The 2017 NORRA Mexican 1000 ends in San Jose Del Cabo, the farthest point south on the Baja Peninsula. On race day, 240 teams started the race in Ensenada. By 9pm in La Paz on day four, only 113 teams had finished with another 4 expected in by closing.
Our Nissan was one of those vehicles just barely making it. We found a local shop in Loreto to weld our broken shock mounts together. After the repair, we paid the owner Fili Diaz in much appreciated cash and got underway on the second special stage of Day Four. NORRA teams began taking down the metal ramps at the finish line. Tracking shows us about to come in with only three teams behind us. Timing and scoring stays put until the remaining teams crossed.
The next day the mission is simple. Get the truck to the finish line in Cabo San Lucas and finish the Mexican 1000. Steve Rudd and Chase Dague started the first stage, with a quick driver swap in Los Barriles before moving towards San Jose Del Cabo. We arrived to dozens of teams already celebrating at the finish line. Our truck made it just as planned, and there are high fives and hugs all around. At the finish, the stories were the same across several many of the teams. “I never thought we would make it here!” “Nine months ago racing the NORRA was just a dream.” “Hey, we should enter this car and race NORRA!”
For many this was a successful and special finish for an event that started 50 years ago. Former SCORE Off Road President Sal Fish hasn’t been in a race suit since 1972. He was given an opportunity to ride with Jim Riley. That opportunity almost didn’t happen as Riley’s car named the Rippin Rooster blew a motor in La Paz. The team literally found and bought an old El Camino in La Paz and pulled an all-nighter to install the engine.
The stories of triumph and tribulation were practically endless. Now, to start planning for NORRA’s 2018 event!