Schwarz/Christensen storm to overall and Class 1 San Felipe 250 Victory

After two years of a class win and a third place class finish, the third-time was more than the charm for the talented international team of Germany’s Armin Schwarz and Denmark’s Martin Christensen who overpowered a talent-laden field of 257 starters to capture the overall and unlimited Class 1 victory last Saturday in the 24th MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250. SCORE released the official results today after final completion of vehicle data tracking device review.
Setting a blistering pace right from the start in San Felipe in their BMW-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car, the daring duo covered the sandy, silty, rocky and dusty 248-mile course in just four hours, 22 minutes, 27 seconds, averaging a solid 56.70 miles per hour.
Overpowering a strong field of 257 desert racers while mastering the race course with blazing speed and power, Schwarz, a former star in the World Rally Championship series who drove the first half of the race and Christensen, a veteran SCORE racer who lives in Escondido, Calif., beat not only the cars and trucks (including the marquee field of 27 SCORE Trophy-Trucks), but also the motorcycles and ATVs that competed in the popular ‘spring break’ event.
Finishing second overall and earning his first SCORE Trophy-Truck career class win in the elapsed-time race, two minutes and 32 seconds behind the All-German Motorsports team was Jesse Jones, Litchfield Park, Ariz., in the first race for the Geiser Brothers-built No. 76 Ford F-150. In the inaugural race for the powerful Geiser truck Jones joyfully averaged 56.15mph.
Third overall and second the unlimited Class 1 in just his second SCORE race in the high-speed class and his first full SCORE racing season was third-generation desert racer Daniel McMillin, 22, El Cajon, Calif. Driving the McMillin Racing Jimco-Chevy in Round 2 of the five-race 2010 SCORE Desert Series, the son of SCORE Trophy-Truck star Mark McMillin (who finished 15th in class in San Felipe), Daniel McMillin recorded a time of 4:35:42 with an average speed of 53.94mph for his second straight podium finish after a third in January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge.
Fourth overall and second in SCORE Trophy-Truck was NASCAR Cup team owner/driver Robby Gordon, Charlotte, N.C., who finished last Saturday’s race in 4:36:10, averaging 53.88mph in the No. 1 Team Gordon Chevy CK1500.
Defending SCORE series Class 1 season point champion Randy Wilson, Lakewood, Calif., was fifth overall and third in Class 1 in 4:39:33 in another Jimco-Chevy.
The 257 starters from 25 States, 10 countries competed in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, truck, motorcycles and ATVs. The dramatic 248-mile course covered three of the legendary, picturesque and treacherous Baja washes and canyons: Matomi, Huatomote and Chanate before heading back to the finish line in the shadow of the landmark San Felipe Arches. The race featured the sixth-largest number of starters in the 24-year history of the event. A total of 158 adventurers completed the rugged course within the 11-hour time limit for a very commendable 61.5 finishing percentage. It was the seventh-most number of finishers in race history.

Earning the overall motorcycle victory this year was the Johnny Campbell Racing team of Colton
Udall/Jeff Kargola of San Clemente, Calif. They divided up the riding on the JCR Honda CRF450X to a winning time of 4:38:59, averaging 53.34mph over the brutally-tough course.
“I started the car and drove it until race mile 140 and then Martin took over,” commented overall winner Armin Schwarz, a veteran of over 100 WRC races. “We just took it easy; no crazy speeds, just knowing how long the race will be and how rough it is and just taking our pace and it was the right one. We had a very fast driver change and everything was to the point and very good. We had no problems at all.”

The All German Motorsports win marked the first time in SCORE history that a BMW-powered vehicle has won the overall 4-Wheel race title.

Added teammate Martin Christensen: “The team had an unbelievable driver change. They had fuel and tires on the car before we were belted in. We were literally in the pits for 25 seconds and then we were gone. Our team is the best – absolutely the best. This is the roughest, toughest race and you’re just driving the heck out of the car the entire time because this is a short distance and you’re just hoping that it’s going to last.”

Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif., led a team to the Overall ATV and Class 25 victory for the fourth time in the last five years and third consecutive year in this race on a Honda TRX700X. He split the riding time fairly equally with co-riders Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif. and Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif.

The trio split the course in several sections to help keep a fresh rider on board throughout the race.

Kawasaki KX450F vehicles completed the motorcycle podium as SCORE Baja stars Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif. and Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hill, Calif., were second while third was the brother team of Ryan and Connor Penhall of Corona, Calif.

Bell and Hengeveld, both former Honda factory riders, finished the race four minutes, five seconds behind Udall’s JCR Honda team.

Creative veteran age group motorcycle rider Jim O’Neal, 63, Simi Valley, Calif., won Class 50 for motorcycle riders over 50 years old and was a co-rider for Donald Lewis on the Class 60 winning team, adding two more to his race-record 12 class wins in San Felipe. Splitting the riding on a Honda CRF450X with O’Neal in Class 50, who also finished second in Class 30 on another of his talented team, was Doug Heil, Monrovia, Calif./Andy Kirker, Santa Ana, Calif./Jeff Kaplan, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Tim Withers, Pepeekeo, Hawaii.

Winning Class 60 for the third time in four years, Lewis, Marlborough, Conn., had help from not only O’Neal this year, but other co-riders Sam Dempsey, Lake Balboa, Calif./Bob Gates, Hesperia, Calif./Mike Harper, Landers, Calif.

Eric Solorzano, Tijuana, Mexico, picked up his 10th career class win in the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Class 11 for stock VW Sedans.

Gavin Skilton, Anaheim, Calif. (Stock Mini, Honda Ridgeline) won his class in this race for the third time in the last four years and second straight time.

The son/father team of Cody and Kenny Freeman of Henderson, Nev., picked up their first SCORE race wins in Mexico by defeating a strong field of 18 cars in the SCORE Lite class in a Fraley-VW.

Also winning for the first time in another 18-car field in Class 1-2/1600 was Cody Robinson, El Centro, Calif., who split driving with veteran Roberto Romo of Mexicali, Mexico in a Romo-VW.

Pulling off their second consecutive class wins to start of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series were: Dave Caspino, Tarzana, Calif. (Class 6, Ford Ranger), Juan C. Lopez, Tecate, Mexico (Class 8, Ford F-150), joe Bacal, Anthem, Ariz. (Stock Full, Lexus LX570) and Kevin Carr, San Diego (Class 5, VW Baja Bug).

Among the other car and truck Class winners were: Gustavo Avina, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 5/1600, VW Baja Bug), Norm Turley, Long Beach, Calif. (Class 7SX, Ford Ranger), Alex Crosthwaite, San Diego (Class 10, Jimco-Honda), Dan Chamlee, Carpenteria, Calif. (Class 7, Ford Ranger) and Fawn Finchum, Mesa, Ariz. (Class 7-2, SCORETrophyLite-Chevy).

Among the other motorcycle class winners were teams led by Jason Trubey, Henderson, Nev. (Class 20, Honda CRF250X), Francisco Septien, Ensenada, Mexico (Class 30, Honda CRF450X), Louie Franco, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Class 40, Honda CRF450X) and Adam Neuwirth, Los Angeles (Class 21, Honda CRF450X.

Winning the ATV Class 24 that had 17 starters was the team led by Brandon Brown, Umatilla, Ore., on a Honda TRX450R.

Earning his first SCORE race win on the way to taking the Class 26 ATV title was the dedicated team led by Chicago’s Rob Ransford on a Can-Am 4X4.

The fastest overall Sportsman winners were: Ron Tolman, Chino Hills, Calif. (SPT M/C<250cc, Honda CRF450X), Wendell Mortensen, Oakview, Calif. (SPT Car, Raceco-VW) and Guillermo Berenqua, Mexicali, Mexico (SPT ATV, Honda TRX450R).

Round 2 of the 2010 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.

Class 1 won the overall title in San Felipe for just the third time and first since 2005 in the first 17 years of the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division for high-tech, 800 horsepower, unlimited production trucks.

In the 24-year history of this race, Honda has now earned 15 overall motorcycle victories (including the last five years), Kawasaki has six, KTM has two and Husqvarna has one.

Following January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series visited Mexico for the first of its three annual races on the Baja California peninsula.

The SCORE Trophy-Truck team of race co-title sponsor MasterCraft Safety celebrated with all three of its Jimco-built Chevy Silverado race trucks finishing in the top 10 in class.

The team was led by MasterCraft Safety CEO Robbie Pierce, Santee, Calif., who finished a career-high fourth in SCORE Trophy-Truck and seventh overall while teammates Rob MacCachren, Las Vegas and Will Staats, Valencia, Calif., who were eighth and ninth respectively out of 27 sturdy starters in SCORE Trophy-Truck.

In addition to the season class point championships, drivers in the Pro car and truck classes were also racing for part of the nearly $400,000 in cash purse and contingency postings as well as earn prestigious SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards given to all car and truck class drivers who complete every required mile of the five-race season. Being presented by Toyota Motorsports for the 25th consecutive year. Racers are also competing for the annual SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards, including the MasterCraft Safety SCORE Rookie of the Year award.

The world’s best desert racers return to Mexico for Round 3 of the 2010 SCORE Desert Series, June 3-6 for the 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 5000 desert race in Ensenada.