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Disabled Vets and vintage Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) take on the Mexican 1000

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Admiral Mike checking back in with the off road community to let my Baja racing familia y amigos know some great news. A team of disabled Vets are again taking the historic Light Strike Vehicle (LSV), Flyer One, to challenge the unforgiving Baja peninsula in NORRA’s epic Mexican 1000. This year, we are not just partnering with Racing4Vets but we are the new Southern California chapter, Racing4Vets SoCal. More on that soon.

First, the status of Flyer One…

At this time last year, with almost 10 weeks until race day, we were deep into restoration after towing the Flyer One hulk down from the high desert. We had converted her from right to left hand drive were removing the collapsible upper cage so we could reinstall an original-style welded roll cage. Everything else was either missing or terribly weathered from her time under a mattress in the boneyard. Looking back, we had so much left to do that I am amazed at what we accomplished!

Flyer One before…
Before under matress.jpg

Flyer One after…
After ready for baja.jpg


Today, Flyer One has had her body panels removed, has been thoroughly inspected, and a pre-race prep punch list has been created. More on that in my next blog entry…

Today, I wanted you to see something special. My co-driver, Corporal Cody USMC (RET), kept careful photo and video records of our 2015 Mexican 1000 and has published a great video on youtube. The video isn’t just about going fast in the Southwestern desert but it captures the magic of off road racing – the teamwork that it takes to finish a race over 1000 miles of the rugged Baja peninsula. You Baja racers, chasers, and pitters know exactly what I mean!

Youtube link for Navy Offroad: Wounded Warriors - Disabled Vets - 1000 Miles …

Cody and I will be again teaming as piloto y copiloto for the 2016 Mexican 1000.

Here we are, ready to rumble!
Cody and Mike at start line.jpg
 
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AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Funny how the pre-race punchlist gets bigger instead of smaller!

With two months until race day, the Flyer One Light Strike Vehicle (LSV) is getting lots of TLC. She is in great shape despite 1335 Baja miles in last year’s Mexican 1000.

We are not changing much on Flyer One but the big 3 changes are: Remove the 24-12V DC converter, upgrade to a heavy duty rear skid plate, and beef up the rear suspension.

Flyer One is a military vehicle so runs on diesel and 24 volts. The new race lights from Baja Designs were easy because we could simply upgraded to a 24V relay. For our 12V race electronics, we installed an aftermarket converter but it failed on day 2. Our two Navy SEAL drivers had to resort to old school tactical hand signals to communicate…palm up, fingers extended means punji sticks & danger and so on! Since the 24V system runs on two heavy duty 12V batteries, we bypassed the converter in Loreto that night and tied everything into one battery. We had avoided doing that because we were warned about spurious currents that might result and other unnamed bad things that could happen but we did it anyway. It worked for the rest of the race and more so we’re making it permanent unless someone can make a better case otherwise.

We had to reinforce our rear skid plate with scrap steel in Bahia de los Angeles. The heavy LSV buggy was originally equipped with a lightweight aluminum skid plate. Made sense for the original mission…saved weight and tactical travel was relatively slow so skid plates didn’t take much abuse. We’re adding some extra tubing and a heavier gauge aluminum skid plate.

Finally, Flyer One is going to get a couple trips to the desert so Fox engineers can determine the right spring and pressure combination for primary coil-over shocks and secondary bump shocks. It was okay to run on the skid plate a lot when we raced Class 11 but we can do better than that with Flyer One.

Here’s a picture of a sparkling clean Flyer One getting ready to go racing!

Flyer washed in driveway lores.jpg
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Mike,

After the MINT 400 I'll be working on your project....haven't forgotten you buddy.
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
First, CONGRATULATIONS TO Rory Ward for winning the Mint 400! Second, thanks to Rory, our vet team will have the coolest tshirts at the Mexican 1000! Check out this incredible, iconic artwork of Flyer One! Thanks again, Rory! You earned our team challenge coin and so much more!
Flyer One color.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Attention, Southern California veterans and supporters!

We have started our own SoCal chapter of Racing4Vets! Imagine the Magnificent 7 "Brotherhood" but for vets who love off road racing in our epic southwestern desert. We just held our first meeting of club officers to approve our charter & bylaws and will hold our first general membership meeting in May after the 2016 Mexican 1000. We have a dozen or so members so far but hope to grow our "plankowner" membership quickly.

There are two very successful "pavement" chapters, one in Tampa that does SCCA, NASA, and Chump Car racing and the other in Cinncinati that does Kart racing. Southern California is the right place for a new chapter. SoCal is the mecca of off road racing and has one of the largest concentration of vets in the USA. San Diego has more veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq deployments than any where else in the Country.

Off road racing over 1000 miles is the closest thing that I have found to a military deployment in the civilian world. Off road racing takes a team of people and equipment and offers them an incredibly challenging mission. The Mexican 1000 and Baja 1000 allow us to be part of something special and so much bigger than ourselves. Vets belong in this off road community because it gives us something that is missing in our civilian lives. Yet, this is quite different than our military service...we get to enjoy an ice cold Pacifico afterwards!

Whether we race, chase, or pit, we will be there for each other and our off road racing community.

If you are a vet or have vets as friends that would like to join, please let me know.

Racing4Vets.jpg
 

biffgnar

Well-Known Member
Can we donate to your effort and get a challenge coin? I was in the right seat last year when you got Rory at end of the day. Would love to support the effort.

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Be careful what you wish for! Rory had to buy me a beer since he foolishly didn't keep his challenge coin in easy reach. Once you are coined, you are on the hook!

Racing4Vets SoCal is a 501c3 non-profit organization and we really appreciate donations especially as we start up. Money is always good but we need stuff too. For example, one of our goals this year is to build up our own pit gear set so we can support Mag 7 or anyone else with our own reliable and complete pit equipment. That means we need the usual gear from generator to cones and hand tools to welder and eazup to table. We'll be needing to eventually make tshirts, decals, etc, etc, so we appreciate services too. Anything donated will be noted on a Racing4Vets receipt for tax purposes. Money donations can be made through the national website but please note that you want it to go to us in SoCal. If check or cash, we can handle that by mail or in person just like we would for stuff. We don't have Racing4Vets SoCal coins yet but I will promise a Navy Offroad team coin to anyone who donate!

Coins in hand.jpg
 
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biffgnar

Well-Known Member
So can we buy gear you want and have it shipped directly to you? My accountant does like receipts, but I can fudge a bit. If it gets directly to you, I'd prefer that than hoping it makes it's way through a bigger organization as a financial matter.

And yes, you got Rory. I had meant to bring along a 2013 NORRA coin I earned, although not sure co-dog allowed to bail out driver in that situation.

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AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Regretably, Rory's challenge coin "faux pax" is the only situation in off road racing that I can think of where the co-dog cannot or should not bail out his sadly unprepared driver. The only option that I can come up with is that the driver gives his coin to his co-driver to have at the ready on his behalf. This does open the driver up to a violation of challenge coin rule # 9, "A coin can be ransomed if handed to another."

I fabricated a crude but effective duct tape pouch on my dash for my coin. Mike P has burned me twice and twice is usually enough for me to learn...though my wife may differ on that...

Equipment and gear are great donations and we can provide a 501c3 receipt for those donations if desired. Thank you so much!
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Only 3 weeks until the Mexican 1000!

Still prepping Flyer One but most the hard stuff is done. We've finalized our team of drivers for this race and I wanted you to meet us.

Three of us raced last year; Brian Trotter (SEAL USN RET), Cody Elliott (CPL USMC RET), and me. Our 4th vet is Amit Galai who served as a commando in the IDF.

Decals are on the door panels...
Names dog.jpg Names codog.jpg

Both Brian and Amit are experts on Flyer One's descendant, Flyer 72, and are trainer/mechanics for the SOCOM buggy.
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Natalie at Sign Art helped us with team t-shirts. Check out this very cool t-shirts featuring Rory's incredible artwork. We presented Natalie with a team challenge coin. Natalie will be working with Jennifer to support all of us at the Mexican 1000. It's her second Mexican 1000...she loves this race too!
Natalie and coin.jpg
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
Mike,

Just as a disclaimer, I will NOT be bringing my Challenge coin to NORRA, it sits in my trophy case where it belongs. I lose half the crap in my pockets during race weekend anyways and I'm not going to lose my coin. New rule, since the disclaimer is out, if you challenge me I get to poke you in the eye......
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Mike,

Just as a disclaimer, I will NOT be bringing my Challenge coin to NORRA, it sits in my trophy case where it belongs. I lose half the crap in my pockets during race weekend anyways and I'm not going to lose my coin. New rule, since the disclaimer is out, if you challenge me I get to poke you in the eye......
Just as there is no crying in baseball, there are no disclaimers in challenge coins. Guess I'll get poked in the eye!
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Flyer One had a great shakedown in the Plaster City desert on Friday. Wayne at Fox tuned our shocks. He earned his challenge coin by setting us up for an epic 1374-mile run down the Baja peninsula in the inaugural Vintage Military Vehicle class. We're back in the garage for final preps.
Wayne and shock tuning.jpg
 

AdmiralMike

Well-Known Member
Our newest member of Racing4Vets SoCal also joined us in the desert. Gunner Dave was welcomed to the team and was presented his team coin.
Dave new R4V member.jpg
 
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