Trip Report - My Baja 1000

az_amsoil

Amsoil Arizona - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 22, 2009
593
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So after 1042.1 miles driven, I made it home on Saturday evening and could put together some thoughts on my 2011 Baja 1000 trip.

As some of you may or may not know, I have the opportunity to help crew the All German Motorsports #15 Trophy Truck in the SCORE series. This truck was just built and the Baja 1000 was being treated as a "test" race to see how the truck would perform and what we needed to improve upon before next season. The basic outlook for the race was: maintain a 50+mph average and IF we were in the front and had a chance to compete for the win (at the end of the race), then push harder to get a win.

The race hit a snag at the very beginning, 14 trucks got off the line and were stopped at race mile (RM) 4 with a tractor trailer blocking the course. We were the 19 vehicle to start, so we never left the line before SCORE stopped the race (never before had SCORE stopped a race)! After about and hour delay, the rest of the TT field was escorted up to RM4 and a restart was performed.

We encountered two broken wheels within the first ~200 miles of the race. I do not know if these were different wheels than "normal", but after those two we had no further issues through-out the race. Our pits, which were visual and/or emergency pits, were setup at RM91, RM240 & RM411. It was a long day of nothing (a good thing). The car blew by us at RM91 and was running strong (minus one broken wheel at that point). We packed up and blazed down to RM240. After a brief delay at a military checkpoint, couple of stickers and a smile :D, we hit a knarly, washed out dirt road for ~18 miles to RM240. The slow going nearly cost us the visual as we made it about 20 minutes before the truck blasted through and on its way. Pack up and move on...

Our next pit was 14 miles back down the same road, but at RM411. So we got there and had plenty of time to set-up and wait...and wait...and wait. Car blasted by us around 9:18PM and was doing great. We packed up and made our way into San Felipe for the night. Our last update was the truck was still moving and approaching RM500. All was good...goodnight!

Well we wake up in the morning to find out that at some point (not sure the RM number), the truck blew up a tranny. The team changed it out and sent the truck back out to finish its first race and test run. We finished 20th overall and 12th in class (just over 4 hours after McMillian crossed the line to win the 1000). Just finishing is a win for us. This was an untested truck and the success rate at the Baja 1000 is historically around 50%.

As a side note, there was a great story of sheer determination to finish and all out teamwork by two teams this year. The #7 Trophy truck (R-8 Trophy light) and #1802 (Polaris RZR XP), that took 36 hours to finish the race. The #7 suffered from breakdown after breakdown, but through sheer will, kept going...#1802 is a epic STORY:

(I took this from race desert, member Darryl Dunlap as it gives the backstory):

"At close to 2am PST, Team 1802 and TT7 crossed the finishline of the Baja 1000. It was probably the hardest fought battle in the entire race. Nearly 24 hours earlier, a wrong turn put 1802 far off course. By the time they corrected, they had traveled over 100 extra miles. They continued to run the course, maintaining 2nd place even with the detour.

SCORE Ops shut down the finishline at 10:18PST, but one of the largest outpourings of support rallied to the point that officials allowed them to continue the race. Volunteers went out to the checkpoints and manned them so the race could continue. At the same time, Trophy Truck #7 was fighting to finish also. They had mechanical breakdown after mechanical breakdown. Their team even managed to go in and rescue 2 cars that had plunged over a cliff. Finally, with the support of the entire off-road community, their support crews linked up with 1802's. And both racers ended up escorting each other across a finishline that was still surrounded by hundreds of fans, cheering them on. The level of support for these two teams would make any pro racer envious.

And to make things even more dramatic, the driver of Team 1802, Kane Fraser, had never raced a motorized competition before entering this Baja. He had never even seen a desert before arriving for the race. But biggest of all, he is a paraplegic, racing to raise money for charity and to show others, that a disabiity shouldn't stop you from your dreams. Kane persevered for 700 miles over 36 hours. He never let up, he never whined, he kept a smile on his face and moved ahead, 1 mile at a time...and TT #7 was right by their side, battling their own demons to finish this race, but together, they helped each other and MADE IT ACROSS!

So while many out there slept in the comfort of their beds, he proved not only his commitment, but he brought a community of off-road racers and their fans together. This is the same level of community I saw during a racing tragedy over a year ago, proving to me, the brotherhood of off-roading is one of the best there is."


If ANY of you can attend, please check out this event tomorrow. You'll meet both teams and talk with people who made this years Baja 1000 very special:

TOMORROW NIGHT (Monday 11/21) at Daily's Sports Grill at 7pm, the entire 1802 team along with drivers and crew of Trophy Truck #7 will be on hand to celebrate one of the most inspirational Baja stories to ever unfold.

This is YOUR chance to shake hands with these amazing individuals and get to know them for the great people that they are. I invite EVERYBODY to join in these crazy Canadians (Aye') and myself along with RDC and UTV Underground staff in an evening filled with fun and celebration!!

Azunia Tequila drink specials for all racers/race fans!!!


Photos courtesy of Trophylite fb page

Daily's Sports Grill
29881 Aventura
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


#1802 website: Baja 1000 Fundraiser

You can research the story on race dezert...EPIC!!!!!

New Truck ready to roll!


Mobbed!


STEEEEEEEEKERS!!!


RM91 Pit:


Andy Mac (Baja 1000 winner) passing:


Bryce M (SCORE 2011 point champ) passing:


AGM #15 Blasting through our pit:



Our last pit of the race (RM411)...waiting:


Can next year come soon enough???????????? NO!!!!! :p
 

az_amsoil

Amsoil Arizona - UTVUnderground Approved
Jan 22, 2009
593
18
18
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB_YbV8enWU&feature=youtube_gdata_player]2011 SCORE Baja 1000 - YouTube[/ame]
 

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