Roger Norman Motorsports Will Not be racing in the Baja 1000 in November, Unless someone else can blame "the rules" for Roger running over the cyclist
June 24, 2014 UPDATE!
Roger Norman requests content removed, we comply, but save the content in question
October 5, 2010 UPDATE
SCORE recently published that there will be a mandated four-hour differential between the final motorcycle/ATV and the start of the SCORE Trophy Truck class in this year’s Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
Norman Motorsports from Seth Naugle on Vimeo.
In June 2010, at the SCORE Baja 500, Roger Norman, driver of the #8 Trophy Truck and first time SCORE Baja motorcycle racer, Tim Nugent, Cartersville, Georgia, were involved in an accident that occurred in heavy dust on the Mike’s Sky Ranch road. Nugent was grazed by the right front tire of the #8 Trophy Truck and crashed from his motorcycle where he suffered moderate injuries. Norman stopped after the crash and assisted the rider along with locals who were at the scene including a doctor. However, Norman waited until his crew arrived on scene. One of the Norman Motorsports crew members’ is a paramedic and assisted in providing emergency assistance.
Norman was convinced to continue racing and eventually he crossed the checkered flag earning a 4th place finish. In the days after the race, Norman announced he would not again race in the SCORE Desert Series until changes had been made.
Afterwards he wrote in a widely distributed email, “The accident with the Sportsman motorcycle rider in the dust has shook me to the core. I have been devastated and demoralized about off-road racing since Saturday’s race,” commented Roger Norman in an email to his fellow Trophy Truck competitors. “We have all had our close calls and I can tell you that until you run someone over in the dust of another trophy truck at over 100 mph you will not understand the devastating feeling that is created even if they come out with non life threatening injuries.
He further explained in his email, “It is a miracle that Tim Nugent survived this accident. The next guy will not be so lucky and I want to avoid any one of you from having this pain and fear I have felt. The incident could have happened to any one of us and unless we do something to force the issue nothing will be done.”
In the weeks after the race Roger Norman was resolute that the 2010 SCORE Baja 500 was to be his last SCORE Race if the safety concerns involving the trucks and motorcycles were not addressed by SCORE Officials.
The outcome is that instead of 3 hours between the motorcycles and SCORE Trophy Trucks they have added one additional hour to the previously 3 hour buffer zone.
Apparently, the additional hour added is enough for Roger Norman to feel that the safety concerns are no longer an issue and he’s entered in this year’s biggest race of the season.
For 43 years, motorcycles and race trucks/cars have raced alongside each other during the most difficult point-to-point race in the world. Danger is part of off road racing and segregating the two important racing classes would be near impossible in a 1000-mile point-to-point race.
After the SCORE Baja 500 race, Norman Motorsports championship racing icon – Larry Roeseler, unexpectedly left the race team returning to Terrible Herbst Motorsports.
On Wednesday, September 29, Roger Norman announced he was going to SOLO this year’s SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 in the #8 Norman Motorsports Trophy Truck.
Ironmanning a race of over 1000-miles is a herculean effort that has been accomplished by a handful of the world’s top adventurers. Roger Norman definitely fits into that category. Norman is an avid action-athlete and continuously trains his body for these types of feats, but the facts are that since Larry Ragland won the 1999 SCORE Baja 1000, no one has won this epic race by racing alone in the elite SCORE Trophy Truck class.
Norman will venture south of the U.S / Mexico border hoping to become the first trophy truck driver since 1999 to capture the victory by driving alone.
The 43rd edition of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 will kick off on Thursday, November 18, 2010. SCORE Officials recently announced they anticipate the starting time for the SCORE Trophy Trucks to be approximately 11:45 a.m.
Motorcycles will leave the line as the sunrises over the Pacific Ocean seaside town of Ensenada, Baja California. 4 hours after the last motorcycle/ATV leaves the line the first SCORE Trophy Truck will take the green flag and charge over 1000-miles to the capital city of La Paz, Mexico.
The computerized drawing for starting positions will be held on October 9, 2010 at the SCORE Headquarters in Los Angeles.
This year’s race is expected to be a very difficult race as the starting time near noon means the first four-wheel vehicles will reach San Felipe about the time its getting dark expected to be approximately 4:30 p.m.
Darkness will reign havoc over the Baja Peninsula for the next 14 hours essentially marking this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 as a night race.
Teams can expect to have 4 hours of daylight on each side of the 14 hours of darkness and that will no doubt create a difficult challenge for the world’s top teams, let alone Roger Norman who will attempt to solo this year’s race.""
We predict Norman Motorsports will compete in the Baja 1000, now that people think he wasn't to blame for running over that sportsman motorcyclist.
The blame has been shifted to SCORE and all of their BAD rules.
BAD SCORE-BAD SCORE!
August 12, 2010 UPDATE:
Whats really happening here? Roger needs to blame something else, for his almost killing somebody. Period.
Now, if this were you or I, we would be in jail. But, Richy Rich here, can buy and blame his way OUT of real responsibility. We hope he takes care of the victim, for the rest of his life.
""I was simply swamped with work and trying to keep up with all the meetings and things I had to do. But today I've got some great news: Together with Roger Norman I will tackle the Vegas to Reno Race next week in one of his Trophy Trucks! On Tuesday I'll fly to
Roger Norman on the rocks: we met during my winter training in icy Ivola/Finland
I'm really confident, because as usual I'll have my navigator and our crew chief Bryan Lyttle at my side in the cockpit at our Trophy Truck premiere. And All German Motorsports is going to work together with Roger's team for the pit support. That's additional motivation.
Roger Norman is one of the true greats of our sport. Already in 1999 he won the BITD Championship. In 2001 and 2008 Roger and the Norman Motorsports Team clinched wins at the Baja 1000 -- to name just a few of his countless successes.
Roger and I met during the winter training that I organise up in
On 11 September I'll be back in the AGM buggy for the Baja 1000
After the Vegas to Reno Race my family and I'll spend a few days in the
... I am already looking forward to the pre-run - and some night shifts in the desert.""
*Baja Racing news.com INSIDE SOURCE: We know there's a couple people who are meeting with him today (8-10-2010 3 PM), and one of them is a TT member (name withheld). Not Roger Norman, however, he was just back from Africa on Safari, now Norman is in Fiji with family. The meeting minutes, an internal discussion and it's findings won't be posted publicly... not yet anyway.
Baja Racing News.com OUTLOOK:
1) "Pass Alert" hardware mandatory in the faster half of the truck/ buggy classes (they can afford to own it since it costs less than one tire)
2) "Pass Alert" hardware optional add on to a hardware package for any bike or quad class entry who wants it.
3) Score mandates it, pays nothing and everyone moves along. Tough guys on two wheels don't have to fuss with the nuisance/cost and slow pokes can be told they were told so if they get nerfed/punted without the the beacon.
Situation stays 'status quo' except ALL the responsibility for safety, then rests with the drivers and NOT the sanctioning body. In Theory, of course.
***As a reminder: Pass Alert Hardware pings inside the cockpit of 4-wheel vehicle with sound and light.***
>>>STAY TUNED TO BAJA RACING NEWS.com>>>
*3 PM Meeting scheduled for 8-10, appeared to start moving the issue into a new direction.
BULLETIN! Aug 6, 2010 CLICK HERE!
Larry Roeseler Re-Joins Terrible Herbst Team!
RALLY & BAJA RACER Schwarz reportedly joins Norman
INSIDERS REPORT: "From what is being said, the Schwarz deal is possibly just one race. All German Motors isn't racing V2R, so Schwarz has no conflict racing this event with another team. Martin Christensen has expressed interested in jumping into the TT field, and this would be a good opportunity for Shwarz to get some seat time. Schwarz' inclusion on the #8 entry was finalized before Roeseler left Norman Motorsports.
Roger Norman responds to the implosion:
"Yes, Larry was worried about his future at Norman Motorsports. We are sorry to see him go. As for Norman Motorsports we are preparing for the V2R. The news SCORE Safety Committee was recently created by Sal and Paul and I will be attending the first meeting next week. I'm certain changes will be made to increase the safety of our sport."
CLICK HERE>>>RACING BLAST NEW BLOOD IN BAJA!
UPDATE July 27, 2010
Some Sportman Bike Riders React to Baja Racing News.com:
""Changes in SCORE's policies, it can be done and it has happened before: 1. Remember Danny Hamel? Now we have speed limits on the highways, maybe not totally attributable to Danny's tragic death, but a change that needed to happen. 2. Dave Lapraik died prerunning Ensenada / Ojos. That is now a strictly enforced one way prerun with limited availability.""
THE STORY OF DAVID BILLS CLICK HERE
THE STORY OF LUIS ALBERTO VALDEZ CLICK HERE
IVAN STEWART FAMILY IMPACTED AND COMMENTS CLICK HERE
""One more electronic hunk-o-junk to mount to the bike. Maybe I am missing something here, maybe I am just dumb (you can agree). But it's a machine with a light that goes off when a car is 100 yards nearby (basically a couple seconds) - I think I get that. So, how does it work? Need to be out of the way of a passing car before that light goes flashing. Nothing changes except paying for the thing.
The problematic type of riders are maybe going to rely on this, never look back and maybe get out of the way after it flashes for a few miles. Then when they finally let the car by they'll still spaz out and jump back on the course without looking (at 100 yards, that's only a couple seconds on a fast road, there may be no flashing light at all but a car 200 yards away) Seems like it's kinda useless unless it is at least 400-800 yards. I've read the Dakar guys saying it works but I guess I need a little more explaining why it is so great.""
""Thanks Baja Racing News! So it's an audible alarm with a flashing light. I don't see the flashing light being effective on a desert bike unless it's nighttime and none of this technology would have prevented Norman from running over Nugent since the audible alarm needs to be activated by the approaching vehicle (Norman had no idea a bike was in front of him due to dust). What about warning signs that are put up as soon as the faster four wheeled vehicles start approaching the laggard bikes? We know the course mileage and we know avg speeds so it would be easy to predict where the fastest trucks and cars might overtake the slower bikes along the course. Post large, bright orange warnings signs or something obvious to remind the slower bikes that vehicles are approaching. "Hey slow poke, just an FYI - there are fast cars and trucks coming up on your ass so be careful." Maybe this could be protocol for the checkpoints too...""
""I do think it's a mistake to compare Dakar to Baja. For one, Dakar competitors are a slightly different breed than the "problematic" sportsman competitors we're discussing here. There's so much more preparation, planning, money and training that goes into racing Dakar. As opposed to SCORE, where you can just sign up the day before the race, bring a semi-capable bike down and have at it. Very different race and atmosphere all together. Let's just be honest here... the trophy trucks are pissed that hack sportsmen are in their way and potentially ruining their bid at a win. I'm sure Norman felt genuinely bad about running the guy over, but the impetus behind all this talk of safety isn't to protect the sportsman, it's to ensure their big money race isn't compromised by a rookie sportsman racer. Hence the suggestion to move the Sportsman class to the day prior or to move them to the back of the pack. Get them out of the way, don't protect them. All this talk of "training" and "education" is smoke and mirrors and won't do anything. What's that stupid saying, "you can't have your cake and eat it to?" I think that might apply here... not sure. Like I said way early in this discussion - SCORE caters to a wide spectrum of racers... from million dollar trophy truck race teams to low budget, weekend warriors.
Most of these riders are trying to cross off "the Baja" from their bucket list. It would be like Nascar letting those rice burner Hondas with loud exhausts and cardboard spoilers compete in their races (wouldn't that be entertaining!). Its up to Sal to decide if SCORE should continue catering to that wide spectrum. Frankly, I'm of the opinion that the big money teams will ultimately lead to the demise of racing in Baja all together. The ranchers don't like it and the small towns we race through are getting sick of it too. Yes, there are still thousands of fans that idolize the trophy trucks, but they don't control the course. The ranchers and small towns have the upper hand. The writing is already on the wall, considering what Sal had to say at the 500 racers meeting (was anyone paying attention?). If this were a sinking ship, I don't stand aligned with the trophy trucks. The motorcycles leave a much smaller footprint (not in an eco-sense), they're not the ones creating massive amounts of dust through small towns, they're not the ones endangering people on the roads, they're not the ones leaving gates open (or running them over). It's the cars and trucks... I guess that's why I just don't see a problem. So one guy gets injured in 7 years... statistically, that's pretty insignificant and pretty amazing if you ask me. So what's all the fuss? The fuss is big ego race teams having their race compromised by amateur, leisure sportsmen. I'm a fan of the sportsman class. I love what it represents. Trophy trucks are amazing vehicles, but there's little sympathy from me.""
CLICK HERE FOR THE DAKAR VERSION TALK
Reports Edited By: Gary Newsome
BEST IN THE DESERT TESTING NEW SAFETY SYSTEM
"Because Best in the Desert always has SAFETY in mind for their competitors, they are looking at a new safety device called the PASS ALERT for a trial at this year’s TSCO “Vegas to Reno” event in August. This device is designed to assist in alerting drivers or riders that a quicker competitor is approaching them from the rear and wishes to initiate a
pass on the slower competitor. The device also has a broadcast option that can be triggered by the rider or driver in the instance of breakdown or accident in the course and will alert all
oncoming vehicles of a hazard situation ahead and to proceed with caution.
This device has the potential to help reduce the number of impacts between competitors during passing maneuvers, breakdowns and accidents. These units have single handedly been responsible for a significant increase in the safety of countless racers around the world,
and have since become a mandatory safety element on All vehicles in FIA, ASO, Dakar, and all European Baja style races. The competitors tell us over and over again that they can't imagine
racing without them…..
Casey Folks of Best in the Desert is directing this test with the 25 top qualifying cars and trucks and the amateur motorcycles and Quads to leave the line. This initial trial of the PASS ALERT system will be conducted at no cost to the participating competitors. If successful, the equipment
will be available for purchase for the next Best in the Desert event.""
A similar device (Sentinel) is used in Dakar and many other events. Both the Sentinel and Pass Alert do the same thing, though the specs say the Sentinel has a range of 160 yards, and this Pass Alert is only 100 yards.
""The good: - Cars/trucks can honk their horn, and the beeper on every vehicle within range will sound. - The beeper on the Sentinel is SUPER loud (110dB). Hopefully the Pass Alert is similarly loud, so there’s no chance of not hearing it. - With a bit of education, hopefully riders will better understand the importance of moving out of the way, and have a better appreciation for the dangers of not doing so. There’s nothing like an ear-piercing loud beep to wake you up out on the course! Room for further improvement: - At 100mph, a TT or car will travel the full 100 yard transmit range in only 2 seconds. That doesn’t really give much warning time. Riders should still keep a close eye behind them for signs of approaching vehicles. The system works best when the approaching vehicle isn’t that much faster than the vehicle being passed. Unfortunately, the closing speeds these days are often VERY high. - It’s a manually operated system. The car has to see the vehicle ahead and honk his horn (or push the button) to trigger the beeper. It would not have helped in the recent Baja 500 incident because the TT driver didn’t see the rider until it was already too late. - The press release says if the system is successful, then competitors can “purchase” a unit for future events. It would seem more logical to rent them per event rather than sell them, or just include it in the entry fee. - I’m not sure if cars can beep other cars with this system. I’m particularly curious if a car can beep another car in the same class. If so, I can see that beeper being used a lot for “harassment” rather than safety"".
Update from July 5, 2010
Bob and some of his friends went public with the current controversial topics last night and yes, Baja Racing News.com was there to report.
Tim Nugent, Jesse Jones, Robby Gordon and even Roger Norman went public to talk about the "Handlebars & Steering Wheels Issue". And Drugs & Alcohol got in the way.
Robby Gordon stated, LET'S GET RID OF THE GPS Systems!"
"Norman and Nugent went over the details of what happened on Mikes Road...Bob, Jones, and Gordon called in and gave their two cents. Lots of talk about 'separation' and somewhat of a consensus for 'parading' all sportsman bikes and quads to Ojos for a Friday start out there...Gordon wants to pull GPS out of the cars and admitted to arcade style racing through the dust with the GPS/helicopter support. Very little or no talk at all about advanced warning systems."
Bob, said SCORE was on-board to hash out the issue IN COMMITTEE!
(Thanks for that Bob, you are useless as tits on a bull!)
Bob was merely trying to cover for SCORE, who, it was admitted by Roger, hadn't even responded to his calls for changes. "Sue from the office is the only rep from SCORE I've had a chance to speak with", Roger said. Then, incredibly, suddenly, SCORE jumps on the bandwagon for a COMMITTEE?! only via Bob, of course.
Whats really happening here is that Sal is sick and tired of the discussions, issues, whatever. He just wants his bank account at a certain level. Thats it.
Baja Racing News.com Question of the day for Robby Gordon...Robby, How Much are you willing to pay Sal to take this burden off his hands?
Bob's trying to save some kind of face for the organization, even though all he represents is a backwater radio shop called PCI.
Jesse Jones backed up Robby's call for a ban of all GPS devices.
"Alan Fluegal" chimed in with a question about Rogers medications, used during the race, he answered, "My Mom gave me aspirin", noting the video tape of a big bottle of pills and Roger dropping some of the contents in front of the camera.
So, out of the public display of Trophy Truck displeasure with the situation last night, its obvious developing race policies in public doesn't work. But, in the abscence of a committed race sanctioning body, these guys were forced to use a public setting to tell everyone, there's no resolution and they all have ideas on how to solve, what SCORE thinks is a non-issue.
Update July 2, 2010
Bob Steinburger of PCI Race Radios calls out SCORE on the subject!:
"The Sentinel or any other tech device is NOT going to be tested, ready and in place by the Primm or 1000. Get over it for now and keep your thinking dedicated to the 1000.
Paul Fish - the official results are a done deal, Please call me and share your own ideas with me, now that you have nothing else to do."
June 26, 2010
Bob Steinburger chimes into the debate. Why? He finally realizes positive change could mean more money in HIS pockets!
"Well there are a lot of meaningfull suggestions and possible solutions to the problem of the handlebars being mixed up with the steering wheels, however what specifically is being done? Should a committee be formed to address the challange? Who specifically should be on the committee besides Sal, Paul, Bill Wick, Dr. Grange and Oscar Ramos? When and where will the committee start convining? At what time should we expect positive results to start filtering on to RDC? Change isn't only necessary, it absolutely has to happen! Score could possibly double their sportsmen entry and Roger Norman would feel good about the race if only there were adequate safety measures put in place. The time for rhetoric is over.
Its time to get a committee in place. Who besides myself (Bob Steinburger) and Cameron Steele (got to have a dress wearing kook on the committee) are up for this? Roger? Some sportsman handlebars? Keep the solutions coming until we have a committee in place and a meeting date."
Funny, how Bob Steinburger mentions his reason for pushing change, more entries=$$$.
Here's another reason for change, not universal safety, not $$$, but the safety of SCORE President Sal Fish:
"SCORE WILL NOT EVER STAND BEHIND ANY RACER WHO HURTS ANY PERSON FOR ANY REASON. (its in the agreement) They will quickly step to the side and let the aggrieved parties go after the responsible party (the driver).
One scenario that was pointed out privately by someone who has not missed a score race in over 2 decades (they asked for anonymity):
"One day a racer is going to hit and kill the wrong person, like the son of a wealthy and powerful mexican family and Sal Fish will go to jail. The family will exert virtually limitless influence toward the mexican govt until something is done and they find a fall guy in Sal Fish"
At first glance i scoffed at that notion, but I trust that my friend has enough knowledge in the area to make the claim.
Also to my surprise, a great engine builder went BK in the US after his car hit and disabled a quad racer at a checkpoint.
The point of my statement is that SCORE will continue to try to immunize itself from liability, but someday, when the wrong person is the victim, all hell could break and end Sals days promoting races in BAJA."
June 20, 2010
Pete Sohren chimes into the subject, "80% of the handlebar guys are ding-dongs! They don't have any business being out there" (on the race course).
June 17, 2010 Norman Motorsports confirms Baja Racing News.com Breaking News
Roger Norman to Quit Baja racing if conditions don't improve!
Baja Racing News.com Breaks The BIGGEST NEWS! HERE FIRST: Wednesday night, June 16, it was announced in San Diego, that Roger Norman Motorsports will not be raicng in the fall classic, the Baja 1000 in November.
The announcement said Roger Norman had been so impacted by the injuries caused by his Number 8 Trophy Truck, while Norman was driving, hitting from behind, the SCORE motorcycle racer, now in the hospital with major injuries, that Norman has decided he WILL NOT be racing.
The victim in this situation, Tim Nugent is still hospitalized. At the time of the incident, Nugent had life threatening injuries, out on the Baja 500 course, miles from any medical help.
From the Baja 500 story, ""In an interview with today, Tim Nugent, he sounded groggy and slow (not surprising under the circumstances), yet as positive as one could be (again, under the circumstances). He said he was off to the right side when hit. There were 3 trucks, apparently at over 120 mph.
He has 2 broken legs, 5 broken ribs, a broken scapula, 3 broken vertabrae, and a hole in the back of his knee which is being investigated cleaned, etc. I'm no doctor, but it sounds as if he is lucky to be alive.
As with most incidents, it was probably a combination of a lot of factors. Three trucks running together (passing, bumping, etc?) at 120+? A rider with no Baja experience and essentially no pre-run experience? A very dusty and rough course in high heat conditions? This incident alone, has and will cause serious reflection and re-evaluation of many future racing ventures.
All of the sportsmen class guys that Baja Racing News.com has talked with including Tim Nugent 253x would prefer to start behind the four wheel vehicles. Some of them will not race again unless this rule is implemented. They all say the same thing, the only thing they are really concerned about is dealing with the unlimited class vehicles. I believe SCORE would have many more entries in the sportsman class if this rule change takes place.""
Baja Racing News.com