For many, it’s a dream to race the Baja 1000. Held on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Baja is one of the Top 10 most notable races in the world. It seems that everyone has heard of the Baja 1000, but many don’t know that in some years it could really be called the Baja 1200.
Every other year, the SCORE organizes the race as a peninsula run, meaning that the race runs from Ensenada all the way to the finish line in La Paz. The 2014 event was one of those “long run” years. Teams have 49 hours to complete the approximately 1,200 miles; not too hard for the huge horsepower and highly suspended Trophy Trucks, but when you get down to the stock VWs, that’s a way different story.
The race attracts people from all over the world. Not only to spectate, but also to race. Teams from Australia (complete with a righthand-drive Class 1 car), Canada, Japan even the Ibaraki Prefecture and Quam showed up in Ensenada and blasted off the line. Many of the competitors came from Mexico and the Baja peninsula itself.
Celebrities also enter in the race. Past racer/celebs included James Garner, but this year Olympian Bruce Jenner [most recently of Kardashian fame] corode with his son Burt in Craig Pott’s trophy truck.
Though the race was run on November 13, the fun began before that. Contingency Day was on the 12th, and way back in the day it used to be a day where the racers would get free stuff from suppliers. Oil, plugs, and things like that were handed out. Now, it’s the racers who hand out the free stuff to the assembled crowds. Thousands of people mill about with the racers trying to get through. There isn’t a bottleneck on the whole of the racecourse as there is at contingency.
Early the morning of the 13th, the motorcycles and quads were ready to go. At that line, the racers were waved off by none other than Malcolm Smith. Smith, who is only one of two people to win the overall on both a motorcycle and four wheels (Larry Roeseler is the other) won the very first sanctioned Baja 1000 when he teamed with J.N. Roberts on a Husqvarna.
Former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon was the first trophy truck off the line after getting the top spot during qualifying. Starting out front means clean air and no dust, and it also means being Robby, he showed off a little at the first turn, throwing his TT completely sideways. Gordon had several fast guys starting behind him and was unable to maintain the lead for long.
Over the next 49 hours, people raced hard and often it was brutal out on the course. SCORE officials did their best to keep everyone safe and accounted for.
In the end the team of Rob MacCachren, Andy McMillin, and Jason Voss (all extremely fast and talented drivers) would come out on top. MacCachren’s team finished the race in 22 hours, 31 minutes, and 28 seconds. On the bikes, it was the team of Ricky Brabec, Steve Hengeveld, Max Eddy, and Robby Bell who took the two-wheel overall. Check out the complete list of the winners and top finishers.
Class ½ 1600
|1||J. David Ruvalcaba|
Trophy Truck Spec
|2||Marc Van Tassell|
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