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2017 NORRA Mexican 1000 Continues its Roll Down Baja: Day Two and Three

Posted in Features on April 26, 2017
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The 2017 edition of the NORRA Mexican 1000 continues its push down the majestic Baja Peninsula.

Tuesday morning, the bikes and cars took off from a warm and sunny San Felipe towards Bahia De Los Angeles by way of the Puertecitos Highway that runs along the beaches of the Sea of Cortez. John Kennedy and Julie Hart pilot our 1983 Nissan off the starting line. John has been racing this Baja terrain for decade as a member of the legendary Chapala Dusters Club. In the 1980s, John served as their president. The club was formed when NORRA started in 1967 to provide pit support to the racers.

San Felipe is known for its huge truck eating whoops. Whoops that will test the best of suspension setups. Our Nissan has no problems bouncing through the treacherous terrain. Steve and Danny Rudd jump in the truck just before Gonzaga Bay to run the section of the course through Cocos Corner and out to Highway 1. From there the course hits a timed highway transit section, then jumps back onto the dirt before turning into Bahia De Los Angeles for the finish.

The finish line for Day Two is a party atmosphere. There are poker tables, a roulette wheel, and a bar full of the finest Don Julio Tequila. Cooks serve up tacos and some very tasty ceviche. Lodging is a challenge on this stop of the event. There are limited hotel rooms and little housing. Some racers choose to camp. The winds whip and howl throughout the night.

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After an epic sunrise across the bay it’s time to get things rolling for Day Three, which pushes us into Loreto. We leave before the truck gets off the line to set up a pit and driver change in Vizcaino. Reid Rutherford jumps back in the truck at the end of the transit section in San Ignacio. The course heads out towards the Pacific Ocean. The terrain there is rough and beats up the truck enough to break the front left shock mount. Reid is able to limp the truck back to San Jaunico and pay off a local to weld the mount. The weld job is only good enough to get Reid off the course and to the highway near Scorpion Bay where he can limp the truck into Loreto.

Unfortunately, we are assessed the maximum time penalty for not completing the final stage of day three. The crew will look at needed repairs in the daylight. Everyone is tired and needs sleep. Just another day of racing the Baja!

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