Baja 500 next for Yokohama-sponsored off-roaders
Three Yokohama Tire Corporation-
sponsored off-road drivers who captured class championships in last
year's SCORE Baja 500, are heading back to dusty Ensenada, Mexico, June
5-7, to compete in the storied event.
Heidi Steele, who took the Class 7SX title in '08, has moved up in class
this year and will race in two divisions: Class 6 (with co-driver Ross
Savage) and Class 7 (with co-driver Rene Brugger). Steele, the overall
2008 champion in Best of the Desert and the SCORE Desert Series, was
recently named Dirt Sports magazine's Driver of the Year. She'll compete
at Baja in both classes on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+
tires on a Ford Ranger. Steele is currently in first place in Class 6
and third in Class 7.
Cameron Steele, the other half of off-road racing's "power couple," will
once again battle Baja in the highly competitive Trophy Truck class.
Steele, a two-time SCORE Person of the Year and TV commentator, will be
driving the No. 16 Desert Assassins Chevrolet Silverado outfitted with
Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S-R tires.
Besides Heidi Steele, other returning Yokohama-sponsored racers who won
the Baja 500 last year include, defending SCORE Lite class champion Rick
St. John; and Adam Pfankuch, the '08 Class 1-2/1600 winner. Pfankuch is
switching classes this year and will be sharing driving duties with St.
John in SCORE Lite.
Yokohama will have one more driver in the Baja 500 field: rookie Justin
"Bean" Smith, who will take over the reins in this year's Class 1-2/1600
race. He is currently tied for number one in the class and tied for
third in the overall SCORE standings.
"We've got a talented, hungry group of drivers in this year's Baja
500," said Mark Chung, Yokohama director, corporate strategy and
planning. "Many of them won last year and we think they'll be highly
successful this time around, too. We know our tires are up to the
challenge and can conquer the tough terrain at Baja and help bring back