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.
 
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