CODE has consistently put on great races this year and the Race Ready 275 was no different. For their final race of the year, CODE held the start on the edge of Laguna Salada dry lake, just west of Mexicali. From there, the course ran south through some of the best Baja has to offer through well known racing landmarks like La Ventana, El Chinero, Borrego, El Diablo Dry Lake, Three Poles, Zoo Road and into town finishing at the foot of the San Felipe sand dunes.
Curtis and I covered this one with Curtis shooting video and me shooting stills. After attending contingency held at the Posada Del Sol fair grounds the night before, we crashed at the Colonial Hotel in Mexicali and prepared for an early day.
5:30 a.m. wake up, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed out to the start; we quickly scouted a photo spot and waited for the race to start. The cool part of this race, for us, was that RDC’s leader Klaus was driving a class 11 in his first attempt at a solo run. Klaus ran a section at the NORRA 1000 earlier this year but this course is just a tad bit rougher. Curtis and I shot the first dozen or so cars and went to meet Klaus in the line up. We slapped a GoPro on the car, wished him luck and headed for Borrego to catch the racers there.
A quick run down Hwy 5, checking the sights along the way and then over to Hwy 3 to Borrego, we arrived in time to set up for the leaders.
Borrego is a popular spot for the big SCORE races and the locals still showed up for this one but not in crazy crowds; this time it was families and race crews set up for pitting. Curtis and I shot the better part of the day there and decided to wait until Klaus came through to get a few shots of him.
While waiting we took in the atmosphere and hung out with the locals.
Klaus had a few problems and was running behind but came though right around the golden hour for some great shots.
From there, we were off to San Felipe to the finish line where the leaders had long since finished; Arturo Honold had taken the overall win in his class 12 single seat car just two minutes faster then Carlos Ibarra (2nd o/a) in his Trophy Truck.
Many of the racers were still at the finish line with their teams and families celebrating the race with ice cold Tecates long after their respective races were over.
We hung at the finish to capture Klaus coming in, and we heard from the officials the he had passed the last check point; but time was running low and he was in danger of timing out of the race. With only 10 minutes to spare, Klaus pulled the VW across the finish line and was the last official finisher of the race.
Finally, we headed to our hotel to clean up and make a dinner plan; but before any plans were made, Poncho from CODE invited us for some stingray machaca at his hotel. The stingray was EXCELLENT along with good company of the CODE crew. Poncho and Joaquin from CODE have always been awesome hosts and make it a pleasure to attend their races. I have to say, they personally make CODE what it is by being great people running a great organization.
The next morning was another early wake up to make a run for the border; but first we witnessed the most beautiful sunrise I’ve seen in years. This probably happens every morning in San Felipe.
The rest was the trip run in reverse across the deserts of Baja back to Mexicali and on to the border for a two-hour wait. The wait was, by far, the worst part of the trip however was still entertaining, as we watched street venders interact with people inching their way towards the border. It was all good because we had just had another great trip in Baja.