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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Baja 1000 Wrap EXCLUSIVE STORIES






BAJA BITES SCORE






Chris Hall, well known SCORE Supporter Bails on Baja after getting Bit!




From Chris Hall, "Last night our family made the decision to drive home at San Quentin. We felt fine, not tired and saw lots of chase and race teams on the road- heck, it was only another 5 hours to get into our own beds. The drive went just fine until we were 7 miles from the border. We were almost to the last toll booth in TJ when we were pulled over by “the police”. As soon as we stopped another car stopped in front of the truck and trailer blocking our path. At the same time this was happening the truck (our 2007 super duty and McMillin’s Weekend Warrior) were surrounded by men with guns, their faces covered. They stuck a gun to Chris’ head and pulled him out of the truck. They then proceeded to pull the kids out and stuck a gun in my side and told me to shut up and not move but to put my head down. The kids and Chris were stuck into the back seat of the truck with a man sitting next to Tyler (age 16, this week) who stuck a gun in his side for the next very long 2 hours. We were driven with our heads down and guns on us up into the hills above the area near La Playa. The gunmen yanked Chris out of the truck and made him disconnect the trailer and then finally shoved him back into the truck. There were 10 men, during this time they were ransacking the truck and trailer and taking everything including the jewelry off of our bodies. They pulled the GPS for the stereo out of the dash. We still had the gun men with guns stuck to our bodies. We were driven further up into some new development that was just graded. They first took Tyler out of the truck and shoved him to the side of the road. They then removed me and pushed me to the ground, I laid over Tyler as best as they would let me. They then covered us both with a sleeping bag and threw a pillow on us. At this point they brought Divinia and Chris around and forced them to the ground. We all told each other that we love each. Our truck drove away. We stayed there for about 10 minutes not moving. We then did a 1 ½ hour hike thru cactus, barbed wire down a mountain in the fog wearing our shorts tanks and flip-flops. We ended up on the south side of La Playa where we knocked on doors and rang security bells for over an hour before a very nice lady let us into her home and called the police. The La Playa police came and decided to hurry us out of the country, giving us a ride to the border. The customs and immigration folks were less than helpful and even less sympathetic to our situation. While they did let us walk into the US they would not let us use their phone, bathroom nor have a drink of water. They directed us to the McDonald’s for assistance. So this is what happened. The rumors are close but this is the boiled down version of what transpired. Please be safe. After 25 years of the Baja we are done. We can replace material things; our greatest pleasure comes from our great kids. We consider ourselves blessed and lucky to be home and safe. Our family is very sad to hear that there was so much loss of life this race. Our prayers are with those families. We wish those of you that continue with the great Baja racing tradition safe travels."

A Baja Racing fan laments about this years Baja 1000 criminal activities:

"what hurts me the most is that I am a Mexican American, with family in both countrys, in Baja California. My Grandmother was born in Baja Sur and my mom, I love Baja with all my heart, its part of my blood and I am fed up with this crime. I have had friends killed in Baja for no reason just because they couldn't pay the ransom. All I can say is if you dont have to come, dont do it, but if you love it just like I do and my family. Always have this in your head do every thing in your power to stay alive, because you have family waiting for you, but if there is no other way other than dead, then, always go down fighting. I much rather die on my feet fighting one of these guys up, even if its with my hands, than kneeling down with my tail between my legs."



The Andy McMillin-Red Bull Trailer and the Super Duty pulling, stolen from the Halls in Baja during the Baja 1000.


"I saw the Mcmillin trailer coming overthe hill from Rosarito in the junk yard no kidding, this is not a lie, we thought it looked out of place the blue trailer with Andy McMillins name and a Red Bull sponsor on the side. I was parked next to the trailer in Loreto, Baja South, on Thursday morning then went to pick it up on Saturday, it was gone! I saw it near the first exit coming into Tijuana".



CHASES & CRASHES




Fred Reva Dies in Chase Crash:
A tragic chase crash took the life of Baja Champion Fred Reva, "the accident south of El Rosario approx KM 78 at approx 6:30pm on Tues 11/13. The individuals and Hardesty racing family involved are currently dealing with the tragic death of our beloved friend. Three vehicles associated with the Hardesty team were traveling east bound on hwy 1 from El Rosario to Catavina at approx KM 78 a chase truck for car 106 heading west bound lost control of their vehicle and crossed over into on coming traffic colliding head on into the 3rd Hardesty vehicle, a red GMC extra cab truck. The 106 chase vehicle rolled on its side and the driver and passenger(s) suffered minor injuries. The passenger of the Hardesty vehicle also suffered minor injuries and was taken to the first aid station at El Rosario. The driver of the GMC was pinned in the vehicle for approx 1 ½ hours. Members of Hardesty and Chase 106 helped the local police and medical units extract the driver from the vehicle and he was transported to San Quintin Hospital. The driver of the red GMC passed away at the Hospital approx 11:30pm in San Quintin. I’m not aware of any critical injuries for the chase team of 106.The identity of those involved to be posted at a later date, for the respect of the family Member.I can accurately state the Red GMC Hardesty vehicle was a spectator vehicle and the occupants were not part of a chase team, and were not providing chase support for any race vehicle.Members of the 106 chase team were very instrumental in contacting Weatherman and SCORE officials. Members of Chase 106 were also helpful in providing minimal first aid support for the individuals involved." RIP Fred Reva.

"Remembering Fred Reva: Olivenhain contractor died pursuing off-road racing passion. By: J. STRYKER MEYER. Longtime Olivenhain builder/contractor Fred Reva was a man of remarkable contrasts.As a builder and contractor in North County for more than 30 years, he built beautiful homes and prided himself on developing personal, often lasting relationships with many of his clients. As a racer and builder of off-road motorcycles and racing vehicles, he won the Class Nine category, driving a powerful dune buggy, in the famed Tecate/Baja 1000 in 1979, and continued participating in that event at various levels over the last 25 years. And, as a proud father and neighbor, he enjoyed the simple things in life: walks on the beach with his wife and children, barbecues at his Olivenhain home, and time spent with friends enjoying some laughs over a few cold drinks.Reva, 63, died Tuesday in an accident during the 40th running of this year's Baja 1000. It occurred near San Quintin, Baja California, about six hours south of the border, said his wife of 39 years, Doris Reva. He is survived by his sons, Andy and David, and a daughter, Susy, all of Encinitas. The Reva family is planning a memorial service for Nov. 24, Doris Reva said, but the final details were still being worked out on Friday."Although his death was sudden and unexpected," said Doris Reva, "it occurred while he was doing something he loved. I thought that was a cliche, but I can sincerely say that he died doing what he loved."Fred Reva was driving a chase car, following a team driver, when he collided with another vehicle during the off-road competition in Mexico. The team driver he was supporting immediately withdrew from the race.Doris Reva said that when the accident occurred, her husband was pursuing a passion that he has had since his youth, as a boy growing up in Duarte."When we went to high school, the first year, in his freshman year, he drove a moped to school because he was too young to have a motorcycle or a car," she said.Even though Fred Reva excelled at high school sports such as football and baseball, his competitive drive shifted gears to motorized transportation, first with motorcycles, which evolved into off-road racing machines, both off-road dirt bikes and early versions of Baja dune buggies.His crowning moment in Baja competition was his victory in 1970 in the Class Nine category, a level of competition that Doris Reva described as very fast and sophisticated for that era of Baja racing. "He loved that big trophy he won that year," she said.Yet, there was a serious, business side to Reva. "His father died very young," Doris Reva said, "And Fred and his mother had to finish a track (of homes) that his father had under construction at that time. They got it done."He learned the trade and never looked back. Also, he was never afraid to take a risk. He went out on his own" and formed Reva Construction.And, soon Fred and Doris Reva discovered the beauty and potential for building quality homes in North County, she said. The young couple moved to Oceanside for nine months and Doris got a job teaching in Vista as Fred Reva developed a reputation as a builder. They eventually settled in Olivenhain, with their first home at Lone Jack and Rancho Santa Fe Road.Reva's cousin, Linda Doyle said, "When Fred and Doris landed in Olivenhain, he saw a lot of potential. He bought a lot of land and then built a series of homes in Olivenhain that are still standing today."And, in most cases, he built remarkable relationships with the people he served, which is rare in that industry. However, in Fred's case, when you meet him, he's your friend for life and no better friend can be found anywhere."When word of Reva's death spread throughout Olivenhain and Encinitas, "you couldn't believe the human response we had here (at Fred Reva's home)," said Linda Doyle."We had more than 200 people stop by his house and offer to help," she said, "I lost my spouse a few months ago, but wow, how people have responded to Fred is simply amazing. We're seeing living proof of what a quality man he was both in the community and at home."


Another Chase crash, 2 more fatalities.

I just received a call from one of the drivers of the team involved and he asked me to put up this post. There were 3 team vehicles traveling together. They decided to stop and strectch their legs and make sure the drivers were all ok. Everyone was fine and they headed on. The truck involved was the last one in line. It was shortly after they got back on the highway that the first 2 trucks were not getting any communication so they turned around and went back and that is when they saw the accident. The semi truck driver crossed over the line and hit their team truck head on. It was around 8:00 at night so it was dark. The team member that lived said the semi truck looked like it was swerving coming at them but everything happened too quickly. The semi truck driver took off and left the scene but later he was caught. The concern I got was that there was speculation on here that maybe the team truck driver was fatigued. He also told me to give the #1612 team a huge thank you from the bottom of their hearts. He said if it wasn't for you guys they would have been completely lost. He said that the angels had to of put you behind them that night and that you guys were a true godsend. Later, I got another call from the team again and they said it was ok to post what team so that those of us still waiting for people to come home will not continue to worry. It is the 7s team of Mike Horner and Chuck Foreman. Chuck said that those of you that know the team will know how to contact them. He also said thank you for all your support as this is a very difficult time for them right now. The 2 killed, Larry and Sergio, were members of the Foreman team. I did not know Sergio however I have known Larry for almost 20 years. He was one of those guys that could fix anything and he was always there when you needed him with a smile on his face.

Another crash report:

"About 2 hours after i got out of the truck at our driver change, we got the call!Of course hearing your guys just drove off of a 1000ft cliff sends everyone into a frenzy, but we had a great group that held it together well and worked as a team to get things done with minimal panic.Yes, the reports were true, the truck went off of a rocky cliff into a ravine approximately 600-700ft. This was at about 3am early Saturday Morning @ RM 235+/-We are unsure exactly how it happened but the witnesses in truck # 303 said that they were stuck on the edge of the cliff, we tried to get around them (single track terrain), clipped their bumper, hit a soft spot and cartwheeled down the hill. They estimated the truck rolled end over end a mininum of 15 times and the co-driver of truck # 303 said he vomitted after watching the truck crash thinking he just watched 2 fellow racers die.People have been asking who was in the truck and their conditions, the driver @ the time of the crash was Brett Garland and the co-driver was Mike Shortt. Both were ok and conscious @ the time, were sharp enough to immediately turn off the fuel pump and batteries and get the hell out. They exited via the hole that used to house a windshield and climbed up the 700+ft hill to truck # 303.The guys @ truck #303 immediately took control of the situation, assesed the injuries and made the immediate call for a helo to extract Brett due to a severe concussion and complains of side pains, they stayed with him for 3+ hours until sunrise when the helo could land. They were in a fairly gnarly area and the guys did some recon to find a landing spot for the helo and then moved Brett as close as they could. Helos cant fly @ night (during a race) and the accident happened around 3am or so, so they were there for approx 3 hours. As soon as the sun rose, the SCORE helo was there and brought him to San Quintin to prep for transport to the US. Not sure what helo arrived but someone showed up and transported him directly to UCSD Medical Center immediately. The total time of extraction from Crash site to a US hospital was under 4 hours, mighty damn impressive!Must give a huge thanks to team #303 (not sure of the name) for staying with Brett and Mike all throughout this and taking care of them!They did a bunch of tests at the hospital, diagnosed it as a moderate concussion and bruised ribs and now he is there for resting, mike is fine and only had a few bruises. We are trying to get pics of the crash, but believe me when i say they are lucky to be alive! The next step was extracting Mike, since the Helo only took the injured party out. We were @ an access road around RM209 and they were on the course @ RM235 or so. Our support trucks were a big dodge diesel truck, a 2wd tacoma, and my Land Cruiser. Choice was easy, i was going in. Took us over 5 hours to cover 20 miles of trail that made the rubicon look like candyland. We played it very safe and went super slow since we were now down to one capable recovery rig and would be going deep into no mans land solo. Once we arrived to the crash site, we almost threw up too, i looked at mike, looked at the truck and could not believe he was standing there looking at me. The guys from truck #303 were already helping us strip whatever we could off of the truck and helped us hoof it up the cliffside. Again, huge kudos to these guys! We loaded Mike and whatever else we could into my truck and headed back towards the others. We didnt arrive to them until dusk, and they had been patiently been waiting there ALL day for us!! We swapped stories and decided it was time for a nice steak dinner! Enjoyed a nice dinner, relaxed for a few minutes and headed home to one of the fastest border crossings ever, a whopping 3 minute wait! As for the race and why these crashes, happened, i am going to say fatigue! We have been working on this thing around the clock for the last 3 months, worked on it prepping stuff right up until race day morning, and everyone was just plain wiped out.I did the start and the first 207 miles and did so on adrenaline only (only 3 hours sleep the night before the race), we had a great time, held our own and ran mid pack for a bit, but the brand new shocks need some major adjusting after we worked them a little and them got warm @ around RM 50 or so. Unfortunately we didnt have a chance to test and this was the result.When the shocks got cushy, we were restricted to about 25mph or so in the rough stuff and we lost a bunch of time.We pulled into the BFG pit 1 where they firmed up the compression stroke of the bypasses a few clicks and it made all the difference in the world! After the shocks were tweaked, We were able make some good time breezing through an uncrowded Mikes Sky Ranch, but the time we lost during the shock softness (around 60 miles restricted to 25mph) got us to our pit quite a bit later then we had hoped it everyone was already getting tired. It is impossible to catch some shut eye when you are waiting to get into a race truck! When i got out of the truck, i was still all amped up, but after sitting down for 5 mins and drinking some water, i was WIPED and crashed hard, no chance i was driving a chase truck for 200+ miles! Sleep deprivation was immediately apparent!Want to give another huge thanks to truck # 303, SCORE Medical, Weatherman, and all the other teams that stopped to help.Does anyone know if #303 was able to unstuck themselves? Hoping so, they were in a gnarly situation too!"

Followed Up:

"Team 303's side of the saga.The 303 Dodge Ramcharger was entered and driven by Gale, Matt and Noah Pike. Yes, Gale has been racing for a long time, he raced his first 1000 in 1975. The driver at the time of the accident was Noah (Gale's Youngest son) and Loren J ( who built the racer). The car got pitched off the road by a rock in the road and was stuck part way into the course. Loren tried to move the car off the coures and it only slipped farther down the hill, but was still stuck, partly blocking the trail. Along came the 876, clipped the back of the car, the cartwheeled over the hood of the 303 on it's way down the hill. Loren was checking on the 876 crew as soon as the crashing stopped. At first he didn't hear any response and he thought the worst ! I might add that Loren is a former Firefighter, so he kinda knew what he might have had to deal with anyway, but that didn't comfort them any at all. We were in immeduate contact with them by SAT phone, and Loren and Noah were REALLY SHAKEN. We got chase guys in to the scene that night to see if we could get going again. We couldn't and thank goodness, as Loren was very adament with SCORE about the need for helicopter evacuation the next morning !! It took us ALL the next day to get a Tow Truck from San Quintin up there to winch the car up the hill..but thats another story!"











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