ENSENADA, Mexico — Focused and determined from start to finish, Bryce Menzies roared past a field that included the world’s best desert racers to capture the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory Saturday at the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 desert race.
Round three of the five-race SCORE World Desert Championship started and finished in Ensenada, the seaside port on the Pacific Ocean, 80 miles south of San Diego.
After qualifying second, Menzies took over the physical lead early in the elapsed-time race and then powered his way to the finish line with a time of eight hours, 51 minutes and 49 seconds, averaging 50.26 miles per hour in his No. 70 Red Bull Menzies Motorsports Ford F-150 over the rugged 446.9-mile course around the northern part of Mexico’s majestic Baja California peninsula.
Menzies, 26, earned his fourth career race win in the featured SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks including victories in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in three of the last four years. He defeated a talented field of 232 starters from 20 U.S. States, the U.S. territory of Guam, and 15 countries competing in 26 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, Motorcycles and ATVs.
The victory also marked another milestone as BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire of SCORE for over three decades. BFGoodrich Tires celebrated its amazing 30th overall 4-wheel victory in 35 years of competing in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500.
SCORE is celebrating its 41st year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization in 2014 and this race is one of the most popular events on the SCORE schedule. Most the world’s best desert racers were in action at this year’s 46th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja 500, the original desert race produced by SCORE on July 26, 1974.
Following complete data tracking review of the vehicles, BFGoodrich Tires officially swept the podium with Jason Voss, Cupertino, Calif., second overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck in 8:55:16 in the No. 35 Ford F-150 while third overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was Jesse Jones, 48 of Phoenix, with a time of 8:57:20 in the No. 76 Ford F-150.
When the race course officially closed on Sunday morning at 5:58 a.m., 126 of 232 starters (54.31 percent) completed the course within the time limit to become official finishers. Both the start and finish line were located in the heart of Ensenada on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. It was the seventh straight year that both the pre-race activities and the finish line were all held on this historic boulevard. For the first time in a decade, the course ran in a counter-clockwise direction around Baja California Norte.