Quite a week for Yokohama Tire Corporation-sponsored off-road racer Heidi Steele at the 44th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Mexico. She won her fourth SCORE (Southern California Off Road Enthusiasts) class title at the November 17-20 race, and announced she and her off-road racing husband, Cameron Steele, are expecting a baby in 2012.
By virtue of her fifth place finish over the treacherous 692.82-mile Baja course, San Clemente, California-based Heidi and her co-drivers Rene Brugger and Pat Dailey captured the 2011 Class 6 SCORE title in a Ford Ranger riding on off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+® tires. The Desert Assassins trio finished the race in 23 hours, 40 minute and 48 seconds. Due to her pregnancy, Heidi only competed in part of the race.
“What an awesome year,” said Heidi, who won two races this season on route to her championship. “I can’t thank Rene and Pat enough, and Yokohama for their ongoing support and great tires. It takes a fantastic team to win a championship, and I have the best with the Desert Assassins.”
“We’re proud to be part of another Class 6 championship with Heidi and the Desert Assassins,” said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama’s senior manager of motorsports. “Heidi and Rene drove great all year and the Geolandar M/T+ tire performed flawlessly in some of the roughest terrain on the planet. It’s a testament to the tires and the team to lock this championship up at the Baja 1000. It’s the most difficult race of the season and everyone involved rose to the occasion. Rene again did a fantastic job and we were fortunate to have Pat Dailey drive in place of Heidi.”
Briggs also praised Cameron Steele, who along with co-drivers Rick Geiser, Josh Daniel and Pat Dean, campaigned two Trophy Trucks on newly developed 40-inch Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S® R tires specially engineered for extreme off-road conditions. Their 800-horsepower Geiser Bros. Trophy Truck finished in 10th place (12th overall in the race). Cameron – a Trophy Truck class veteran, TV commentator and two-time SCORE Person of the Year – and his crew completed the race in 17:07.
“Cameron, Rick and Josh drove the number 14 Trophy Truck to a top 10 finish on the new 40-inch Geolandar project tire and had no flats,” said Briggs. “The tires performed great over the course of the race on both Trophy Trucks. We were really pleased with the performance of the tires. We’ve come a long way in a very short time on the tire development and we are really excited about our prospects next season.”
This year’s running of the Baja 1000 featured 278 competitors from 34 states and 16 countries. The difficult course traveled from Ensenada through Ojos Negros, Laguna Salada, San Felipe, Erendira, Santo Tomas, Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros, covering much of the northern half of the Baja California peninsula.