Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interview with Bob Yen, self appointed racing sanctioning body oversight committee and off-road technology expert for Disney ABC iTunes PIXAR


Bob Yen just got back from a whirlwind scientific media tour of China and Baja Racing had a chance to get that long awaited interview with the self appointed know-it-all.

Though, when we talked with him, he may not have known it was us doing the interview.

Editor, Gary Newsome.

Baja Racing Lets talk about the Baja crime wave, what are your thoughts about the Baja tourism crash and burn going on in Mexico now?

"I had a bad experience in Mexico during the races. My truck was parked 1 block from San Nicholas, & was a target of theft on Fri evening after Contingency. There are cop cars circling by every few minutes. I was inside, & some guy walks by..tries to open the door. Disappears around the corner. Comes by small window gets shattered by one of those steel balls!! I get out of my truck to see the guy get into a small red compact, brand new. He gets into reverse, & scrams."

Baja Racing How does a thief think he can get away with this, with all the cop cars buzzing by?

"Because, the cops are involved & probably are working as "spotters". My truck was vandalized at the last Baja 1000, so this makes TWO! The accounts by others do NOT seem to be random data points. There is definitely a security issue to all Baja race attendees. SCORE needs to address this, otherwise they have a huge mess."

Baja Racing What kind of mess?

"Mexico is hating life because of all the crime and SCORE is ignoring what really is happening there. The racers I do business with, like Herbst, McMillins, Post, Baldwins, Bob Bowers all have given failing grades to Sr. Pesca for his handling of this collapse. It's an all out SCORE collapse. Sal Fish is just hunkering down this year, trying to let the crime storm blow over.

When Sal Fish of SCORE International said of the racers in SCORE, 'the Super Star Ego-Maniacs' of desert racing will be back. He's probably right, but, if things don't settle down soon, 2009 will be toast in Mexico for any racing."

Baja Racing What does off-road need to do?

"This is what Offroad Racing needs, some presence on TV/Film. I'm working on some TV/Film projects, since I know some higher ups at Disney, Disney owns ABC, which owns ESPN, which does all the Internet solutions for ABC. I was in touch with an Emmy award winning producer of "The Amazing Race"..that wild endurance race that did stuff 'round the world, like Australia.

He's into offroad, he drives a pimped out disco truck, & drove it to the Emmys. He goes back to Steve McQueen days, & we were talking about Technology & how it could help Offroad Racing get on the map."

Baja Racing What's your solution?

"I think something crazy wild is going to happen in the not so distant future, something along the lines of a Dust to Glory..but even better. Hint: D2G never made it to mainstream movie theathres, but Technology gives us iTunes video-podcasting. Steve Jobs is on the BoD/Board of Directors of Disney, since PIXAR, which Jobs owns, merged with Disney Animation 2.5 yrs ago. There are some Offroad Racing entities who have iTunes video-podcast I did for them who are requesting some big-time exposure on iTunes. Because of my high-level contacts w/Disney Animation, President, VP, former chief-Scientist, etc. I can possibly go "top-down" to get a deal going. TV, Film, Animation, Internet Solutions via ESPN, etc. Earlier this year, I got a call from the head of Prime Time Programming for ABC, out in NY, we were talking about Internet solutions for the Rose Bowl."

Baja Racing Really? What else Bob?

"I didn't bring up the subject of Auto Racing, Champcar..which went bankrupt, let alone Offroad Racing, because frankly it's a downer situation."

Baja Racing Then why are you involved in off-road?

"The money. Racing is a niche-market, doesn't pull the huge numbers like college football."

Baja Racing What do you think about Championship Off-road Racing?

"Someone told me recently he has 50 million into it..and they are still in the red! Can Jim Baldwin pull off his dream, of a NASCAR equivalent for Offroad Racing? Unfortunately, I and the racers I associate with, see some real challenges/problems in that organization. If they don't fix them, they're done."

Baja Racing What's your solution?
"Content/Distribution models. Disney/ABC gives us the big-time Distribution connection. Content is Offroad Racing, we would need "cool stories". Facts tell, STORIES SELL.. Business of Entertainment, selling auto racing or pots & pans.

There are some FANTASTIC racers/personalities/stories that are in development, & they need to be surrounded by a team of professionals (video shooters, story writers, producers, directors to bring it to the Public. I've put in a flurry of calls with various luminaries & movers/shakers in Offroad Racing, & excitement is building."

Baja Racing Wow. Impressive.

"Offroad Racing has its problems and challenges. I just wonder if there's enough Leadership at SCORE, CORR, BITD to conquer the "negatives" so I can bring on these Disney/ABC professionals. They certainly don't want to experience the riff/raff, like I've experienced, with Klaus and Curtis, equivalent to walking thru a mine-field. Bob Bower & I had a lengthy conversation yesterday, about this very issue. The message boards are out of control, damaging the sport and the business."

Baja Racing So what did you and Bob come up with?

"SCORE needs a new owner and CORR needs to stop wasting money."

Baja Racing Tell us about your China trip.

"Well I'd like to spam my website about the trip at

Americans have alot to learn from the Chinese. We (the Chinese) have centuries of technology ahead of Americans. And Americans have been passed up along time ago. I laugh at the photo-video people of off-road, my technologies are far superior to them. I have big plans for the Baja 1000, it'll blow everything off the map."

Baja Racing You can catch Bob Yen at all the racing events, just look for a Chinese guy, kook, with a funky van topped with a sat-dish. We won't ask him about his vans suspension issues in this interview!

Thanks for sharing it with Baja Racing News as always.