Saturday, November 08, 2008

The La Rumorosa Ghost Stories "License to Kill" Baja 1000 Insider Stories

The Baja Insider: Baja 1000 2008: La Rumorosa Grade

Baja Safari has worked on many Hollywood Baja shoots, including Troy in Cabo San Lucas, yes ladies, with Brad Pitt. We did most of the horse wrangling and lots of 'lost' pilot shoots. The E! Entertainment 'Celebrity Adventure' pilot, in the southern Baja waterfalls, was one of our favs.

One of our first technical jobs was the "License To Kill", finale scene at the La Rumorosa grade. The film company had hired us for general field work, since the crew would be there for over a month and we spoke english. Most of the crew was from England and had never been in Mexico before and didn't speak spanish. We showed them the more entertaining haunts of Mexicali, Tijuana, Ensenada and Tecate. The town of Rumorosa, the coldest in Baja, has a great bakery and serves Cinnamon Coffee.

All of the semi-truck stunts, explosions and various stunts for the film was done at the La Rumorosa grade, Baja California Mexico. This years, 2008 Baja 1000 hits the grade area again!

We also had special 'talents' handling the local challenges, lets say. In those days the grade was made up of two asphalt lanes from the top of the grade, in pinon pine forests, to the bottom of the grade, in the lower Mexicali desert. Almost as dry as Death valley. Because the government was just starting to realign and rebuild the highway, the film crew had permission to use the newly closed road to do all its dangerous film shooting. Including stunts, explosives and time consuming star film work.

Now the highway to the bottom is a wide, safe, super-toll road. Except for the trail the racers will use in just a few days!

Baja Safari was able to make things easy for everyone with our intimate local knowledge and respect for the local culture. Including the spirit caves, curses and stories of the souls who had passed in car crashes on the very dangerous La Rumorosa road. If you get a chance to visit the exhibit at La Rumorosa, of INAH work there, maybe you'll see a ghost.


Spoiler: The explosion in the photo is NOT the one described in all the narratives. Look at the landscape in both shots. You'll need to speak with our INSIDER source to get THAT Ultra-classified information!

"A James Bond Ghost Story!

I have just acquired the DVD of the James Bond film, License To Kill. The documentary on the making of the film contains a very interesting story about how one area where they filmed was supposedly haunted.

For the film's climactic truck-chase scene, where Bond has to destroy a convoy of large trucks that are loaded with drugs, the producers were given permission to use a stretch of road in Mexico that had been closed due to the alarming number of fatal accidents there. The stretch of mountainous road consisted of many twists and turns as well as wide,level sections.

During filming, many accidents occurred, some minor and some quite serious. This is to be expected, you might say, in a movie with many dangerous stunts. However, some of these accidents were quite bizarre. A man fixing telegraph poles TWO MILES from where they were filming was hit and injured by a missile that went astray from the set! Timothy Dalton was close to death when a truck he was driving narrowly missed going over the edge of a cliff when another truck that shouldn't have been there veered into him.

It was the stories of ghosts and apparitions that really interested me. Strange, ghostly figures were seen in the area where the trucks were parked overnight. When challenged by the security guards, they simply vanished. A truck moved by itself and parked itself somewhere else!

But the best story came from Albert Wooster, the Second Unit Director. While filming the explosion in which the baddie (Robert Davi) is killed, he explains that behind him, one of the stuntmen was taking snapshots of the explosion for himself. Wooster (and the rest of the crew for that matter) was astounded when he was shown one particular photograph. It clearly showed a giant, flaming, clawed hand reaching out of the explosion! He was so amazed that when he tried going through the film of the explosion, frame by frame , to see if the other cameras had caught the bizarre phenomenon, none had."


Monday, November 03, 2008

Mr. Cisco Joins Baja Racing MySpace!

Baja Racing has alot of very cool friends on our MySpace page, but, none beats our New Friend, Mr. Cisco! CLICK HERE to visit his MySpace page. We are stoked! Welcome!

Baja Racing

Raptor-R The Race Version of the FORD RAPTOR Takes on the Baja 1000

November 3, 2008 UPDATE


FORD RAPTOR in Baja 1000 2008

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford’s new king of the off-road just found a best friend. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R, which features modified components, was developed by SVT and Ford Racing specifically to race in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 – one of the most grueling off-road races on the circuit.

“Ford’s commitment to using racing as a test bed for new technologies is expanding to the off-road arena with the F-150 SVT Raptor R,” said Brian Wolfe, Ford Racing Technology director. “Racing the new truck in the elite Baja 1000 is the ultimate off-road test and will allow Ford to evaluate how well the F-150 SVT Raptor will hold up under the most unique and extreme conditions.”

Prepared for racing in off-road endurance events, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R uses stock components of F-150 SVT Raptor, including the transmission, brakes and axles. The frame – the part of the truck that will take the most stress – is the same proven fully boxed frame that delivers class-leading towing and hauling in the base F-150. The race truck is powered by a specially calibrated 500 horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine.

While the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has off-road capability that isn’t available in any other production vehicle, the F-150 SVT Raptor R adds to that capability with enhancements to prepare it for one of the world’s best-known off-road races.

“The race truck has even more suspension, better approach and departure angles, more horsepower, more ground clearance, and full racing specification seats, safety cage and harnesses, all of which combine to make an even faster, more visceral off-road experience,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer.

Even if the typical Ford customer will not be putting their truck through the punishing paces of the Baja 1000, the point is this, they could.

“You can say the average customer is not likely to take their vehicle and enter it in the Baja 1000, but if you look at the things that happen in that 1000 kilometer race, over the life of a vehicle, you just might repeat those events,” said Hameedi. “Maybe not all day, but over that 100,000 miles, knowing the vehicle will stand up to the Baja 1000 is important to off-road enthusiast customers.”

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R not only emulates the ‘Built Ford Tough’ motto with its toughness and capability, but it also shows the level of high-performance vehicles that SVT develops.

“Raptor R is a natural SVT extension of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor,” said Hameedi. “It’s very analogous to what a race prepped Cobra R was to an SVT Cobra or what a Mustang FR500C is to a Mustang GT.”

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000 also serves as a test bed for the development of a lineup of race-proven, desert-tested, off-road performance parts that will be available through the Ford Racing catalog.

Ford Truck Motorsports has a successful past in off-road racing, sponsoring the desert endurance racing series “Best-in-the-Desert” with Ford trucks serving as the official vehicle.

Ford is bringing some of the best stock class off-road truck drivers together to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000.
The team includes driver of record Steve Oligos and co-drivers Randy Merritt, Greg Foutz and Bud Brutsman who will compete in class eight for moderately modified full-size pickup trucks.

The Baja 1000 will run from Nov. 20-23. The intense off-road endurance race runs from sea level to 7,000 ft. altitude over 1,000 kilometers of sand, rock and mountain passes on the Mexican Baja Peninsula.

Media Drive of the New Raptor at SEMA outside of Las Vegas

Baja Racing

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Baja 1000 Official Pre-Running Begins

Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

November 1, 2008 5 AM PST

Baja Racing Staff

As of this very moment, Official Pre-Running has begun for the Baja 1000 2008. The 41st running of the Old Lady of Off-Road racing, began this morning, here in Ensenada, Baja California, with many teams having breakfast, grabbing coffee and hitting the race course for a weekend of slamming, jamming and ramming across the Baja Mexico countryside.

In Baja North today, the weather is cool and will warm into the 90's out in the desert stretches of the 2008 Baja 1000 race course. So, many teams have been stocking up over-night getting provisions, water, food, extras for the long road of pre-running the race course. From Ensenada to the La Rumorosa Grade, to San Felipe is the long first leg. From San Felipe to the Pacific coast the second and from the sunny Pacific coast to the Finish line is the third leg.


"Elements of Mexican Navy (Naval Marines tasked for anti-crime details) and municipal police of the port of Ensenada (Federal and local cops), surrounded Ensenada from dawn of this Friday (Oct. 31), with the arrest of several people. Police would not comment on any details. Late Saturday, it was announced, one of the largest busts in Mexican history went down in Ensenada Friday and today. Nearly 2 tons of drugs and 400 million dollars, of American currency, was taken in Ensenada."

In most teams plans, at least three 'pre-runs' are planned, at least three long days of running the course, at speed, before the race starts on November 20th. Baja Racing will be LIVE! starting on November 18th, covering everything about this race event. From the food, drinks, events, parties and even the race itself, will be LIVE! Webcast here at Baja Racing DONT MISS THE FUN!


Baja Racing