Long days are no stranger to Baja. It’s almost like they go hand in hand. The first and longest day of the Rally from Ensenada to Bahia De Los Angeles took its toll on quite a few race vehicles. There were over 130 starters. A huge “pit city” was set up for racers to relax, grab a taco and a cold beverage, buy NORRA merchandise and of course time for crews to work on vehicles for the second day of the journey.
Our Trophy-Lite made it into Pit City just after dark. After downing some tacos and cold cervesas, we make a few quick adjustments on the race truck. I then head south with the chase team to Guerro Negro where my hotel will be for the night. Here there is cell phone service and internet. I catch some sleep and before I know it the morning has arrived. The chase crew and I set up the laptop in the hotels restaurant, eat breakfast and watch the live video feed from the start line.
Day two goes from Bahia De Los Angeles to Loreto. We spend the next hour tracking the truck down the course. Soon its time to head out to Viscaino for our first pit of the day. As we select a spot and get set up a satellite phone call comes in with news the truck has lost all power. An alternator has possibly gone bad. We consult our maps and figure out a way to get on the course to rescue the truck. Two hours later I find myself bouncing down the course arriving at the powerless truck. We swap the alternator, hook up some jumper cables and fire up the truck. Driver and co-driver strap in and we send them on their way to El Arco where they will get a splash of fuel.
Not more than ten minutes goes by and the truck has died again. A decision is made to put the truck on the trailer and call it a night as it’s getting late and the checkpoints are closing. We will take a maximum time penalty for day two stage. Loreto is hours away and we spend most of the night driving south pulling into town at daybreak. There is no sleep for us as we need to diagnose the power problem before the race start. For more updates stay tuned to FourWheeler.com.