Every year the SCORE Baja 1000 is tough. Every few years, it's ridiculously nasty. The 2010 Baja "Mil" was one of those years. Instead of a loop starting and ending in Ensenada, the race ran the peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz. Most of the loop races are a little under the race's namesake 1,000 miles, but this peninsula run took the racers the full distance, and then some. In all, there were about 1,050 miles from start to finish.
The course was a familiar one to long-time racers, as the same route has been used in the past more than once. This familiarity is a two-edged sword. On one hand, logistics were somewhat easier, because teams had already learned the access roads to the pits. On the other hand, there was the risk of running into an untold number of new obstacles between A and B. Need extra excitement? Hit a deep rain rut that wasn't there last time.
Trying to cover the complete Baja 1000 in three pages would be like trying to tell a life story in three words or less. At the same time, there are two words that are a good start: "An adventure."
We asked around for reports and photos of adventures had during the 2010 Baja 1000. What follows are a few slices of the B1K.
Team General Tire
General Tire has been a major force in the off-road racing world lately, and this year's roster included entries in Trophy Truck, Pro Truck, Class 8, Class 7-2, and the Stock Engine Truck Class. Mike McCarthy, Robbie McCarthy, and Greg Crowther took their EcoBoost V-6-powered Ford F-150 to top honors in the Stock Engine Truck class, finishing over seven hours ahead of second place.
Baja Pits is a volunteer organization that provides pit support to any racer who registers with Baja Pits for a given race. Baja Pits provides pit services that include refueling, tire changes, welding, mechanical repair, electrical repair, food and drinks, and generally helps Baja Pits-registered racers however and wherever possible. Locos Mocos is affiliated with Baja Pits and headed up the Baja Pits location just past San Ignacio.
Torchmate is a company that builds and supplies CNC plasma cutting systems. This year, Torchmate threw its hat into the Class 6 (unlimited mini truck) ring. Rock racer Brad Lovell was on Team Torchmate, sitting in as a co-driver while Mark Levrett held the controls.
Rory Ward/Collins Motorsports
Rory Ward is many things. Racer, chaser, T-shirt artist, volunteer firefighter, and he can also be found behind a lens and a keyboard every now and then. Rory's Class 1 "Trophy Truck Killer" buggy was featured in our pages a while back. During the 2010 edition of the Bala "Mil," Rory jumped in as part of the Collins Motorsports support crew. Race day was all business, but Rory snapped a few photos during down time.
Mastercraft Safety builds class-leading seats, restraints, window nets, tool bags, racing suits, and other off-road safety products. What better venue for research and development than the Baja 1000?
"I wish I could share with you all what it is like to start a Baja 1000 race," Mastercraft CEO Robbie Pierce said. "I will never take for granted how fortunate I am to be able to compete in this great race. Mastercraft Racing made the most of the difficult starting order," with Pierce finishing 11th in Trophy Truck and MacCachren taking seventh.
Mastercraft's Robbie Pierce is a "hands-on" guy, and in this case that means hands-on-the-wheel. Mastercraft fielded two Jimco-built Trophy Trucks for the B1K, the other being the number 20 TT piloted by Rob MacCachren. Both Pierce and MacCachren made great time, but were at a disadvantage from the beginning because they each had to start the race after many other trucks. The unlucky starting draw meant a lot of hanging dust on the course, and fewer safe opportunities for passing. The teams revised their pit strategies, and both No. 20 and No. 30 were able to take on fuel without being passed.