Sunday, December 26, 2010

MAYHEM at the MIL Mike Jenkins and Josh Baldwin nearly kill bystanders


Gary Newsome, Editor
Baja Racing Expose:

 UPDATED! 2011 

The Marine who saved the lives of these American missionaries dies in base jumping incident

Kent Kroeker,
still is an "adrenline filled d-bag"

UPDATE: December 28, 2010
CLICK HERE FOR THE San Diego Union Story (Kent probably called the press to pump his name and his business)

CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE Because, SCORE surely isn't going to help these God-fearing people!

Editorial Note: Now, if it were the total responsibility of SCORE and Tom Willis (Chief of Bull Crap for SCORE), this victim would have died and SCORE would not have said a, F****** word or lifted a finger.
F*** YOU SCORE supporters!
That's why the Official position of Baja Racing is the victims of this tragedy should sue SCORE and everyone affiliated with them, for everything they own.
Mike Jenkins caused and ran from this event. Until the internet caught up with him, Baja Racing has received reports that he paid for the air-flight pictured in the video. Remember folks, it's never too late to do the right thing.
Gary Newsome
Baja Racing

From The Original Story
(Notice the Wisconsin Plate on the trailer used to haul the #86 out of Mexico, after the incident seen left on this page)
Baja Racing has learned this morning from Wisconsin State Officials, the trailer used in this photo in Mexico, hasn't had its required fees paid since 2008.

Current Situation Update:
As of today, December 10, There is a report that Mike Jenkins has met with the family on December 5th. On November 17, they caused a vehicle driven and used by American church people, to be totaled and numerous, life-threatening injuries to occur.
By the grace of God, they were saved. The story is outlined below. The bills are piling up and injuries continue to damage the affected families.
Time to lawyer up and seek your targets.
Who's at risk?
1. SCORE International, the people responsible for the rules and the race. They have the racers pay for insurance that only really protects SCORE. This is an almost automatic win for the victims, in court. We'll expand on this in later reports...
[Baja Racing Editor Gary Newsome has previously expressed an editorial point of view, that any pre-running done near town in Ensenada is dangerous and a violation of numerous international treaties as well as Mexican Federal and Baja California, State laws.
Such pre-running also violates numerous local laws. But, the local authorities are absolutely desperate for visitors and have limited the in-town pre-running to a 'minimum'. Gary thinks ALL pre-running west of Ojo Negros should be outlawed. This outrageous incident is testimony to the risks of any high-speed pre-running near the start line, in Ensenada, Mexico. Just to be upfront about our attitudes]
2. The driver. Mike Jenkins, owner of TRAXXAS. Deep pockets? The Mexican authorities clearly investigated and jailed Jenkins. He went to jail and was bailed out. Any other regular "American Joe", would still be there. How much was paid to get the driver out of the Ensenada jail? We are searching...
3. The truck owner, Josh Baldwin, Baldwin Racing and owner of Kane Development in Southern California. Deep pockets? Reportedly, Baldwin was several hundred miles south of the accident site when the incident occurred. It is not known whether Baldwin was jailed, nor how much it cost to get his pony out of the Mexican impound lot. If it were you or I, the truck would still be in there. Often in situations like this, it costs thousands of dollars to get your stuff out of Mexico, after you F*****-up this bad.
Interesting how the company Jenkins owns, TRAXXAS, told our reporter to "go after the owner of the truck". We are hunting...
4. The companies of TRAXXAS and Kane Development. Are they insured for these felonious acts that caused such great damage and almost deaths!? We have a reporter on this item...
5. All of the other associated chase teams, service providers and sponsors of this ill fated adventure. Will Baja Racing get to the bottom of this? Hell Yes!
How is the victim doing today?
""James had a rough session with PT this morning but figured out the problem and had a much better session this evening. He was able to sit up in the wheel chair for about 2 hours without much nausea - yeah! He impresses me with the progress he makes everyday, but it's no surprise given all the prayers for it and God on our side.""
""We finall got to talk to the case worker and tomorrow someone is coming from a rehab here in SD and they will assess James to see if he is "rehab worthy". If so he will be transfered where he will get intense therapy for a period of time (that's an unknown to us yet) and if he is not ready he will stay where we are. The low blood count may have a bearing on his worthiness so pray that steak pumped him up!! He has weaned himself off morphine the last few days and today decided he would try to cut down on the Percocet and the Oxycontin which proved to be a very bad decision because the good day ended badly with him in excruciating pain again. He will get back on top of the pain tonight I hope and tomorrow can be another forward moving day. I know I keep saying this but we are so overwhelmed with all the love and concern for James and Tyley.""
Stay tuned...

December 2, 2010
Here's what has been dug up from his Twitter account:
""OK, I relocated the actual tweet on twitlonger. Here is the actual tweet:

On Saturday 20th November 2010, @mikejenkins47 said:
(In reply to CaseyCurrie)

@CaseyCurrie @rodamp the Ampudias were so helpful and generous of their time. They came to the police station and oversaw everything until the insurance company posted my bail. Then Rodrigo Sr. arranged for us to retrieve our Trophy truck at 4:00 AM. Those guys left at 6:00 AM for San Ignacio where Jr was to jump in Vildosola's trophy truck for a stint. Good luck and fortune comes to people like the Ampudias! A win for their team is so deserving!

Here is the link

Here is one more tweet from mikejenkins47

On Saturday 20th November 2010, @mikejenkins47 said:
(In reply to gunnslinger)

@gunnslinger the plan was for me to start and race to San Ignacio. Josh Baldwin was then to take it to the finish. We fell victim to an unfortunate accident while shaking down the trophy truck that afternoon prior to the race however. We crested a hill around mike 15 to face traffic heading the opposite direction. I swerved to avoid the other car; they did not move. The trophy truck sustained damages that could not be repaired prior to the race. The driver and passenger were hurt, one severely. Fortunately, they are alive. Bad luck. Simply an accident. Hard to feel upset at the other party when they are in the hospital and will be in recovery for likely some time. Very expensive loss for our team and obviously a huge disappointment for all of us. Again, thank God I was able to move mostly off the road rather than hit them head on!

Here is the link

End of Report""

Just a couple of rich guys who don't want to come clean. No problemo!

They AREN'T PRIVATE CITIZENS, they're F****** Celebrities!
Just some more nuevo-riche trailer trash walking away from nearly killing people. We get that stuff all day long here at Baja Racing! And they haven't called the victims at all.
Is this new for desert off-road racing? No. As a matter of fact, this "familia" is also very adept at death threats against accident victims and sanctioning bodies ignoring horrific tales of death and destruction.

Seriously. This is what keeps us in business. The nearly constant flow of out-of-control, don't give a f*****, who litter the desert with carnage. Then, they either disappear or go online to issue death threats against anyone who can read a Bible. More LOADING>>>
December 1, 2010
Gary Powell dug up some good info:
""I discovered when I went back through tweets made the morning of the race, the morning of Nov 18th, mikejenkins47 had sent a tweet to rodamp and/or caseycurrie (not sure which as all tweets related have been deleted on all three pages) informing him that he (mikejenkins47) was let out of jail early that morning after insurance liability had been established and Ampudias posted bail for him. After which, rodamp responded at 6:34am; "glad you guys are all good!!". Mikejenkins47 went on to tweet that they then went over and got the TT out of impound with assistance. These tweets have since been deleted, only the rodamp response is still available to view.

So, it appears the police are involved and insurance liability has been established.""
The Original Reports: On Nov. 17, the night before the Baja 1000, two former Marines, were on a pre-run. Driving along the off-road desert racecourse at a safe brisk pace, the truck was dangerously overtaken at high speed by the No. 86 Traxxas trophy truck driven by Mike Jenkins and co-piloted by Josh Baldwin.
With the trophy truck’s horn blaring, Jenkins and Baldwin flew by the Ram Truck at what was believed to be 70 percent of race pace speed. Moments later, the two Marines found the destroyed trophy truck flipped over and broken up. Another vehicle was crushed and destroyed; a minivan driven by a civilian lost a head-on collision with the trophy truck.
Jenkins and Baldwin appeared to be unhurt but were confused and startled. The minivan’s driver lay trapped in a heap of metal. The members of the U.S. Marine Corps reserve — tried to save the driver. Using their first aid and combat medical training, climbed into the smoldering minivan.
After rescuing the driver that night near Ensenada, the Marines went on to finish in second place in the Baja 1000 in the team’s modified TRX4 Ram 1500.

Baja Racing has left messages for both Mike Jenkins and Josh Baldwin. TRAXXAS spokesmen are running from this story like the wind, trying to avoid any association. But, that's impossible. Its the TRAXXAS Team truck and Mike Jenkins has represented similar interests. The TORC Series, that TRAXXAS sponsors was contacted and had no information on this incident.
No SCORE rep will ever comment on this event. Sure, they'll claim no responsibility. So, its up to Jenkins and Baldwin. When the injured family gets a good attorney, they can sue everyone under the warm Mexican sun, in the United States court system. They can sue every sponsor, every affiliated support crew and the sanctioning body and their Mexican insurance services.
The damaged family has made it clear, no-one has contacted them to assist their plight. Desert off-road racing, how bad is this story going to get, its up to you!
Baja Racing left two messages for the rescuers in question, here is their story:
""The evening before the race, General Tire/KORE’s Kent Kroeker, his co-driver Jeremy Graczyck, KORE’s Colt Hubble and Jeremy’s dad, Jim were prerunning the start in KORE’s “TRX 4” – an uncaged, Ram 1500 moderately equipped with a radio and decent suspension. They were out to slowly recon the start a final time in order to identify booby traps, program some waypoints and make note of anything new.
About 20 miles from Ensenada, a trophy truck came up on them, hard on the horn at 70% race pace. Kroeker moved over in time and let them pass, remarking that, “****! The ****ing race is tomorrow morning.”

Five minutes later they crest a blind hill and find the TT rolled and, for the most part, destroyed. Another vehicle is also crushed and almost unidentifiable. Civilian traffic – some kind of mini van. An obvious head on collision, the result of the TT cresting the blind hill, as the co-driver stated, “
going only 50 mph”.

The TT driver and co driver are wandering around, unhurt in a zombie daze. The mini van is upside down, smoldering. Kroeker and Graczyck climb into the smoking vehicle, shouting orders. Jim and Colt secure the area from oncoming traffic, call EMT/Police and disconnect the battery.

Inside is a guy trapped in the crushed metal. He’s upside down with the dash and firewall crushing his legs. He’s bleeding out fast from his left arm which has severe lacerations, is 7/8 amputated with exposed bone and muscle just below the shoulder, brachial artery pumping him out. Kroeker gets under the guy and applies upward pressure on his torso with one hand, so he can breathe and compresses the open amputation with the other. The only thing holding the arm on was some tendon, the artery and some crushed bone.

Graczyck uses Kroeker’s knife to cut some seatbelt, throws it to Kroeker who tourniquets the artery. Colt tosses Kroeker a large screw driver to torque down the tourniquet. Graczyck makes a time hack, gets the guy’s age and name, vitals from Kroeker and writes it in his notebook. Kroeker talks the guy through – “hey buddy, you’re going to be fine- no big deal. Where are you from? I’m going to touch your ass – it’s not because I’m attracted to you, I’m checking your pelvic girdle for some things (creptitus) – just seeing where we need to keep pressure- you’re going to be fine…”

Most of the guy’s lower chin is torn off, Kroeker is laying under him in the broken glass, applying upward pressure, Graczyck is tearing apart the dash, ripping the seats out. Kroeker is a pilot and a FAC and Graczyck is a special operations JTAC – same school – ground Marines - close air support – from inside the car (still smoldering) they’re shouting orders to establish a DZ in the nearby field, get our VHF radio frequency to the supporting agency and start a fire with wet wood to give signal for a talk on.
Kroeker and Graczyck are the only Americans on scene who speak Spanish.
The locals comply. Colt (another Marine Officer) tells them they won’t launch a life flight from Brown Field for some reason or another. Somehow some O2 shows up and Colt gets it on the guy’s face.
Jeremy and Kroeker’s hands and arms are covered in cuts from pulling apart the car. The guy’s blood is everywhere. Smells like a fresh gut pile. They continue to pull the car apart. Mexican Police arrive first, then Mexican EMT. This is about 1.5-2 hours after the Marines arrive on scene.

Up to this point all this is pretty standard expeditionary, combat medicine. Stop the bleeding, start the breathing, protect the wound, treat for shock – ingrained in every Marine from day one- totally routine, JV-level stuff, all happening in a permissive environment (i.e. nobody is shooting at them while this is happening).

This is where it gets weird: At least six Mexican EMTs show up and stand around scratching their heads and assessing for about 30 minutes while Gracyzyck and Kroeker are telling them what to do in Spanish from inside the vehicle. Finally Kroeker gets out and tasks the TT co driver with holding up the vic’s body, so he can breathe. Kroeker then finds the Mex in charge, tells him to shore up the vehicle, find the jaws of life, pry bars etc. Colt and Jim actually show them how to use the equipment – where to attach the pneumatics etc. Kroeker places the jaws, gets back in the vehicle, moves his hands up the guy’s legs to his ankles and holds his hands on his feet while telling the jaws operator how far to expand. He gets one leg free and the guy is screaming in pain. Kroeker is now laying under him again, bench-pressing his torso up while freeing his leg and applying pressure on his armpit.

From inside the vehicle on the opposite side, Graczyck is backbriefing the EMT on time of incident, vitals and telling the EMT where and how to insert an IV and what meds to administer. Finally they get the other leg free and a back board inside the car. It takes Graczyck, Kroeker and two EMTs to move the vic upward onto the board and get him into a cervical collar.

They get the guy into the Ambulance and help the EMTs clean up the scene. The vic’s mother is on scene, Kroeker briefs her on what to do – there are two good hospitals in Ensendada and several clinics. Make sure he gets to a hospital and not a clinic. Permit the indig doctors to get him stable and wounds clean then immediately extract to San Diego. Do not permit the Mexicans to do surgery.

Anyway, that’s what happened. The latest news is that even though the guy's arm was hanging by a piece of meat the size of your thumb for many hours, it looks like it will be able to be saved. The guy is going to lose most if not all of his triceps however. He's not out of the woods yet. Broken pelvis, numerous open fractures, etc.""
The victim is doing better today! More LOADING NOW...
UPDATE December 5, 2010: The family reported today:
""The driver of the car in the accident and some others came from Houston to visit us. James and Tyley weren't ready to do that so Jeff and I spent well over an hour talking with them."" (Reportedly included the co-driver at the time of the accident and the Chief Financial Officer of TRAXXAS, with Mike Jenkins).
"17 days, 10 surgical procedures, 4 blood transfusions, 100 stitches, 50 stapes, 2 suppositories and most importantly 1000's of prayers later and we're out of the hospital and into a rehab facility!""

After some time in a Mexican Jail (how much $$$ did it take to get Jenkins out of Mexico?), Mike Jenkins spent a

week skiing at Steamboat Springs, Colorado: "Snow is great at Steamboat! Good time this week there.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

GMC Announces Sierra All Terrain HD Concept

From Detroit, GMC Reveals All Terrain HD Concept


The GMC Sierra All Terrain HD concept is an exploration of heavy-duty truck capability combined with greater off-road versatility. It is highlighted by a bold exterior design, enhanced all-terrain suspension and premium details expected of a GMC – all designed to enable greater access to off-road destinations.

The new 2011 Sierra HD underpins the All Terrain HD concept, with a modified, production-based 4WD chassis and the Duramax diesel/Allison 1000 six-speed powertrain. The enhanced suspension and unique body dimensions, including increased ground clearance and wider track, as well as greater approach/departure angles, deliver off-road capability while maintaining HD levels of payload and trailering capacity.

"The Sierra All Terrain HD concept takes GMC's outstanding new HD platform to the next level, marries it to the legendary Duramax diesel/Allison transmission, and provides a heavy-duty expression of GMC's premium All Terrain package," said Lisa Hutchinson, GMC product marketing director. "It delivers the exceptional capabilities of the Sierra HD – hauling, towing and performance – and applies them to the toughest driving environments. It's the ultimate professional-grade tool for construction crews, ranchers and adventurers whose activities aren't limited by where the pavement ends."

The Sierra All Terrain HD features a unique five-foot, eight-inch Crew Cab/short box body configuration that supports a wheels-at-the-corners proportion. Shorter in overall length than production Sierra HD models, the concept's dimensions contribute to greater approach/departure angles. Additional off-road elements include:

* Wider, 73-inch (1,853 mm) track for greater stability
* Approximately 3 inches (76 mm) greater ground clearance
* Custom front upper and lower control arms
* Specially constructed Fox off-road shocks with remote fluid reservoirs (integrated in the wheel house liners)
* Front and rear jounce shocks
* Electronic front stabilizer bar disconnection
* 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich KM2 "mud terrain" tires mounted on 20-inch machined aluminum wheels
* Full composite underbody protection.

"The capability-enhancing attributes of the Sierra All Terrain HD build on the already outstanding capabilities offered in the all-new production Sierra HD trucks," said Hutchinson. "Although it is strictly a concept, it is a pretty realistic one."

Purposeful design

From every angle, the All Terrain HD looks the part of a dedicated off-road performer, with bold, accentuated features complemented by a wide stance and tall profile.

Streamlined bumpers are designed to enhance approach/departure angles and incorporate frame-mounted recovery hooks – with integrated skid plates. A large, airflow-optimized grille maximizes cooling in tough conditions, while a forced-induction hood delivers more air to the Duramax diesel engine.

"The design of the All Terrain HD is an expression of its capabilities – strong, functional and absolutely professional grade," said Carl Zipfel, design manager. "We're excited about the design elements and exploring how they could apply to future GMCs."

Large fender flares stretch away from the body to cover the 35-inch-tall BFGoodrich tires. At the rear, the cargo box features lockable, lighted storage compartments, along with a number of tie-down cleats, including a pair in the bed floor and two on each side of the bed. A non-slip rubber pad is used on the tailgate, while two special compartments inside the cargo box provide access to a 110-volt power outlet and air compressor. A composite bed liner with a unique "circuit board" pattern provides a protective cover for the bed.

Motorized, deployable assist steps for the cab and cargo bed make it easier to enter and exit the All Terrain HD, while maximizing ground clearance during off-road driving. It also incorporates a number of industrial-grade lighting elements to provide greater visibility for safer driving where stars may be the only other source of illumination. The lighting details include:

* High-intensity LED headlamp, taillamp and fog lamp lighting mounted in impact-resistant composite housings and featuring edge-lit illumination
* High-intensity LED park and turn signal lamps
* Smooth-appearance front marker lamps integrated behind the top edge of the windshield glass
* Integrated center high-mounted stop lamp and rear marker lights mounted at the top edge of the rear window glass
* LED floodlights for the cargo bed and assist steps.

The All Terrain HD is painted Iridium Metallic – a dark charcoal color that reveals a reddish, anodized inflection when viewed from certain angles. It complements other anodized and satin-metal finishes on the exterior, which give the truck a more precise and functional appearance.

The interior matches the exterior aesthetic, with premium appointments and increased functionality, including enhanced lighting. It conveys solidity and precision, blending accent details such as stainless steel mesh and satin chrome with an amplified expression of the All Terrain's premium features. Two-tone dark gray leather seats, matched with embossed carbon fiber-style leather on the seating surfaces, have red contrast stitching. Additional leather-wrapped interior features include the steering wheel, instrument panel and center console.

A new navigation radio is also featured on the Sierra All Terrain HD concept and previews future radios to be offered in GMC vehicles. An integrated 80-gig hard drive contains map data for the navigation system. It eliminates the need for a map disc and provides greater storage of music from portable devices. It also features DVR-style "time lapse playback," which allows up to 20 minutes of recording/playback from the AM/FM/XM radio stations.

All Terrain chassis and suspension

Based on the chassis of the 2011 Sierra HD trucks, the All Terrain HD features a fully boxed steel frame with exceptional strength and torsional stiffness. It incorporates the production models' new independent front suspension and asymmetrical rear leaf-spring suspensions, but with a wider 73-inch (1,853 mm) track (front and rear) that enhances stability during off-road and highway driving. A production Sierra 2500HD has front and rear tracks of 68.8 inches (1,748 mm) and 67.3 inches (1,709 mm), respectively.

An increased ride height provides greater ground clearance of 21.1 inches (536 mm) at the rockers and 11.8 inches (300 mm) at the skid plates, while specialized Fox off-road shocks deliver exceptional damping on tough terrain. They were created specially for the All Terrain HD, with specific valving. The shocks feature visible, remote fluid reservoirs – connected to the shock bodies via custom hoses – mounted in the wheel house liners and are matched with front and rear jounce shocks. They add additional compression damping and more controlled rebound, which helps increase control, stability and handling.

The All Terrain HD also features electronic disconnection of the front stabilizer bar, which enables greater crawling capability on rocky terrain. The driver simply pushes a button inside the cab to disconnect it from the front suspension.

Custom upper and lower control arms for the front suspension are designed to work with the Fox off-road shocks and jounce shocks, while supporting the greater ground clearance and ride height. They contribute to the wider track, as do the aggressive 20-inch machined aluminum all-terrain wheels. The wheels are deep, with six split-spoke elements, and are constructed in a reverse drop-flange method that ensures optimal strength. They also feature a mix of satin chrome and anodized aluminum finishes, which provide durability and a premium appearance that complements the body's Iridium Metallic color.

A full composite underbody protection system shields the All Terrain HD's transmission, drivetrain, fuel tank, exhaust system and axle differentials. It starts with the front bumper, which rolls beneath the truck and leads to a composite, integral belly pan that covers a front suspension skid plate. Protective covers are also mounted beneath the driveline components, while the front and rear differentials feature direct-mounted skid plates. The rear bumper is integrated with the rear skid plate.

Powertrain details

The Sierra All Terrain HD concept is propelled by the new, production 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission powertrain combination offered in the 2011 Sierra HD trucks. The Duramax is rated at 397 horsepower (296 kW) and 765 lb.-ft. of torque (1,037 Nm).

The powerful 6.6L Duramax is more fuel-efficient – with up to 11-percent greater fuel economy than previous versions – and reduces NOx emissions by up to 63 percent. The powertrain's efficiency is assisted by the Allison 1000 transmission, which requires less engine power to funnel torque to the axles. It also incorporates a "smart" exhaust brake feature that helps save wear on the brakes on downhill grades, a feature available on production Sierra HDs.

With the same proven powertrain as production Sierra HD trucks, the All Terrain HD delivers comparable hauling and towing capabilities, including:

* Estimated payload capacity of 2,700 pounds (1,225 kg)
* Estimated conventional towing capacity of 13,000 pounds (5,896 kg)
* Estimated fifth-wheel towing capacity of 15,600 pounds (7,076 kg).

The Sierra All Terrain HD also features four-wheel drive, with automatic locking front and rear differentials, while the 14-inch, four-wheel disc brake system from the production Sierra HD provides the stopping power for this unique off-roader.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

BMW X5 VS Volkswagen Touareg

December 9 2010 at 03:14pm

IOL mot dec9 touareg vs x5 1


BMW X5 proved to be the better handler in the twisties, while the Touareg proved king of the outdoors thanks to adjustable air suspension.

Volkswagen’s second-generation Touareg SUV was unveiled in South Africa just over a month ago, while almost simultaneously BMW launched its facelifted X5.

Although the vehicles are two slightly different spins on the SUV theme – the Touareg purports to be the more capable offroader and the X5 the more tar-based vehicle – we decided to subject them to a comparison test as they still share enough crossover of abilities to find themselves on the same shortlist of many an aspirant weekend warrior.

Without artificially building up to some trumpet-blaring climax and confirm the obvious, we can confirm that the Touareg is indeed the more hardcore bundu basher while the X5’s talents are better served on tar, but the purpose of this shootout is to determine which vehicle makes the best all-rounder with the fewest compromises.

After all, SUV buyers have high expectations (as they should at the price) and modern SUVs are expected to be all-singing, all-dancing vehicles capable on just about any road surface.

For our comparison we chose the most powerful diesel models on offer in each range: the X5 40d selling for R759 169 is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo, straight-six diesel with a snarling 225kW and 600Nm; the Touareg 4.2-litre V8 turbodiesel retails for R776 000 and offers 250kW and a colossal 800Nm under the bonnet – even more than the 230kW/750Nm Touareg 5-litre V10 TDi it replaces.

The flagship Touareg has also taken a major price cut despite the power increase, as the outgoing V10 cost R881 735.

IOL mot dec9 touareg vs x5 2

Wooden steering wheel in Touareg feels great to use.


For such heavy behemoths these SUVs feel impressively responsive and really fly out of the starting gates, with the Beemer reaching the 100km/h mark in 7.7 seconds and the Touareg in just 6.7. They’re also child’s play to launch thanks to their automatic transmissions – just punch the throttle pedal and you’re doing hothatch-matching acceleration times.

Mighty cruising ability is common to both our contenders but it’s in overtaking that the Toureg’s 200Nm torque advantage really comes into play with the VW taking just 5.8 seconds to shoot from 60-120km/h, against the Beemer’s 7.7 secs. Not surprisingly, the bigger-muscled Toureg out-drinks the X5, averaging a consumption of 12.2 litres per 100km/h versus the BMW’s 11.1 litres.

The X5’s drivetrain is a little smoother with the typical strawberries-and-cream character of a straight six, versus the Touareg’s ever-so-slightly coarser V8. But they still both qualify as super refined and they coast along with minimal wind, road or mechanical noise intruding into the cabins.

There was a time when the cabin quality of a VW wasn’t quite in the BMW league, but Volksie’s made some great strides. The Touareg, with its plush leather, wood and neat trimmings, is in every way a match for the X5’s classy cabin; in fact the VW does it with a tad more styling flair than the Beemer’s elegant soberness – or was it just the charmingly smooth feel of the Touareg’s wooden steering wheel that swayed me?

There’s little to tell these two German SUVs apart in cabin space – both are large enough to swing a German Shepherd by the tail in. The Beemer has the slightly larger boot (620-1750 litres versus 580-1641 litres) and also the advantage of being optionally available with two extra seats if you need to lug seven passengers. The Touareg offers no third row.

Both the X5 and the Touareg are adorned with safety features and gadgets galore, and both do a good job of providing simple and intuitive user interfaces. The VW’s is possibly the easier of the two with its touchscreeen interface, though BMW’s iDrive system is also very user friendly.

IOL mot dec9 touareg vs x5 3

As with the Touareg, BMW X5 cabin finish is top notch.


In the ride and handling stakes there were few surprises, with the Touareg offering better ride comfort and the X5 the happier of the two in the twisties.

The Touareg unit we tested was equipped with optional height-adjustable air suspension which offers three settings to suit your driving mood: comfort, normal and sport.

But even in sport mode it offers better bump-soaking ability than the Beemer; the Touareg feels like you’re piloting your favourite armchair. For its size and bulk the VW really doesn’t handle too badly and can be pushed through twisty mountain passes at a fair lick.

For buyers seeking a sportscar on stilts the Beemer is the hands-down winner here, with its firmer suspension and sharper steering making it clearly the more agile of the two. BMWs have a way of shrinking around you and the X5, though also being a large behemoth, makes you feel like you’re piloting something smaller and lighter.

Offroad the X5 is a lot better than most people realise if you fit the right tyres (our test car had low-profiles). The Xdrive permanent all-wheel drive system, combined with dynamic stability control, is very good at maintaining traction in uneven and slippery turf and it also has generous ground clearance of 222mm to prevent belly-scraping.

The Touareg’s standard ride height is 220mm but can be raised up to a boulder-straddling 300mm with the optional air suspension if you’re really into hardcore eco-adventuring.

The VW’s also permanently all-wheel driven via its 4Motion system, and has a switch that allows you to select between “road” and “offroad” mode which instantly calibrates the ABS brakes, throttle and gearshift settings to suit.

Hill descent control is also standard in both vehicles, making for a far less sphincter-tightening experience on steep downhills.


These are two SUVs of formidable comfort, power and multi-terrain versatility, with decent fuel consumption to boot.

For day to day living I’d choose the more comfy-riding Touareg over the sharper-handling X5. After all, how much time does the average SUV spend being thrashed through mountain passes?

For all its extra power the VW also costs only R17 000 more than the Beemer, which gives it impressive value for money.

But the X5 optionally comes with a third row of seats which makes it the better choice for bigger families.

Baja Racing

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Los Ancianos Celebrates 50 Years!


Jesse Jones KING OF BAJA 2010 Announced!

December 6, 2010

Jesse Jones Trophy Truck #76 King Of Baja 2010
Jesse Jones named KING OF BAJA 2010 for his overall Baja Racing Performances in 2010 and Baja veteran racer Jesse Jones has earned the Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point championship by the closest margin in the 17-year history of the sport’s most spectacular racing class.
Jones will receive his awards Saturday in SoCal at the Atrium Hotel, located adjacent to John Wayne airport in Irvine, during the Annual SCORE Awards Night celebration honoring the 2010 SCORE Desert Series point champions, the winners of the 2010 SCORE Off-Roadsman of the Year awards and the 13 winners of the 2010 SCORE Toyota Milestone Awards. A total of 594 racers competed in the 2010 season, covering 2,122.90 dusty, dirty, grinding and grueling desert racing miles during the five-races.

Entering the season-ending Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race six points behind year-long leader and third generation desert racer Andy McMillin, Jones, 44, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., outlasted his much younger opponent in a desert duel for the ages to edge McMillin, 23, of National City, Calif., by just two points. With both drivers experiencing significant mechanical issues during the race down Mexico’s Baja California peninsula in late November from Ensenada to La Paz, Jones finished 12th out of 32 starters in SCORE Trophy-Truck as McMillin, who split driving in this year’s three SCORE Baja races with his father Scott, limped home in 20th place, giving Jones his second career SCORE class point championship since winning Class 8 for full-size trucks in 2001.

SCORE points are determined by equal starting and finishing points for all classes and placement position points based on the number of starters in each class for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs.

In a season where the racing has never been closer in the featured class for high-tech, 850-horsepower, unlimited production trucks, McMillin came out of the gate first by winning the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in January and Jones matched him by winning round 2 at the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, and McMillin surged ahead by winning June’s Tecate SCORE Baja 500 with help from his father Scott and Jones stayed close by winning round 4 at the SCORE Las Vegas Terrible’s Primm 300 in September prior to their duel down the mysteriously majestic Baja peninsula.

Jones ended his championship campaign with 445 points in his No. 76 Jones Motorsports Ford F-150 SCORE Trophy-Truck including his first two career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins with the McMillin, who now has four career SCORE Trophy-Truck race wins including three with his father Scott, very close behind with 443 total points in their No. 31 McMillin Realty Ford F-150.

The owner of an aerospace technology company based in the Phoenix area and the 2001 SCORE Class 8 season point champion, Jones drove solo in the first four races of the season and had help from legendary co-driver Larry Ragland, Cave Creek, Ariz., to help clinch his first career SCORE Overall and SCORE Trophy-Truck point championship.

Jesse Jones Team Pre-Run Vid from the BAJA 1000 2010