2017 SCORE Baja 500 PREVIEW

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Its time, the 49th running of the SCORE Baja 500 is upon us and teams are either in Baja now or making their way down to pre-run for the grueling off-road race south of the border. In desert racing, Baja is king, both the 500 and the 1000 are the most sought after wins in all of off-road racing.

For the first time ever in Baja, UTVs make up the largest class in the race with 37 total entries across two classes. 26 forced induction (2900 class) and 11 naturally aspirated (1900 class) UTVs will compete on a 515 +/- mile race course that will begin in Ensenada take racers south along the pacific coast for almost 200 miles before traversing east towards the famous Mikes Sky Ranch, then down to San Felipe before making the turn north towards the hot and desolate Diablo Dry Lake Bed. From there racers will run a fun yet technical 200 miles back towards Ensenada. Last years race winner completed the Baja 500 in just under 13 hours.

Since 2013 only one non-Polaris UTV has won the Pro UTV class and that was Marc Burnett in his Can-Am. The past two years have been dominated by Factory Polaris racer Wayne Matlock. Matlock is primed to become the first Pro-UTV racer to win the Baja 500 three times in a row but this years race will see him face the stiffest competition ever in UTV Baja racing history. Factory Can-Am teams of Burnett, Sappington and Murray look to be the first to dethrone Matlock in two years while a full field of other Polaris racers are preparing to also capture their piece of Baja glory.

Alonso Lopez who won the Baja 500 in 2016 in the Naturally Aspirated class has now moved into the forced induction class piloting a new 2017 Polaris RZR XP Turbo, Justin Lambert is also competing for the first time in Baja in an XP Turbo. Other Factory Polaris racers taking on the FI class consist of Craig Scanlon, Jacob Carver, Branden Sims, Wes Miller, Mike Cafro, Brandon Schueler, and Cody Rahders. Polaris has without a doubt stacked the deck to maintain their Baja dominance while Can-Am aims to put their X3 on the board for the first time in the prestigious Baja 500.

Those following the N/A class will certainly have their eyes focused on Kristen Matlock who has been impressive in Baja to say the least. The “Iron Woman” will once again look to pilot her #1954 Factory Polaris RZR XP 1000 to a podium finish.

2012 Baja 500 Coverage
2013 Baja 500 Coverage
2014 Baja 500 Coverage
2015 Baja 500 Coverage
2016 Baja 500 Coverage

2017 SCORE Baja 500 Entires / Start Order

Pro UTV FI (26)
2998 Bill Whittington
2913 Branden Sims
2989 Wes Miller
2905 Marc Burnett
2936 Jacob Carver
2971 Wayne Matlock
2944 Shane Redline
2946 Jose Juarez
2990 Steve Smith
2917 Derek Murray
2975 Mike Cafro
2914 Tyler Walker
2977 Justin Elenburg
2918 Justin Lambert
2919 Brandon Schueler
2931 Craig Scanlon
2912 Tony Riggs
2916 Cody Rahders
2948 Matt Burroughs
2968 Christine Giampaoli Zonca
2910 Scott Trafton
2967 Anthony Perez
2904 Cory Sappington
2929 Paul Wadlington
2949 Alonso Lopez
2930 Sean Cook

Pro UTV (11)
1955 Paul Champion
1998 Don Whittington
1962 Dodge Poelman
1985 Adrian Orellana
1907 Daniel Parker
1906 Mark Levrett
1912 Dave Sparks
1954 Kristen Matlock
1950 J.T. Holmes
1922 Aldo Salazar-2nd RS
1925 Matt Scarpuzzi-1st RS

49th Annual SCORE Baja 500
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

•Schedule of Events•

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
9am-6pm Chassis Inspections Playa Hermosa Beach
Noon-6pm Pre-Tech/Transponder checks/Bracket Check-Playa Hermosa Beach
5pm-9pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center

Thursday, June 1, 2017
9am-1pm Qualifying-SCORE TT, Legend, TT Spec, Class 1–
9am-6pm Chassis Inspections, Pre-Tech/Bracket Check—Playa Hermosa Beach
Noon-8pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera CC
1pm-6pm Media Registration Red Room, Riviera CC
7pm-11pm Monster Energy SCORE Kickoff Party–Monster Energy VIP area-S/F Line

Friday, June 2, 2017
9am-4pm Racer Registration Red Room, Riviera CC
9am-5pm Media Registration Red Room, Riviera CC
9am-5pm Contingency Row Blvd. Costero, next to Riviera CC
9am-6pm Tech Inspection Blvd. Las Dunas, next to Riviera CC
11:30am SCORE Media Conf. Cathedral Room, RivieraCC Center
6pm Mandatory Aircraft Pilot Meeting—Cathedral Room, Riviera CC
7pm Mandatory Racer Meeting Cathedral Room, Riviera CC
6pm-Midnight Monster Energy Papas Y Beer SCORE Street Party-Avenida Ruiz

Saturday, June 3, 2017

5am-Midnight SCORE Media Center Red Room, Riviera CC

START/FINISH: 515.77-mile course (Class starting order subject to change)

5:30am RACE START: MOTORCYCLES/QUADS (subject to change)—

Pro Moto Unltd, Pro Moto Ltd, Pro Moto 30, Pro Moto 40, Pro Moto 50, Pro Moto Ironman, Pro Moto 60, Pro Quad, SPT Moto, SPT Quad

(Start Intervals: Pro Moto Unlimited start one every 60 seconds. All other Pro M/C, Pro Quad, SPT M/C, SPT Quad classes start one every 30 seconds)

GAP –a minimum of three hour gap between M/C, Quad start and car/truck start

9:15am Honor Guard and Salute to Flag Ceremony (start/finish line area)

10am approx RACE STARTCARS/TRUCKS/UTVS (subject to change)—

TT, 1, TTSpec, 2, Hammer Ltd, Hammer Unltd, 10, 8, 1/2-1600, SL, 5, HM, 3000, TL, 7, Pro UTV FI, Pro UTV, Pro UTV Unltd, PT, 5-1600, 3, BC, SF, 7SX, 3700, 1700, SM, 9, 11, PT, SPT Unltd Truck, SPT Buggy, SPT Ltd Truck, SPT UTV

(TT, Class 1 and TT Spec one every 60 sec. All other car/truck classes start one every 30 sec.)

TIME LIMIT: All vehicles will have a 20-hour time limit from time each vehicle starts

Sunday, June 4, 2017
11am Posting of unofficial results Red Room, Riviera CC
11am-Noon SCORE Media Center Open Red Room, Riviera CC
Noon Awards Celebration Cathedral Room Riviera CC