Saturday, March 08, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Baja Sur Blows Chunks with five destroyed race trucks at race
At the recent race in Baja South, Andrea Tomba blew his season by reportedly turning over his Explorer, when he totalled his trashed Explorer. Two more former American race trucks, destroyed in Mexico, by Pacenos.
Atr racing crash story
FROM OUR REPORTER AT THE RACE:
The report from the team: "Andrea was driving down a narrow straight away at around 85MPH, when it seems that the steering reducer broke, and they lost the control of the vehicle, flipping very hard and several times into the banks, first sideways before gathering inertia to continue end over end. As proof of the great fabrication of Banda Jr. Race Shop the cage remained intact and driver and co-driver were intact, however the truck suffered unrepairable damage. The chassis broke front and rear, broke the transmission, pushed engine into the cab, broke the front coilovers, both fuel intakes were ripped off, and a LOT of bent tubing."
Another report: "Just outside El Rufugio, there was head problems with the Ford race motor, the Class 8 Explorer slowed to a crawl and Tomba started partying with the locals weatching the race, thinking he was out. The problem was fixed after x beers and on a straight section at great speed, Tomba at 80 miles an hour, turned upside down, a very bad wreck, the truck wasted. Tomba and his co-driver, not hurt. But, it was obvious after the motor problems, Andrea was drunk when the crash hit him."
The former Class 1 Steve Barry rig was also destroyed, the frame bent to hell and totalled motor and tranny. These were two notable destructions out of five reported bad crashes. With Tom Bradley out of the race season, the race teams in southern Baja are running out.
From La Paz:
EXCLUSIVELY ON Baja Racing News .com
When Baja Racing News.com saw this Bill Center story in the San Diego U/T, we were not surprised, but saddened. This is what SCORE does to improve security for racers in Mex? A press puff-piece? Sals famous quote, "The most notorious and dangerous racing in the world", now takes on a whole new meaning.
Sal Fish has placed both feet down his throat. SCORE racers, it's partly YOUR FAULT. These comments are an insult to the Hall family and all SCORE racers. Baja Racing News.com believes Sal Fish owes all Baja racers an immediate apology.
Sal Fish Comments: ""Fish also believes SCORE racers and crews bear some responsibility.
“We've got to take a step back, too, and take a look at what we're doing,” said Fish. “Don't get crazy. We've been spoiled because Mexican officials have looked the other way at some things we've done, and we've pushed it. “Plus, we need to use a little common sense.”
Fish is advising race teams to travel in convoys whenever possible to and from the course area. And he advises against traveling the highways alone at night. “It's common sense not to put yourself in harm's way,” he said. “Bad things can happen on either side of the border.”""
Andy McMillin and all Baja racers wanted SCORE to succeed in this challenge. Baja Racing News.com ruling, SCORE FAILED AND NOW INSULTS RACERS!
CLICK HERE: What are the REAL RISKS?: We must Counter the Threat, not just caravan and travel during the day!
CLICK HERE: The Inside Racers Feelings: BAJA BITES SCORE
""SCORE touting better security for its Baja race
By Bill Center
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 6, 2008
Sal Fish took an unprecedented step two weeks ago in an open letter to the off-road racing community.
Although the bulk of the text discussed the March 14-15 SCORE San Felipe 250 race and changes to the course, Fish detoured toward the end of the letter to discuss an issue on the minds of all tourists to Baja California.
“My trip (to San Felipe) took me through Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe and Mexicali,” said the president of SCORE. “I can personally report that there is a noticeable increase in security along the roads.
“My compliments to the new government for their conscientious effort in addressing the situation.”
Advertisement Ah, the “situation.”
In November, Fish thought SCORE had one of its better races in the 40th-anniversary running of the Baja 1000.
“It was a great race,” Fish said of the historic run to the Cabo San Lucas tip of the peninsula.
But even before Fish arrived back on this side of the border, he was receiving reports of two fatal accidents involving nonrace vehicles on the highway coming north from the finish and armed robberies by men masquerading as police officers on the toll road between Ensenada and Tijuana.
The post-race incidents received more notice on this side of the border than the race did.
“Unfortunately the race was overshadowed by all the stuff that happened,” said Fish. “I, as the organizer, should be concerned. We've taken it very seriously.”
There is only so much that Fish, even with his strong ties in Mexico, can do as a U.S. promoter of an event staged in Mexico. Fish has, however, discussed the recent problems with Mexican government officials in Baja California and Mexico City.
And the SCORE leader is optimistic as his organization returns to Mexico for the first time since the November race.
Not everyone is returning immediately to Mexico – including some of the biggest names in off-road racing (Herbst, McMillin, Arciero) – for a variety of reasons.
But while the early entry numbers are down by a third from last year's race-record 394 – the 2007 San Felipe 250 was run out of Ensenada because of problems with the land owners on part of the course – the current count of 256 entries represents the third-highest total in the 23-year history of the event.
Fish believes the racers will be greeted warmly when they clear the border.
“I feel there is a very serious attitude on the part of Mexican officials,” Fish said this week. “They are embarrassed and fed up about what happened late last year. They are victims, too.
“This is not a situation that can change 100 percent overnight. But the Mexican government is trying to make things safer at every level. I was there. I saw it first-hand. I kept my eyes open. I saw a big difference.
“I saw a much bigger police and army presence on the highways. I saw enforcement officers all along the toll road, including a new group in distinctively marked cars.”
Fish also believes SCORE racers and crews bear some responsibility.
“We've got to take a step back, too, and take a look at what we're doing,” said Fish. “Don't get crazy. We've been spoiled because Mexican officials have looked the other way at some things we've done, and we've pushed it.
“Plus, we need to use a little common sense.”
Fish is advising race teams to travel in convoys whenever possible to and from the course area. And he advises against traveling the highways alone at night.
“It's common sense not to put yourself in harm's way,” he said. “Bad things can happen on either side of the border.”""
Baja Racing News.com
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
It is exactly 14 minutes before drivers introductions at Phoenix International Raceway last year, but Casey Mears was nowhere near the stage. He was 500 feet away in the PIR infield, test-driving his newest toy. His Baja racing toy.
Mears woke up on race day at Phoenix and was greeted by his recently finished Super Dual Sport dune buggy, which he runs in Baja Mexico for some off-road fun during the Baja racing season series. Casey Mears took his dune buggy to Baja California in Mexico this offseason.
"It is just to play, Mears said. Mears will spent his winter riding motorcycles and other off-road vehicles in the Baja section of Mexico with friend PJ Jones, a part-time Busch and Nextel Cup competitor. "They got it done late last night and got it out for me so I can check it out before I have to take off," said Mears, who will store the $100,000 buggy at Jones' house in Phoenix. "PJ is going to meet me down [in Mexico] and we are going to do a motorcycle ride like we did last year."
Mears purchased the normally aspirated, 600-horsepower buggy from Phoenix-based Tatum Motorsports, owned by driver/off-road enthusiast Rich Ronco. Ronco's operation, named after his daughter, sells 100 of these high-end machines a year. Tatum Motorsports employs 40 people and counts Robby Gordon Motorsports among its clients. The buggies use the 427-cubic inch engine block commonly found on Corvettes.
"It will go anywhere you want to go," Gordon said. "That car right there is probably 130 mph. They are pretty tough. They are made for it." Ronco delivered Mears' dune buggy late Saturday night and parked it outside the tent that housed the drivers' meeting. Everyone from Jeff Gordon to Brad Parrott stopped to examine the machine, which took Ronco three weeks to build.
"It is a full-blown racecar," Mears said. "You could put numbers on this thing and race it. It will do about 110 through the rough stuff. It's unreal. One hundred-ten through the rough stuff feels like 200."
Dune buggies are not known for their comforts, but Mears worked with Ronco to create a buggy that features a helicopter-style audio system that allows a driver and three passengers to communicate. "It has a GPS, full-blown stereo system and a two-way radio were you can talk to another car," Mears said." Plus, you can listen to your iPod or the radio through your headsets."
Casey Mears(notice Baja smile) Jealous? Don't be, just call 619-251-9486 to get yours! Go TO OFF ROAD SAN DIEGO for more details.
The Casey Mears SPIN MACHINE (not really, its just an interview)
1. What's the best advice you've ever received, and who was it from?
Mears: The best advice I ever got was from my parents. They told me to find something in life that I love and make a career out of it. They never pressured me to go racing, just to have goals and go after them.
2. What was your first car?
Mears: My very first car was a Dodge Dakota, but I didn't have it long. I drove a Chevy half-ton pickup for most of high school.
3. What was your favorite memory of playing high school football?
Mears: Probably the camaraderie we had on the team -- it was a fun group of guys. Plus, back then it seemed kind of cool being able to knock the hell out of somebody and not get in trouble for it.
4. Where's the one place you go to "get away from it all?"
Mears: I usually go to Baja. No cell phone service, no computers -- just open water and beautiful weather.
5. What was your first job?
Mears: When I was 12, I worked at an auto detail shop over the summer.
6. What's the one thing you do that drives your family crazy?
Mears: Man, you'd have to ask them. That's a tough question. Hopefully I don't do anything too annoying.
7. What's your favorite video game?
Mears: There's a game called DiRT that I like a lot. It's pretty accurate when it comes to off-road racing.
8. What was the last book you read?
Mears: I made it through the first half of The DaVinci Code. It was a good book, but I don't have a great attention span when it comes to reading. One of these days, I'll finish that one up.
9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Mears: Anywhere with a white sandy beach, blue water and some palm trees.
10. What's the most exciting thing about growing up in a family with so much racing tradition and history?
Mears: One of the best things about growing up in my family was having the opportunity to travel at a young age when my dad was racing. I saw a lot of places and met a lot of great people. It was pretty exciting, especially to a kid.
In the old days, Mears Gang pits were the best in the business in Baja Mexico off-road racing. Baja Racing News.com will be telling more of the MEARS GANG BAJA STORY. GO TO BAJA SAFARI FOR YOUR BAJA ADVENTURESBaja Racing News.com EXCLUSIVE
Riviera Racing Embraces San Felipe for the 22nd Running of the SCORE San Felipe 250
Riviera Racing Rookie – Max Post To Debut New Pro Truck in Baja
Going into the sands of San Felipe, Baja California, Riviera Racing’s Mark Post knows how to win in Baja. Over the past decade, the accomplishments achieved by Riviera Racing are distinguished. Beginning in 1997, Mark Post has been a dominant force in the exciting SCORE San Felipe 250 where he finished in the top five in Class 1.
Post had proven his race skills in the 1998 SCORE San Felipe 250 where he won the overall championship. After his dominating performances in Class 1, Post moved into the SCORE Trophy Truck division where he had several top finishes before scoring victory in 2004.
Riviera Racing’s 2004 run for the checkers was extremely special as it signified Post’s initial SCORE Trophy Truck win, while at the same time he captured the overall win. This conquest silenced the competition and set in motion what Riviera Racing has become today, SCORE Trophy Truck Champions.
At the beginning of the 2007 season, Rob MacCachren joined Riviera Racing and the dynamic duo of drivers set a single-season record for Trophy Truck wins ultimately capturing the 40th Anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000 in the longest Baja 1000 racer ever. Post and MacCachren not only won the elite Trophy Truck class, but they were crowned the overall winners of the 1296-mile marathon adventure.
In 2003, Rob MacCachren was crowned the SCORE San Felipe Trophy Truck champion while racing in the #4 SCORE Trophy Truck. Between Post and MacCachren, they have amassed three trophy truck wins in the 13 years since the birth of the class. Combined, their record includes an incredible four SCORE San Felipe Overall victories.
Returning to shores of San Felipe, Baja California and kicking off the first of the three Baja California races is special for Riviera Racing as they return to defend their SCORE Baja 250 win from 2007. Last season this same race began in Ensenada along the Pacific Ocean and ended in Santo Tomas, a short distance from downtown Ensenada.
Riviera Racing’s Crew Chief Jim Blackmore explained, “We’ve really had some great races in San Felipe. Mark and Rob have both won in San Felipe before they were teammates and we won the Baja 250 last season after the race was moved to Ensenada. We have already planned our prerunning and everyone is excited to get back to Mexico where we excel. The team is looking forward to the San Felipe experience, we’ll be there pushing the #1 Ford as hard as we can for the entire 232-miles.”
Debuting on the sunny beaches of the 2008 SCORE San Felipe 250 for the first time, will be Riviera Racing’s new sponsors, Rockstar Energy Drink and Makita Industrial Power Tools. In fact, the two new sponsors will roll through a Baja race contingency emblazoned on the sides of the #1 SCORE Trophy Truck among the tens of thousands of fans who flock to San Felipe for this race.
Mark Post said it best, "Off road racing is like nothing else in life. Sometimes facing incredibly difficult challenges that test you physically and mentally and put you on the edge…there is nothing better. Arriving to San Felipe with the opportunity to put the #1 SCORE Trophy Truck in victory circle is always exciting. Of course, this one of my favorite races of all time and we’ve been very good here in the past. Racing in Baja is something very special to Riviera Racing and this year I am very proud to introduce the third generation of Riviera Racing drivers. My son, Max, will debut his Riviera Racing Pro Truck for the first time in race trim and we are excited to turn him loose.” While growing up under the wings of his championship winning father, Max has spent many hours behind the wheel of many different race vehicles. Throughout 2007 while prerunning in Baja, Max was tutored by one of the most accomplished racers in the history of desert racing, Riviera Racing’s Rob MacCachren.
Rob commented, “Max is not afraid to go fast and he’s demonstrated that he can drive. It’s time for Max to get into the race atmosphere and I’m confident he’ll perform well.” Riviera Racing invites all their friends, fans and sponsors to enjoy the warm weather of the San Felipe beaches and cheer on Mark, Max and Rob in their quest for another Baja victory!
Baja Racing News.com
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
San Felipe and Mexicali checkpoints and Dragnets to begin tomorrow, Wednesday!
Announced to the Northern Baja Press early today. Part of the Citizen Security effort, to ensure safety for the citizens of Baja California, it was announced that routes of travel in Mexicali and San Felipe would see hightened law enforcement efforts, starting as early as Wednesday, March 5.
As was announced in El Vigia yesterday, "In this cumbersome deployment involved more than 400 elements of the Federal Preventive police (PFP) and State Preventive (PEP, Ministerial State, the Army, Navy Mexico and municipal officers of the Rapid Reaction Unit (URI). Backed by air by a helicopter of the PEP board and 30 official vehicles, troops and military police are bet at the entrances and exits from the slick urban conducted searches in bars, hotels and motels located in the "Bajio" established filters revision in the main roads and toured colonies on the periphery. He announced that "Citizen Security" will spill over into the five municipalities of the entity, also on a surprise and random, to provide security to bajacalifornianos. "It starts in Ensenada for the information that we have, but they are considered all municipalities in the state, where participate military, naval, federal, ministerial and municipal levels," he reiterated. He indicated that the day yesterday reinforced the local commander of the PEP with 60 elements from other cities joined the different routes."
Baja Racing News.com
PGR Blockades are continuing today in downtown Tijuana.
UPDATED! March 4, 3PM
"Five youths were tortured, sprayed with bullets and dumped in an empty lot on Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, where the army is battling a spike in killings by powerful drug cartels.
The bodies were handcuffed and riddled with dozens of bullets, police said, in one of the bloodiest drug-related murders in Mexico so far this year.
"We think this is another message to discourage major blows to organized crime," a spokesman for Baja California state's security ministry said. The bodies were found a day after soldiers battled drug traffickers in a five-hour shootout in the border city, just south of San Diego, California. The gun battle killed one police officer and one suspected gang member.
The grisly discovery was reported to police about 8 a.m., the Attorney General's Office reported Tuesday afternoon in the first official account of the crime. All the victims had been shot, and one had been handcuffed, the statement said. Authorities said the scene was littered with more than 150 spent shell casings.
The victims had been laid out next to an unpaved road in a rural southeastern area of Tijuana off of the Boulevard 2000, a new highway that links the city to Rosarito Beach. Boulevard 200 has become the body dumping area of choice for the criminal body dumpings since last fall.
The discovery comes amid a spike in violence in the region. The weakening of the Arellano Felix drug cartel in recent years has allowed smaller criminal cells to operate with fewer restrictions, analysts say."
Tijuana is greeted with more street blockades this morning in the area of the Tijuana River, the Rio District.
The blockades and redirection of traffic in the Rio area of Tijuana, are similar to those that have progressed around Baja Norte for the past several days. Meant to control weapons being circulated around town, the State Police are also seeking to break the 'black commandos' hold on the northern border drug traffic capital of Mexico, Tijuana, Baja Norte.
SPEED Mex REAL-Time Report
Monday, March 03, 2008
UPDATED March 3, 11 PM, Pacific Time
CLICK HERE: "400 Kidnapping Groups Nationwide!"
CLICK HERE: US. GOVT. TRAVEL ALERT
TIJUANA, Mexico – Mexican police and soldiers traded gunfire with suspected drug gang members Monday in a five-hour battle near the U.S. border that left a police officer and one of the suspected criminals dead. The shootout began at a house in a residential neighborhood of Tijuana, Otay Mesa, a drug smuggling hot spot across the border from San Diego. It started Sunday night and went on until early Monday, police said.
SPEED Mex Security Insider Report:
The battle today was the final operation in a three day intel-op, intelligence operation, bringing down a 'black commando' cel of the AFO, Arellano Felix, DTO, drug trade organization.
For the past two days, a military and law enforcement dragnet was conducted from Ensenada to Tijuana, culminating today in the Otay part of Tijuana. Twelve members of the cel, a kidnapping and enforcement cel of the AFO, were taken into custody, before the shootout. The 'shootout' was with a remaining guard of the hideout, who died in the action. The balance of the cel escaped.
Authorities today at a press conference in Tijuana after the operation displayed thousands of rounds of various caliber ammunition, weapons, including high powered machine guns, kevlar helmets and kevlar body armor, numerous authentic police and law enforcement badges, law enforcement image displays on body armor and magnetic signs (for placement on vehicles). Federal, state and local authentic logos, shields and badges were displayed in todays take from the 'black commando hideout '.
No civil law enforcement element in Baja California can be trusted at this time!
Only the military of Mexico and the Peoples Army of Mexico, can be trusted.
PAST COUPLE OF DAYS:
*The body of an unidentified woman was discovered with her head wrapped in cloth along a highway near Tijuana, Baja California state.
*A businessman kidnapped 12 days before was rescued by police in Tijuana, Baja California state. Police also arrested a suspect who was guarding the victim in a house. Authorities searched the house after a pedestrian found notes that the victim had written on toilet paper and tossed out the window onto the sidewalk.
*Authorities in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California state, reported the discovery of human remains believed to belong to more than one victim.
*Police in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, arrested eight members of an alleged kidnapping gang on charges of kidnapping, auto theft and possession of illegal weapons. The group is accused of three kidnappings in the state, where organized criminal activity is less frequent than in the rest of the country.
An American expat: "We crossed back to Baja at San Ysidro yesterday at 1 pm, on Baja side they funneled you down to 2 lanes and were looking in every car. Got to Ensenada and they were checking cars coming into and leaving Ensenada. All heavily armed and really looking at you closely. Any idea if something happened yesterday to cause this?"
"The Agencia Fronteriza de Noticieros reported an "operativo cerco" which I take to mean a kind of dragnet. There was also a report of the rescue of a kidnap victim and arrest of three or more of his captors."
"El Vigia: There are seven detainees Military and police forces besieging entire city. During three hours over 400 elements were deployed throughout the urban stain seeking drugs, weapons and criminals Most detainees are young. Report from: Ensenada, B.C. -- A total of seven people arrested for possession of prohibited substances and the confiscation of various quantities of drugs, was the result of the operation called "Citizen Security," which was implemented yesterday so surprising in different parts of the city.
In this cumbersome deployment involved more than 400 elements of the Federal Preventive police (PFP) and State Preventive (PEP, Ministerial State, the Army, Navy Mexico and municipal officers of the Rapid Reaction Unit (URI). Backed by air by a helicopter of the PEP board and 30 official vehicles, troops and military police are bet at the entrances and exits from the slick urban conducted searches in bars, hotels and motels located in the "Bajio" established filters revision in the main roads and toured colonies on the periphery. These actions took place from 13:30 hours Friday and lasted until 16:30 pm, when the director of the State Preventive Police (PEP), Justo Buenaventura Jaime, announced the results of operations.
He announced that "Citizen Security" will spill over into the five municipalities of the entity, also on a surprise and random, to provide security to bajacalifornianos. "It starts in Ensenada for the information that we have, but they are considered all municipalities in the state, where participate military, naval, federal, ministerial and municipal levels," he reiterated. He indicated that the day yesterday reinforced the local commander of the PEP with 60 elements from other cities joined the different routes. Results The owner of the PEP, Buenaventura Just Jaime, announced in a press conference the results of the operation which took place over three hours in this port.
He said they were arrested for possession of prohibited substances: Diana Berenice Perez Coronado 20 years, Fabiola De la Rosa Vargas, 23, Juan Luis Gonzales Solis, 27, of 34 Victor Zavala Jimenez, Daniel Garcia Horacio Aguirre of 39, Sergio Garcia Felipe Chavez Carlos Hurtado, 28, and Acosta, 29. The state official called on the community to denounce the 089 or the 066 so-called "shoppers", as well as illicit occurring in their colonies. Balance of operations Detainees 7 Drugs seized ICE 8.9 grams Cocaine 1.6 grams Marijuana 3 kilograms Metanfetaminas 87 pills Ecstasy 8 Forerunner 515 grams of drugs Money secured 820 pesos Utensils weighing and consumption of narcotics."
Recent Press Report:
""Tijuana's recent wave of violence appears to have driven another nail into the coffin of a tourism industry already hobbled by its reputation for tacky tourist traps, rowdy bars and long waits at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing.
Visits are down 90 percent since 2005, when an estimated 4.5 million people came to the area, according to the downtown merchants association.
On an average day now, only about 150 tourists show up, the association says. Some encounter the latest Tijuana spectacle: convoys of heavily armed soldiers rumbling down Avenida Revolucion.
"We never imagined that tourists would stop coming," said Clark Alfaro of the Bi-National Center for Human Rights. "It's a shame.""
Previous update 12 noon
Hall Family Truck Finally Recovered!
This message was received today from the Hall family of San Diego, who were victimized during the SCORE Baja 1000 in November. [search terms "hall family, baja crime"]
"Hello to all,
Wonder of all wonders! We have just been notified that Chris' truck has been recovered and is now in a impound yard somewhere east of Yuma! Crazy. We are hoping to get a look at it in the next week or so, who knows maybe it has not been hollowed out...
To those of you headed to San Felipe we wish you safe travels.
Original Story from March 1, 2008
Baja Racing News.com NEWS BULLETIN!
Baja Tourism Chief comments on Baja Crime Wave
March 1, 4 PM Pacific Time
San Diego, CA USA-
Today, the Baja Tourism Chief commented, "the (Baja Crime) problem is basically a City of Tijuana image problem".
There were 17 incidents last year involving tourists from the United States, according to Oscar Escobedo Carignan, Baja California's tourism secretary. Concerns and publicity about crime have led to nearly 2 million fewer visitors to the state last year.
“We have an image problem,” acknowledged Escobedo, the tourism chief in Baja California Mexico. He sought to reassure those attending that local, state and federal officials are beefing up security and police patrols to ensure greater safety. Municipal governments, he said, are training roughly 100 officers to serve as “tourist police” in Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.
“We had 17 incidents last year – very regretful incidents – but from the news you would think we had thousands,” he said. “We're well aware of what's going on with organized crime, and the federal government is facing it head-on.”
Despite the calls of tourism related business in Baja California for action, the Chief said to a mostly friendly meeting in Mission Valley this afternoon, "we will spend $1.7 Million dollars on public relations and a half a million dollars on damage control", regarding the "image problem".
"17 incidents have been restated over and over again that have created this image problem", he continued. "the city of Tijuana has the image problem, we have fired 300 Tijuana police officers this year and will put on patrol a new 'tourist friendly, Metro police' that will patrol from Tijuana to Ensenada."
More details on the Chiefs news making comments will be found at Baja Safari NOW! later today. Including electricity has been brought to Bahia de Los Angeles for the first time, escalera nautica continues, San Felipe airport will be in Department of Tourism hands soon and Baja California will adopt a landmark procedure for legal reviews, the first in the Republic of Mexico.
For more information on the Chiefs comments about tourism in Baja California (Baja Norte) go to Baja Safari NOW at http://bajasafari.blog.com/
Baja Racing News.com BULLETIN