and re-enter at another location thus ‘straight-lining’ VCP’s in the process.”
“Moving forward,” the SCORE CRB statement concluded, “we are developing software to speed up the review process with the ultimate goal of providing the racer with an immediate review from SCORE upon finishing the race.”
The SCORE CRB also announced that the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 course will have multiple race lines marked on the official GPS course in areas where multiple lines exist. Several physical check points will be placed in strategic locations. Virtual check points will be used and racers must pass within 100 feet of either side of the virtual check point. It is the racers responsibility to turn in their IRC transponder equipment immediately after finishing or a four hour penalty will be applied.
The Tecate SCORE Baja 500 will be the same as every other SCORE event in past years that has required IRC satellite tracking and recorders on all two wheel and four wheel vehicles. Bikes and quads will be required to run IRC recorders (black boxes) as always. All racers will be required to use electronic transponders for timing.
After racing started at 6 a.m. Saturday (March 9), it continued among the slower classes until past midnight into early Sunday (March 10). The season opener of the 2013 SCORE Desert Series, was held in Mexico’s picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located 120 miles south of the U.S. border on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez, was streamed live worldwide over the internet by DirtLive.com with audiences that peaked well into the six-figure range.
A total of 250 starters from 23 US States and 12 countries competed in 40 Pro and 7 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. A total of 177 competitors officially completed the challenging course within the 12-hour time limit for an outstanding 70.80 finishing percentage. The starting total is the seventh most and the finishing total is the fourth most in the 27-year history of the event.
OH, WHAT A COURSE…
The spectacular 253.0-mile race course ran in a counter-clockwise direction and started and finished at the landmark San Felipe arches. The race course went north of Highway 3 for one of the first times ever in this race, covering over 100 miles all the way up to the south end of Laguna Salada and back.
The race course also included three of the infamous Baja washes—Huatamote, Chanate and Amarillas before heading to the finish line.
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 is 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.
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.
27th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250
March 9-10—Round 1 of three-race 2013 SCORE Desert Series
San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico (253.0 miles)
TOTAL STARTERS: 250 TOTAL FINISHERS: 177 (70.80 Percent)
(23 U.S. States, 12 Countries)
OFFICIAL FINISHERS–Class 1, Class 10, Class 21, Class 24
(Following Final Data Tracking Review)
(NOTE: Complete finisher’s list at www.score-international.com)
Pro Cars & Trucks
CLASS 1 (Unlimited single or two-seaters)—1.Cody Parkhouse, Garden Grove, Calif./Brian Parkhouse, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 4:34:31(55.30 miles per hour) (Seventh Overall); 2. Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif./Brian Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 4:44:24 (10th Overall); 3. Luke McMillin, El Cajon, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 4:49:38; 4. Ronny Wilson, Long Beach, Calif./John Herder, Tucson, Ariz., Jimco-Chevy, 4:54:52; 5. Erik Harp, Panama City, Fla., Porter-Chevy, 5:59:37; 6. Justin Matney, Bristol, Tenn., Geiser-Chevy, 6:00:02; 7. Eduardo Laguna, Mexicali, Mexico/Rodolfo Iribe, Tijuana, Mexico, RG-Chevy, 7:28:20. (14 Starters, 7 Finishers)
CLASS 10 (Single or two-seaters to 1650cc)—1. Mike Lawrence, Sunset Beach, Calif., Chenowth-Chevy, 5:19:53 (47.45mph); 2. Brad Wilson/Kyle Quinn, Long Beach, Calif., Jimco-Chevy, 5:21:49; 3. Mike Johnson, Murrieta, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:22:43; 4. Chris Boyer/Rick Boyer, Bakersfield, Calif., Banning-Ford, 5:39:10; 5. J. J. Schnarr, Incline Village, Nev./Mark Levrett, Sparks, Nev., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:43:10; 6. Andrew Myers, San Marcos, Calif./Ross Savage, Costa Mesa, Calif., Alumi Craft-Chevy, 5:48:45; 7. Mike Shaffer, Alameda, Calif., FullPotential-Chevy, 6:58:34;8. Peter Hajas, Wayzata, Minn./Kevin Selchow, Lester Praire, Minn., Kreger-Chevy, 7:00:37; 9. Jorge Salmon, Ensenada, Mexico, Madigan-Chevy, 8:24:33; 10. Carlos Lopez, Calexico, Calif., PSD-Chevy,10:04:59; 11. Perry McNeil/Alfie Bueno, San Diego, Lothringer-VW, 10:06:48. (21 Starters, 11 Finishers)
CLASS 21 (450cc or less)—1. Jim O’Neal, Simi Valley, Calif./Roberto Villalobos, Dulzura, Calif./Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif./Ricky Brabec, Oak Hills, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 5:21:20 (47.24mph); 2. Juan Gutierrez, Tecate, Mexico/Raul Hernandez, Tijuana, Mexico/Larry Serna, Chula Vista, Calif., KTM 450SXC-F, 6:06:47; 3. Adam Neuwirth, Los Angeles/Brody Kunz, Durango, Colo./Carlos Miranda, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda CRF450X, 6:30:08; 4. Ulises Fierro, Tijuana, Mexico/Marco Higuera/Luis Huerta/Juan Sanchotena Jr, Ensenada, Mexico, KTM 450XCW, 7:29:23. (4 Starters, 4 Finishers)
CLASS 24 (450cc or less)—1. Said Sanchez/Marco Moreno, Tijuana, Mexico/Francisco Servin, Chula Vista, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 6:28:48 (39.04mph); 2. Oscar Ruiz/Adan Arellano, El Centro, Calif., Honda TRX450, 6:37:56; 3. Thomas Wright, Tabernacle, N.J./Pierre-Yves Denault, Canada (France), Francisco Vera Jr, Ensenada, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 6:49:57; 4. Juan Gonzalez/Ramon Torres, Ensenada, Mexico/Dorian Mendez, San Felipe, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 6:53:48; 5. Jose Torres/Jeremy Gray, Yucca Valley, Gilberto Cossio, San Felipe, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 6:55:51; 6. Juan Dominguez/Alonzo Dominguez/Joaquin Maduena, Yuma, Ariz., Honda TRX450R, 7:15:52; 7. Gabriel Valencia/Miguel Arellano, Tijuana, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 7:21:02; 8. Jesus Lopez, San Diego/Omar Alvarado/Jesus Ramirez, El Cajon, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 8:17;33; 9. Shawn Robins/Landis Albrecht/Rocky Glasgo, Canada/Stephen Davis, Los Barriles, Mexico, Honda TRX450R, 10:57:25; 10. Max Hernandez, Queen Creek, Ariz./Greg Kirk/Matthew Long, Gallup, N.M., Honda TRX450R, 11:53:29; 11. Alexandro Diaz, Chula Vista, Calif., Suzuki 400R, 12:00:00; 11. Edgar Barraza, Chula Vista, Calif., Honda TRX450R, 12:00:00. (13 Starters, 12 Finishers)