PLASTER CITY- Desert race fans gathered en masse at Jar Head Hill and along Evan Hewes Highway to watch trophy trucks, motorcycles, souped-up bugs, and cars race through the desert in winds gusting up to 50 mph.
Stephen Eugenio, with the fastest qualifying time, started the race for trucks at 1:00 p.m. energizing the crowds that battled the wind and dust. He did not disappoint as Eugenio took the first hill and jump, catching major air.
Every 30 seconds two more racers joined the fray, entertaining the crowds with dual jumps as the roar of engines filled the air.
Above, a CBS helicopter circled the starting area with a cameraman filming the action while standing on the landing skid, another thrill for the crowd.
Within the first few minutes the first accident occurred with a trophy truck misjudging one of the first curves in the multiple jump area in from of the start/finish area.
The truck landed on its side, causing officials to wave caution flags to the approaching racers as they maneuvered past their fallen comrade.
As dusty as the area became, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the fans as they enjoyed the skills of their favorite drivers and the work done to convert the racing vehicles to handle the rigorous route of the 250-mile desert course.
Each racer would lap the 82-mile course three times, including the jumping area at the start/finish line in front of spectator viewing at Jar Head Hill.
For the first time since 1998, SCORE has scheduled a race in California, specifically, in the desert of Imperial Valley. Racers were monitored by GPS on the track and by environmental watchers at their pits making sure not a drop of oil, fuel, or foreign substance is left behind.
Trophies for the winners in each class will be presented at the Imperial Valley Mall 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning.