Saturday, March 14, 2009

SSI RACE TEAM Crew Chief Official Report SCORE San Felipe Baja 250

The SCORE San Felipe Baja 250 experience was epic.
SSI sponsored two teams. 6X and 203A

6x Honda,
Chuck Neugebauer and Arturo Rodriguez.. This team was by far the fast and looked
like a possible winner.

203A Las Chicas
Felicia Rodriguez, Kali Cruz, Skyler Blaise, Charlie Gillian
The team solid in their class and looked to a class win and
a finish.
Team 203A started well and 1st rider Felicia Rodriguez hit it hard through the whoops. Felicia handed off to Kali Cruz at the zoo road cross. Kali stated that she had to navigate through hundreds of spectators trying to high five her. Many booby traps and boulders were in the area. Kali, in an attempt to avoid a spectator, hit a boulder and rolled. She was able to right the 600 lb, Honda 650 Rincon and continued. She went hard and handed off to Skyler at Baja Pit 1. Skyler then used her fluid riding style to bring it through to check point 1 in under anticipated time. Charlie was waiting at check point 1. All going better than expected, a decision was made to make a run to Check point 2, ahead of the Trophy Trucks that start three hours later and would be overtaking soon after that point. Charlie raced off and cleared through check point 2. Trophy Trucks now approaching. Our spotters confirmed dust clouds and chase helicopter in site and felt that the TT’s would overtake her about mile 109 at the windmill. A decision was made at check point 2 to continue and as trained to hide out when overtaken and proceed when clear.

Team 6X started 6th off the line in front of 7X Cameron Steele, and ran hard through
the surf section and was living up to expectation. But, over the night many
booby traps and rocks (boulder size were laid out) 6 foot ditches were
dug near the boulders. 6X jumped a ditch and avoiding a boulder punched
a tree branch through the tank and had to go back to change the out the
gas tank. 6X got back on the course and with full intent on now just
finishing. He then hit it hard through the whoops making up ground.
When 6X came close check 1. Reluctantly, the decision was made to now to not finish and just chase 203A. 6X had now the job of making up much lost ground and catch Las Chicas, who had now all ready cleared check point one ahead of schedule and were near clearing check point 2. . Rider Arturo Rodriguez then began to make up ground mile by mile, out of check point 1 through check point 2 in record setting times through our time check points to catch 203A.
6x caught 203a approaching check 3 and passed her in order
to scout in front of 203A, anticipating trophy trucks approaching and find out
spots and open areas to hang out and work around the bigger faster cars.
6X starter, Chuck Neugebauer was waiting at Baja pit 4 just after check 3 to change out with rider Arturo Rodriguez. No
arrival 6X or 203A they were lost. Very concerned, Mayday Mayday, weather man. No contact
for about one agonizing hour.

1400: at Baja Pits check 4

6X comes flying into the pit in what appeared to be a panic. Screaming
for a quick fuel and damage check on left side and yelling “TT collision” TT collision”.
Seeing that Arturo was not right and that he was going to try and
takeoff, the Baja Pits Carlos and crew tackled and wrestled him to the
ground. Then Arturo now coming down from his excitement, stated, blithering in Spanish
“ I was brushed by a Trophy Truck in a dice and went over the bars “. The
bike had left side damage and Arturo could not continue but as Crew. I, Donny Razon, Crew Chief, reluctantly called it quits for 6X for the day.
Then, in a screaming match with Arturo, (he did not understand that 203A was lost on the
course). Arturo then began repeating TT over and over in classic concussion symptoms. Baja Pits repaired the bike calmed and controlled Arturo and radioed
for medics. Then the search for 203A began, and BLESS weather man and weather man relay got the message out.
Just as Chuck Neugebauer geared up fired up the Honda XR 650 and was preparing to back run the course in search for 203A (not a smart thing to do). Charlie Gillian on 203A came limping in holding her side and got off the 203A Rincon Quad and would not let
anyone near.
After much calming again by the saints (Baja Pits crew) she told us the story. She said that she had followed her
training and that she heard a Trophy Truck coming and that the area was somewhat open. Charlie went on to say, that she followed her training
just rode right over the berm and as she cleared the top of the berm, the TT
clipped her left rear corner and caused an end over end crash into a tree. She then went on to
say that there was no horn warning and no check for injuries by the TT. “ I feel that this is just racing and that I should not have been in his way” Charlie said.
The Paramedic then arrived and checked both riders. This is a SCORE provided service and the crews are all over the course in new Hummers. Arturo had a minor concussion and Charlie had bruised ribs, lot’s of aches and pains. Full MRI to follow on both. But, they both wanted to continue and had to be argued off the bikes.
I cannot be prouder of these teams, stated 6X rider Chuck Neugebauer stated. Chuck went on to say “ SCORE was there, I was panic and should not have attempted to ride the course back. I am very grateful to Carlos and his Baja Pits race crew. The weather man and weather man relay were there. I have been guilty of saying that the weatherman was a dinosaur. I now know and respect this man and his operation. Our high tech satellite system broke down, our Motorola’s were out of range. The weatherman got the message out and SCORE Com was right on it also. The medics were well trained and equipped. As a lifelong fireman, I know what good treatment is.
The incident, while seeming impossible, was verified and blue and silver paint was found. I will not believe that a SCORE member would not signal and stop. They only reported that it was a blue TT and could not remember any markings or numbers. I choose to believe that this was a private person, masquerading as a racer and running the course, I have seen it before. All’s well, more training, training, training and looking to the 500” We just had a team prayer vigil for the Cops team.

This was our opener and a good one. Many new friends and much new school. We survived and raced pro. We will be in the SCORE Baja 500.
Thanks and condolences to injured people.
Congratulations to all the winners
Donny Razon
SSI Racing
Crew Chief

Baja Racing

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SWAT Cancels Spring Break in San Felipe for 2009

SWAT, Big travel firm cuts trips to Baja, citing violence

The crime crisis in Mexico has forced a major West Coast travel firm to cancel its upcoming spring break trips to Baja California.

Summer Winter Action Tours (SWAT) of Costa Mesa says the thousands of students who planned to head south will instead travel to Palm Springs. Travel alerts have been issued for over a year regarding rising drug cartel-related crime in northern Mexico.

The Los Angeles branch of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also recently urged students to avoid northern Baja California during spring break.

SWAT has been sending students to Mexico for the last 12 years and, in a website post, insists that "San Felipe is one of the safest destinations in all of Baja California and Mexico."

"However, because so many of our existing customers and their families are concerned by the recent Mexico travel alerts issued by various agencies, SWAT has made the decision to provide our customers with peace of mind for their SWAT Spring Break 2009 experience," the statement continued.

Colleges sending students on spring break include: Cal State Fullerton, Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, Cal State Long Beach, Orange Coast College, Cal Lutheran and Arizona State University. In a March 2 warning, the ATF issued a warning specifically cautioning against student trips to Tijuana and Rosarito Beach. Some students on SWAT tours would have had to pass through Tijuana on the drive to San Felipe.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dave Despain rides with Wide Open Baja at the San Felipe 250 this weekend

Yes, it was confirmed by Dave himself, last night, on his widely watched motorsports show, Wind Tunnel, that he'll be riding with Wide Open at the San Felipe 250 on Saturday.

Remember, Dave did a great job at the 40th event that Marty Fiolka choked on.

Baja Racing will be tracking and reporting on Dave Despains progress, in depth, all throughout the race on Saturday, March 14. STAY TUNED!