Friday, November 23, 2007

Baja 1000 2007 Off Road Race Video Wrap


JeepSpeed 1705 Mike Shaffer Baja 1000 Report

Successful Shaffer Off Road Baja 1000

Last year we went down to the the Baja 1000 with no prerun time in and most of the drivers and co drivers never race before, AND WE WON! But could we go back and do it again?

Well this year Dave and I started off the line at 12:40 on Tuesday there were four cars in are class and we started 2nd.

By race mile 3 we had cought the 1749 car and he pulled to the side and let us pass, at about race mile 15 we where passed by the 1733 car and he was moving! well time to step it up I said to Dave, he said GET IT! we started passing a lot of trucks! I mean ALOT!!!.

We hit race mile 55 in no time at all and we see the class 3 FJ up ahead and we were working hard to catch him. I wanted to see if my straight axled old station wagon could catch the Donohoe FJ, and sure enough, we caught them like they were parked! After passing them, we realized we had made alot of time up on the 1733 car and we were in the windy section around RM65, so we passed them back, after that they stayed planted right onto our rear bumper until we got into a whoop section, we were able to put a few car lengths on them, but were still able to see them in our mirrors. We hit the highway for approx a mile at RM77, and shortly after we hit the road, a support truck pulled out infront of the 1733, so we gained another half mile or so in the short section of highway, but of course we NEVER broke 60 mph right before check point 1 which was roughly at RM85 we hit a nasty booby trap, and right after that we pulled over to let the 1733 pass again as he was right on our bumper. We cleared Check point 1, and continued on for about another mile or so, and we came to a spot in the course where there was some confusion. the GPS said go right, the course markers said to go left. We followed our GPS and about another mile or so and all the sudded at 65mph and we lost complete control of our rig. After nearly rolling twice as the rig shot off the race course, Dave jumped out to look at the steering, to find that the steering box sector shaft had snapped in half. We had noticed after the booby trap that the steering wheel was a little crooked but really didn't put much thought into it until now. The good news was, we knew we had 2 chase trucks with a steering box in them, the bad news was, both chase trucks were over 100 miles away, and neither chase truck's satelite phone was working properly. Lucky for us, we had the Shaffers Offroad JK within radio range, and they quickly started checking in Valle De T for a steering box before cutting across to the West side Jeremy and Dan in the JK headed to get one from Chase1 which was waiting on Highway 1. They blazed down a section of race course used in the Baja 500 to meet up with Chase1. Once they got to the meeting point, they called our sat phone and informed us it would be at least another 2 hours before they could get to our location with all the needed parts.

Meanwhile a team in an FJ80 stopped by to say hi and see how we were doing, along with the guy's from Camuburg in there Tundra, and a bit later even the Peak Empire guy's stopped by to see if we had any hot dogs... After 4 hours went by sitting out there broke, I started to get pretty bummed out, and thinking our race was over at RM89. I made a phone call to our other teammate Camo to inform him of our situation, and he reminded me that the race had just begun, and to cheer up, he also informed me that if he was in my shoes he'd go out behind a cactus and "rub one off" because it would add to what a great story it would be to tell afterwards. While it wasn't really the cheering up i was looking for, it did the job. After 5 hours of down time Chase JK finally appeard out of the dark Mexico desert. We had already pulled the steering box off, done a bolt check on the Jeep, and with about 15min of time to re-install the new box, we were off and running.

With very little time to get to check point 2, since we were just past check point 1, and it had closed an hour ago, we pushed the Jeep as hard as it would run all the way to BFG Pit 2, where our chase crews did a check on the rig, fueled quickly, and off the che check point, which was only 100 yards or so up the course.

After check point 2 is where the race actually started to get interesting. by this time it was 2am, with very little sleep the 2 nights before the race I was exhausted. I don't really know how else to explain this, other than i fell asleep behind the wheel at least 10 different times!!!! Driving off the course was only one of the problems with me being this tired, i was also driving extremly slow, so realizing the safest thing to do would be to put Dave in the drivers seat, even though he had never driven the jeep! We switched places and were off and running, oh did I mention i HATE co-riding? I kept telling Dave to slow down for about the first 3 miles, and he kept reminding me we were only going 25mph! I guess I fell asleep for a while after that for a while, only to be woken to Dave screaming like a bitch as he drives off a cliff at around RM268. Once he got the vehicle stopped on the side of the mountain he had just driven off, I got out to find that the trac bar had broken, most likely due to the booby trap we had hit the night before. We got the truck situated to where we could safely change the trac bar, and before Dave could get out of the Jeep I had thrown him the tool bag and spare trac bar, and hiked off to find a place to clean my shorts!

About 15 min later we were up and running again, I was back in the drivers seat seeing as we had around 50 miles to go, and just over an hour to do it in, I told Dave "Ding Ding, Schools in Bitch!", he didn't respond, I figured if I drove fast enough to scare myself i wouldn't fall asleep! That and the sun was starting to come up, so that was nice. We got the car to check point 3 with 15 min to spare, and finished the last 12 miles into BFG3 where we were going to do our first driver change. It was nice to see Inviting faces at Pit 3, they all seemed to be cheering us on.

Once the dust had settled and Jeff had taken off, I realized that Chase JK was no where to be seen, we started doing some relay's and found that there was a major accident on highway 1 that they had gotten stuck behind, and had tried to find an alternate route around it, putting them a few hours behind us. Jeff's section was going relativly quick, each time we would make it to an area where we would see him, he was only minuites behind us. It looked liked things were definatly looking up, and Jeff was making up time on all the check points. Eventually we got the BFG Pit 6 where Jeff would had the Jeep off to Camo, and we litterally only beat Jeff there by 15min, Camo was completly fired up and ready to go! When we arrived at that pit, we were under the impression that the 1734 was our of the race due to blown up front shocks early on, we later found out they had OUR spares on and were over 100 miles ahead of us!!!

Once they were off and running, we made another sat phone call to the JK to find out where they were, they were about an hour out, so we decided to wait for them to arrive since the JK was in need of some trac bar attention. Once they got in, we got it fixed quickly and we were back on the road chasing Camo down. We made a phone call to Larry to Pirate Chase HQ back in the US to find out where Camo was and how we were doing, at that point we found out Lance would not be getting into the Jeep at his assigned checkpoint because he was to beat up from co riding over 1000 miles of the race with Pistol Pete. After a few minuites of looking at a map at a Pemex, we quickly realized that we were not going to make the next driver change as Camo was running 68mph avg on course and we couldn't safely run over 70mph on the highway with truck traffic and other chase crews. So we decided to meet up with them at the following BFG pit, approx 100 miles down the course.

We arrived at BFG Pit 9 where Camo was going to get out of the Jeep after over 450miles in the drivers seat, and where I was going to get back in to finish the race with Jeremy co-riding with me. the 1734 Jeep blew by just as we had arrived, they were definatly hauling ass! After we made another sat phone call we found out our Jeep was 60 miles out, I tried to get a quick 30 min nap is since I had gone 2 day's without any sleep other than the few minuites I had gotten in the Jeep the night before. Camo pulled in and he kept asking if I was sure if I wanted to get in, and that he was willing to run the rest of the race, I quickly told him he was loco if he thought he was going to get to have all the fun, besides he drove it onto the podium last year! While looking the car over before we took off, we notice the drivers front wheel bearing was wasted, we decided to RUN IT! the wheel was cambered out about 10 degrees and we had no brakes because of the wasted wheel bearing.

We pulled out of the pit and ran it as hard as we could trying to catch the 1734. We quickly got into the deep silt beds weaving our way through them without any problems at all. but I sure was happy we had installed an ARB in the front diff before the race! Right after the silt beds we were cruising along down along the beach and noticed we were both getting a slight spray of coolant onto our visors, the gauge showed we were running a cool 195 degrees, so we knew we had another issue. We saw a Honda pit that looked like they were just starting to pack up there gear to head out, we pulled in, and Jeremy jumped out and got there assistance in removing the cooling fan that had gone into the radiator, and pinching off all of the damaged cores. After about 20 min we were back on the road, minus the mechanical cooling fan, not long after that we came into a whooped out wash when we saw the 1734, I was completly in shock! we quickly came up behind them to give them a little bump to let them know we were there, then pulled up beside them and switched our radio's to there channel to see what there deal was and why they were going so slow. They had replided that they broke there rear shock mounts off, and at about the same moment we saw there rear shocks hanging out the back windows bouncing up and down. We continued on to the next BFG Pit, where Jeremy jumped out and Camo Jumped in, to continue on the last 150 miles to the finish. About RM 1200 we got a call on the radio that we would be chased all the way to the finish on course by Pistol Pete in his backup trophy truck. Shortly after we were coming around a corner and I noticed a Trophy Truck in the rear veiw, and this is probably the one and only time i didn't think to myself "Oh Fuck!" from there on we basically kept a nice comfortable pace trying to keep the engine temp down, but trying to not let the 1734 gain any ground back on us, all the way to the finish.

If I had to pick one moment in the race that stands out in my mind as the best part of the race for me, was coming down the mountains into Cabo, with the ocean out in front of us, and a Trophy Truck in the rear veiw, knowing we had made it!

Baja Racing

Hack Helm Boned in Baja

Fred Helm, newbie videodito of pinned tv, bbr(big belly racing) reports in on his baja boning during the Baja 1000.

The self described, "Terrorist Hunter/wanna be film maker", Helm said, "We were hesitant to tell our story but not anymore... We were hired by Malcolm Smiths "Racing For Life" organization to shoot a tv show highlighting the race and at the same time raising money for the El Oasis Orphanage in VDT. We had written permission from the Mexican Government, Film Permits, Customs Dockets, Insurances, etc...[UNCONFIRMED] At RM 18 Malcolm was to hand the bike off to JN and get a ride back to start. When Malcolm arrived his chase truck was not there so one of my crew members offered to give the legend a ride back in a nondescript dually with no graphics. Just after dropping Malcolm off, the Mexican Military (not police) surrounded the truck with the young (20's) driver. They ordered him to follow the military vehicles which surrounded the truck. They "escorted" him to a military base out of town and detained him for three hours while they took the truck apart. After finding nothing they demanded $200 for their time. The driver turned his shorts pockets inside out to show he had absolutely no money. They threatened him and let him go. At the conclusion of the race, four crew members were driving back to states in the same truck when they were pulled over by a gang of Mexican Cops in TJ. The driver this time is savvy Mexico vet and tries to just "pay the fine" for driving too fast in a particular lane. All four occupants driven to the station where the truck is taken apart again and all the money held by the four guys was stolen, not asked for. All while shooting a TV documentary for one of their orphanages....hard not to be bitter..."

Baja Racing

Baja 1000 Class Victory for Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson is thankful that cattle stand just behind deer in God’s brain-bestowment line, because the cow that decided to put its head on Johnson’s lap while the motorcycle skimmed across a cattle guard could have, had it been quicker of brain and foot, placed its entire body in Johnson’s lap. Thankfully, the cow just stuck its head out far enough to get clipped by Johnson’s upper thigh. Didn’t even have time to moo before the lights went out.Bruised and bloody, only somewhat worse for the wear of various critters, humans and unexpected situations, Johnson made it to Cabo and scored a class victory last Wednesday in the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000. As for the cow? “I don’t think she was so fortunate,” Johnson said.

Welcome to Baja, where last week’s 40th anniversary run from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas delivered almost everything imaginable and otherwise. Crazed livestock, confused passenger traffic, booby traps, angry federales, accidents among chase vehicles, even a strange incident that began with a helicopter crash.Shortly after the start of the race, a helicopter became tangled in power lines and went down just yards from the course. Two people were killed. One, a guy whose name may or may not have been Pablo Gonzalez, may or may not have been a drug lord nicknamed “The Shark.” Or possibly he just had some impatient relatives eager to get him back home in time for his own funeral.At any rate, the next day some bad people with guns stormed the morgue in Ensenada, stole the body of the guy who may or may not have been named Pablo Gonzalez and took off. The law followed, and shots were fired. Two cops were killed. The body of the guy who may or may not have been named Pablo Gonzalez may or may not ever be seen again. At last report, nobody was certain which Mexican drug cartel employed him, but the assumption was that he was someone important and dangerous. Formerly, anyway.

Encounters with livestock aren't unusual for Baja bikers... As that story made the rounds at the finish line in Cabo, the reaction of the Baja 1000 competitors was typical. A shrug, followed by the declaration, “Well it is Mexico.” True that, hombres. Such is the beauty of this race, that it is a reflection of its surroundings. Baja isn’t just brutal and striking and wild; it’s also corrupt, disorganized, inconsistent, filthy and overwhelmed by poverty. It’s both lovely and confounding, intriguing and maddening.The race, too, makes no sense at times, and that is its primary challenge and unfailing attraction. The course, which changes each year, is a mishmash of public roads, private drives, remote trails and no roads at all. It runs across public and private land, through mountains and deserts and washes and dunes. For a time, Johnson’s teammates rode through fog so dense, headlights only made it worse.

Then, of course, there are the booby traps. Most riders and drivers will point out that a huge majority of the fans who line the course are supportive -- in fact, the race and its economic benefits are beloved throughout the Baja peninsula -- but there is an evil element that lies in wait to be entertained by a gringo flying off a motorcycle or ATV. Or by the possibility of disabling a leading truck or buggy.“Mainly they do it because they want to see some action,” Johnson says. “They don’t realize they can paralyze someone. I had a friend who was in a coma for a month and a half after he hit a booby trap a few years ago. They buried a telephone pole in the sand. Normally they just pile up some sand and you can motor through it, but you never know if they’ve put rocks underneath it. They’ll have the cameras out and be waiting for you. You always have to be careful.”Like every competitor in the Baja 1000, Johnson, a 52-year-old from Temecula, Calif., has volumes of stories about the race that has given him a half-dozen class victories over the past 15 years. His bike once lost power shortly after beginning its descent from a mountain summit. Marooned with no hope of being found until daybreak, he attempted to burn tumbleweeds to stay warm. Another story has a rider striking a wayward VW Bus, flying over the top, landing unhurt on the other side, picking up the badly damaged motorcycle and limping it to the next pit, where it was fixed.

The rider, of course, went on to finish the race. It’s not an ordeal only to the guys who can be ejected from their vehicles. Last year, one of the series’ most prominent truck teams encountered law enforcement officers infuriated when they believed the driver intentionally spun a load of gravel in their direction as he passed. The driver went to jail, the team continued on, and SCORE CEO Sal Fish delivered cash to spring the jailed driver.As cars, motorcycles, trucks, buggies and ATVs crossed the finish line on a dusty soccer field in Cabo last week, one cyclist lumbered across, eyes wide, helmet smashed, balance nearly gone. Radio reports said he’d gone down hard a few miles short of the finish line. Dazed, he picked up the bike and continued.

Crowds are usually supportive, but booby traps can catch competitors by surprise. When he arrived at the soccer field, he had no idea where he was or what had happened. He knew only that he’d just finished the Baja 1000 and he wanted his finishing pin, the medal each participant receives upon completing the race. Not sure what day it was or what planet he was on, but he wanted that pin. That pin is everything, mi amigo.What is it that draws people to this event? It can’t be the money. The Ford driven by Mark Post, Rob MacCachren and Carl Renezeder -- the winning entry in Trophy Truck, SCORE’s premier class -- produced somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 in prize money, slightly more if you throw in product and cash contingencies. Barely enough to cover fuel, certainly not enough to cover fuel and tires.Some say it’s the sake of the accomplishment. They liken it to running a marathon, in which runners abuse their bodies to the point of delusion for the sake of accomplishing something few others have accomplished. Others say it’s the ultimate test of man versus machine.

Or man and machine. Still others claim it’s the endorphins. Or the adrenaline. Or the rush.For Johnson, though, it’s about the camaraderie and bonding. He and his teammates -- Brett Helm, Louie Franco, Jon Ortner, Jeff Kaplan and Craig Adams -- were the first to arrive at the finish line in Class 40 -- motorcycles ridden by people aged 40 or older. Most guys Johnson’s age are contemplating retirement, but Johnson and his friends are contemplating their next 1,000-plus-mile ride across Mexico on a dirt bike. It’s their little club, it’s unique, and only they know what it’s like.“It’s a milestone that a lot of people recognize, but for me it’s a week or two weeks with my really good friends,” Johnson explains. “It’s always an experience, but it’s also a neat camaraderie. The Baja people, when you get into these little towns, are really down to earth and treat you very well. It makes you appreciate a lot of things, like the friends you’ve made over the years. It’s more of that than it is a trophy. It’s a club you join. When you start talking to the different guys, they all know what you’re talking about -- different terrain and certain mile markers and hitting cows and such.” As he sits in a plastic chair in a tent after riding for several hours over the final leg of the unspeakable and remarkable 1,296-mile journey, Johnson is bloody and sweaty and victorious. Exhausted, dehydrated and thrilled.And stranded. He has to wait at the finish line for the rest of his team, following some distance behind, to catch up so he can get a ride to a hotel for a shower and a nap.And a few days of storytelling among friends about hitting cows and such.

Baja Racing

Ryan Arciero Reports on his Baja 1000 Experience

Ryan Arciero Reports on his Baja 1000:

"We were affected as well on our team. It started with me and a couple of my guys heading down to Ensenada to prerun. We crossed the boarder at about 6:20am, still dark. They pulled us into secondary on the mexican side and I was in the passenger seat. There were two boarder guys on the driver side and one on my side. The guy on my side pulled out his cell phone and was talking to someone. He looked really out of place and was shaking really bad while he was on the phone. As we pulled out I had bad feeling in my gut as we proceeded to head out of town. I told Benny who was driving to follow the speed limit and don't put a wheel out of place. As we made our way up the hill out of TJ and then down the bottom, the road veers right to get on the road that will take you to Ensenada. As soon as we made the veer to the right a cop car pulled right up behind us and put his lights on. It was still dark and no cars in sight. After hearing the stories of the surfers we were not going to stop. It was in the same place. I told Benny to keep driving and get us to the first toll booth because at least there would be people there. He came up next to us light flashing and sirens going off. It was one of the worst feelings all of us ever felt. I told Benny to keep driving, don't look at them and just get us to the toll booth. The cop car had tinted windows, which I thought was strange as well and the passanger window was cracked. He then dropped back and everytime he would make an attempt to come up along side us Benny would pinch him off, still going the speed limit. As we approached the first toll booth he turned his lights off and turned around. Like I said we were all shaking, but more than anything just completely pissed off at the situation. I immediatley called Oscar Ramos and Oscar looked into the situation. I told him that I thought the entire problem is starting at the boarder. They are calling telling them who is coming and what vehicles they are.

We were lucky I think and I will never go through there again in the dark. It seems that most of the problems are taking place either at night or early in the morning. I think it might be a lot harder to do in the day when there are a bunch of people around. Maybe I am wrong but like I said I will never cross again at night.

We also had stuff once again stolen in Ensenada at the Coral Hotel. This is the second time this has happened to us. This is a guard gated place so I really believe it is an inside job. I know it happen to two or three other big name teams as well.

The only other issues were some of the guys on our team heading back got the shake down from the cops for doing nothing.

Sorry for making this so long but had to get it out and didn't have anyway to make it shorter."

Baja Racing

Baja 1000 Race Reports from Watson Imperial County

The 40th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 was good to some but a grueling race for others.For some locals, the record 1,296.39-mile race provided glory and several stories that will be told for generations. Tom Watson of El Centro and his team are celebrating their fourth consecutive SCORE Lite Class points championship after winning their class at the Baja 1000.
It was also the team’s second consecutive Baja 1000 win in its class — a first in the class since it started in 1997. To make that more exciting, the team entered the race with a two-point lead over the second-place team. “They were 30 seconds behind us at mile marker 1,200,” Watson said. “We had to race them the very last quarter.” While Watson and his team saw victory, the other team saw disappointment. The team ran off the road two miles from the finish line. To make things more difficult, Watson’s vehicle lost its third gear early in the race. We had to shift from first to second to fourth for 1,100 miles,” Watson said. “It was, really, a heart-breaker for those guys, but happy that every thing went good for us.” Calexico’s Carlos Albañez and his team also brought home the Class 5 points championship after finishing second in the class at the Baja 1000.
It was the team’s first points championship, and like Watson, the team faced major problems.
With about 800 miles to go, the car went down for about five hours with suspension problems.
“We thought we were sure going to choke,” Albañez said. The team went into the Baja 1000 in second in its class and needed only to finish in front of the first place team. “You’re right there, you see all the cars passing you by and you think you’re not going to do this,” Albañez said. But the team was able to fix the suspension and as luck would have it, the first-place team had major engine problems and didn’t finish. “I want to thank the whole team … I wouldn’t have been able to do anything and it really worked out,” Albañez said. One of the co-drivers, Mario Gastelum of El Centro, brought in the car for the last 200 miles. “He had most of the pressure,” Albañez said.

In the Protruck Class, Brawley’s Jimmy Nuckles helped his team win the race and points championship in that class. “They gave me the truck in the lead and all I had to do was win it — I had the easy part,” Nuckles said in a press release from SCORE. Nuckles and his team also won the race in the same class in 2005. For Imperial’s Jeff Carter and Chris Williams, the Baja 1000 was about getting experience. It was Carter’s first Baja 1000 while driving a KORE vehicle in the Stock Full Class and finished fourth at the race. “It was nice to finish. Those trucks go through a lot of punishment,” Carter said. “We’re real happy with it and we hope to come back again next year and do better.” The team doesn’t compete in the season series, just the Baja 1000. “It was a really great race; a little bit longer than usual, but for the 40th anniversary it was worth it,” Williams said. “I think any more and people would have been sick of it.”

Baja Racing

Kylberg Trumpets Finishing Baja 1000 over Dr. McDreamy

Holly Kylberg Beats Dr. McDreamy?

"High-profile socialite Holly Kylberg (she helmed the Denver area Nordstrom opening last month) is just back from the Baja 1000, the famously rugged 1,296-mile off-road race in Mexico. The six-member team included husband Rich Kylberg, Dutch Rehbun, Buzz Wiepking, Matt Autterson and his daughter Madison Autterson. Holly and Madison were two of very few dames in the race.

The good news: Team Kylberg finished in 46 hours, 22 minutes — and that’s more than four hours ahead of Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey’s team.

But Holly tells the press it wasn’t uneventful.They had to detour around a helicopter crash that killed two people, one of whom was the boss of a notorious Mexican drug cartel. His body was later stolen from the morgue by armed gunman in a caravan of eight-10 vehicles, later killed two police officers. “What a wild experience,” Holly said.

When Baja Racing got this story our first question was 'Who is Holly?'. But, our real question now is, how much did she spend in her Baja 1000 effort compared to the turnkey sum Dr. McDreamy paid for his performance. It's not like Ms.Kylberg's 'team' is any better of a desert racing pilots than actor Patrick Dempsey 'team'. That's being asserted in the story. But, of course, being a big-mouthed, 'socialite', Holly is throwing around her copius story.

Until Baja Racing receives more relative analysis regarding team classes, total team expenditures and team driving duty schedules for the recent Baja 1000, we just think men are better drivers than women. And this story wouldn't be known unless Ms. Kylberg pumped the press about her 'Baja 1000 performance'. Just another well-to-do yahoo.

Baja Racing

"Pistol" Pete Sohren Baja 1000 Race Report

“Pistol”Pete Takes 4th Place in Trophy Truck at the Baja 1000

Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) – “I can’t believe we finished” screamed a very excited and surprised Pete Sohren at the finish line of the 40th anniversary of the SCORE Baja 1000 in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. “Pistol” Pete and a team of less than 10 people including 1 navigator, a couple of co-riders, 3 chase teams and 1 co-driver got the #2 Schampa/Maxxis Trophy Truck off the starting line in Ensenada to the finish line 1,296.39 miles later in Cabo San Lucas. It was an amazing finish. “We nursed a broken third member for 100 miles” Pete said about his troubled rear end axle on the Gieser built Trophy Truck. This was Pete’s best finish in his history of racing the SCORE Baja 1000. At the finish line the team celebrated with “Pistol” Pete spraying champagne at cheering fans. His sponsor Andy Meyers- owner of Schampa clothing looked on smiling and said “you guys made it, congratulations!” The team took 4th place in the Trophy Truck division for this historic race. The next race for the #2 Schampa/Maxxis Trophy Truck will be in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in Laughlin, Nevada in January of 2008.

Baja Racing

Baja 1000 Vildosola Trophy Pre-Race Video

Team Donahoe Reports on Baja 1000 Race Results

Team Donahoe takes 2nd Place at 40th Baja 1000 cinching Class 3 Championship!

The Baja 1000. Mention the name and people the world over know what it is. To race it is tough. To finish it is a combination between skill, planning and luck. The Baja 1000 is truly a legend and this year Team Donahoe made its mark in the 40th running of the Baja 1000. We have returned home from this race with the Class 3 Championship in our hands!

The line up at the start of the race for Class 3 had 9 starters, but by the end of the 1,296 mile journey, only 2 survived to claim a finish. The 40th Baja 1000 was one of the roughest courses in years and it proved to be a challenge for the Team Donahoe/Nitto Tires/ KC Hilites Toyota FJ Cruiser. But the race truck was up to the task and finished in second place for the race in just over 41 hours. The finish meant that Team Donahoe cinched the 2007 championship for Class 3.

Team Donahoe’s journey began on Tuesday, November 13 at 12:39pm. This is when the Toyota FJ left the line in Ensenada and began its quest to make it to Cabo San Lucas within the 53 hour time limit. Along the route there were many adventures, but the FJ successfully crossed the finish line on Thursday at 6:27am with many, many stories under its hood.

Dylan Evans and Trevor Meeker took the FJ off the line at 12:39 pm. Their section was extremely rough and consumed more fuel than estimated. Because of this

the FJ ran out of fuel at race mile (rm) 196. The Team Donahoe chase crew came to the rescue on the course with 5 gallons of fuel and some locals had a bucket of fuel for the drivers as well. With the splash of fuel the FJ safely made it to its scheduled fuel stop and had a rough but trouble free run to Catavina where the FJ was handed off to Team Donahoe owner, Kreg Donahoe. The truck was into Catavina later than expected, but Kreg and long time co-driver Bob Bower were up to the task of making up for lost time. They sped out of the Baja Pits and were off into the night. Their section was the fastest of the 4 sections Team Donahoe had split the driving duties into and they were able to increase the average miles per hour by 13 mph. With a flawless run, Kreg handed the FJ off to Brady Helm and Pete Swift in San Ignacio. With the FJ running out of fuel early in the race, the chase teams made a change in the fuel strategy by dumping fuel before scheduled fuel stops. Brady went one further and told Kreg that there was a change in pit location. Instead of the driver’s change happening at the Baja Pits in San Ignacio – they were going to happen at the Pemex station in town. Kreg couldn’t stop laughing at the site he saw as he pulled in for his drivers change. Brady and Pete all suited up ready to go and a Pemex attendant at the ready, pump in hand waiting for Kreg to come in. As the gas station attendant fueled the FJ, (which runs on pump gas) the driving teams did a once over on the truck and changed places. From there Brady and Pete were off for their run to Insurgentes. Half way through Brady’s run he started noticing problems with fuel delivery. The problems plagued the truck all the way into the driver’s change in Insurgentes when Steve Krieger and Rob Hendrix got in the FJ for the final leg of the race. They had to stop several times to try and fix the fuel problem on the course. Finally at Santa Rita the entire chase crew caught up with the FJ now leading the race and began to asses the problem with the truck. Just as they were working on it, Current Class 3 Champion, Donald Moss who had been behind Team Donahoe, was coming into Santa Rita. The plans were changed and as Moss passed the pit, Team Donahoe was making the last quick

adjustments to the FJ back out on the course. The FJ left the pit 5 minutes behind Moss. Within minutes the deft driving of Steve and easy maneuverability of the bone stock V6 FJ, took back the lead from V8 powered Bronco of Moss. Team Donahoe thought we were home free for the finish and then the dreaded call came in. FJ was in trouble again. Moss regained the lead and the FJ needed to come in. The chase crews met the truck at Todos Santos. There we opted to take apart the fuel cell and found that the filter in the fuel cell was completely clogged. Once that was discarded; the FJ was sent on its way for a flawless run to the finish line. As Team Donahoe crossed the line at Thursday, November 15 at 6:27am for a second place finish, the entire Moss Bros team was waiting for us to congratulate us on our championship and for having been the 1st ones to break their streak in 5 years.

This race served as a test of more than will of Team Donahoe as well. We were testing the prototypes for the new KC Hilites 70 watt HID Pods. Taken out of the boxes for the first time and bolted onto the FJ, Team Donahoe turned the lights on at the start line and left them on for the duration of the race to see how they performed over 1296 miles and 41 hours of use and abuse. The lights never failed. They were on at the start line and were on at the finish line. They were so bright that the drivers felt like they were driving during the day. The spread of the light was perfect for the conditions in which they ran.

We were also testing the Donahoe Racing FJ Suspension system. The Baja 1000 is a great test for any suspension system and with the different and difficult terrain encountered on this course; the FJ’s suspension went through the ultimate test. During the 1st section it was so rough that it took out 25% of the field before rm 215. Donahoe Racing’s suspension had a problem free race and once again proved that Donahoe Racing suspension systems are Baja proven and championship worthy.

The Team Donahoe/Nitto Tire/KC HiLites FJ Cruiser had no flats on our off-the shelf Nitto Terra Grappler All Terrains. The tires that were on the truck at the start line were the same set on the truck at the finish line.

Baja Racing

Baja 1000 Race Report from G&R Racing

G&R Racing battles broken dreams and parts to finish SCORE Baja 1000

The 40th SCORE Baja 1000 race started off with a bang as Garron Cadiente rocketed off the starting line, sliding the #38 Rockstar Energy Drink / G&R Racing Trophy Truck sideways on the pavement through the first left turn. Cadiente made two more lefts, dropped into the wash, and continued to wow the spectators by launching the truck (full throttle) over ten feet in the air off the first jump. He disappeared into a cloud of dust, hoping to stay out front and bring home the trophy for the most prestigious off-road race in North America.

The #39 G&R Racing Trophy Truck, piloted by Baja veteran Ron Whitton, started deeper in the line-up, but quickly gained ground on those in front of him. Whitton ran into trouble early on, however, going off course and crashing his truck at race mile 35. “We came down this dirt road doing about 80mph and hit this huge g-out, launched what seemed like 15 feet into the air, nosed it in, and flipped end over end. We landed upside down in a pile of metal and dust. The front bumper tore off and came in through the cab nearly hitting me and my co-driver,” stated the bruised Whitton. Due to the damage sustained in the crash Whitton was unable to continue the race.

Cadiente had better luck and a near flawless afternoon. He lead the race for almost 700 miles, except for a few brief periods when he battled back and forth with BJ Baldwin and Rob MacCachren. Cadiente handed the #38 Rockstar Energy Drink G&R Racing Trophy Truck to second driver Todd Leduc at San Ignacio near race mile 690 in first place. Tires were changed, the truck was gassed up, and Leduc took off like a bat out of hell, adding immediately to the twenty-minute lead Cadiente had built. Leduc ran smooth with no flats or mechanical issues until race mile 956, just outside of San Javier. The “third member” failed and had to be replaced. “I could not believe the third member failed! We were flying! Everything was going right. The truck felt great and I know we were extending our lead. We got out and got it fixed as fast as we could and got going again. Only two vehicles passed us. We were still in the hunt for the overall.” said Leduc. The truck began to move towards the beach at Insurgentes, but was stopped again at race mile 1040. “The third member failed again, and there were no spares anywhere near us. It was a heartbreaker. We were right there, a couple hundred miles from the finish. We watched all the top guys pass us and that was hard,” stated the disappointed Leduc.

Cadiente had this to say about the disappointing finish; “We were up front the whole race. I felt really good and the truck was running great. We had some great battling back and forth with BJ and MacCachren. As a driver you dream of winning races like this. When we lost the rear end the first time we were still in it, but when it happen a second time we knew we were out of the hunt for the overall. I think this proves we are a threat at every race, not just the short rough ones. We got it to the finish though and still pulled a top ten. I want to extend a heartfelt thank-you to my entire team. They stayed out there and got us to the finish.” The #38 Rockstar Energy Drink G&R Racing Trophy Truck finished 7th in class with a final time of 29 hours and 19 minutes.

Check out G&R racing’s website for race results, photos and video of SCORE Baja 1000 at

Baja Racing

NHRA Lucas & Todd Baja 1000 Report

CABO SAN LUCAS, B.C., Mexico -- Their ride was short-lived, but young NHRA upstarts Morgan Lucas and J.R. Todd's first attempt at the 40th annual SCORE Tecate Baja 1000, the world's most famous desert race, still ended up being the thrill of a lifetime. Driving the Class 1 Lucas Oil Products/Torco Race Fuels Diablo Penhall/Chevy off-road vehicle with teammates Ed Hullinger and fellow drag racer John Spar, the Top Fuel tandem gained a whole new respect for the event and all that it stands for.

While completing a distance of 175 miles may not seem like much when compared to the 1, 296-miles needed to finish the race, the time Lucas and Todd spent behind the wheel was a harrowing experience unlike anything this drag racing duo had even seen. The field was comprised of 424 total entries from a SCORE-record, 44 states and 20 different countries, of which only 239 participants completed the Baja 1000 course. There were 28 Professional and six Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs marking the second largest field in the history of the desert classic.

“It was cool to say the least,” said Lucas. “You start the race going up a dirt mound where you shake the hand of Sal Fish, president of SCORE. After that, you drive off a little and that's when they give you the green light to go. J.R. and I were waiting our turn and watching the pair in front of us when we started to get excited. Those guys rev it up, drop the clutch and start blazing the tires taking off.

The drag racers wasted no time in hitting the (off)road with a hard leave.

“I looked over at J.R. and said, ‘Yeah, I guess we can do that, too!' We pulled up and when the starter raised his hand to begin the countdown, I brought up the motor up to around 4, 000 rpm and when he said 3-2-1, bam! I dropped the clutch and probably had a .000 (reaction time) on the Tree leaving out of there. It was exciting and fun, but coming around the first corner we had to take it slow going through town because of all the people lining the track. When we hit our first big jump we got some big air.”

Speeding out of Ensenada the pair quickly came up against the treacherous terrain for which this legendary race is known. Having to tackle some of the worst territory one could envision in an unfamiliar vehicle, a game yet inexperienced Lucas and Todd literally faced an uphill climb, and despite their best efforts it didn't take long before a mishap would prematurely sideline the young drivers.

“All five of my tear-offs were gone before we got out of town with all the mud that was in the washes,” grinned Lucas. “We finally hit the open road, where we encountered everything from having to dodge fire pits and other booby traps people had set up to having rocks thrown at us. It was an unforgettable experience, driving across terrain you couldn't imagine. Going into our first pit stop at the checkpoint, we had a real good sense of pride.

Lucas, right, drove while Todd navigated. "He did a great job," said Lucas.

“From there, we took off heading south, and were going along fine when we approached this one corner. Suddenly, the back end began to slide a little, and the right front tire caught a rock and popped the truck up on its side. We got it back down and started going again but had a problem with the engine backfiring. It blew the manifold hard enough to dislodge it. To make matters worse, we also had a small engine fire that we had to put out.

“It was one of those things that had all the aspects of a race like this -- we were on our side, climbing rock trails, going to through sand beds and silt beds. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would. I can't thank Ed Hullinger, John Spar, and all the guys on the team that contributed to making this happen. I just wish we could have gone a little further. I would definitely like to keep doing it. We had a pretty good time. You can't really explain what it was like unless you do it; it was unlike anything I've ever seen or done.”

Although a spectacular event of this nature has spurred Lucas' interest in pursuing more off-road events, for now he will definitely stick to his regular occupation of propelling himself down a quarter-mile dragstrip at speeds of over 330 mph.

Although their expedition ended too soon, both had a great time, and look forward to returning next year after completing the 2008 NHRA season.

“Drag racing is a lot of fun,” said Lucas. “It's what I know. It's my job and career choice. In the grand scheme of things we, as drivers, are able to do things that other people don't get a chance to do. I received the opportunity to attempt this race with my good friend, J.R. He's a great navigator. He was on the spot-on all the time, and could keep me in control when I needed to settle and slow down. It was one of those deals where we ran into some bad luck. Hopefully, we can come back next year and build on our effort this weekend. Maybe we'll try to do the Baja 250 or 500 next year and learn some more things. It would be nice to say that I finished the Baja 1000.”

First to cross the finish line was the No. 1 Honda CRF450X of the team of Robby Bell/Steve Hengeveld/Johnny Campbell/Kendall Norman, who conquered the grueling 1,296-mile course in an overall winning time of 24 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds. Bell, as rider of record, took the green flag in Ensenada Tuesday morning, followed by Norman, Campbell, and Hengeveld in capturing the checkered flag. The team's average speed over the tougher-than-usual course was 53.43 miles per hour.

While the American Honda teammates were the fastest vehicle in the demanding race, Mark Post, Rob MacCachren, and Carl Renezeder, split driving in the No. 3 Riviera Ford F-150 winning the featured SCORE Trophy-Truck division, leading all four-wheel vehicles to the finish line by covering the extremely demanding course in 25:21:25, with an average speed of 51.13mph.

Highlighting the difficulty of Lucas and Todd's initial off-road experience was the fact that only 13 of the 29 entries in their SCORE Class 1 truck division completed the entire distance.

Mexican tourism officials estimated a record crowd of 350,000 spread along the course the entire route from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas.

Baja Racing

Baja 1000 Report from Team Exile

Team Exile Baja 1000 Report

I'm looking up at a star filled sky...the constellations Pleiades and Orion are drifting silently through the night around the north star. The mesquite and chola wood fire is crackling by my side and I'm secretly hoping that no scorpions or tarantulas are making their way into my immediate vicinity. Yep, I'm back in's day two of the 40th anniversary Baja 1000 and I'm lying in the desert sand at 4 a.m. somewhere between the little town of Insurgentes and the littler town of San Juanico on the west coast of the Baja peninsula. Jay Manning is fast asleep in the chase truck, trying to get some shut eye before we hop in the car and finish the race that has already claimed around 60% of it's victims so far.

So far, Big Momma Baja has decided to raise her ugly head and put the hurt on everyone trying to cross her hallowed sandy ground. Overall, there have been 4 driver emergency medical airlifts , a helicopter crash that claimed two lives and critically injured two more and an uncountable number of vehicle crashes that ended the Baja dreams for those teams. Jesse James miscalculated a turn and put his $500,000.00 trophy truck into the Pacific Ocean. And we are just getting started. For the Bigfork team of Exile Motorsports, we have had a heckuva time as well. We lost our first transmission at race mile 14, limped the car all the way to the BF Goodrich pit stop at race mile 121, put in a new transmission and were back in the race with a 6 hour delay for the repairs. Even with the delay, we are still hanging in the top ten for the race...seems everyone is having a long day.

As I lay there contemplating the race, the desert, the stars and life in general, I'm listening to the radio traffic from all the different teams and the "Weatherman" (the emergency coordinator for the race). It sounds like a war zone: "Weatherman, Weatherman, this is Race 96a, I've got an injured driver at race mile 322, do you copy?" "Standby Race 96a, we've got lifeflight inbound to your area but it's going to be awhile...hang in there!" "Weatherman, Weatherman, this is Race 501x we have a rider with serious injuries at race mile so & so"'s been going on like this for hours. My thoughts are drifting between the injured drivers and their families, and the safety of my own crew. I know Roberto Zavala & Jake Batulis are screaming through the desert right now, weaving in and out of the carnage that Baja has created in the few short hours since the race started. I'm excited and anxious to get in the car myself...

Unfortunately, that won't happen. A few hours later into the morning we get radio traffic that our car is about 80 miles away from us, stuck in the silt with a flat tire and another broken transmission. 80 miles from us, and 300 miles from the finish, and just like that, Big Momma Baja puts the brakes on our journey for good at 900 miles into the race. It's been a long night in the desert and now the journey is over. I won't call it a complete loss however, as once again Baja gave me memories to last a lifetime. Laughing, joking & hanging with the locals from Ensenada all the way to Cabo, seeing the smiles on those little Mexican children's faces when we were handing out stickers or T-shirts, sharing fresh (and I mean FRESH) fish tacos with close friends in Loreto...yeah, it's been a great trip no matter what! I won't complain about watching the sun rise over the Sea of Cortez just in time to see whales breaching offshore, or watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean either...these are the little things that Baja gives back to you. Memories, friendships, laughter and absolute amazement at the beauty of the Baja desert and its people will occupy my thoughts and dreams until we make the journey back to race next year. Yep, I know it's crazy, but we will keep coming back to Baja no matter us nuts...maybe we are, but once you've been bitten by Baja, there's no turning back.

Baja Racing

Lucas, Todd, Radke & Graham NHRA do Baja 1000

Quarter-Milers Complete Baja 1000

Morgan Lucas and J.R. Todd weren't the only quarter-milers running the legendary SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 offroad. Funny Car driver Wyatt Radke, brother/crew chief Scott "Scoots" Graham, and some fellow former crewman not only raced in the fabled event but completed the 1,296-miles course with five driver/co-driver changes and only one flat tire in their Team RGR-EMPI-MooreParts 1/2 1600 racer.

"Basically we're all drag racers," said Radke. "Me, Scoots, Tommy Faust [Jerry Toliver's clutch guy, who only had a week from being on the road finishing at Pomona to heading for Baja], and Scott Hall, Rick Warren and Jeff Diebolt -- all former Bobby Baldwin crew guys and racers.

"We really impressed a lot of people. We prepared the car entirely ourselves, using a lot of our drag racing and sand rail knowledge in plumbing, welding, securing components, etc. The car even has a five-pound Coldfire fire bottle in it to make me feel at home.

"We did NO pre running, we went down there green: six rookies finished the second longest race in SCORE history, all drag racers and now off-road racers. We had a Wally Parks decal on the hood to signify our roots and a lot of our sponsors are carryovers from the drag race years as well. You can read the whole story and see more pictures on our website."

Baja Racing

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Vildolsola Racing Finishes 2nd in Baja 1000

Cabo San Lucas-

Vildosola Racing added another colorful chapter in the team’s history books at the 40th anniversary running of the Baja 1000. Gus and Tavo Vildosola teamed up for the third time this year in SCORE’s premier class, Trophy Truck, and put forth the best finish by a Mexican team ever in the events storied history.

After twelve hundred ninety six miles of the toughest terrain in Baja California and Baja California Sur, twenty-five hours, thirty two minutes and twenty seconds of nonstop action, Vildosola Racing was ten minutes and fifty-five seconds out of the coveted overall prize. “The reason I went from a class one buggy to a Trophy Truck was because it was the class I thought gave me the best chance of one day being the overall champion of the Baja 1000,” stated Gus.

“We were really close this year, we had some problems over the last 330 miles and that made it really difficult to keep pace with the Riviera truck but we are very happy with the progress the team, its drivers and the truck has made over the last couple of years, we feel we are ready to compete now for a long time.” The race came down to three trucks south of San Ignacio, the #38 Trophy Truck was leading, then the #3 Trophy Truck closely followed by our very own #4 Trophy Truck. The battle between Riviera and Vildosola persisted through San Juanico, La Purisima, Loreto and San Javier, over 260 miles where the trucks were no more than four minutes apart.

At RM 960, Vildosola lost the rear brakes and faded to over five minutes behind Rivera, soon after the #4 Trophy Truck suffered a broken rear coil-over spring and made steering the truck a challenge. This allowed the #3 Trophy Truck driven by Post, MacCachren & Renezeder to open up a comfortable lead and retain it all the way to the finish line.“We had a great battle going on with Rob, we knew we could keep pace and just try and finish close enough to beat them on corrected time or wait for them to make a mistake. Unfortunately our luck ran a little dry after San Javier and we had to slow down our pace with no rear brakes, then came a bigger blow when the rear spring broke,” said Tavo. “Overall we are very happy with the way everything ended up, the team did an excellent job, the boys at the shop prepared an excellent truck, and we feel that we are progressing, its my first year driving the Trophy Truck and I just keep getting more and more comfortable in it.

Hopefully this is a preview of things to come next year, we are ready to run a full SCORE season and roll the dice on a class championship.”

Baja Racing


LIVE! Mexican Radio & Race Replays.

Off Road, SoCal, Baja, the Race lifestyle.
" Rule #1 of Baja, Never, ever, never leave your vehicle unattended. Not even for a second. This was our golden rule during our trip and not a thing was stolen. Oh yeah, and the poor guy with the task of playing security for the truck had nothing but Mexican Radio....if he was lucky..." AlaskaBaja says!

And you thought Baja Racing News was in your face,

Rehn Calls Baja 1000 "Jerry Springer of Off Road"

Scott Rehn of CORR slams SCORE's Baja 1000.

On last nights radio show, "kinda-Totally Off Road", the radio show with no ratings and even lower listenership, so low in fact that no callers or call in questions are the norm, Scott Rehn of CORR, Championship Off Road Racing was playing cleanup as Pete Sohren left early to catch a plane, Scott came on as co-host and dropped the off road bombshell.

The recently finished SCORE Baja 1000 race, Scott Rehn commented, with "all the deaths, robbings and mayhem in Mexico", "it's the Jerry Springer Show of Off Road Racing".

Over six deaths in total now confirmed, numerous serious kidnappings; robberies; police shakedowns; and the very serious pointing of a rifle from a passing vehicle in downtown Ensenada, at RaceStar Andy Mcmillin and his immediate family. So serious, that Andy started an effort to Boycott any more off road racing in Baja, Mexico, until the matter is "handled" by Sal Fish and SCORE. An Andy Mcmillan trailer and Super Duty were stolen at gunpoint from the Chris Hall family. Who were kidnapped and treated like Baja garbage.

Scotts comments came only days after news of Chaser crashes, an infamous chopper crash all took numerous lives and tales of Baja Mexico horror storis are still being compiled, with no response from SCORE.

Gary Newsome
Baja Racing

Desert Assasins Baja 1000 video

Desert Assasins 2007 Baja 1000 Report
The 40th annual Baja 1000 was close to a dream race for the #16 Trophy Truck driven by Cameron Steele and Darren Hardesty. At the first major pit of the race, mile 206, the team was firmly in the lead group of Trophy Trucks and unofficially in the top five on time. The same was true at race mile 1170 along the Pacific Ocean with about 100 miles left to finish their quest.
“A combination of nearly 1200 race miles, having to dive straight through the silt at mile 1125 and having to avoid getting stuck by flogging her a little hard dashed our dream run” said driver Cameron Steele “we had a line around the silt at race mile 1175 and it was blocked by locals cars, I took another line I knew and had to get hard on the accelerator and over taxed the motor” continued Steele.

After nearly six hours of repair to get the truck back in the race the team would take their brand new Geiser Bros. truck with trial run Yokohama Tires to the finish line. “Everyone has worked so hard for this 1296 miles of Baja and we were able to deliver a top ten finish” said Steele. “I can’t believe how perfect this truck is to drive” said first time Trophy Truck driver Darren Hardesty “I was able to drive it with confidence like my class ten car and I think there are many wins in this trucks future” continued Hardesty.

“Steve Allen deserves a kiss for the power plant he builds, the Caddy was rockin’ like Dokken all day and any issues were driver induced”. Next up the #16 heads to the Geiser Bros shop to get ready for 2008, the Desert Assassins will release their schedule soon but the main focus will once again be the 2008 desert series and the Baja 1000.

Coming up for Cameron
Primm Nevada Dec 8th to host the 2007 desert series Off Roadsman awards where he has been nominated in the category he won in 2006, desert series Person of the year.
Cameron will be a commentator for two ESPN special events this New Years Eve in Las Vegas Nevada, a car back flip by Rhys Millen and a world record distance jump by Robbie Madison live on ESPN at midnight EST and PST respectively. In a dress?
Baja Racing

Glen Greer Wins Class 8 in 2007 Baja 1000

Glen Greer, driver of the Greer Bros. Racing / Toyo Tires Dodge truck, won Class 8 of the 40th Anniversary SCORE Baja 1000 on off-the-shelf 37X13.50R17 Toyo Open Country M/TR tires. Starting last in his class, Greer passed all of his competitors during an extended mileage race spanning a suspension pounding 1,296 miles across the harsh terrain of the Baja California peninsula. Greer's win is the second this year in the SCORE-International off-road racing series, as he also won the Class 8 truck category in the SCORE Terrible's Primm 300 in September.

Starting fourth in the trophy truck class, Robby Gordon, driving his Monster Energy / Toyo Tires Chevy truck, hoped to win a second consecutive Baja 1000 for Toyo. Gordon was strong until a miscue during a crucial pit stop left the truck running in the darkness for more than an hour, guided only by a hand held light. During that time, Gordon dropped to seventh in class. Once the problem was resolved, Gordon and co-driver Dale Ebberts made a remarkable charge to finish third in class. Finishing the race in 27 hours 12 minutes and 14 seconds, Gordon's truck was equipped with special 37X13.50R17 Open Country M/T-R tires by Toyo.

Additional Team ToyoT Off-Road drivers that competed in this year's Baja 1000 were Jesse Jones driving his Fabtech / Toyo Tires Ford trophy truck, also Scott Steinberger and David Sykes who teamed up in Steinberger's Fabtech / Toyo Tires / PCI Race Radios Ford trophy truck. Jones finished tenth in class, while Steinberger had to replace a faulty alternator to ultimately cross the finish line at 4:24 in the morning. "We congratulate Glen Greer on his Class 8 victory during the 2007 Baja 1000 as this demonstrates the durability of our Open Country M/T tires," said Ramses Perez, project manager of events, Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corporation. "All of our Toyo-equipped entries demonstrated the abilities of our tires in the most punishing terrain."

Baja Racing

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Robby Gordon Video Baja Racing News Choice!



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".


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!"

Baja Racing