Friday, March 7, 2008

SF 250 Time Zone - Important Info

Time listed on the San Felipe 250 Schedule of Events are San Felipe Time.

Set clocks back one hour while in Mexico.

The event will be run on Pacific Standard Time, not Pacific Daylight Time.

Baja expecting 200,000 spring break visitors

By Sandra Dibble

8:00 p.m. March 6, 2008

By the numbers

Dial these numbers for help when in Baja California:

078: For tourist assistance. The state of Baja California has staffed its tourist hotline with English speakers.

066 or 911: Dial these numbers from most cell phones to reach the state police communications center. Ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator.

SOURCE: State of Baja California
TIJUANA – Baja California officials said Thursday they are expecting close to 200,000 Mexican and foreign tourists to visit their state during the upcoming three-week spring break and Holy Week period.

“For us, it's going to be a vacation period like we haven't seen for the past two years,” Oscar Escobedo Carignan, Baja California's tourism secretary, said at a news conference in Tijuana. “We believe we have an opportunity in our hands.”

Reports of violence and police extortion in Baja California took a heavy toll on tourism, and were a factor in reducing the numbers of U.S. visitors to the state by close to 2 million last year. Lengthy waits at the border also have discouraged visits, officials say.

Escobedo on Thursday stressed the measures that have been taken to make the state safer for visitors, including the restructuring of tourist police units, increasing federal patrols on the toll road between Tijuana and Ensenada and staffing the state's emergency response center with English-speakers.

Escobedo said police extortions have dropped dramatically in recent months following a series of measures by the state and municipal governments.

The Tourism Secretariat is anticipating that vacationers will spend close to $20 million in the state during the period that starts Monday and ends March 24. In addition to spring break and the Christian Holy Week, the state anticipates visitors for the SCORE San Felipe 250 Road Race on March 14 and 15.

The state is adding staff to man tourist information booths in all five municipalities. Rosarito Beach authorities swore in 238 citizen watchdogs this week to assist tourists. The Baja California Attorney General's Office has added English-speaking staff to take tourists' crime reports.


BJ Baldwin Joins Vision X

Vildosola Racing/Red Bull partnership announced

Vildosola Racing/Red Bull partnership announced

Vildosola Racings’ got wings

Mexicali B.C. For immediate release: March 6, 2008

Opening another great chapter in team history, Vildosola Racing and Red Bull have announced a strategic partnership for the 2008 season. This will include the remaining five SCORE International races along with the CODE Mexicana Logistics 300, beginning with the reemergence of the San Felipe 250 on March 14th – 16th. Vildosola Racing will unveil the legendary Red Bull logo along side the newly redesigned paint scheme, which made its debut in the Laughlin Desert Challenge earlier this year.

The back-to-back Baja Protruck champion (2006 & 2007), Tavo Vildosola and his dad, Gus Vildosola, were pleased to announce the partnership with Red Bull late Thrusday evening. They welcome Red Bull to the growing list of supporters just in time for the return of the San Felipe 250, which will be held in Vildosola’s ‘back yard’ once again after a one-year hiatus to Ensenada.

Gus Vildosola, team owner and driver, noted: “We are very excited to come back to San Felipe for the 21st annual San Felipe 250, and now with the addition of Red Bull to our family of partners we cannot wait for the race. Since major changes occurred over the course of the last season the team has been operating at a very high level of competition improving every race and striving to be even better. Our strong showing at the 2007 Baja 1000 and a subsequent victory in Saturday’s heat at Laughlin have shown we are consistent as well as a threat at any race. We hope to repeat the performance of five years ago and take an overall victory out of San Felipe next weekend.”

Tavo also added: “I am very excited that Red Bull has come on board as a partner with Vildosola Racing, this is a testament to the hard work that everyone at Vildosola Racing has committed to, in making ourselves a better team and a better organization. As well as speaking volumes about the results that we have produced lately with the benchmark being set higher and higher everyday. I will do everything in my power to make Red Bull proud of their newly formed alliance with Vildosola Racing in hopes of this being the beginning of a long and very successful partnership.

Vildosola Racing would like to thank their sponsors: Mexicana Logistics, Red Bull, Águilas del Desierto, BFGoodrich Tires, Mastercraft, PIAA Lights, MSD, Papas & Beer, OGIO, MOMO & NTR Films.

To check out pictures, videos, previous press releases, the team’s progress in 2008 and other information go to; for the lastest videos of the team visit their YouTube site at

For additional info on Vildosola Racing contact: Victor Gasca – Media Consultant at: or USA (858) 689-0444, Mexico (686) 119-5618.
Victor Gasca
Vildosola Racing Inc.

7734 Formula Place
San Diego CA 92121
858-689-0444, 858-689-1596 Fax.

38 SCORE racers in hunt for Toyota Milestone Awards

38 SCORE racers in hunt for Toyota Milestone Awards
Heading into 22nd Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250

Featuring over 275 entries, Round 2 of five-race
2008 SCORE Desert Series to be held in Mexico, March 14-16

LOS ANGELES—Heading into next weekend’s 22nd Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 in Mexico and following one of five races in the 2008 SCORE Desert Series, 38 of SCORE’s toughest drivers are in the hunt to earn 2008 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards.
Round 2 of the 2008 SCORE Desert Series will be held March 15 in Mexico’s quaint and picturesque fishing village of San Felipe, located on the East side of the Baja California peninsula along the azure waters of the tranquil Sea of Cortez.
With over 275 entries from 20 states and six countries expected to compete in 28 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes in the 232-mile race, the green flag will drop at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, for the motorcycle and ATV classes, followed three hours later by the car and truck classes at approximately 10 a.m. The start line for the race will once again be the landmark San Felipe Arches on Highway 5 on the outskirts of San Felipe. The race will finish just south of the Arches, directly behind the Tecate building. One vehicle will start every 30 seconds in the elapsed-time race, with a 10-hour time limit to become an official finisher.
The four-wheel vehicle classes with the most entries to date are Class 1-2/1600 (28), SCORE Trophy-Truck (21), Class 1 (20), SCORE Lite (16) and Class 5/1600 (12).
The motorcycle class with the most entries so far is Class 22 for open bikes (13) and among ATVs, Class 24 has 13 .
Leading the six Sportsman classes in the race is Sportsman Motorcycle over 250cc which has 20 entries to date.
Toyota is presenting these prestigious awards to the world’s toughest desert racers for the 23rd consecutive year. The Toyota Milestone awards will go to those drivers who finish every required mile of every race in the five-race 2008 SCORE Desert Series, the World’s Foremost Desert Racing Series.
“Toyota is proud to honor the world’s best desert racing drivers,” said Les Unger, national motorsports manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “For over two decades, we have had the privilege of presenting the SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards to the toughest racers on the planet.”
After January’s season-opening SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, the unlimited Class 1 and Class 1-2/1600 lead the way with seven drivers each eligible for 2008 SCORE Toyota Milestone awards.
While continuing the Toyota Milestone Awards for the 23rd consecutive year, Toyota has discounted its Toyota True Grit Awards, where $12,000 was split annually among the point champions in four non-factory pro racing classes in the SCORE Desert Series.
Pre-race festivities at the Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 will include the colorful SCORE Midway and tech inspection on the Malecon beachfront in downtown alongside the azure waters of the Sea of Cortez from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday (March 14).
At 10 a.m. on Sunday (March 16), the awards celebration will be held in the Plaza on the Malecon.

2008 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards
(38 Racers who have completed every required mile
In the six-race 2008 SCORE Desert Series)

SCORE Trophy-Truck
B.J. Baldwin
Bobby Baldwin
Damen Jefferies
Robbie Pierce
Rich Ronco

Class 1
Steve Barry
Eric Chase
Pat Dean
Chuck Dempsey
Dale Lenk
B.J. Richardson
James Scott

Class 1-2/1600
Edgar Avalos
Cory Boyer
Dave Caspino
Hiram Duran
Adam Pfankuch
Cody Robinson
Mike Simpson

Class 3
Donald Moss

Class 5
Kevin Carr

Class 5/1600
Marcos Nunez
Enrique Zazueta

Class 7SX
Heidi Steele

Class 10
Chris Harrold

David Callaway
Hector Garcia Jr.
Steve Mamer
Rick St. John
Tom Watson

Class 11
Ramon Fernandez
Todd Lucero
Jake Mueller

Stock Full
John Griffin
Chad Hall

Stock Mini
Rod Hall
Steve Kovach

Jason Voss

Mexico police battle drug gang in 5-hour shootout

TIJUANA, Mexico, March 3 (Reuters) - Mexican police and soldiers traded gunfire with suspected drug gang members on Monday in a five-hour battle near the U.S. border that left a police officer and one of the suspected criminals dead.

The shootout began at a house in a residential neighborhood of Tijuana, a drug smuggling hot spot across the border from San Diego. It started on Sunday night and went on until early Monday, police said.

President Felipe Calderon has sent thousands of troops and federal police to Tijuana and other cities in Baja California, Mexico's most violent state, to fight warring drug cartels and clean up corrupt local police.

Tijuana has recently suffered a spike in violence. Drug gang hitmen broke traditional codes of honor in the city in January by killing children, including a 3-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.

Also in January, gunmen and more than 100 police and soldiers fought a three-hour battle outside a Tijuana kindergarten.

More than 2,500 people were killed in drug violence in Mexico last year and over 300 have died so far this year as cartels smuggling cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana fight each other for control of routes to the United States. (Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, editing by Alan Elsner)

source: rueters

This Year's Formula One Rookies: Some New, Some Slightly Used

This Year's Formula One Rookies: Some New, Some Slightly Used
By Stuart Sykes

That’s not the cars were talking about – it’s the quintet of drivers who will compete in the 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix for the first time in mid-March.

The five Melbourne newcomers this year form a very mixed bunch indeed – not just because of their nationalities, ranging from Brazilian to French to German and Japanese, but also because of the diversity of their racing backgrounds.

Only two of them are new kids on the F1 block: one is Nelson Piquet, son of the three-time World Champion, while the other is one of the most experienced racers out there. That’s Sébastien Bourdais, who arrives in F1 at the ripe old age of 29 and via a rather round-about route. Since he and his 2008 team-mate at Scuderia Toro Rosso are both new to racing in Melbourne, let’s start with them.

If you believe in destiny, Bourdais was born to motor racing. That’s because he was born in Le Mans, home of the fabled 24-Hour endurance classic. By 10 Bourdais had his hands on his first kart; by 1995 he was in the nursery class called Formule Campus before graduating to Formula Renault and then taking out the French F3 title in 1999. His career path seemed all marked out when he was snapped up by former World Champion Alain Prost’s Junior GP Team.

The plan was to complete the apprenticeship in F3000 before making the final step up to F1, but we all know what happens to plans, don’t we? Prost’s career as a team principal was considerably shorter than his career in the cockpit, but when the French outfit folded Bourdais was picked up by the highly-regarded David Sears and his Supernova team and went on to claim the 2002 F3000 title.

With F1’s doors apparently closed, Bourdais headed west – across the Atlantic, that is, to join top-notch Champ Car outfit Newman-Haas. Pole position on his first outing established his credentials, as did three wins in that first year. But as the Americans like to say, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet…

From 2004 to 2007 Sébastien Bourdais took four successive Champ Car titles, the first driver to take the title three times running and adding the fourth in a valedictory flourish last year when he knew the F1 door had opened at last. With 31 wins from 73 Champ Car starts, and after finishing second in a Peugeot in his home town’s 75th running of its 24-Hour race last year, Bourdais arrives in F1 at the ripe old age of 29, the first French driver to grace the Grand Prix scene since 2004.

The STR garage could cause us some confusion this year. Alongside Bourdais sits another Seb: Sebastian Vettel (no accent on the ‘e’, and an ‘a’ before the final ‘n’), who is making his second visit to Melbourne but will be racing here for the first time. Last year he was BMW Sauber’s ‘Man Friday’, the third driver, and also drove the F1 car in the Ultimate Speed Comparison.

German Seb, as opposed to French Seb, is just 20. At 19 years and 53 days, in Turkey in 2006, he was the youngest ever to take part in a Grand Prix weekend when he did the Friday job there, taking over from Robert Kubica when the Pole was promoted to replace Jacques Villeneuve. Seb was actually quickest that day – a little too quick, because just nine seconds into his F1 career he was pinged for speeding in pit lane on his way out on to the track!

The baby-faced Vettel, who worked his way up through Formula BMW and F3, got his Grand Prix start last year, again replacing Kubica after Robert’s spectacular crash in Canada. At 19 years and 349 days, at Indianapolis in the US GP, he became the youngest man ever to score a World Championship point when he finished seventh.
Vettel is notorious here for the accident with Mark Webber behind the Safety Car in Japan last year that possibly cost the Aussie his first Grand Prix victory and certainly provoked a ferocious verbal spray, but he made a more positive impression with a fine drive to fourth place in China next time out. With points already for two different F1 teams, he’s a Melbourne newcomer with a bit of form.

So is Toyota’s Timo Glock, who is actually making a comeback to the F1 ranks. Back in 2004 you would have seen his name on the time sheets for Friday practice here, albeit in 21st place, and later that year Timo made his full debut for his Jordan-Ford team when regular driver Giorgio Pantano fell behind on payments for the drive.

Like Vettel, Glock scored points on debut, finishing seventh for Jordan in Canada. When called up again for the final three races of the 2004 season he showed remarkable consistency – he finished 15th every time.
Like French Seb, Glock has also seen Champ Car action. In fact he was Rookie of the Year in that category in 2005, and also has Formula BMW and F3 experience under his belt, but it was GP2 that restored his reputation and led to Toyota’s call.

Fourth in the F1 feeder series in 2006, he won five races last year and weathered season-long storms to emerge as GP2 champion, where he keeps company with previous winners Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
“There are not so many guys who make their way back again in F1, which makes me quite happy,” says Glock, who turns 26 two days after the Melbourne race. “We worked pretty hard in the last couple of years to get the second chance. Even though I have not raced in Formula 1 since 2004, I have tested quite regularly so I expect it will take very little time for me to get back in the groove.

“I have been lucky enough to race and succeed in several different championships in my career but my goal has always been to become a full-time Formula 1 race driver. I believe my experience has made me stronger as a driver and as a person.”

As Toyota’s chassis specialist Pascal Vasselon points out, “What we get with Timo is the advantage of a young driver without the disadvantage of a lack of experience.”

Briefly, we profiled Williams newcomer Kazuki Nakajima, son of former F1 racer Satoru, in an earlier release (#2 in this series). Kazuki announced his own arrival in unfortunate fashion when he debuted in the final race of 2007 – and knocked over one of his crew at his first F1 pit stop.

But the 22-year-old comes to his first full year as GP2 Rookie of the Year. “That was a great way to end,” he says. “I’ve definitely learnt a lot from GP2: above all it’s allowed me to improve my race craft.”

Last but not least, Piquet, also 22 and also profiled earlier, moves up from Renault test and reserve driver to a race seat alongside Fernando Alonso. Runner-up to Hamilton in GP2 in 2006, he is – like his father – a former British F3 champion, a race-winner in A1 Grand Prix with Le Mans experience to boot. As we said, a quick and quirky quintet…


F1 becoming tiddlywinks - Irvine

F1 becoming tiddlywinks - Irvine
by JP Lonergan, 06 March 2008

Irvine: Bored of F1
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Eddie Irvine has hit out at the powers that be in Formula 1, claiming the sport is being dumbed down and becoming less and less interesting.

The former Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar driver feels that annual rule changes and alterations to circuits have seen more and more skill taken out of the sport of motor racing.

The flamboyant Irishman wrote in The Guardian: "There's a quote attributed to Ernest Hemingway when he said: ‘There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.

"Formula 1 seems intent on trying to become a game. By taking increasing measures to slow things down The FIA is turning Formula 1 into tiddlywinks. It is nearly impossible to have an accident in F1 now - you just go into the sand traps.

"The sport has been dumbed down and it's not Formula 1. Before, if you made a mistake while battling to overtake, you would be in danger of flying into a barrier. Now it's not much of a gladiatorial contest.

“Take Monaco - It used to be the ultimate test of a driver not making a mistake. Now they have changed the swimming pool, taken out barriers. It's as if they have said: 'Let's make this circuit as easy as we can'."

The upcoming season will see traction control banned in the world championship, but Irvine says this will have little effect on the amount of skill required to compete, adding that any driver worth his salt will not have huge difficulty in driving without such aids.

"In terms of reducing driver aids to increase the skills employed in a race, getting rid of traction control will make very little difference save in exceptionally wet conditions.

“The easiest thing to do is come out of a corner on the throttle; braking and turning is the hardest part.

“Yes, you need to concentrate a little bit more, but for drivers at this level a lack of traction control won't be a major difficulty."


SCORE touting better security for its Baja race

By Bill Center

March 6, 2008

* Motorsports report: the ripple effect of open-wheel merger

Sal Fish took an unprecedented step two weeks ago in an open letter to the off-road racing community.

Although the bulk of the text discussed the March 14-15 SCORE San Felipe 250 race and changes to the course, Fish detoured toward the end of the letter to discuss an issue on the minds of all tourists to Baja California.

“My trip (to San Felipe) took me through Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe and Mexicali,” said the president of SCORE. “I can personally report that there is a noticeable increase in security along the roads.

“My compliments to the new government for their conscientious effort in addressing the situation.”

Ah, the “situation.”

In November, Fish thought SCORE had one of its better races in the 40th-anniversary running of the Baja 1000.

“It was a great race,” Fish said of the historic run to the Cabo San Lucas tip of the peninsula.

But even before Fish arrived back on this side of the border, he was receiving reports of two fatal accidents involving nonrace vehicles on the highway coming north from the finish and armed robberies by men masquerading as police officers on the toll road between Ensenada and Tijuana.

The post-race incidents received more notice on this side of the border than the race did.

“Unfortunately the race was overshadowed by all the stuff that happened,” said Fish. “I, as the organizer, should be concerned. We've taken it very seriously.”

There is only so much that Fish, even with his strong ties in Mexico, can do as a U.S. promoter of an event staged in Mexico. Fish has, however, discussed the recent problems with Mexican government officials in Baja California and Mexico City.

And the SCORE leader is optimistic as his organization returns to Mexico for the first time since the November race.

Not everyone is returning immediately to Mexico – including some of the biggest names in off-road racing (Herbst, McMillin, Arciero) – for a variety of reasons.

But while the early entry numbers are down by a third from last year's race-record 394 – the 2007 San Felipe 250 was run out of Ensenada because of problems with the land owners on part of the course – the current count of 256 entries represents the third-highest total in the 23-year history of the event.

Fish believes the racers will be greeted warmly when they clear the border.

“I feel there is a very serious attitude on the part of Mexican officials,” Fish said this week. “They are embarrassed and fed up about what happened late last year. They are victims, too.

“This is not a situation that can change 100 percent overnight. But the Mexican government is trying to make things safer at every level. I was there. I saw it first-hand. I kept my eyes open. I saw a big difference.

“I saw a much bigger police and army presence on the highways. I saw enforcement officers all along the toll road, including a new group in distinctively marked cars.”

Fish also believes SCORE racers and crews bear some responsibility.

“We've got to take a step back, too, and take a look at what we're doing,” said Fish. “Don't get crazy. We've been spoiled because Mexican officials have looked the other way at some things we've done, and we've pushed it.

“Plus, we need to use a little common sense.”

Fish is advising race teams to travel in convoys whenever possible to and from the course area. And he advises against traveling the highways alone at night.

“It's common sense not to put yourself in harm's way,” he said. “Bad things can happen on either side of the border.”


Monday, March 3, 2008

Niteagle Systems Announces New Discussions on Hotel, Casino in Baja California

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Niteagle
Systems Inc. (Pink Sheets: NGLE) today announced it is in discussion with
Sonoma International, Yucaipa, California, to joint venture the
construction and operation of a hotel resort and casino near San Felipe,
Mexico in Baja California. Sonoma was previously named Ad Valora.

"The project would include a five star hotel and a 40,000 square foot
casino featuring the same popular gaming found in Las Vegas," said Burt
Parker, President, Sonoma International. "We are also discussing
construction of a professional golf course and condominiums on nearby
oceanfront property."

The San Felipe area is renowned for its sunshine and its fishing, which
are additional attractions for visitors. Niteagle said that because these
discussions are serious, ongoing and making progress, it felt obligated to
notify its shareholders.

Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of
Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including, without
limitation, statements regarding the plans and expectations of company
management at the time of publication. However, actual company actions,
performance, development of stated products, sales and marketing activities
are subject to change. Actual results could differ materially as a result
of unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, risks
related to Niteagle Systems Inc.'s limited operating history. All
forward-looking statements in this document are based on information
available to Niteagle as of the date hereof and Niteagle assumes no
obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

'Dennis will resign later this week'

'Dennis will resign later this week'
Sunday 2nd March 2008

Ron Dennis will reportedly bid farewell to McLaren and F1 later this week.

Dennis is one of the most influential men in the history of the sport, but the prolonged Stepneygate affair coupled with the relentless nature of the calendar will see the 61-year-old call it quits, even though the British constructor denied that Dennis was to leave his post.

Britain's best-selling Sunday broadsheet, The Sunday Times, claims: 'Dennis is understood to feel that the time demands of heading up the F1 team have become disproportionate and, contrary to reports last week, Dennis is increasingly inclined towards a change of priorities.'

Contrary to the aforementioned reports which suggested that Mercedes wanted to see the back of Dennis, The Times claim that he 'is under no pressure from other shareholders.'

The timing of the decision is sure to raise eyebrows as Lewis Hamilton is tipped to challenge for the World Championship this season despite the �50m fine meted out by the FIA.

However, Dennis is reportedly confident that his departure 'would not adversely affect the business, including Hamilton's chances of winning the Championship.'

The McLaren chief, whose personal fortune is �90m, 'intends to be more available to his children, and also believes that the role of team principal has changed,' according to the broadsheet.

Dennis' role at Woking differs from that of other team bosses as he also sits on the McLaren board.

The Brit was expected to step down at the end of 2007, but he delayed these plans and remained at the helm of the team through the Stepneygate crisis.

According to The Times, 'Dennis is expected to announce his decision in midweek. He is under no pressure from other shareholders and many staff have been urging him to stay on. The biggest factor which might still stay his hand is the perception outside McLaren.'