2022 Norra Mexican 1000, The Good, Bad and Ugly !!!

oneleglance

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I had a great time as Sweep and I will be back every chance NORRA gives me...Some quick thoughts with a more formal writeup to follow soon.

1) Weatherman needs to just GIVE IMPORTANT INFO, even if a team doesn't respond to his call they can often hear better than they can transmit.
2) I want to help Tech & Teach Safari BEFORE the event and during tech inspection. I am happy to come up with a PDF document that goes out with Safari registration and can give those folks my contact info.
3) Stella needs to make sure Safari and Sweep devices are programmed for alerts and course info. We didn't get alerts for broken cars we rolled up on.
4) Rear facing amber for everyone, even if it is stick on LED with batteries changed each night, super important for dust even if racers are NOT behind you.
5) Radio comms are crazy important especially for newbies in Safari, we need to know the freq before the event so everyone can test their setup.
6) I would like to be dedicated Safari Sweep next year, if you are short handed I will recruit a regular sweep to take my place and if you are short funded I would pay my own way just to make sure we don't have any Safari issues. I think the class is really going to grow. Having a "personality" lead is fine with me but you need someone with more logistics mindset herding the cats.
7) Operations Roy is amazing and our use of InReach for Sat messages was incredibly helpful.
8) Last minute changes at registration like team radio freq need to be updated on site (I was doing my best with my tablet running from reg to tech) and that spreadsheet should be given to Sweep so we can call out to chase/support for any racer/Safari.
9) Remind teams that putting "Chase 810" in white letters on the upper windshield and rear window really help folks find each other.
10) Safari should understand NOT to pass moto racers, that is just dangerous for the rider and the newbie Safari people.
11) I am happy to help with anything you need for Oct or next April including come down for course scouting and cool things for Safari to see.
12) Huge thanks to all the behind the scenes NORRA folks like stage start/stop, flaggers, data entry, operations and all the negotiations that must happen with local landowners and gov types.

I am just getting home and have to review my notes but this is the top off my head stuff....the Red Van that Can was a blast to drive and getting to use all my gear and meet new friends was amazing as always.
 

CHINOLAS

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A question to relay to the Stella people, can we overlap messages on the device next time. In speedzones we can’t hit the p2p. I know I’m asking for unearned passes but we caught a couple cars in speedzones who didn’t have speed controls and it was a Jack rabbit all special when they realized we caught them. Some SS Cars may not even be able to see us back there if they’re constantly looking at their speedometer and stella for speed. day 4 After Insurgentes, a lot of dirt speedzones where we “slinkied” all special with the same car trying not to drive off a cliff in between SZs.

made for good racing once race speeds commenced, just not safe when there are course workers/fans around the transition off pavement/back to race speeds.
Reading your post and also Travis what you guys are asking me is to turn a speed zone where you are supposed to be going slow and respect the local people into a race zone where you can pass another competitor that does not have a speed limiter and go exactly at the speed limit.

Is that what you are asking ??? Really ???

The answer is NO, the first thing I said at the drivers meeting is NO PASSING in speed zones period, that is why the Push to Pass feature does not work inside of a speed zone.

If a car in front of you does not have a speed limiter they will go from 35 to 37 in the speed zone or maybe up and down, well maybe yes but they are not limping at 10 mph with a flat tire or suspension damage, a speed zone has a reason to be there and the main reason is safety if you start passing people because supposedly they are going slow 1 or 3 miles below the limit that is BULLSHIT.

Try to win the race in the actual race not in a speed zone please, if the car in front jackrabbits on you in a race stage come to me at the finish line, and will check the data and give the guy a penalty for blocking if you look at the penalty report we gave some of those but not much due to lack of inquiries from racers.

Hope you understand how important is to all the ranchers and villages to have ALL of us respect them and care about their PEOPLE safety. When you enter a speed zone IMO you should be thinking about the local people instead of thinking about passing the guy in front of you because he can't afford a speed limiter to cheat on speed zones.
 
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CHINOLAS

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I had a great time as Sweep and I will be back every chance NORRA gives me...Some quick thoughts with a more formal writeup to follow soon.

1) Weatherman needs to just GIVE IMPORTANT INFO, even if a team doesn't respond to his call they can often hear better than they can transmit.
2) I want to help Tech & Teach Safari BEFORE the event and during tech inspection. I am happy to come up with a PDF document that goes out with Safari registration and can give those folks my contact info.
3) Stella needs to make sure Safari and Sweep devices are programmed for alerts and course info. We didn't get alerts for broken cars we rolled up on.
4) Rear facing amber for everyone, even if it is stick on LED with batteries changed each night, super important for dust even if racers are NOT behind you.
5) Radio comms are crazy important especially for newbies in Safari, we need to know the freq before the event so everyone can test their setup.
6) I would like to be dedicated Safari Sweep next year, if you are short handed I will recruit a regular sweep to take my place and if you are short funded I would pay my own way just to make sure we don't have any Safari issues. I think the class is really going to grow. Having a "personality" lead is fine with me but you need someone with more logistics mindset herding the cats.
7) Operations Roy is amazing and our use of InReach for Sat messages was incredibly helpful.
8) Last minute changes at registration like team radio freq need to be updated on site (I was doing my best with my tablet running from reg to tech) and that spreadsheet should be given to Sweep so we can call out to chase/support for any racer/Safari.
9) Remind teams that putting "Chase 810" in white letters on the upper windshield and rear window really help folks find each other.
10) Safari should understand NOT to pass moto racers, that is just dangerous for the rider and the newbie Safari people.
11) I am happy to help with anything you need for Oct or next April including come down for course scouting and cool things for Safari to see.
12) Huge thanks to all the behind the scenes NORRA folks like stage start/stop, flaggers, data entry, operations and all the negotiations that must happen with local landowners and gov types.

I am just getting home and have to review my notes but this is the top off my head stuff....the Red Van that Can was a blast to drive and getting to use all my gear and meet new friends was amazing as always.
Thanks very much for the feedback Lance, we will talk about all this at the Zoom meeting soon.
 

swiftracing5

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Thanks for the explanation Eliseo, I understand. day 4 was one of the best days I’ve had in a race car. Battled the same car all day, think there was 13 seconds corrected between us at the finish. Can’t wait to do it again.
 

notime

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I had a great time as Sweep and I will be back every chance NORRA gives me...Some quick thoughts with a more formal writeup to follow soon.

1) Weatherman needs to just GIVE IMPORTANT INFO, even if a team doesn't respond to his call they can often hear better than they can transmit.
2) I want to help Tech & Teach Safari BEFORE the event and during tech inspection. I am happy to come up with a PDF document that goes out with Safari registration and can give those folks my contact info.
3) Stella needs to make sure Safari and Sweep devices are programmed for alerts and course info. We didn't get alerts for broken cars we rolled up on.
4) Rear facing amber for everyone, even if it is stick on LED with batteries changed each night, super important for dust even if racers are NOT behind you.
5) Radio comms are crazy important especially for newbies in Safari, we need to know the freq before the event so everyone can test their setup.
6) I would like to be dedicated Safari Sweep next year, if you are short handed I will recruit a regular sweep to take my place and if you are short funded I would pay my own way just to make sure we don't have any Safari issues. I think the class is really going to grow. Having a "personality" lead is fine with me but you need someone with more logistics mindset herding the cats.
7) Operations Roy is amazing and our use of InReach for Sat messages was incredibly helpful.
8) Last minute changes at registration like team radio freq need to be updated on site (I was doing my best with my tablet running from reg to tech) and that spreadsheet should be given to Sweep so we can call out to chase/support for any racer/Safari.
9) Remind teams that putting "Chase 810" in white letters on the upper windshield and rear window really help folks find each other.
10) Safari should understand NOT to pass moto racers, that is just dangerous for the rider and the newbie Safari people.
11) I am happy to help with anything you need for Oct or next April including come down for course scouting and cool things for Safari to see.
12) Huge thanks to all the behind the scenes NORRA folks like stage start/stop, flaggers, data entry, operations and all the negotiations that must happen with local landowners and gov types.

I am just getting home and have to review my notes but this is the top off my head stuff....the Red Van that Can was a blast to drive and getting to use all my gear and meet new friends was amazing as always.

IMG_0967.jpg


Was that Red Van?, I saw them at SF at start of the special thinked how cool was seeing it
 

BigBlue&Goldie

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First off, awesome event like usual!

My only complaint, and one that I've had the two times I've raced NORRA, is the push to pass situation. It's extremely frustrating to get in a log jam in a speed zone, hit dirt, and all of a sudden your push to pass lights up. The bottom line is we've found ourselves in this situation numerous times and we weren't "caught" under racing conditions, we were caught in extended speed zones. We would get lit up while in a line of traffic coming out of the zone and eventually we'd have to pull over in order to not receive a penalty. The other situation we found the push to pass to be an issue is in the heavily washed out cliff/mountain road coming into Cabo. We had a class one car that was lighting us up even though we were faster by a margin, but because of the proximity of the turns he would be within range to hit the push to pass even though he was 2 or 3 turns away. Once again, we let him by in order to not receive a penalty and it took him far too long to go by.....he then crashed. I know a lot of this can be handled on a review basis, but people are definitely playing the "push to pass" game.

My only other request is for the Stella to give a few more seconds of notification for broken down vehicles. It seemed that this race in particular by the time we got the notification of a down vehicle we were already on top of them. Overall, the Stella worked pretty darn well, except for one stage in which it didn't reset the odometer (I believe this was the 2nd stage of day 4).

Please take this as constructive criticism as the race overall is extremely well run and a ton of fun!
 
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jeff

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This is Stella related... but it was almost UGLY!

On Day 5 we came up to a UTV that had rolled and was blocking about 49% of the race line. There was no STELLA warning and I think I know why... the RF antenna that broadcasts the WARNING signals for close proximity was probably upside down and facing the dirt. The vehicle effectively became a roadblock to the signal and was too weak to warn other vehicles of the safety issue.

When the Iridium antenna is mounted on the roof of the vehicle... and the vehicle is upside down... the satellite antenna won't be able to communicate with the network. I doubt most racers would be excited at the added expense of a dual antenna system but it might make sense to start looking at options. As rollovers are pretty common it seems like it might be worth the hassle. A flipped car will be unable to transmit the Iridium distress signal or 2-way communicate with "race safety" until they either move the antenna so it has a view of the sky OR manage to roll their vehicle back over. If the occupant(s) is injured they would have to rely on others to come to their aid and if the accident occurred "off course" that might not be possible.

Fast cars starting back in the pack after an "off" day... My personal entry was all about FUN so I didn't care where we started. But two other vehicles that made up our group didn't entirely agree with their starting positions after each experienced failed component downtime. NORRA must have their reasons but I can't figure out why FAST cars that have been in the Top 10 overall on previous days wind up back in the 50th or 80th position the next day after a technical issue. Starting back in the pack for one of my buddies ended up causing big damage and almost ended his race when someone in front of him blew a turn and an accident occured. Had the starting order been more in line with the speed of the vehicles (and not the previous days finishing positions) that accident may never have happened and both vehicles might have been spared damage. 20/20 hindsight and all that.

The food line at San Felipe later in the evening was rough. I saw pictures of it from the afternoon / early evening and it looked great. By the time we got there my son and I spent over an hour in line and they had already ran out of beer. ;)

The Salt & Pepper
Yeah, off-road racing isn't supposed to be easy. The race course looks a lot different after 150 vehicles have chewed it up. The fastest vehicles with the biggest tires and the best suspension get the smoothest road. Ironic? The vehicles with the smallest tires and the least power usually get the worst conditions. That is one of those it-is-what-it-is deals but that can mean enduring hours of chewed up garbage for the slower classes. We skipped Day 3 entirely because I've done it enough times to know it's not worth the abuse / carnage. 300+ miles of ruined race course does not make for the HAPPIEST RACE ON EARTH unless you're at the very front of the line.

The Good...

I thought the San Felipe and La Paz finish lines worked out a lot better. Having room for the chase trucks was a nice upgrade. The old La Paz Malacon finish was not great for the non-racers as there is really no safe place to part a truck / trailer nearby. The Marina location seems to solve that. More room... more security... more fun.

The NAV training in Ensenada was great. Thank you Eliseo for doing that. The new road books were AWESOME. I navigated and my Son drove and once I got the Lexicon down the book was amazing. Quick glance at the road, then the book, call out the information to the driver and repeat. Having the Lowrance show the waypoint number made finding your spot in the book super easy if you missed one or got caught up in the moment. That was a really big upgrade if you ask me. Lots of work I'm sure but it was worth it.

Aloha
 

BajaboundMoto

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From a motos perspective...
We had 12 of the 36 moto riders in our bivouac (was supposed to have been 13 of 37, but messing around a couple days before the event can have consequences).

* Stoked on how quick and easy Tech was for the riders.
* I'm thinking 10 of our guys had nothing good to say about the Stella people. Not about the unit, about the people. And the other 2, maybe they just didn't voice it.
* We saw some real dumbassery with some of the Rapido Safari drivers. It really looked like they were pinning it trying to race, no helmets, passing dirtbike guys, sheesh. If they want to be racers they should enter the real deal. The slow Safari, fine, it's a tour thing, but there was for sure some miscalculations on that.
* I'm not sold on the Safari. Is it a tour or a race? Is it just to get more "entries"? IMO it should be done tour style, for fun, with safety in mind, and guided in a way that shows people sights, a challenge, get's them involved in the other aspects of the Mex1k. But that takes experience and route knowledge, I know intimately from decades of experience, and I feel this needs a tune up.
* I get it how @luvbaja2 and @jeff feel racing a limited car after legit TT's, TTS's, and 1's tear up the course. Kinda a bummer really when the original idea behind the Mex1k was vintage vehicles and now they're feeling pushed out. Talking to our bike guys and Jimmy it seems like the added tricky nav sections and a few good challenging sections were really good for the top few OA guys (some doing their 1st ever NORRA) but the guys who were on vintage bikes or older fellas they didn't dig it. They liked the old Mex1k, more simple, both for their skill and their bikes. So maybe there needs to be and "elite" class that throws in more stuff, tougher nav. Like the 1/2 mile of dunes before G.N. could have been 10 miles of dunes for Elites, or drop them down the steps to LP, you know what I mean. But yes a lot more work and organizing, maybe too much. So who's the target market.... Trophy Trucks and real moto rally racers like Matt Sutherland or the bread and butter entries who've done this event many times. For steering wheel classes, maybe just a tire size limit?
* YAY! We didn't have any issues with that "trip planner" dirtbag!
* Unfortunately I'm pretty sure we've lost at least 4 entries who've done many editions of the Mexican 1000 due to the new navigation (but they were learning and sort of embracing it), the tougher sections, and the dumbassery of a few of the Rapido Safari drivers.
* FabSchool was awesome as usual and welded 2 of our bikes back together.
* Was it my imagination or was the awards party food line horrendous? I believe only a few of the people from our 3 tables even bothered with the line it was so long (but more booze). I can't recall it ever being that long.
* Road crossing & on/off crews were amazing this year!
* "Moto sweep" has been lacking at times in years past and this year too at times. I realize they can't be assisting at rm 100 and also at rm 200 at the same time, but when a couple of the backmarker bikes are sitting for 3 hours in the desert it's a bit disheartening. Red van Lance and Scotts Dodge did amazing a couple years ago. It seemed that they bounced around to sections and kept track. Maybe the sweep needs to post up in different spots to keep tailing the slower guys while an earlier section sweep is many miles behind working/driving. Still, the guys in the white Jeep, THANKS for bringing in a couple of our guys during the event.
 

toddz

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B.HAGLE

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If a car in front of you does not have a speed limiter they will go from 35 to 37 in the speed zone or maybe up and down, well maybe yes but they are not limping at 10 mph with a flat tire or suspension damage, a speed zone has a reason to be there and the main reason is safety if you start passing people because supposedly they are going slow 1 or 3 miles below the limit that is BULLSHIT.

Try to win the race in the actual race not in a speed zone please, if the car in front jackrabbits on you in a race stage come to me at the finish line, and will check the data and give the guy a penalty for blocking if you look at the penalty report we gave some of those but not much due to lack of inquiries from racers.

I know you are referring to NORRA situations but in a SCORE we would hypothetically pass people going 32-35 while we do 37mph in a speed zone. They have outlined in the past in the racer brief that it is to be done on the left hand side of the highway and within the speed limit restrictions per that section of course/speed zone.

Dealing with that person blocking you after the race sound ridiculous. The damage has been done and they cost you track position. IF you don't want to go 37mph on the dot then move over or let the guy by. Are we racing on corrected time or for physical position??

So in fact passing a slower driver in a speed zone is not bullshitt and should be done in a respectful but opportunistic manner.

At last years 1000 some fkn yahoo in a TT leaving San Ignacio couldn't keep the car anywhere close to 37 and we may have tried to carefully get around them and once we may have done so they blasted us with EVERY single HID light they had, in the fog, in the dark, up our A$$ and could have caused a serious accident. I forget who it was or I would blast them out on here but it was a back marker TT. Ya they would smoke us for sure in that next section on the way to La purisima but we are racing on corrected time and 3-5 mph in a 30+ mile speed some makes a big difference. Unfortunately.
 

CHINOLAS

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First off, awesome event like usual!

My only complaint, and one that I've had the two times I've raced NORRA, is the push to pass situation. It's extremely frustrating to get in a log jam in a speed zone, hit dirt, and all of a sudden your push to pass lights up. The bottom line is we've found ourselves in this situation numerous times and we weren't "caught" under racing conditions, we were caught in extended speed zones. We would get lit up while in a line of traffic coming out of the zone and eventually we'd have to pull over in order to not receive a penalty. The other situation we found the push to pass to be an issue is in the heavily washed out cliff/mountain road coming into Cabo. We had a class one car that was lighting us up even though we were faster by a margin, but because of the proximity of the turns he would be within range to hit the push to pass even though he was 2 or 3 turns away. Once again, we let him by in order to not receive a penalty and it took him far too long to go by.....he then crashed. I know a lot of this can be handled on a review basis, but people are definitely playing the "push to pass" game.

My only other request is for the Stella to give a few more seconds of notification for broken down vehicles. It seemed that this race in particular by the time we got the notification of a down vehicle we were already on top of them. Overall, the Stella worked pretty darn well, except for one stage in which it didn't reset the odometer (I believe this was the 2nd stage of day 4).

Please take this as constructive criticism as the race overall is extremely well run and a ton of fun!
Thanks very much for your feedback, we will definitely take it into consideration.
 

CHINOLAS

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This is Stella related... but it was almost UGLY!

On Day 5 we came up to a UTV that had rolled and was blocking about 49% of the race line. There was no STELLA warning and I think I know why... the RF antenna that broadcasts the WARNING signals for close proximity was probably upside down and facing the dirt. The vehicle effectively became a roadblock to the signal and was too weak to warn other vehicles of the safety issue.

When the Iridium antenna is mounted on the roof of the vehicle... and the vehicle is upside down... the satellite antenna won't be able to communicate with the network. I doubt most racers would be excited at the added expense of a dual antenna system but it might make sense to start looking at options. As rollovers are pretty common it seems like it might be worth the hassle. A flipped car will be unable to transmit the Iridium distress signal or 2-way communicate with "race safety" until they either move the antenna so it has a view of the sky OR manage to roll their vehicle back over. If the occupant(s) is injured they would have to rely on others to come to their aid and if the accident occurred "off course" that might not be possible.

Fast cars starting back in the pack after an "off" day... My personal entry was all about FUN so I didn't care where we started. But two other vehicles that made up our group didn't entirely agree with their starting positions after each experienced failed component downtime. NORRA must have their reasons but I can't figure out why FAST cars that have been in the Top 10 overall on previous days wind up back in the 50th or 80th position the next day after a technical issue. Starting back in the pack for one of my buddies ended up causing big damage and almost ended his race when someone in front of him blew a turn and an accident occured. Had the starting order been more in line with the speed of the vehicles (and not the previous days finishing positions) that accident may never have happened and both vehicles might have been spared damage. 20/20 hindsight and all that.

The food line at San Felipe later in the evening was rough. I saw pictures of it from the afternoon / early evening and it looked great. By the time we got there my son and I spent over an hour in line and they had already ran out of beer. ;)

The Salt & Pepper
Yeah, off-road racing isn't supposed to be easy. The race course looks a lot different after 150 vehicles have chewed it up. The fastest vehicles with the biggest tires and the best suspension get the smoothest road. Ironic? The vehicles with the smallest tires and the least power usually get the worst conditions. That is one of those it-is-what-it-is deals but that can mean enduring hours of chewed up garbage for the slower classes. We skipped Day 3 entirely because I've done it enough times to know it's not worth the abuse / carnage. 300+ miles of ruined race course does not make for the HAPPIEST RACE ON EARTH unless you're at the very front of the line.

The Good...

I thought the San Felipe and La Paz finish lines worked out a lot better. Having room for the chase trucks was a nice upgrade. The old La Paz Malacon finish was not great for the non-racers as there is really no safe place to part a truck / trailer nearby. The Marina location seems to solve that. More room... more security... more fun.

The NAV training in Ensenada was great. Thank you Eliseo for doing that. The new road books were AWESOME. I navigated and my Son drove and once I got the Lexicon down the book was amazing. Quick glance at the road, then the book, call out the information to the driver and repeat. Having the Lowrance show the waypoint number made finding your spot in the book super easy if you missed one or got caught up in the moment. That was a really big upgrade if you ask me. Lots of work I'm sure but it was worth it.

Aloha
Jeff

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this, will definitely work on all the details, and agree 100% on the course details, even without pre-running the course gets all screwed when small cars get to it, one of the things we are planning to do is to limit the entries to 250 at most in order to keep the quality of the event and be able to keep up with food and drinks in all finish line celebrations, we definitely need to improve on that including food at awards this year, it was not what we wanted, next year will be way better i promise.
 
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CHINOLAS

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From a motos perspective...
We had 12 of the 36 moto riders in our bivouac (was supposed to have been 13 of 37, but messing around a couple days before the event can have consequences).

* Stoked on how quick and easy Tech was for the riders.
* I'm thinking 10 of our guys had nothing good to say about the Stella people. Not about the unit, about the people. And the other 2, maybe they just didn't voice it.
* We saw some real dumbassery with some of the Rapido Safari drivers. It really looked like they were pinning it trying to race, no helmets, passing dirtbike guys, sheesh. If they want to be racers they should enter the real deal. The slow Safari, fine, it's a tour thing, but there was for sure some miscalculations on that.
* I'm not sold on the Safari. Is it a tour or a race? Is it just to get more "entries"? IMO it should be done tour style, for fun, with safety in mind, and guided in a way that shows people sights, a challenge, get's them involved in the other aspects of the Mex1k. But that takes experience and route knowledge, I know intimately from decades of experience, and I feel this needs a tune up.
* I get it how @luvbaja2 and @jeff feel racing a limited car after legit TT's, TTS's, and 1's tear up the course. Kinda a bummer really when the original idea behind the Mex1k was vintage vehicles and now they're feeling pushed out. Talking to our bike guys and Jimmy it seems like the added tricky nav sections and a few good challenging sections were really good for the top few OA guys (some doing their 1st ever NORRA) but the guys who were on vintage bikes or older fellas they didn't dig it. They liked the old Mex1k, more simple, both for their skill and their bikes. So maybe there needs to be and "elite" class that throws in more stuff, tougher nav. Like the 1/2 mile of dunes before G.N. could have been 10 miles of dunes for Elites, or drop them down the steps to LP, you know what I mean. But yes a lot more work and organizing, maybe too much. So who's the target market.... Trophy Trucks and real moto rally racers like Matt Sutherland or the bread and butter entries who've done this event many times. For steering wheel classes, maybe just a tire size limit?
* YAY! We didn't have any issues with that "trip planner" dirtbag!
* Unfortunately I'm pretty sure we've lost at least 4 entries who've done many editions of the Mexican 1000 due to the new navigation (but they were learning and sort of embracing it), the tougher sections, and the dumbassery of a few of the Rapido Safari drivers.
* FabSchool was awesome as usual and welded 2 of our bikes back together.
* Was it my imagination or was the awards party food line horrendous? I believe only a few of the people from our 3 tables even bothered with the line it was so long (but more booze). I can't recall it ever being that long.
* Road crossing & on/off crews were amazing this year!
* "Moto sweep" has been lacking at times in years past and this year too at times. I realize they can't be assisting at rm 100 and also at rm 200 at the same time, but when a couple of the backmarker bikes are sitting for 3 hours in the desert it's a bit disheartening. Red van Lance and Scotts Dodge did amazing a couple years ago. It seemed that they bounced around to sections and kept track. Maybe the sweep needs to post up in different spots to keep tailing the slower guys while an earlier section sweep is many miles behind working/driving. Still, the guys in the white Jeep, THANKS for bringing in a couple of our guys during the event.
Tim and Jen great feedback, agree with everything, we will work on making it better for you guys.
 

CHINOLAS

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I know you are referring to NORRA situations but in a SCORE we would hypothetically pass people going 32-35 while we do 37mph in a speed zone. They have outlined in the past in the racer brief that it is to be done on the left hand side of the highway and within the speed limit restrictions per that section of course/speed zone.

Dealing with that person blocking you after the race sound ridiculous. The damage has been done and they cost you track position. IF you don't want to go 37mph on the dot then move over or let the guy by. Are we racing on corrected time or for physical position??

So in fact passing a slower driver in a speed zone is not bullshitt and should be done in a respectful but opportunistic manner.

At last years 1000 some fkn yahoo in a TT leaving San Ignacio couldn't keep the car anywhere close to 37 and we may have tried to carefully get around them and once we may have done so they blasted us with EVERY single HID light they had, in the fog, in the dark, up our A$$ and could have caused a serious accident. I forget who it was or I would blast them out on here but it was a back marker TT. Ya they would smoke us for sure in that next section on the way to La purisima but we are racing on corrected time and 3-5 mph in a 30+ mile speed some makes a big difference. Unfortunately.
Ben

NORRA is very different from others, we try to respect our local people more than anyone and also try to teach our race teams to do that as well, speed zones with us have a single purpose of slowing down race cars and bikes to safely go from point a to point b, the most important thing is safety and not your track position, ranchers deserve respect and if they allow us to go thru their ranches and main roads we should think about what would happen if you would be allowing racers to go thru your own backyard and they instead of behaving and respecting your property and family try to pass another guy just because they want to get a better track position, IMO no passing in a speed zone is a must to change the perspective on what is the real important reason for a speed zone to exist.

A speed zone is not an obstacle in a race course or a strategy challenge or something to use for advantage if you have a speed control, it is a simple slow down section to go trough, once that section is over you resume your race and continue.
 

TrailReady

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Absolutely awesome event! Thanks to the NORRA team and all staff and volunteers!
Our Stella never worked as intended consistently. On day one, we were able to send and receive overtake comms but never got one request on the 4 or so vehicles that passed us. Like everyone else, the danger signal came at or after we passed the stopped car all week. for day two they said they switched the settings to external antenna and the overtake feature did seem to work more often. I expect this performance from pretty much all communication technology (especially my cell phone) so no big deal.
I missed the "no passing in speed zones rule" somehow. On the first SS speed (37 mph) zone at Ojos we came up on one of our competitors following closely behind a SXS doing about 25 mph, I though HE didn't understand the SZ rules so i passed them both on that wide open road doing 37 LOL! I now know they though I was a renegade haha.
 

landshark

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I would say for the number of entries and the number of people moving down the peninsula this year’s NORRA was fantastic and for all intents and purposes most things went well and the experience was fun and that’s a major reason we come back every year.

Initial Thoughts:

It was fantastic that we got back to the streets of Ensenada with a real contingency, no issues or pains for inspection or the registration process and everything went smooth for us. Great to hang out during the Saturday contingency and talk to locals and racers alike, we had great time.

I found most of this year’s special stages really fun, I know from experience that after running a tough, rough and/or technical section you will usually throw in a fun/fast section and vice versa – so it was great when we were on the rough rocky or whooped out sections knowing there was some fun ahead. Personally, I absolutely love the challenging sections as long as they don’t last all day.

Race Course feedback:

Day 1 - First special is pretty standard stuff and I still find it fun – I think after Valley T it gets better for us, around Mikes is just technical enough to keep you on your toes but your able to keep your speed. Diablo and the run into El Dorado are always fun.

El Dorado Finish line was great, chase crew was able to catch up and we enjoyed a few beers and chatted with a few friends, but the food line was already too long when we finished and we needed to go find fuel so we didn’t get a chance to eat.

Day 2 – I always dread leaving San Felipe, I realize there are only a few options to get us out and most all of them include whoops which my short wheel base doesn’t like. We usually just take our time and try to get out alive.

I saw we were doing the dunes again after the first road crossing and felt bad for folks who were in limited classes and starting later. With the number of entrees going through there it was bound to be a mess. I wasn’t disappointed.

Our Bronco is pretty capable and can go nearly anywhere so not an issue for us but we could have been there all-day pulling people out – we helped a few who were ready with a tow strap, I can’t imagine the number of people who got stuck after us.

The second special stage on Day 2 is always a great run, the old road around the old coco’s corner is great. Mixing it up with some new stuff heading into BOLA is nice, always great to see new sections (at least to me) - except for the Baja 1000 section you threw in, I did it in November in the Bronco and yup, I still hate it ;) - At least you cut out the whoop section that was right before it…

The number of silt beds surprised us as were the chase crews with trailers stuck in them, again we throw it in 4wd and go around if we can, help out if they are ready. The silt was pretty gnarly right before the end of the stage but still fun for us.

Finish line in BOLA is always great, even more so with no wind. All of us had time to grab beers, tacos and ice cream in the tent.

Day 3 – Again a great long day of racing, love the long stages. Started out tough and rocky to the mission, followed by sandy and fast all the way to HWY 1. Transit to San Ignacio, stuff as much fuel in as we can and have a fast run to San Juanico, pay for some questionable gas and finish the stage.

Finish line was tough, lots of people and traffic, lots of confusion as it was dark even though we finished well ahead of allot of folks. We found parking and had just enough time to grab a beer and pizza slice before we had to head out to find our hotel and our chase crew who couldn’t get anywhere near the finish line or the mission hotel.

Day 4 – Another long day, lots of new stuff for me. Fun heading out of Loreto great to see spectators and the run to the mission is always a highlight. In my opinion the no-pass section followed by the sand washes (and no wind) was a debacle. I understand why that section was no pass but with it being so close to the start and only a short special stage before it only took a few slower cars to stacked everyone up and then we all got dumped out into the sand and the dust. With no wind it was no bueno, it was just a line of cars hitting push to pass all the way to the end of the stage. I bet this stage (minus the no-pass zone) is super fun otherwise.

2nd special stage was amazing, probably my favorite so far in any NORRA race. The last bit along the Sea of Cortez was pretty spectacular.

Finish Line was ok, easy on the chase crews who made it there at the same time as us, we had some beers and hung out with the Baja Sur Bronco Group for a few and then headed off to find our hotel as it was getting dark. I don’t know if there was any food being served so can’t comment on it.

Day 5 – Short day and that was ok. I found the entire course fun, but my navigator did not like the 1st special, he is not a fan of heights. The 2nd special was great for us, we love the tight and technical higher speed stuff along with the soft sandy washes.

Finish line, I know you are very well aware as you asked us directly... The wait was extremely long, i think we waited over an hour and thirty minutes to get to the finish podium. I know a few folks left the line ahead of us. Kudos for NORRA providing lots of beer and water while we waited. Could have done without the long wait in the heat but hey we finished.

Our chase crew couldn’t find the entrance to the secure finish line parking area and they got stuck in traffic for over an hour just trying to get into San Jose and couldn’t anywhere near the finish line (we are not locals and don’t know the backroads). They ended up parking in a paid lot over by the Tropica and walking the mile or so to the finish, they were not happy. Not sure anything else could have been done besides knowing the area better.

To add insult to injury all of the parking was taken up in our hotel by the folks who were in faster classes so we had zero parking options and had to roll the dice parking my truck, trailer and bronco in a “paid supervised lot” over 2 miles away from the motel for two days. I realize this is not a NORRA issue but we were hoping the lot used in past races might have been open as an alternative… lesson learned. There were many folks in the same boat as us scrambling to find secure parking anywhere for their stuff. It sucks to spend 4-5 hours AFTER finishing the race sweating my butt off trying to secure our stuff, kind of ruined the moment to be honest. Again, not necessarily a NORRA issue but any suggestions or options for teams would be welcome. I am still sour on it…

Awards Ceremony – We had a great time. Loved the format for awards as it moved things along nicely. Easy to get drinks, not so easy to get food. We got in line early (still daylight) and it was still a long wait, we couldn’t believe people were in line right up until the party was over and how long the line was all night.

Stella feedback:

We have used the Stella now 4-5 times, this is the first time it has been in our favor (speed wise) and worked consistently well – except for stopped vehicles. Every single time we came upon a stopped racer it would warn us as we were passing them, not before. Other than that, the push to pass worked 99% of the time for us as did the notifications to pass.

Suggestions, problems, issues:

Day 1 Special Stage Start: That sucked, plain and simple. Sitting, waiting, moving, burning fuel and sweating into our suits for over an hour sucked. I know it was probably a mistake or whatever but it wasn’t fun or folks in the back. Glad to see the times were adjusted.

Safari Class:

We had some nervous moments near El Dàtil when we caught a few of the safari vintage class manx and others on course. We were moving fairly quickly and closed in on them fast, luckily it was daylight the dust wasn’t too bad and we had good visibility and space to pass. We were a little surprised they didn’t have any rear lights and they were even on course. We did our best not to throw rocks as we passed them but its rocky out there...

BOLA…

I have to be honest, I hesitate to post this next bit, not trying to be petty but there were a few of us spun up on the morning of Day 3…

Our team didn’t have a place to stay, which is fine AND no wind, no complaints there – happy to sleep under the stars on a windless BOLA night - which we did.

We shared a parking area and room facilities with another racer and slept in the Las Hamacas parking area, however later that evening several truckloads of NORRA volunteers showed up for the middle room in the building we were staying near, as did their friends and their friends friends (several trucks worth), they then proceeded to have a Mexican party on the front patio of the motel building until the sun came up.

This in itself isn’t an issue, sure it sucks for us and at least 5 other teams who got zero sleep before the longest race day. Maybe we could have said something? We didn’t and that’s on us. My issue is they got a room and never slept in it. They sat on the patio of the motel and blasted music, threw up, fell down, dropped bottles and all sorts of other stuff, but never slept. They could have done that anywhere –

I will say a few of them did come back and clean up the mess they left – and it was a big one… we probably would have had to clean up as we didn’t want us or NORRA get blamed. But props to them for cleaning it up at least. I will now always wonder if the NORRA volunteer with the flag in his hands is waving in the right direction, but I guess I already did 

Again, not sure it matters, and truthfully what if it was another NORRA racing team and not volunteers? We probably would have told them to shut the F up…

Other thoughts:

One of the reasons we love coming back and doing NORRA is the fun, as mentioned. A few of the days are tough being in pioneer/legends and running toward the back of the pack. We ran a very clean and quick race this year, even finishing “Early” in Loreto and La Paz but we were unable to really enjoy the finish line activities. In Loreto my chase crew couldn’t even make it to the mission hotel as it was disaster to navigate to the finish line and parking a chase truck was impossible.

I realize the number of racers this year was a record breaker and NORRA wants to attract old and new racers to stay viable. However, I also know that NORRA should honor the past, not just in contingency and marketing material but also on the race course. I am not saying we should to start in front of class 1 or trophy trucks either. It would just be great to be able to start a little earlier somedays so that we have a chance to enjoy the festivities and get some live coverage a little at the end of race day for our folks back home. It is impossible to please everyone I know, maybe a few tweaks here and there will make it better for all...

Speaking of live coverage, I heard NORRA knocked I out of the park this year. Lots of folks back home watched and loved the coverage and said it was great!

I know this was long winded but thanks again for another stellar NORRA. I hope we can continue to participate and have FUN.
 
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