Saturday, March 2, 2024

SCORE Class 9 legend Eric Fisher passes

Eric Fisher, a star of SCORE International‘s Class 9 category in the 1990s and 2000s, died Thursday morning. He had battled various health issues since retiring from racing due to a heart attack in 2007, and underwent surgery the day before his passing.

Fisher, nicknamed “El Panda” while his team bore the Panda Racing Team moniker, first started racing in 1983. He claimed his first of seven SCORE Class 9 championships in 1999 before notching six in a row from 2002 through 2007. During his period, he added five class wins in the legendary Baja 1000 from 2001 through 2003 and in 2005 and 2006, along with six Baja 500s in 1995 and from 1993 to 2007. He also received the SCORE Milestone Award in 2004 and 2005 for completing every race to their distance during those seasons.

In the 1990s, his partners included Daniel “El Diablo” Mora and Rafael Aguilera Pérez, the latter the commander of Mexico’s Federal Highway Police (now the national Federal Police) from 1987 to 2007. Much of Fisher’s 2000s dominance came with Isaac Chapluk, Jose Montoya, and Héctor Sarabia as his team-mates; Sarabia is the reigning SCORE International Class 11 champion.

“There were seven years as champion with Isaac and Héctor, and one of my greatest achievements was that Baja 1000 in 2001 when we won by thirteen seconds,” recalled Fisher in 2017.

A heart attack forced him to end his racing career after the 2007 season, though he remained involved in the sport by closely following SCORE and other desert series in Mexico.