Baja 1000 Day Five – Anatomy of a Race Team

One Car, Twenty-two team members, 692.82 miles, some time less than 24 hours, hopefully.  Twenty males, two females, every profession you can imagine.  We have attorneys, accountants, engineers, fabricators, race promoters, software engineers, company owners, mechanics, oil men – the only thing this group has in common is a passion for off-road racing. 

Some are old friends, some are just meeting for the first time.  A call for volunteers on Pirate4x4 brought some forward over the last few years, others have been part of the race effort for a long time, again, the passion is the same.

I asked a few of the team where their passion for offroad racing came, each had a different story, some had begun with other types of racing, from RC to drags, from boats to motorcycles.  Everyone had a story, but there was a common thread, many of them blame a couple of movies for the first hook, Dust to Glory and On Any Sunday, Bruce Brown produced one, his son, Dana did the other.  Two men of extraordinary passion.

To me, it is amazing how many people it takes to put forth a race effort for the SCORE Baja 1000, also known as La Carrerra Mil, and it’s not just this team.  It’s every team here, from the Honda 1X to Class 11, full body stock Volkswagon Bugs, and don’t forget the Trophy Trucks and Class 1 cars..  There are people all over Baja, and I do mean Everywhere; on every corner, in every field, miles from anywhere, if there is a view of the race course and a semi-passable road, they are there.  The pit crews are mixed in with all the spectators, all over the northern half of the country.   

Some times the Baja 1000 runs as a point to point, last year it was Ensenada to La Paz; this year it’s a loop.  The 45th anniversary of the race is next year, it will again be a point to point. 

The race this year began in Ensenada, ran down through Ojos Negro, over the summit to the east of Valley T, through Borrego towards San Felipe and the whoops out past Puertocitas, back around through Borrego and then to the Pacific side through San Vicente and Santo Tomas.  The first bikes went through checkpoint 6 after 14 hours, the trophy trucks on their tails, fortunately they started 5 hours later than the bikes. 

The passion displayed by all committed to the race effort is huge, it’s thrilling to see so many people dedicated to a cause.  I’m proud to be a member of the Chase crew for Team #401.  Even when it lasts all night long, to see the posts about the team and the effort through the night, check out www.facebook/TajMahauler and like the page while you’re there.

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