Cameron Steele claims unofficial Baja 1000 victory
By Marty Fiolka | RACER magazine and RACER.com editor at large
With a long day and night of racing through one of the toughest courses in memory behind him, veteran racer and Baja impresario Cameron Steele has been unofficially named as the four-wheel overall winner of the 51st BFGoodrich SCORE Baja 1000.
Based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Steele and his Desert Assassin team earned the win after race organizer SCORE International levied time penalties to the No.11 Rockstar Trophy-Truck entered by Rob MacCachren (whose truck crossed the Ensenada finish line first), for on-course driving infractions. At the time of this writing, the ruling is being appealed by MacCachren and will be under review by SCORE International.
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Should the ruling stand, the victory will be the first ever overall win by Steele, who was relieved mid-race by Las Vegas veteran Pat Dean. The duo set a careful pace in their No.16 Monster Energy/BFGoodrich Ford for the first half of the race before problems slowed the efforts of leaders Larry Conner/Ricky Johnson, Bryce Menzies/Toby Price and Andy McMillin/Gustavo Vildosola.
Inducted into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) only weeks ago, Steele’s unofficial victory is an emotional one as he recently lost his father and desert racing mentor Mark “Big Daddy” Steele. The longtime Baja advocate is also famous for hosting extreme sports broadcasts like the X Games and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, as well as motorcycle and four-wheel tours throughout the rugged Mexican peninsula.
Image by Bryan Harrold
After years of effort, Steele only recently earned his first SCORE Trophy-Truck and overall victory at September’s Tijuana SCORE Desert Challenge.
In the two-wheel ranks, the No.7X Honda CRF450X motorcycle ridden by Justin Morgan, Mark Samuels and Justin Jones completed their dominating Baja 1000 performance against a large field of competitors from around the globe.
Stay tuned to RACER.com for complete official results and a post-race report as details become available later this weekend.