Saturday, July 25, 2009

Three found dead off-roading at Laguna Salada, Baja Mexico

Three found dead of heat exposure in Mexicali Desert Baja Mexico

Three people were found dead near a Jeep Cherokee that was off-road driving near Laguna Salada, Baja Mexico yesterday. Temperatures in the area had reached 112 degrees with an estimated heat index of 133 degrees.

After a search operation began at dawn, municipal and ministerial teams found the sun burned bodies of Yaneth Rodriguez, Jesus Valdez and his son's friend Arnold Acevedo, in a very hot section of the Laguna Salada, near Mexicali. Yesterday, teams found the Jeep Cherokee, buried to its driving hubs.

Rescue teams, a contingent of police officers and elements of the rescue group Aguiluchos and rescue dogs, began a tour type "comb" with a distance of ten meters between each other, to a group of bushes below which found the bodies of two adult, male, female and a juvenile male. For the status of the bodies could not reliably determine the identities, so they will have to wait the conclusion of the forensic expert to confirm the dead identities.

Baja Racing

Thursday, July 23, 2009

X-Raid Campos comments on the Baja Spain 2009 Repsol Team Confident



Baja Spain 2009 X-Raid Campos

The Portuguese pilot Felipe Campos (X-Raid BMW X3CC privateer) accumulates 16 participations in the Spanish Baja since he landed here for the first time in 1988. He has
been two times fourth and third last year. This 2009 he comes willing to finally win, which will be "a dream" for him. The chances are good and hard both: Involved in the X-Raid Crew Felipe Campos will start with Stéphane Peterhansel, Guerlain Chicherit, Joan "Nani" Roma and his private Teammate Bernardo Moniz Da Maia.

MR: How do you feel about the Baja Spain. What does it mean for you?

Campos: Baja Spain has a special meaning for me. My first participation in this event was in 1988 and from then until now I have more than a dozen
presences. It’s a fast race, physically demanding, mainly due to the heat felt in July. However, Baja Espanha is, above all, a big challenge.

MR: How was your experience in last year´s Baja?

Campos: The year 2008 was fantastic and in last Baja edition I got, for the first time, in the podium. Racing against official pilots is, for me, reason of great enthusiasm. It is challenging and always rewarding measure forces with them.

MR: What do you like the most of this race?

Campos: I really like to see official teams present, something that I consider positive, because, by the fact that we are trying to give our best
and drive at a fast pace, this allows us to develop. The tracks are fast and demanding at the driving level, something that gives me a great pleasure. On the other hand, we are always very well received, either by the organization or the other pilots.

MR: What do you find in dust and stones that you like so much to be a raids pilot?

Campos: It was always on this kind of tracks that I have raced. It was in this type of terrains that I did my entire racing career. I like, above all, the unexpected and only in this type of events it really exists. I continue to like a lot the dust and stones and I want to continue to race in all terrain events.

MR: What do you think about aragonese public/fans? Do they encourage you during the race?

Campos: I was always very well received and applauded by the Aragonese public/ fans during the several presences in this Baja and due to that I always try to give my best and present a good show.

MR: Who do you think is your harder opponent or rival?

Campos: By the technical conditions they have and the value of the pilots themselves, I think this year the X-Raid official pilots will be my biggest rivals.

MR: For the second year you have a BMW X3 CC prepared by X-RAID. How do you feel with it?

Campos: It’s, without doubt, the best car I drove until now. The BMW X3 CC has the ability of balance in a distinctive way power, agility, robustness and a suspension that makes it a real top car. It’s a unique racing car!

MR: Which are your objectives this year?

Campos: In this Baja I would like to fight for the victory and it is with this objective really present that I will race each of every specials.

MR: What will mean to you if you win the Spanish Baja?

Campos: It represents a dream! To offer Yser Racing Team the victory in this event and by doing that rewarding each of every team members by their effort and dedication in each event we participate is something that
would please me a lot.

MR: What distinguishes the Portuguese and Spanish Championship?

Campos: Unfortunately the Spanish Championship is not going to Portugal and vice-versa, as it did in the past. Trying to have more events with Portuguese and Spanish pilots I think it would increase the value of both competitions, and that would become, certainly, more “tasty” to the public, the media, etc.

MR: Would you like to ad something?

Campos: To wish everyone good luck!

BMW Debut at Baja Spain 2009

The German based X-raid Team will field five cars in the 2009 Baja Spain Aragon, round three of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, which takes place in the Aragón region of north-eastern Spain on July 24th-26th. The team recently clinched the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies for the third time. Newly-crowned champions, Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thörner, will be joined in the line-up of BMW X3 CCs by the team’s latest signings, Stéphane Peterhansel and Joan ‘Nani’ Roma, and a two-car Yser Racing Team entry from Portugal.

Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret joined the X-raid Team after the Transiberico Rally and before a recent test session around Erfoud in Morocco. They will make their BMW team competition debut across the demanding Spanish Baja stages, which are likely to be hot and dusty in the heat of a Spanish summer.

The pair is one of the most successful partnerships in FIA Cross-Country rallying history and won the Spanish event with the Mitsubishi factory team in 2007. The switch to the X-raid team sees the French duo renew their working association with Catalan driver Joan ‘Nani’ Roma, who also joined Sven Quandt’s team shortly before the recent Transiberico Rally and also benefited from the Moroccan test.

Roma won Baja Spain on a motorcycle on four occasions and was a winner of his home event in a car with the late Henri Magne in 2005. He teams up with the experienced Frenchman Michel Périn for a second time in Zaragoza. Perin won the event on three occasions (1993, 1995 and 1997) with Pierre Lartigue.

The two new crew line-ups will use the Baja Spain to gain as much experience of the X-raid team as possible. "I remember how special it was to win the Baja Spain for the first time in a car and I would like to experience that feeling again with X-raid," admitted Roma. "I joined the team for the first time in Transiberico and was impressed by the handling and strength of the car. The recent test was also very useful and I am looking for my first win with the team."

Chicherit, Peterhansel and Roma will be hoping to give the X-raid Team a third Baja Spain victory in the space of seven years - Luc Alphand won the event in a BMW X5 in 2003 and Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah was triumphant last year with Tina Thörner on his way to the FIA Baja title.

"We have a strong team line-up and the goal, of course, is to win the race. But we are also looking for ‘Nani’ and Stéphane to continue to gain experience in the car," said X-raid’s team director Sven Quandt. "We carried out eight days of testing in Morocco recently and our drivers drove for around 3,000km in total, with Guerlain joining our two new drivers near the end of the session. The outcome was that we realise there is still work to be done in several areas to bring the car up to the performance and reliability levels that we require. Baja Spain will enable us to continue with this program. It will not be easy to win this event. There are several good drivers on the entry list and the stages are always demanding."

Filipe Campos and Jaime Baptista finished third overall in last year’s Baja Spain, behind Al-Attiyah and Roma, and head the two-car Yser Rally Team, which also includes the second all-Portuguese crew of Bernardo Moniz da Maia and Joana Sotto-Mayor. Campos was an early leader of the recent Transiberico Rally where da Maia sealed a career-best third overall in his BMW X3 CC.

"The Yser Racing Team has achieved some good results in the Portuguese Championship," enthused Quandt. "Filipe was leading the Transiberico Rally for several stages and was showing great potential. Then Bernardo achieved a fine third place and further emphasised the improvements he has made in the last few seasons."

Administration checks and scrutineering for this year’s Baja Spain Aragón take place on Thursday (July 23rd) and Friday (July 24th) before the competitive action gets underway with leg one and a timed super special stage from 5.07pm on Friday afternoon.

The rally headquarters is based at the new Motorland Aragón motor sport complex in the outskirts of the town of Alcaniz. The off-road competition will take place in the area between Zaragoza, Huesca and Tervel on Saturday and Sunday. Leg two starts at 7.30am and runs through to 3.40pm, while the third and final leg begins at the earlier time of 6.15am and finishes just after 1pm. The televised podium finish is scheduled for 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

Top 10 starters at Baja Spain Aragon

01) Boris Gadasin (RUS)/ Vladimir Demyanenko (RUS) Proto G-Force
02) Tonni van Deijne (NL)/Wouter Rosegaar (NL) Mitsubishi Pajero
03) Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Tina Thoerner (S) BMW X3 CC
04) Joan Roma (E)/Michel Périn (F) BMW X3 CC
05) Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) BMW X3 CC
06) Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC
07) Artem Varentsov (RUS)/Roman Yelagim (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser
08) Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/TBA Schlesser-Buggy
09) Rui Sousa (P)/Carlos Silva (P) Isuzu D-Max
10) Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (B) Nissan Navara

Baja Racing

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baja fire burns riding and racing trails at the Constitution de 1857 National Park


TECATE, Baja California Norte-

A large wildfire is burning thousands of acres south of the border in old Mexico, at the National Park Constitution de 1857 near El Hongo, east of Tecate, Mexico. Hundreds of miles of off-road riding and racing trails are currently at risk. MORE DETAILS LOADING>>>

Sunday, July 19, 2009

SCORE SLAMS RACERS AGAIN! Goes Berserk! New racers association being formed to oppose SCORE scandal


Gary Newsome, Editor

UPDATED September 30, 2009


UPDATED 7-18-2009

The best chance desert racers have had to carve out their destiny is now in the hands of SCORE racers talking with Sal Fish about CRB, the review board and other matters including the Baja 500 2009 results is happening now.

Baja Racing is confident the racers will take hold of this time, before the Baja 1000 in November and create change. We hope the racers will make things happen, to level the racing field in terms of rules and how they are administered.

Gary Newsome

UPDATE 6-30-2009

From Andy Kirker an UPDATE: "A small group of racers and I met with Sal Fish of SCORE this afternoon to discuss the future of racing in Baja. We presented our general concerns and proposed several ideas which included many comments and solutions provided by all of you in the racing community. He was very receptive to our proposals. It was determined that the creation of a Competition Review Board (CRB) would indeed benefit everyone. The CRB will be assembled and immediately tasked to work out solutions in the following areas:

1. Provide clear and concise course definition and boundaries.
2. Devise appropriate formulas for assessing penalties for rules violations.
3. Address issues concerning tracking devices.
4. Source out a means to generate immediate results after the race.

We have a follow up meeting scheduled with SCORE the first week of August to further discuss the role of the CRB. Thank you all for your support and input."

The Original Baja Racing Story

In a move that has the potential to rock off-road racing, a new racers association is in the process of being formed. The PENALIZED RACERS ALLIANCE, is "a coalition urging action by SCORE International to have a competition review of how the scoring of the 500 went down".

Formed recently by Andy Kirker, he said, "It's just a name, but is does cover about 90% of us. The main thing is that I doubt anyone is happy about the way things happened and now there will be a larger group to talk to SCORE International instead of a couple of random individual phone calls". Citing the recent SCORE International scandal at the Baja 500 Kirker said, "I feel we all got penalized."

Could this be the start of the long awaited racers association that many in off-road have been waiting for? Many badly needed associations were formed around a single issue that damaged specific peoples interests. Calling everybody racing with SCORE International, "cheaters", is certainly game. The recent SCORE scandal did just that.

The recently formed short course racers association has been successful at addressing issues dealing with both professional and amateur shortcourse racers. Many believe a racers association is long overdue and it was simply a matter of time before some calamatous event happened to bring the racers together.

Associations, effectively join the common interests of many different people together for a common, mutual benefit. A single voice, speaking for the racers would also benefit SCORE International, simplifying its communications for racing events.

They have produced a petition to begin their organizing:

"We the undersigned have participated in the 2009 SCORE Baja 500 as a racer, chase crew or card carrying member of SCORE-International and object to the procedure in which penalties were handed out to 90% of the entrants. We believe the manner by which these actions were taken by SCORE have been detrimental to the sport of off-road racing. We support the idea of having an immediate competition review board meeting to review the scoring of the 2009 Baja 500. We approve of a board comprised of active competitors and SCORE officials to collectively work together to solve these issues and further define the procedures with clarity for scoring future races.

Petition produced:


Baja Racing will closely follow these developments and report here.