Saturday, December 06, 2008

Baja Racing News BLOCKBUSTER! Jerry Whelchel Won The SUPERSHOW 2008 in August at San Jose del Cabo

The BLOCKBUSTER story of the American winner of the Southern Baja SUPERSHOW that was held in Cabo Mexico last August! The REAL WINNER was never revealed until NOW! Baja Racing

Baja Racing wishes to correct an earlier reported story. In August of this year, an event we promoted in association with PRO BAJA of southern Baja Mexico, the SUPERSHOW held at San Jose del Cabo.

We often use local reporters for information on local races. Salvador Ongay Martinez (known locally as Shaloy) reported on the race for Baja Racing News.

When Baja Racing recently interviewed the actual winner of the event, we wanted to correct the story. Congratulations to Jerry Whelchel, the actual Winner of the SUPERSHOW 2008!

The real story is that Whelchel was invited down to only do a demostration drive, not compete at the SUPERSHOW. When the great Jimmie Jeffries and Jerry got together in Los Cabos, they partnered to combine the Jeffries Team and Whelchels driving expertise, to win the event. Congratulations also to the Jeffries Team!

King Of
ACTUAL FINAL Trophy Trucks

1 Jerry Whelchel
2 Roberto Ross
3 Travis Coyne
4 Ernesto Cervantes

Baja Racing Corrected Story

SUPERSHOW 2008 in San Jose Del Cabo, Baja Sur, Mexico over the holiday weekend.



FINAL Trophy Trucks


Track racing of the Baja Sur teams, the last race of the season. Qualifying begins at 10 AM at the track with competitions begin at 6 PM local time. Advertised by the organizer: ProComp's Travis Coyne and Monster Energy Drink's Jerry Whelchel from the USA will compete. As advertised in Los Cabos by the organizer, these track meets will pit "Mexico vs. USA" drivers in off-road. Stay tuned for results this holiday weekend.

Rick James Welch, an American raced at San Jose over the weekend. Not, Jerry Welchel. This is a common practice in Baja Sur. Organizers say that a big name will race, they don't show, usually the organizers say equipment problems. This brings in the big crowds and pesos, fans gripe its not what they paid for and the circle of life in Baja Sur off-road racing continues

KING OF congratulates all the desert racers of Baja Sur in this weekends racing!


A little story out of southern Baja popped up "confirming" some north americans racing in San Jose del Cabo. The event, promoted by King of and sanctioned by PRO BAJA, will run on August 30, 2008. Located at the little off-road track north of town.

"Confirmed racers, Roberto Ross, Travis Coyne and Jerry Whelchel. Other racers include, Fito Ramirez, Valerio Gonzalez, Martin Avendano Juan Carlos Flores Andres Ruffo and Jay Manning.

The race classes in this track race are, Class 16, class 7 and class 12, with Trophy Truck and class 1. Two heats for each class following the results in both heats will determine the winner: in case of tie the result of the second heat will determine that wins the class. Inscriptions are of $300 and $500 for class 1 and TT. A jackpot $1,000.

As advertised: "By each enrolled car 10 would be given you happen (including pilot and copilot). The premiación is of: 16,12 and 7 are of $400 but 50% of category inscriptions. The superfree one (1 and TT) are $100.000 but 50% of category inscriptions. The first race this programmed for 5:30 p.m. and is the 16. The second heat of the 16 is to 8:30 p.m. The last race this programmed to initiate to 22:30 p.m. The premiación will be in the track of arrancones (next to the track " Luis Sandoval) at the end of the competitions. It is why the event will be of 3 days: --Friday 29: contingency and drawing: 2 drawings by category will be realised, one by each heat and All the positions are drawn for. Nobody takes place of reserved starting. --Saturday 30: competition--Sunday the 31st: premiación ** Practicas in track ONLY from the 23 to the 29 of August. The day of the competition they are not permitiran you practice."

The results of the race will be included in the KING Of BAJA competition for this years award. See KING OF


Sunday, November 30, 2008

SCORE Recognizes Contributions for 2008

2008 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year Award Winners

BJ Richardson,Class 1 & Overall Points Champion

Judy Smith Journalist—John Calvin, Dusty Times
Mechanic Andy McGraw, Banning Motorsports
Photographer—Durka Photo
Suzuki Rookie of the Year—Lee Banning, SCORE Lite
Person of the Year—Rob MacCachren, Riviera Racing
*Original Buggy Chassis Manufacturer—Jimco
*Engine Builder—Major Performance
$20,000 VW Bonus—Adam Pfankuch, K.I.T. Racing

*Determined by points, others by membership vote

Baja 1000 2008 Riviera Racing Report

Riviera Racing Report - Baja 1000 2008

41st SCORE Baja 1000 Title Escapes Reigning Trophy Truck Champions - Riviera Racing Finishes 4th Among World's Top Desert Racers

Nearly 300,000 fans lined the 631.35 mile race course cheering desert racers throughout the darkness of Baja's pitch black night

November 25, 2008 - Desert racing champions, Mark Post and Rob MacCachren, arrived at the start line of this year's SCORE Baja 1000 along the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center on Ensenada's Malecon. They donned nearly identical Riviera Racing Alpinestar Nomex race suits and mingled with fans and racers awaiting the start of this year's 631.35 mile race.

Nearby, the whispers from others were apparent as many looked on, speculating which driver would enter and start the #1 Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations SCORE Trophy Truck. Among the hustle and bustle of the start line activities, SCORE CEO - Sal Fish signaled the start of the 41st edition of the longest point-to-point race in the world, as fans and crews moved away from the roar of the 800 horsepower Trophy Trucks.

Rob MacCachren kicked his right leg into the cab and pulled himself behind the wheel of the winningest Trophy Truck ever. The BFGoodrich Tires shod FORD F-150 fired up the mean sounding Patton Racing Engine and lined up among the greatest off-road desert racers in the world for what would be yet again, another incredible SCORE Baja 1000.

For more than four decades, the SCORE Baja 1000 has been the ultimate test of man and machine and this year's race proved once again, racing throughout the mystical Baja Peninsula is not for the faint of heart.

MacCachren took the drop of the green flag just after 10:36 a.m. and began the race for Riviera Racing. The two weeks leading up to the event saw Rob MacCachren prepare for this adventure as he preran each of his two legs of the race over and over and over.

While MacCachren hit his marks early in the race, seated in the right seat of Riviera Racing's helicopter, Mark Post watched the action from above. Mark commented after the race, "Rob really performed well in that first 130-mile section. Our strategy heading into race day was to set a fast pace that would put us in position for a charge towards the Ensenada finish line from inside the final 150 miles."

With the army of Riviera Racing chase and pit crews strewn out throughout the race course, all systems were running near perfect, as the truck arrived to the 130-mile pit stop, where Post entered the race truck.

MacCachren exited the race truck and entered the chase truck explaining, "The truck ran perfect and we ran fairly hard to put this truck in the top five and so far everything is right on schedule. If we can stay close, we'll be there in the end."

Not long after Post accelerated away from Pit 1, a distressed radio communication came across the race radio frequency signaling that Post could not communicate with his co-driver, Kelly Courie.

The dream of the repeat Baja 1000 victory was slipping away ever so quickly. For nearly two-weeks, Post and Courie, ran their 300-mile section day after day, compiling 800 notes that were plotted into the race truck GPS unit. Those extensive notes were useless as Courie sat in the navigator's seat attempting to signal direction and major obstacles merely using hand gestures.

Post was relegated over the next 300-miles to race at top speeds using only his memory of prerunning for the last couple weeks. A near impossible task when racing against the world's top desert racers, using the latest in advanced racing technology, coupled with teamwork and dedication from a small army of supporters.

Hours later, Post exited the glossy black race truck and MacCachren got in for the final charge to Ensenada. Although, by that time the race leaders had gained too much distance to make up unless there was catastrophic failure by one or both of the top two teams.

What Rob didn't know was that his race night was about to become befuddled even more when racer Garron Cadiente was stopped on the race course unable to move his truck. Facing a steep embankment on one side and a short cliff on the other, MacCachren was relegated to push Cadiente out of the way in order to continue racing.

"We had no other choice than to push him out of the way in order to keep moving forward. That easy push from our truck ruined our front light bar alignment, making the lights nearly non-existent from race mile 460 onward," said the disappointed MacCachren.

It wasn't particular a glamorous day for the defending SCORE Baja 1000 champions. In hopes of repeating their 2007 SCORE Baja 1000 victory, they fell short by just less than one hour. Finishing the race in 13:31:11 and averaging 46.70 mph, the Riviera Racing Trophy Truck finished fourth overall. The winner claimed the victory in 12:40:33 averaging 49.81 mph.

Post said, "Rob MacCachren started this race and did a fantastic job. I got in at race mile 130 when we first gassed up. We were in position and then we immediately had communication problems. We couldn't talk, we had no navigation, no notes and we ended up getting behind a little bit there. Then Rob, when he got in his section, he was doing fine but then he lost his lights so we were going backwards for about the last 200 miles. We're happy to be in Ensenada. It's a great race, but we didn't have everything go right today to win."

Chasing the Rockstar/Makita/Monarch Grand Vacations #1 race truck was Rockstar General Manager, Mike Kelso. "I was up in the air with Post during the first 130 miles and it's truly incredible to see the amount of people alongside the race course. It was wild! When the race truck arrived to the Baja Fool's pit for the second driver change, I discovered they had built a small compound in the middle of the desert complete with food and drink and a few thousand of their favorite fans. It was a Rockstar Oasis in the Baja desert," commented the elated Rockstar VIP.

Riviera Racing ends the 2008 SCORE Desert Racing Series with a total of 386 points placing them in 3rd position overall among 44 total entries in the 2008 SCORE Trophy Truck point's championship.

Desert racing teams live and die by the character and personality behind them. However, the harsh Baja Peninsula does not differentiate among teams, personalities and the living characters that make up each and every team.

Baja is a story in and of itself and is only experienced by those who dare to venture into the remote deserts of the peninsula. Riviera Racing will return in 2009 with their well-known spirit and character creating an indelible impression on those that make racing in Baja so incredibly special.

Baja Racing

UTV Finish Baja 1000 2008 Bi-Polar Extreme Racing

Bi-Polar Extreme Racing of Yacolt drove the first two UTV-style vehicles to complete the desert endurance race. There were hills of all sizes. There was a cliff-side goat trail. And there was dust. Lots of dust.

None of that was a surprise to the Yacolt-based Bi-Polar Extreme Racing team. They have experienced the Baja 1000 endurance race several times.

What did surprise was the trouble-free nature of the Nov. 22 ride across the desert of Baja California.

Driving Arctic Cat Prowler utility terrain vehicles, Bi-Polar teams were the first two UTV class vehicles to reach the finish line. First, as in the first UTVs to ever complete the event.

UTVs are a cross between all-terrain vehicles and pickup trucks that were developed as work vehicles but in recent years have gained popularity as sport vehicles. Arctic Cat has been producing its Prowler UTV for two years.

Jim Creagan and co-driver Tim Wagner drove the winning UTV for the first 409 miles of the race, then handed the wheel to Chris Fallon and co-driver Aaron Bonner for the final 222 miles. It took 27 hours, 57 minutes and 20 seconds to finish. They averaged 22.6 mph.

Their top speed was near 40 mph, but the drivers spend most of the Baja race at lower speeds. Tight spots, hills, and silt, silt, and more silt challenge both the drivers’ attention and the vehicles’ durability.

The 2008 course was shorter than many of the previous 40 Baja 1000 desert races. This course was a 631-mile loop that included among its challenges a 60-mile stretch of small, mogul-type hills, and a narrow zigzag road down a 2,500-foot cliff.

“It was the most extreme terrain you can imagine,” Creagan said. “It was everything from mud, to solid rock, to dust so thick you could barely see beyond the front of the vehicle.”

Eight UTVs entered the 2008 Baja 1000. Three of them finished.

The Creagan-Fallon vehicle led its class by a comfortable margin most of the way. When Creagan turned over the wheel to Fallon, the team had a comfortable lead and plenty of time before the course closed to reach the finish line.

“I was pretty nervous,” Fallon said. “I knew when I got in we were in first and second place, and I didn’t want to be that guy” who made a race-ending mistake.

A year ago, the Bi-Polar team entered the new UTV class and ran for more than 800 miles before mechanical breakdowns. Another year of testing by Creagan and his team, and another year of improvements at the Arctic Cat headquarters in Minnesota provided a vehicle that not only became the first UTV to finish the grueling desert race, but did it without any breakdowns.

“I was just blown away that we had just done what no one had done before, and it was so easy,” Creagan said, describing the emotional reaction at the finish line.

Not far behind was the team’s second vehicle, driven by Shane Morgan, Scott Sorensen and Casey Squires, with co-drivers Tabor Cresap, Justin Serface, and Mike Conners. The second vehicle finished in 28:17:40.

Nine of the 10 drivers and co-drivers are Clark County residents.

Ted Bettin, the director of ATV engineering and ATV race manager for Arctic Cat, called the victory a tribute to teamwork.

“It is quite an honor to be the first side-by-side UTV to finish the Baja,” Bettin said, adding that getting two vehicles to the finish line in a class that had never before finished the race was special. “This is an historic accomplishment.”

Bettin said the time the Bi-Polar team invested in testing the vehicle and communicating with the staff at Arctic Cat headquarters in Minnesota is an example of how success can be achieved through teamwork across time zones.

“We came up with a package that worked, and it worked better than we could have imagined,” Creagan said.

While many of the vehicles that enter Baja are much-changed from a stock version, the only after-market part on the Bi-Polar UTVs was the shock absorbers.

Creagan’s Bi-Polar Extreme Racing also competes in snowmobile racing. Bi-Polar first entered the Baja 1000 in a dune buggy class four years ago. They also raced in a truck class before their snowmobile-racing connection led to an association with Arctic Cat for the UTV class of desert racing.

After investing thousands of hours in the project, Creagan said he felt the team needed to finish this race to reward Arctic Cat for its sponsorship.

“It was a make-or-break race for us as far as sponsorship (from Arctic Cat) was concerned. If we didn’t have some kind of success this time, we were probably done,” Creagan said. “I think it turned out OK.”

Bettin noted that many factors can keep a race team from finishing endurance races such as Baja, from mechanical failure to wrecks.

“In any kind of racing, any little nut and bolt can break” and end a team’s effort, Bettin said.

In this case, a perfect run led to a breakthrough result.

Paul Danzer
Columbian Staff Writer