Monday, February 04, 2008

Baja Mex 300 Why no more Baja North races?




This story was originally posted on September 2, 2007, just prior to the explosion of Baja crime that has now forced the government of Baja Norte to respond. Now, just hours before BITD's Casey Folks Parker 2008 race, BITD will move ahead in being the leader in the sport of off-road racing.

Rather than support racers, score has protected its own interests in Baja Mexico and kept the racers in a position, to only support score. No better example was the BITD Baja 300 races. The rumor is that score was the reason all the bad things happened to those BITD races in Mexico. Our original story established what happened on the ground during Best In The Deserts efforts to hold safe off road races in Baja, Mexico.

Baja Racing now exposes, the Mexico insurance broker of score participated in a cock-block of BITD in Mexico. Instant Mexico Auto Insurance was requested to assist BITD in its races and they did not provide any assistance to BITD to provide services to the racers in the Baja Mex 300. BITD was forced to find help elsewhere.

Instant Mexico Auto Insurance is the same company that has been publicly rebuked, by racers and the off-road community, for horrible customer services abuses. Among the charges, not paying out for legit claims in a timely manner, ignoring customers needs for service and numerous business interference actions. Baja Racing inside source has told us that Instant and score colluded to squash BITD efforts to hold races in Baja, Mexico.

Our inside source went further, "This is the way the sport of off road works. Your competition tries to grow the sport, hold more races, then your competing race organization does everything, including extortion, to destroy that effort. I mean everything. In Mexico, that means even risking the lives of racers." "In the sport, in the business of off-road, threats of violence are not uncommon." "Its very common for people in the sport of offroad racing, desert offroad racing, to resort to all kinds of sabotage. 'Well Poisoning', 'payoffs' and other relationship destructions are the reason off road is not mainstream."

It is desert off road racing. In Baja Mexico!
Just like Juniors Super Bowl Bud commerical last year, when he said, "Crazy, mutant desert guys."

SCORE should be ashamed of its record with racers regarding the Baja Mex 300.

The Original Baja Racing Story:

Baja North Mexico is just a stones throw away from millions of Americans, open for great recreation. Deserts, mountains the chapparal foothills and the Pacific coast. Miles and miles of open country and a wonderful, off-road loving people. Then why are there so few races with American racers?

Yes, there is the great Mexicali series of desert off-road races and the Ensenada series of races. These series are the local off road associations, supported by the sport industries of Mexicali and Ensenada. The off road industries of Baja Califronia should be applauded for its support of the sport.

Almost no tourism department support, because, as the public policies go, without international teams, they are not 'touristic'. This is very bad for off-road and not good policy for the state of Baja Norte. Very few international racers run those series.

That's the biggest reason why off road isn't any bigger in northern Baja California.

But, lots of state support does go to score. And score owes the county of Ensenada and the state to keep the races exclusively in Baja California (Baja North). The relationship between score and the state is much like that of a marriage, with score getting support, but not being allowed to fool around (much) anyplace else. And score being able to call "Baja" all their own. What happens when another suitor comes calling on the wife in the mans house? The man will do anything to keep his wife. Case in point, the Baja Mex 300.

Casey Folks, of BEST IN THE DESERT, racing association, made a valiant effort to establish new races in Baja north in 2002 and 2003. In a brief interview this week, from Las Vegas, Casey said, "The people and land of Baja Mexico are great, we enjoyed very much offering races in Mexico". Casey made it clear, he would not have had races in Mexico just as a one-time thing, he wanted to establish more races in Baja California.

What happened?

In 2002 & 2003, Casey put on two flawless races out of the famous Ensenada Estero Beach Hotel. No race in 2004 or ever after. When asked what happened, why no more races in Baja Mexico, the Jefe of Best In The Desert was very diplomatic.

But, this reporter knows why Best In The Desert will never be back in Mexico. Yes, its another country. But, another country that loves off road as a sport. The government was solicited by score to force BITD out of Baja, by making rules when races would occur in the state. In 2002 and 2003 score made every attempt to stop Best In The Deserts efforts in Baja California. Score pushed every political button it could, to either make laws or make impossible any Best In The Desert races in Baja Mexico.

September 2002:

"Baja Mex 300 World Championship:
The Race That Almost Never Happened"

"Please keep in mind that we are simply reporting key points of what was told to us. As we have, consider a focus on the BITD success story and plan for the race next year.

O.J. Palmer, the medical coordinator for Best in the Desert, visited local Ensenada hospitals before the event, and were told by the doctors that they were paid to NOT TREAT anyone injured during the event. This is in spite of the fact that all of the racers had insurance, and Mexican law forbids any hospital from turning an emergency away from their doors.

The day before the event was to start, an environmental firm hired by a lawyer showed up and stated that the race could not be run because a section near the start was near a sensitive tide-pool area. At the last minute, Gerardo Novelo tore down a $5000 section of wall to re-route the course. The firm would not state who had paid them to file the complaint.

Ads were place on radio stations in major Baja cities, stating that the event was cancelled. When Casey and his people tried to place ads with the same radio stations, "they had to pay for an announcement to be made that the race was indeed on" in order for radio stations to accept the ads."

That's why many Americans avoid Mexico and many others will never race or offer sport in Baja Mexico.

Gary Newsome, Baja Racing EXCLUSIVE