Baja 500 post race controversy guesses???

mxben

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I'd suggest qualifying everyone and starting by speed instead of by class is safer than starting by class. It should result in less passing.
Keep in mind the promoter is trying to at least break even. There is no money coming in from TV rights or ticket sales like pro motorsports have.
Some of the ideas would add significant costs to the promoter including multiple days, fewer classes (fewer entry dollars), or ideas needing more manpower.

Regarding highway safety, I think SCORE should adopt the methods of Norra for highway sections.
There should be zero pressure or incentive to maintain a specific speed on the road as there is now.

I like that. Time stops when you leave the highway, time starts back up when you hit the next check. Up to the driver to maintain a reasonable speed to keep track position. NO passing.
 

mxben

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Multiple days... too much cost. Too many volunteers will need to take more days off work. SCORE pay for choppers, cops, ambulances. Pit teams like Mag7, Baja Pits, BFG, going to wear out their help.
Aint happening.


I am in no way saying do away with prerunning, because IMO the towns wont want the race without the revenue prerunning brings in, but limit it somehow.
Those silt areas weren't all silt areas 'till thousands of prerunners dug them up. I know, I ride down there more than most anyone.
Also ain't gonna happen, but if everyone had to prerun in something with less than 150HP the courses wouldn't get so blown out.
Is 3 weeks really needed to prerun? Especially in these days of VCPs (way too many VCPs)
Fragile areas, like say the silt beds North of Loreto, why are they open for prerun? It's always destroyed before the race. Make it a no prerun section, it's just a few miles, that way the course doesn't have to be changed the day before and run down the Hwy.

Zack lee, just quarantine the hot spots. We had no pre running for V2R last year and everyone seemed to survive. AND that course was still a silt bath. Prob won't be back there anytime soon either. haha.
 

Fifty

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Multiple days... too much cost. Too many volunteers will need to take more days off work. SCORE pay for choppers, cops, ambulances. Pit teams like Mag7, Baja Pits, BFG, going to wear out their help.
Aint happening.


I am in no way saying do away with prerunning, because IMO the towns wont want the race without the revenue prerunning brings in, but limit it somehow.
Those silt areas weren't all silt areas 'till thousands of prerunners dug them up. I know, I ride down there more than most anyone.
Also ain't gonna happen, but if everyone had to prerun in something with less than 150HP the courses wouldn't get so blown out.
Is 3 weeks really needed to prerun? Especially in these days of VCPs (way too many VCPs)
Fragile areas, like say the silt beds North of Loreto, why are they open for prerun? It's always destroyed before the race. Make it a no prerun section, it's just a few miles, that way the course doesn't have to be changed the day before and run down the Hwy.

I’m not entirely sure. I think when you separate the race... adding a single day to a multi day event (because it’s not simply a 1 day event. You have set up and break down etc,)

when you spread the racing out and add a single day you can then add monetary weight to the classes that are run.

And if the lower series dont themselves bring enough sponsorship, take the top two monetary classes, split them.

the #2 is now the headliner on Saturday with all the smaller classes under it... and #1 is the headliner on Sunday with the smaller classes under it.

the #2 will draw the attention for the smaller classes and the teams and PR guys for score can tell the sponsors that they are the highlight and will get more focused YouTube video time, or if it’s on tv, more minutes per truck because the competitor population was cut in half and the #2 class which used to get minimal time now gets first pick.

and then for sunday, the #1 class gets the same talk, but now telling them that they will get even more screen time since you don’t have to cut away for the #2 class let alone the lower classes as much.

and... even though it’s 500 miles and not a loop like hammers, it’s 2021... tell the teams with choppers that score has rights to the live feed and have the feed director use that video to show the race.

then folks can actually watch the race and understand what’s going on.

If the sponsors know they are going to get more air time, are going to get more people seeing their advertisements, they will pay a little bit more.

tbh what is the full bottom line cost for running the race on the day of. I’m not talking build up and break down. But the costs of that day. Probably 60-65% of the full budget.
So to double it, running a second day will probably add about 30-40%...

That’s not end of the world in an event that has the lineage of the baja 500, 1000... blah blah blah.

Sadly my phone and email hasn’t wrung yet. No one took my job request serious lol.

(it’s so easy to make suggestions when my nuts aren’t on the line).
 

BajaboundMoto

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I'm curious of your background with Baja racing and Baja racing politics. ?.
I appreciate your enthusiasm. I just don't see it happening.
There have been many, some with deep pockets, who've had similar ideas in the past, and...
I’m not entirely sure. I think when you separate the race... adding a single day to a multi day event (because it’s not simply a 1 day event. You have set up and break down etc,)
when you spread the racing out and add a single day you can then add monetary weight to the classes that are run.
And if the lower series dont themselves bring enough sponsorship, take the top two monetary classes, split them.
the #2 is now the headliner on Saturday with all the smaller classes under it... and #1 is the headliner on Sunday with the smaller classes under it.
the #2 will draw the attention for the smaller classes and the teams and PR guys for score can tell the sponsors that they are the highlight and will get more focused YouTube video time, or if it’s on tv, more minutes per truck because the competitor population was cut in half and the #2 class which used to get minimal time now gets first pick.
and then for sunday, the #1 class gets the same talk, but now telling them that they will get even more screen time since you don’t have to cut away for the #2 class let alone the lower classes as much.
and... even though it’s 500 miles and not a loop like hammers, it’s 2021... tell the teams with choppers that score has rights to the live feed and have the feed director use that video to show the race.
then folks can actually watch the race and understand what’s going on.
If the sponsors know they are going to get more air time, are going to get more people seeing their advertisements, they will pay a little bit more.
tbh what is the full bottom line cost for running the race on the day of. I’m not talking build up and break down. But the costs of that day. Probably 60-65% of the full budget.
So to double it, running a second day will probably add about 30-40%...
That’s not end of the world in an event that has the lineage of the baja 500, 1000... blah blah blah.
Sadly my phone and email hasn’t wrung yet. No one took my job request serious lol.
(it’s so easy to make suggestions when my nuts aren’t on the line).
 

Fifty

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As I have said before, I have zero background in baja racing organization or baja local politics. Large scale domestic govt operations yes...baja no. (heck my entry into large govt operations was because I looked at a persons logistics problem and used disneylands old que'ing program for a solution and it was like I had invented the lightbulb)

But.... anyone who has studied history...business history and failures... its so very often the "thats how we have always done it" that stunts or kills.

An organization would be foolish to not take serious looks at options. Heck why do you think a large company that makes...lets say washing machines.... their board of directors will bring in a ceo that spent their time running companies that made clothing, or computers or tires or.....

Im really not trying to sound jerky, so please dont take it as such. Internet posts rarely translate intention appropriately.

But I look at this situation from the standpoint of 3 different people: 1) If I had just dumped $1.2 million into a truck and support equipment, and I am trying to appease my sponsors or the folks who sit on the board of the company that I own that I plastered their name on the hood and door panels... 2) If I had just dumped $250k into a truck and support equipment and I am trying to appease me sponsors and my wife/family who help me run the business that is plastered on the hood and sides of the vehicle. .. and 3) The enthusiast/spectator who has dumped $25-125k in parts into a mass produced oem truck or sxs and wants to watch the race and dream about being out there and thinks that if I had the same vehicle I could drive faster (not).....

What does each one of those people want? Its the exact same thing but from different perspectives. 1) wants more air time to make his sponsors happy to have a better return on their investment. And heck, better racing for better trophies and a safer run less broken parts and bad pr just because its a less of a nightmare in todays world. etc. 2) wants the possibility of air time to maybe grow the business to be able to justify to the family a money pit. And to not break parts or get wrecked because its a hot mess. 3) Wants a better show to see whats happening and to maybe even pick a team to support and watch and then buy their hats shirts, licensed wheels blah blah blah. (Think of the positive reviews hammers got from the spectator side)

At the end of the day, the baja race has something that every other offroad race does not have. Its the baja what ever race. Everyone has heard of it. Its like the rubicon for crawlers. It may be good, bad a joke, easy, tough... Doesnt matter. Its almost a household name in the automotive world.

It can be leveraged for more to help pay to make a better show.

Although, KOH has really started to take over the myth of being THE offroad event in the laymen and marketing eye... Probably because of the show that is being put on.
 

cwarren

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Multiple days... too much cost. Too many volunteers will need to take more days off work. SCORE pay for choppers, cops, ambulances. Pit teams like Mag7, Baja Pits, BFG, going to wear out their help.
Aint happening.


I am in no way saying do away with prerunning, because IMO the towns wont want the race without the revenue prerunning brings in, but limit it somehow.
Those silt areas weren't all silt areas 'till thousands of prerunners dug them up. I know, I ride down there more than most anyone.
Also ain't gonna happen, but if everyone had to prerun in something with less than 150HP the courses wouldn't get so blown out.
Is 3 weeks really needed to prerun? Especially in these days of VCPs (way too many VCPs)
Fragile areas, like say the silt beds North of Loreto, why are they open for prerun? It's always destroyed before the race. Make it a no prerun section, it's just a few miles, that way the course doesn't have to be changed the day before and run down the Hwy.
I agree completely that its prerunning is that destroys it. Top guys running the course 5 + times a piece in 7-800hp trucks doesn't help lol. But I don't see a reasonable way to actually limit everyone from doing that. If they just got out there with a backhoe or dozer and did what they could to fix it or cut in an alternate line it would be no problem. Like I was saying, they could blade 80 miles of San Felipe why not spend a single day cutting an alternate line. Don't care if its longer slower, or whatever at least you wouldn't have 70 cars waiting in line for one bonehead to get his vehicle unstuck. I don't even think that flatter silt sections are as bad, the main issues were just after Meling's. Just like when they ran us up matomi knowing it was going to be a poop show and did it anyways.
 

cwarren

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Chase,
Agreed, that's why in that post I mentioned that really it's 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other. There is no silver bullet that gets you the prefect answer. Every option involves trade offs. The start order of every race creates issues no matter which way you do it and I can now say from a small bit of first hand experience that no matter what direction you go, some folks are going to be unhappy regardless. I'm not saying there isn't merit to the point that folks are going to get mixed up anyway so why not mix from the start, but without data I'm just saying that my overall opinion generally speaking is that the more small cars you have in front of big cars, at any point on a race course, the higher the potential for bad stuff to happen.

Regarding the silt, no start order is going to make up for poor decision making behind the wheel obviously so aside from driver responsibility and perhaps there are ways they can run courses around bottlenecks and silt that could be problematic. It's a slippery slope because for every person like you who (legitimately in my book) has safety concerns, there is another racer that says "That's what Baja is all about". So from the org, it's hard to find a happy medium there. It's a tough gig and the fact that there are no easy answers is why they are still debated over and over on places like RDC. I think really it boils down to what you said about having to make those choices as a racer, deciding what you will and won't accept as "normal" for the event and racing where you feel the most comfortable.
I don't know the perfect answer to the starting order either. Qualifying everything could be a logistics nightmare but would be nice if they even made an attempt to give limited guys a better racing experience, but it hasn't happened. And honestly, I don't see score doing a damn thing about it. It will never be perfect but I think unless they try to do something about these one lined bottlenecks, its just not worth it for us to be down there in a class that's guaranteed to be stuck in it. It's not even a race at that point. Again, they will probably do nothing and then it just comes down to everyones personal choice of where to get the best racing experience for their dollar.
 

MTPyle

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the bottle neck thing is bad. Thats a lot of work and money to get down there to just end your day waiting for someone else to get un stuck.

Starting order is a tough thing to fix. Qualifying does not always work. Its better than nothing but does not make sure you have slow guys in the back. Many races there are fast qualifiers that are super slow on the race course. We qualify bad usually and race better than the guys we qualified behind. And some tight short course type qualifying does not compare to race course.

I like how SCORE uses the previous race finish order for start order. But even that creates issues as some fast guy could have problem in the first race and now starts behind a bunch of slow guys.

Really no way to solve this problem, its just part of the sport. I do feel bad for the C10 guys with 2wd having to fight thru the mess the full size trucks make.

Pre run thing is a entirely different mess. LOL

Mike
 

stephenrjking

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and... even though it’s 500 miles and not a loop like hammers, it’s 2021... tell the teams with choppers that score has rights to the live feed and have the feed director use that video to show the race.

then folks can actually watch the race and understand what’s going on.

If the sponsors know they are going to get more air time, are going to get more people seeing their advertisements, they will pay a little bit more.
Broadcast coverage of Baja is challenging, and it can be better. But logistically it's not yet feasible to have a full broadcast given current budgetary constraints.

For one, I am told that helicopters aren't permitted to fly at night in Baja. That is a significant broadcast constraint for the 1000.

For two, transmitting video feeds requires infrastructure. It's not enough to have helicopters in the air, you need a way to transmit the feed to a production center of some kind.

The Menzies team has been working on this in the States using a rather expensive array of cell equipment. The results haven't been perfect, since cell coverage is... inconsistent in the desert, but it has produced some wonderful coverage of Bryce racing for extended periods. Other teams have tried to do this a bit as well.

What I think we may be waiting for is Starlink. Not the first time we've talked about this. Starlink may provide the connectivity to route multiple feeds at low cost, and thus allow for reasonably good coverage on the Baja peninsula, including the use of helicopter feeds during the day and even crowd-sourcing amateur cell-feeds.

This could be feasible within a year or two. Given current limitations (full WRC-style coverage is theoretically possible but cost prohibitive) it seems like planning and preparing for it is the best option for better coverage.

But someone has to want to do it, and though it can be done relatively cheaper, someone still needs to pay for it.
 

MTPyle

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But they can currently have a checkpoint relay split times to someone to post. Video coverage I get the challenges. But live times is easy with a cell phone or Sat phone. They could have 10 check points set up and give amazing data to follow. `100X more than we have now.

Starlink is really good. I just installed one on my houseboat in Powell. Easy to set up and the performance is amazing. Game changer for sure.

Mike
 

critter81

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Multiple days... too much cost. Too many volunteers will need to take more days off work. SCORE pay for choppers, cops, ambulances. Pit teams like Mag7, Baja Pits, BFG, going to wear out their help.
Aint happening.


I am in no way saying do away with prerunning, because IMO the towns wont want the race without the revenue prerunning brings in, but limit it somehow.
Those silt areas weren't all silt areas 'till thousands of prerunners dug them up. I know, I ride down there more than most anyone.
Also ain't gonna happen, but if everyone had to prerun in something with less than 150HP the courses wouldn't get so blown out.
Is 3 weeks really needed to prerun? Especially in these days of VCPs (way too many VCPs)
Fragile areas, like say the silt beds North of Loreto, why are they open for prerun? It's always destroyed before the race. Make it a no prerun section, it's just a few miles, that way the course doesn't have to be changed the day before and run down the Hwy.
smartest things I have seen on here in months
 

calstyl2

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The problem that pre-running is doing is creating a impassible route after big power/tire pre-runners hammer it 6 times, maybe its time to limit it UTV's 33" tires or less. Its baja, hard to regulate but the courses are getting beat to crap long before the race.
or maybe we just accept it as part of the journey.
 

critter81

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Or you could release the route with road by passes as the official route then the night before put out an updated GPS file at the meeting.... and require all vehicles to have an on board gps...
 

AZ7000'

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Fifty

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Another nomination…

“...the driver of the of the passing vehicle, which had no team affiliation.”

if the driver had no “team affiliation”, why was he/she/it driving a chase truck and why was score involved in the meeting.
 

Old Truck Guy

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So, NASCAR DQ'd Chase Elliot and stripped him of his stage win this weekend in Nashville just because they found loose lugnuts on his car during the post race inspection. They will also hand out a hefty fine to his crew chief later in the week. And we thought SCORE was strict. Geez!
 
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