More simply known as the Baja 500, the Tecate Score International Off-Road Race draws travelers from around the world to the extraordinary off-roading adventures that take place annually on Baja California terrain. This part of Mexico, in fact, seems divinely designed for off-roading thrills. This year’s race will take place from May 31st thru June 2nd and promises to be filled with excitement and lots of kicked-up dust from squealing tires.
About SCORE International
Founded in 1973, the SCORE International organization was developed to promote off-road racing in both Mexico and the United States. The races, particularly the Baja 1000 as well as the Baja 500 of Mexico, lure drivers from all over the map, but they also attract thousands upon thousands of tourists who make the trip to Mexico especially to watch the race and share in the excitement. The group has become one of the world’s most renowned desert racing organizations.
The Baja 500
The Baja 500 is a major racing event that features various vehicle classes. Typically, the off-roaders race in a prescribed loop that starts and finishes in Ensenada. The course, however, stretches around the peninsula to include other major Baja California cities. For this reason, cities like Rosarito Beach and San Felipe often see increasing tourism simply due to the racing event. The 2013 event promises to be highly thrilling and competitive. The SCORE website asserts that the world’s top desert racers will be competing and that many previous race winners will be entering this, the 40th Baja 500 event! From trophy trucks to ATVs and motorcycles, the various classes are destined to keep the race fans well entertained.
This year’s Baja 500 “will start and finish in downtown Ensenada on Boulevard Costero in front of the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center,” according to the SCORE website. The racers will head in clockwise direction to face the highly technical course. The race will include more than ninety virtual checkpoints and four physical checkpoints along the 501-mile course. There are some incredible stretches, of course, such as the sixty-mile stretch along the Pacific and the 4,100-foot summit near the southern section of the course. The course is tight and, therefore, all the more exciting for racing fans!
The Racing Festivities
Not surprising, the race is promoted from town to town and seems to be one of the highpoints of the approaching summer season. As the race typically takes place in early June, it literally opens summer and the hotels, clubs, bars, and restaurants are all ready to accommodate the celebrating crowds as the converge for the racing. On May 31st in Ensenada a kickoff festival will get the event started. Performances, vendors, and racing enthusiasts will meet in this area as a way to kick off this major event and generate excitement among the enthralled crowds. Major sponsors will also be promoting their products and services with giveaways and prizes to celebrate the race.
Visiting Baja California during Race Time
Many travelers make a point to visit one of Baja California’s tourist towns during the Baja 500. For visitors that have never witnessed this event—it’s one of the best times to visit as adventure fills the air and the parties and celebrations seem non-stop. Even if you only catch a glimpse of the motorists as they speed by, it’s a great way to share in one of northern Mexico’s most popular events.