Two Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) champions will now have a chance to be SCORE Baja 1000 champions, courtesy of BFGoodrich Tires’ expanded contingency program. For the second straight year, BFGoodrich Tires will award two SCCA National Runoffs Champions seats in the 44th Annual SCORE Baja 1000 in the “Baja Challenge” (BC) class in November. The 2011 SCCA National Championship Runoffs will take place Sept. 19-25 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
“We received a fantastic response to the announcement of our SCCA Baja 1000 contingency program when it launched last year, so it was an easy decision to bring it back in 2011, especially now that BFGoodrich Tires is the ‘Official Street Tire’ of the SCCA,” said Silvia Mammone, BFGoodrich Tires motorsports and sponsorship manager. “It gives us a great opportunity to accentuate BFGoodrich Tires’ legendary success both on- and off-road. Last year, Chad Gilsinger won the seat, and it was fun to see him do well at the Baja 1000 – a race and environment that was completely unfamiliar to him.”
Gilsinger had never participated in an off-road race before, but his win in the SCCA Runoffs in the T3 class last year earned him a seat in the BFGoodrich Tires BC race car at the SCORE Baja 1000. Joining Gilsinger were 2010 Team BFGoodrich members Bud Brutsman, Jason Scherer, Kyle Tucker, Lars Wolfe and Casey Currie. Even though the six drivers had limited seat time together prior to the race, the team managed to earn second place in the BC class by using different techniques from their various racing backgrounds.
“I never thought that by winning a class at the SCCA Runoffs I would get an opportunity to race the Baja 1000,” explained Gilsinger. “Taking home the T3-class championship in 2010 was a great experience and accomplishment for me, but driving a leg down the Baja peninsula with BFGoodrich Tires was unbelievable. I went through terrain I would never dream possible and we ran the whole race on the same set of tires. After finishing second in the BC class last year, I’ve set my sights on another SCCA championship, so I can get down to Baja and win it this time.”
More than 600 drivers will participate in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, making it the country’s largest amateur road-racing championship. To be eligible for contingencies, racers must use BFGoodrich competition tires on-track and display the required decals. Classes eligible for the contingency are T1, T2, T3, AS, SSB, SSC, STO and STU. In addition to the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Baja 1000 contingency program, BFGoodrich Tires also awards SCCA Club Racing National drivers three BFGoodrich g-Force R1 tires for first place, two for second place and one for third place.