Race-record field of nearly 360 includes 70 racers with combined
155 Class wins in Saturday’s 20th Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250

    SAN FELIPE, Mexico—Helping celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race, a race-record field of nearly 360 entries, including 70 racers, who have a combined 155 Class wins between them, are heading to Mexico this week along with of thousands of spectators looking for an early ‘spring break’ in Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
          Round 2 of the six-race 2006 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series, will be held Saturday in the quaint fishing village of San Felipe, 120 miles South of the U.S. border at Calexico, Calif., on the eastern side of the peninsula, alongside the picturesque azure waters of the Sea of Cortez.
     Competing on a challenging 240.34-mile rock-shrouded, silt-laden desert course, a race-record of nearly 360 entries from 20 States, Canada, Colombia, England and Mexico will compete in 24 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs. The green flag will drop at 6 a.m. on Saturday for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed by the car and truck classes two hours later at approximately 8:30 a.m.
     The field includes eight of the winners in the 12-year history of the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for hi-tech, 800 horsepower, unlimited production trucks along with six of the last winners in the unlimited Class 1 for open-wheel desert race cars and seven of the last overall Motorcycle winners in this increasingly popular spring race.
     Also among the entry list are 13 of 19 overall car and truck class winners in this race, including seven of the last 10, along with seven of the last eight overall motorcycle winners.
     “This mammoth field will produce a fitting tribute for the 20th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250,” said Sal Fish, SCORE President/CEO just prior to leaving Monday to complete final course preparations. “We have the world’s best desert racers heading to San Felipe for what should be a stern test for both man and machine. It’s a great honor for SCORE to have this many entries and we look forward to welcoming racers from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries. The SCORE Baja experience is one like none other in all of motorsports.”
     A cross-over driver entered in this year’s race is Jamie Galles, Albuquerque, N.M., in Class 8. With limited previous SCORE racing experience, Galles, whose family was a long-time Indy Car team owner, has driven in both the Trans Am and old Toyota Atlantic racing series.
     Johnny Campbell’s seven on motorcycles leads the group with multiple-class winners in San Felipe along with six-time winners Jim O’Neal, Danny Ledezma (Class 5/1600) and Eric Solorzano (Class 11). Five-time class winners in the field are Eric Fisher, Curt LeDuc and Rob MacCachren while racers with four class wins each are John Griffin, Steve Hengeveld, brothers Ed & Tim Herbst, Donald Moss and Larry Roeseler.
     O’Neal, who races in the age-group motorcycle classes 40 and 50, has won six times in five years, with his multi-rider teams winning both Class 40 and Class 50 last year.
     Donald Moss has won Class 3 for four straight years while capturing their respective classes for the last two years have been Rich Severson (Class 7SX), Tom Brown (Class 7), Fisher (Class 9) and Mexico’s Gerardo Rojas (Class 30).
     Overall, 14 class winners from last year are back to defend their titles and another four of last year’s winners have entered different classes this year.
     The start and finish line area for the extended loop, point-to-point course will once again be the landmark San Felipe arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. All vehicles will have a 10-hour time limit in the elapsed time race and vehicles will start in 30-second intervals.
     Pre-race festivities at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 will include the colorful SCORE Midway and tech inspection on the Malecon beachfront in downtown alongside the peaceful waters of the Sea of Cortez from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday.
     At 9 p.m. on Saturday, the awards celebration will be held in front of The Beachcomber Night Club on the Malecon.
     As of today (March 6), a race-record of 351 official entries from 20 States and five countries have entered the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, led by Class 1-2/1600 with 42, followed by the unlimited Class 1 with 38, the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division with 29, SCORE Lite with 23, Class 25 with 21 and Class 10 with 18.  So far, 231 of the entries are cars or trucks and 120 are either motorcycles or ATVs.
     Late registration will be accepted up until race morning, virtually guaranteeing a final starting grid of more than 300 for the first time in the colorful 20-year history of the popular race. The previous entry-record of 291 set last year has been toppled by 60 so far, a growing increase of nearly 21 percent. Last year’s 269 starters was the largest total in the event’s history.
     Southern California’s Cameron Steele and Richard Boyle received the pole positions for the race in the top two divisions in the computerized drawing for starting positions held on Feb. 6 at the SCORE headquarters in Los Angeles. Steele races in the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division while Boyle drives in the unlimited Class 1.
     Starting first for the motorcycle classes will be Jon Ortner, Santa Barbara, Calif., on a Honda CRF450x. The first ATV off the line will be the Yamaha YFZ450 of Rodrigo Rubio, Menifee, Calif.
     Steele, 38, an ESPN action-sports announcer from San Clemente, Calif., has entered in three classes for San Felipe. Steele will be first 4-wheel vehicle off the line in the Desert Assassins No. 16 Ford F-150 in SCORE Trophy-Truck.
     Boyle, 41, Ridgecrest, Calif., is a veteran SCORE racer, teams with 1985 SCORE Class 1 season point champ Ron Brant, 60, Oak Hills, Calif., in a Jimco-Chevy. Boyle/Brant also drew the first start last year in this race.
     Steele, whose wife Heidi Steele, 30, the 2005 SCORE Sportsman Car point champion, will make her SCORE Pro racing debut in Class 7SX as the first start in her new Ford Ranger, will ride a Suzuki DRZ450 in Class 22 and drive a Desert Assassin-VW in SCORE Lite.
     Besides Heidi Steele, three other female primary drivers or riders have entered. Sigal Greenberg is entered in Class 9 while both Brianna Mancillas and Jessica McCreary are entered in the Sportsman ATV class. McCreary, a 36-year old Southern California school principal, has announced plans to ride solo in all three of the SCORE Baja races this season.
     A number of internet sites will provide varying degrees of real-time or near real-time coverage of the event.
     In addition to score-international.com, other sites scheduled to have coverage of the event are: desertracing.com, dirtnewz.com, jumplive.com and off-road.com.
     Dirtnewz.com, a new site launched in January, will offer the first formatted audio webcasts of a desert race, starting on Wednesday. In addition to 30-minute shows at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday night, the audio webcast coverage will include two one-hour shows from Friday’s pre-race festivities on the Malecon at Noon and again at 1 p.m. During Saturday’s race, regular audio updates will be webcast and the special audio webcast is scheduled to conclude with a 30-minute wrap-up show from the finish line at 3 p.m.
     The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes chase for the $50,000 Kartek Off-Road contingency bonus to be awarded to several qualified 2006 SCORE Class point leaders.
     The 2006 SCORE Desert Series also includes the hunt for the annual Toyota Milestone and $12,000 Toyota True Grit Awards. The prestigious Toyota Milestone Awards are presented to every racer who completes every required mile of every race in the 2006 SCORE Desert Series. The $12,000 Toyota True Grit purse is split among the SCORE season point champions who are also Toyota Milestone award winners in several non-factory-backed classes.
     Current SCORE official 2006 sponsors are: BFGoodrich Tires-official tire, Sunoco Race Fuels/C.L. Bryant-official fuel supplier, Bilstein-official shock, Instant Mexico Auto Insurance-official Mexican auto insurance, Airstar America-official space lighting provider. Associate sponsors are: Tecate Beer, Coca-Cola of Mexico, Las Vegas Events, Terrible Herbst Inc., Kartek Off-Road, Centrix Financial, Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Suzuki, SignPros, Cotuco, Fideicomiso Publico para la Promocion Turistica de Ensenada, P.C.I. Race Radios, McKenzie’s Performance Products and Advanced Color Graphics.
     Associate sponsors for the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 are the Tourism and Convention Bureau of Mexicali/San Felipe, Cotuco and El Dorado Ranch.
     The race annually provides a greater economic impact to San Felipe than the entire month-long ‘Spring Break’.
     For more information, contact SCORE at its Los Angeles headquarters 818.225.8402 or visit the official website of the 2006 SCORE Desert Series at www.score-international.com.