The SUNDAY PAPER, BajaRacingNews.com Editorial Page
UPDATED! Good Morning Baja Mexico!
**Sunday, November 30, 2014
The CANCER in Desert Racing! What SCORE believes and why its exclusively based in 'money' to Roger and his family
"'Baja racing' is only a handful of racers". From the SCORE produced San Felipe 250 TV show.
Roger believes SCORE 'Baja racing' is the Trophy Truck class and the other sources of BIG MONEY.
Rogers SCORE is based in a belief about money. That's why the bikes, quads and smaller classes are merely a bother to his seeking, his BIG MONEY.
To the detriment of the many other people who participate in these events, as spectators-like the local fans, as racers-other class racers and support people-the teams who work with race participants on site, in Mexico. The well known, but unintended consequences of the 'the money focus' rather than the 'safety and support focus', like a cancer, kills.
That's an important part of why Kurt Caselli is dead today. Roger directly ordered the grounding of the 'regular' lead moto chopper in the BAJA 1000 2013 [confirmed by the helicopter company providing the services to SCORE], because he didn't want to spend the money.
He wanted to reduce the cost of 'logistics;tracking' 'emergency response' support services, by getting free SPOT units, within a 'sponsorship' package. The failed tracking of the 2013 Baja 1000. And ...
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The NEW Era of SCORE & The Norman Family
By: Gary Newsome
SCORE and Roger Norman has doubled racers fees, in real dollars. $225 in 1970 is equal to $2,500 today.
The racers are talking. David Hendrickson told us, "It is ridiculously expensive to run [SCORE] anymore with a class 11. There is a whole city that the race starts from that is full of class 11 cars and only 5 show up? and maybe 1 from Ensanada... I would lay a large bet that there is over 100-150 class 11 cars in that city alone, not counting TJ , Mexicalli or southern Baja. Could you imagine the class 11 race if all those cars entered the show? Class 11 at 1 time had huge entry numbers and was very healthy in Baja races up to the 2000 race, entry fees tripled and racers quit racing Score. 5-1600 the same thing, Ensanada is full of them, it was the largest class at all Baja races for over 25 years year after year till the giant entry fee hike. I also quit racing both classes in Score because of it. The fact is you pay a huge amount and get nothing more back than if you raced a record race or Code or Snore and you get courses where traffic jams are normal, impassable hills, almost no chance at all for the very few who start... I have raced 11 for 40 years and 51600 for 37, in the 70s class 11 was 225 dollars to enter the Baja 1000, then went to 500 dollars in the early 80s, inline with what most entry fees are today all over except Score. Paying almost 4 grand plus all the extra BS that is required almost everyone avoids because 2 weeks later they can race on the same roads and trails for a few hundred bucks, have very large class sizes and great racing like Score had at one time. It is happening to all the classes in Score besides Trophy Truck. I have never in all my years seen so small of class size than Score has today in so many classes. At one time 1600 was good for at least 80 cars, there were 12 at this 1000. The finishing rate for class 11 these days is almost non existent. with only 5 cars starting its no wonder, a ton of money to 'DNF'(did not finish) [not finish]. Not hating, just telling it like it really is."
Dennis Hollenbeck, the Class 11 racer, told us, "Class 11 and Score and yes, there are lots of Class 11's still alive, but now a days most of them get their racing fix with the local circuits and they might throw their hat in for the Baja 500. Many of the 11's here locally don't even have a Score legal roll cage, so that weeds out a bunch, but still, without some strong sponsorship backing it's an impossible budget to manage.
We are trying something a little different, so although a strong sponsor would be nice, we're trying to actually do this with limited Sponsorship. It's not who's make'n it possible as much as who we're racing for...Being new to this...1st Peninsula attempt, first finish, we came at this knowing the chances of finishing were simply not there. We were shocked ourselves to be sitting there looking at La Paz! The Time Limit is something I'd really wish Score would take a look at as we have basically ZERO time to play with, while a Trophy has 15=20 hours to handle repairs and what-not. I'm not asking for that, but man...how about 2-3 hours! They [SCORE] did extend check point times in this last race...but not the finish line. We might had considered changing out our front beam...but we saw a FINISH and a WIN in out sights, so we were going for it as we had ZERO minutes to make the repair.
I know Roger [Norman] has his logistics, and eventually the Circus Tent must come down, the city has it's time limits and logistics too, I mean eventually at the finish line the Cops actually told us "Scram boys, your party is Over!" But, if they'd take the time and figure all this in ahead of time I'm sure it could be worked out. I just wish the extended time limit was there waiting for us as well. No Short cuts, just give me some more time!!"
This piece wouldn't be here, if it were not for two very recent announcements by SCORE. The first, being the video produced by Roger Norman, the 'New Era of SCORE', on iTunes, selling for a couple of dollars. The second announcement, the 2014 SCORE awards dinner being held on the concrete floor at the SCORE 'Tech Shop' in El Cajon California, being sold for $85, per person.
After buying, viewing and thinking about my editorial over a couple of days, I wanted to open up a discussion about what really is, this new era of score.
Readers must understand, the reason racers, chasers, race media or anybody involved in desert racing, limits what they say in public. If they don't, they get blackballed. Put simply. They have to pay the fees and suck up to the race organizer.
Desert racing in North America is so, so, so small, if one gets blackballed, you probably aren't going to be racing for long.
That's why BajaRacingNews.com exploded on the scene ten years ago and why EVERYONE continues to read, "the paper". Our editorials and viewpoint.
We are THE ONLY source capable of delivering the real facts. The racers are too afraid. The 'other off-road media' is being paid, to NOT report real news.
Roger Norman believes his own delusion. Like, his new video is so important, that the masses would want to pay REAL MONEY to see his delusion, in living color!
The actual 'new' SCORE is asking for $85 US to sit in his backwater El Cajon shop, when his multi-million dollar home, sits on the beach in San Diego. Why not have the dinner on the beach in San Diego, Roger?
Why not? Because, Roger believes, the score racing community doesn't deserve, the top shelf. But, he wants YOU to pay, for his sitting on the top shelf. He wants you to pay top shelf for the bargain basement service he's delivering at score. All the while he takes your dollars to pay for his top shelf lifestyle.
Will Roger include an awards dinner bottle of bubbly and finish pendant?
How much do the racers pay, to finish a race and get that child-like treatment? Has Roger put a 'star' on your report card, yet?
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**November 28; The Real Awards Ceremony
Why are the La Paz awards ceremonies now located on the Malecon?
Sal Fish was holding his award ceremonies, FOR YEARS, in the ballroom of the dark moldy hotel ballroom in La Paz, until he saw the locals holding theirs on the Malecon.
Now all the La Paz award ceremonies are on the Malecon, because Sal got tired of being shown up by the local racers!
In 2006, when the local race, CABO 500 finished on the beach, it showed Sal Fish how to really hold an event in Cabo. Unlike Sal's 2000 event, that finished at the stinky, ratty bullring, far across the highway!
In 2007, Sal felt the heat of real competition. He finally finished his big race at the very spot the locals used a year before. His award ceremonies were held on the spot we directed, on the beach!
**November 27; USA 500
The Inside Story about the failed USA 500 Desert Off-Road Race!
Monster Mike Reports
In my reporting for BajaRacingNews.com
most sources don't want to talk. The publication has a reputation in the sport as the exposer of information, that some people don't want exposed.
When the first word of the USA 500 hit the rumor mill, OFF-ROAD LIVE! began a series of interviews, to report on an exciting new chance to desert off-road race in the United States.
My interview with the director of VORRA sent our investigation into several directions. The most important point that was made, was that Roger Norman's 'working with' VORRA on the USA500, ultimately was determined to be corporate espionage.
Norman was "working with" VORRA on the USA 500, when suddenly, Norman cut off all communications with VORRA. Norman never offered the racing association any explanation for ending the 'working with'. After claiming for months, he was 'working with' VORRA.
The Valley Off Road Racing Association, celebrated its 35th year in operation, it was established in 1975 by Ed Robinson as a family-oriented organization. It was led, at the time by Wes Harbor. At the time, Harbor believed that, "off road racing has it's roots in peoples garages" and continues to keep the entry fees to a minimum while maintaining a high quality racing experience".
From the ashes of the 2010 California 200 'Sanctioned Slaughter', Norman diced up the other racing organizations and went into the race organization business. The BLM, at the time, was threatening racing, when their own negligence partially caused the slaughter. The BLM started propagating new rules like, "the pit area 100-150 feet from the race course and all camping, minors and alcohol must be 150 feet away from the race course". No rules like this in Baja Mexico!
In 2011 the fracture of desert racing organizations went down, the VORRA USA500, SNORE MINT400 and the reformation of the 'then new' and now defunct again 'Roger Norman's HDRA'. Remember "Racers for Racers" ?!
The 'racing community' figured it all out, as it was happening, "so completely copying what a competitor is doing is not "stealing"??? VORRA has the USA 500 in JULY in RENO. Really??? Two 500 mile races in the same city in the same month. Seems like Norman and HDRA are copying one race from each of the competitors to make a new series. Riot on the River sounds A LOT like Rage at the River doesn't it???"
The racers had some hope, "Good luck to HDRA. Any new races are great races IMO. If I could offer a suggestion to Robert (Race director at the time) and the new HDRA guys, is that they have a CRB to handle complaints, disputes, or infractions. One person making the decision could sometimes be affected by their workload, and being handled by a board would remove any potential bias or conflict of interest."
In 2013, "the Yerington USA 500. Because the infamous Burning Man event was being held at nearby Gerlach, NV, the BLM asked VORRA to change the location of the Yerington USA 500. Thus the race was moved from the Fernley, NV area to the popular race venue of Yerington, NV".
For this year, 2014, VORRA said:
"The new schedule is missing one of VORRA's traditions – the Memorial Day Yerington Race. “It is unfortunate that we were not able to work with involved parties to reach an agreement that would have allowed this race to go forward this year. I know there will be a lot of disappointed racers, and we will begin negotiations to regain this race in the future”, said Jim Carius."
In June 2011 the website "theusa500.com" was launched. Today, its dust.
Today, there is no CRB (Competiton Review Board) in Roger Normans SCORE. He told me, "I am the CRB" (for SCORE). At the recent BAJA 1000 in the Trophy Truck Spec Class, Roger Norman allowed the "season championship winning", Mills Brothers Team, to "ignore all of the checkpoint closures/time rules and finish".
So, THIS is the NEW SCORE!
'For Racers Fees and more Racers Fees!'
From the Mills website:
""While trying to pass Billy Wilson at RM 103, Skilton got tangled with him and rolled the truck end over end at almost 100 mph. The crash tore off the right front corner, ripped apart the steering and exploded the fuel cell. Darren was taken to the hospital with a concussion and Josh suffered minor injuries.
Josh wandered around the crash site – a classic yardsale – for a moment, picking up miscellaneous parts, starter motor, steering pump and alternator to name a few, wondering how these parts could have been jettisoned from the truck. The truck was declared irreparable and was “out of the race"."" After getting authorization from SCORE President Roger Norman to ignore SCORE race rules,""Ben Myers ran point for the Northern logistics to Valley de Trinidad and as lead chase, made the decision to spur the team on. Myers himself had no spare arms or steering components, just a transmission and rear gears. The spare parts for the truck were at Mills’ first pit at RM 158. Tim Gatto drove four hours to the crash site, bringing the spare components to fix the truck. The team righted the truck and drained the oil that had collected in the cylinders. Josh determined later that the parts he had been picking up were the spares from the rear of the truck. Once the motor proved able to fire, the welding and fabricating began and in roughly 8 hours, the truck was back up and running...at RM 472, Kroeker noticed that the transmission was failing. The Mills team rallied yet again and replaced the transmission and Kroeker pushed on, bringing a bent but functional truck to Taylor Mills and Josh Huff at RM 650. "the strategy shifted to hitting all the checkpoints and VCPs to get points for a finish. Taylor and Josh, with the exception of getting stuck in the silt one time, were able to keep a steady but quick pace and finish under the time limit, securing a 2014 SPEC Trophy Truck Championship"".
Update November 25:
**Instant Mexico's "Meat Wagons" turns into SCORE freebies!
When SCORE scrapped the existing (EMS) Emergency Medical System for racers, after it was purchased from Sal Fish, the new owner called the ambulances set up by Instant Mexico, "meat wagons". Meaning they were merely transportation, not providing actual medical services.
Significant, because the owner of Instant Mexico was operating under the title of "Medical Director", under Sal Fish.
The strangeness of SCORE racing in Mexico. Instant was well known at the time for screwing over racers with their insurance services. One racer, needed the California Insurance Commissioners office just to get Sal Fish's and the Andreoli's attention, for his pre-runner insurance claim.
A moderator for a known 'message board' contacted BajaRacingNews.com over his problems with 'claims service' from Instant. 'Jeff' told us, "why is SCORE doing business with these criminals?"
When Roger Norman 'discovered' the 'Meat Wagons', he took apart the system that was in place to rescue and care for racers. He also ended the Instant Mexico Insurance Services partnership with SCORE. One that had lasted over 25 years.
He told BajaRacingNews.com at the time, "I've told them to remove all SCORE mentions and logos from their property".
But, after a year of not being able to obtain a SCORE "Insurance Sponsor", Norman settled to accept Instants offer of free, no charge insurance, for his personal equipment in Mexico. BajaRacingNews.com spoke with several of the insurance companies thinking of doing business with Roger Norman in Mexico.
Each said the price was too high.
One said, "SCORE and Roger Norman have proven to me that they are irresponsible and too self-centered to insure. They just don't see the big picture, they suffer from tunnel-vision, just the money at the end of their self-created-delusion, an elaborately decorated, rathole".
It's the only way Instant is still involved in the Baja series and SCORE. Roger and his FREEBIES! No matter the actual, total-economic, total-image, real world, cost.
And, what happened with the 'new' EMS Roger engaged? In the Baja 1000 2013, Kurt Caselli was killed. He was killed from NOT receiving medical assistance.
Kurt's last moments had 'Baja Turtle' (Ken) a Baja Pits volunteer, finding him, near death in the Baja wilderness. Because of the race tracking fail last year and the rank joke pits service, serving as SCORE's race rescue service at the moment, Ken got to Kurt first.
Ken got to Kurt, with no medical training, no tracker training, no radio, no gps and typical SCORE-Baja Pits capability, zero capabilities. Ken told us, "I did not want to touch Kurt", "I was afraid of doing the wrong thing and getting sued".
For months before the race, SCORE touted the pits leader, Carlos Orozco as the race expert for SCORE. Shortly thereafter, Carlos sent Ken to find Kurt during the Baja 1000 2013. SCORE couldn't find the famed racer! Kurt died after Ken left him, alone, with no contact to anyone about Kurts location. When Ken finally got back to Carlos after riding his bike to locate the downed racer, SCORE OPS was given general location information.
Kurt was left without any help in the middle of the desert.
The next time someone 'discovered' Kurt, he was already dead.
UPDATE November 24:
Roger Norman and Civil Protection
**SCORE abdicates civil responsibility
Roger Norman of SCORE has made a mockery of emergency response to racers. The Kurt Caselli death last year, spotlighted the issue.
At this years desert off-road race, the BAJA 1000, the 'race emergency response map', that was made prominently public at last years race, was made "secret", this race.
Most racers know the risks. Many don't.
In Mexico, SCORE has washed its hands of 'safety and security' with the public. "Civil protection" is no longer a serious component of race planning. Heck, even the race course marking for this recent event was insulting to any real/responsible/professional racer.
The responsibility for the death of a child during the course of the off-road race, earlier this year at the SCORE Baja 500 was determined to be the Class 1 racer, Ronny Wilson. The Mexico representative of Score International disavowed blame of the American racer from California.
At 6:30 pm on race day at Trinidad Valley, a child was struck and killed by the race car, an unlimited custom racing buggy, driven by Wilson. Oscar Ramos alleged, "the child began recording with his cell phone at the center of the [public road] race course, his father did not control his son"*. But, the fact is, there was no civic or commercial controls on the public road, converted to a race course, during the event.
Not only did Ron Wilson, strike and kill the child, he never stopped. He drove with the body of the child tangled in the under carriage for several hundred yards and continued in the race event, all the way to finish line. The police authorities were waiting for the 'racer'. "Had he tried to free the child, we would be regretting greater tragedy because it would have hit at least 15 people"*, the SCORE rep said.
All the blame is on the public, as far as SCORE is concerned. "The negligence of some fans," remain constant in the region. I do not know what to do. We've promoted awareness campaigns, but right now everyone is shocked. When the Baja 1000, (comes in November) the same will happen again because every time the cars are faster and there are more people who do not measure the consequences"*, Oscar Ramos said.
The local media didn't help, when Gabriel Garcia of El Vigia, named another racer as the murderer. Oscar Ramos questioned the lack of professionalism by the local paper, when the reporter, Garcia, screwed the pooch by naming another racer in the local Ensenada newspaper.
At the time, SCORE blamed the spectators so much he said, "race spectators and fanatics of the racing events in Baja Mexico are still causing problems. When such a thing happens (the death events) are criticized with baseless talk. In social networks there are many comments wrongly made"*.
*Exact quotes from the Ensenada newspaper article
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