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First timer's guide to participating in the Baja 1000

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Get with Pat Sims, buy him a steak dinner (make sure the ice tea is all you can drink or he will break ya) and he will gladly give your a couple of years worth of experience racing Baja. Maybe chase for him as he is working with a great crew of people that have LOTS of Baja experience.

Are you going to race the truck at the 1st TDRA race in January? Hope to see it out there, dress warm!
I've been talking with Pat and he's provided me with a lot of good information.It'll come up when I post about different topics.

Yes we will be in Notrees in two weeks. Really just using that as an opportunity to put a healthy shakedown on the truck and learn about it's limits and functions. More of a test n tune under race conditions for us. I agree on it being a little chilly! (should have left the heater in the truck :rolleyes:)

this pretty much sums it up..




great... ill be doing the Vaquero 400 and the Doc Holliday 200, my friends will be racing their utv and ill be racing ironman my quad (123A).. look for me and we can bs a lil and Ill try to answer any questions you might have..

whats your instagram name?
@taquache_motorsports

I'll definitely be looking for you at those races. I appreciate your help thus far on Baja and TORRA.

We always get a rough estimate of how much fuel we will need for the trip then convert dollars to pesos just for that reason. it will save you money especially when you go through a lot of fuel. As far as hotels go, make sure to get them well in advance especially in the middle of the peninsula as those ones are limited and go fast. It's also a good idea to pre enter and get your wrist bands early for the 2nd and 3rd drivers if needed since they will most likely not be headed back to Ensenada after prerunning just to turn back around to do another long drive back to where they are getting in the race vehicle. For us it's better to post up and relax in a hotel closer to where we are getting in rather than wasting a lot of time driving back and forth. One more thing, we used Text anywhere at the last Baja 1000 and it worked great.
That is some good advise. I hadn't though about splitting the crew up after prerunning and setting up multiple "base camps" to cut down on some non-race drive time.

Thanks!
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
Driving on the highway in Mexico is, in my opinion, the most dangerous part of racing in Baja, next to pre-running. The roads are narrow with no shoulder. You drop a wheel off and you are gone! Do not drive at night unless you absolutely have to. It gets dark in Baja just after 5 PM in November, so plan accordingly. There should always be two occupants awake while driving. Of course use seat belts. Trucks and buses have a way of finding themselves in your lane. Buses are sometimes the worst for taking the whole road. Be especially careful if pulling a trailer. You need to carry at least 4 spares for the trailer, with wider axles on a trailer it is easy to drop a wheel off and blow tires and bend a rim. Tires can be found, but rims can be hard to come by down there, especially when another team beats you to the only tire shop in Viscaino and buys their only two trailer rims and you come in needing two as well. Amazing how a badly bent rim can be straightened with a sledge when you have no other choice. The bad part of that situation was I had to leave the trailer on the side of the road 30 miles south with a guy standing next to it in the dark as I hauled butt to town. I saw a good idea on Jesse James trailer back in 07. They had a complete spare axle including springs bolted to the front of the trailer. Then if they bent one, they could jack it up on the side of the road and swap it out and not be stranded. I thought that was pretty smart since it didn't take up much room and if bolted down you don't need to worry about someone taking the time to steal it, too much work.

Pre-running can be equally dangerous, because your mind set isn't the same as it is during the race. During the race there are plenty of other racers and spectators around to assist if you are in a major emergency. However, while pre-running you could be out there most of the day with out anyone else coming along. Always have a contingency plan if something breaks or goes wrong. Pre-running always takes longer than you expect from my experience. One problem I have had several times is the lack of hotels. Catavina is the only town with a place to stay for a long way, and it fills up fast. I've had to keep driving several times because it was full.

Good luck. I live in Stephenville TX but work down in the Eagle Ford. I wish I could get out to some of the races this year here in Texas just to spectate or help out.
 

bobbyng

New Member
I am looking forward to following this thread til the end. I am trying to put together a team to race in 2018 (maybe sooner if we have some eureka moment), and it's awesome you are sharing your whole experience from start to finish with us. Good luck with everything.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Driving on the highway in Mexico is, in my opinion, the most dangerous part of racing in Baja, next to pre-running. The roads are narrow with no shoulder. You drop a wheel off and you are gone! Do not drive at night unless you absolutely have to. It gets dark in Baja just after 5 PM in November, so plan accordingly. There should always be two occupants awake while driving. Of course use seat belts. Trucks and buses have a way of finding themselves in your lane. Buses are sometimes the worst for taking the whole road. Be especially careful if pulling a trailer. You need to carry at least 4 spares for the trailer, with wider axles on a trailer it is easy to drop a wheel off and blow tires and bend a rim. Tires can be found, but rims can be hard to come by down there, especially when another team beats you to the only tire shop in Viscaino and buys their only two trailer rims and you come in needing two as well. Amazing how a badly bent rim can be straightened with a sledge when you have no other choice. The bad part of that situation was I had to leave the trailer on the side of the road 30 miles south with a guy standing next to it in the dark as I hauled butt to town. I saw a good idea on Jesse James trailer back in 07. They had a complete spare axle including springs bolted to the front of the trailer. Then if they bent one, they could jack it up on the side of the road and swap it out and not be stranded. I thought that was pretty smart since it didn't take up much room and if bolted down you don't need to worry about someone taking the time to steal it, too much work.

Pre-running can be equally dangerous, because your mind set isn't the same as it is during the race. During the race there are plenty of other racers and spectators around to assist if you are in a major emergency. However, while pre-running you could be out there most of the day with out anyone else coming along. Always have a contingency plan if something breaks or goes wrong. Pre-running always takes longer than you expect from my experience. One problem I have had several times is the lack of hotels. Catavina is the only town with a place to stay for a long way, and it fills up fast. I've had to keep driving several times because it was full.

Good luck. I live in Stephenville TX but work down in the Eagle Ford. I wish I could get out to some of the races this year here in Texas just to spectate or help out.
There is some good information here, Thanks! I'll add it to the prerunning and traveling section when I get to posting those up.

I am looking forward to following this thread til the end. I am trying to put together a team to race in 2018 (maybe sooner if we have some eureka moment), and it's awesome you are sharing your whole experience from start to finish with us. Good luck with everything.
I hope it is helpful!
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
UPDATES:

Whew I've been blowing and going in multiple directions!

We had our first race in January and took a gamble on a few parts that we did not replace during our prep... The house won.

Halfway through the second lap we blew a u-joint out of one of the front axles and that took out the other axle and a hub. Catastrophic failure which ended our race. Excellent learning experience and a good example of knowing your race vehicle backwards and forwards. We replaced all of the parts and even developed a few partnership with new companies to help upgrade the truck. Timken hubs, Spicer u-joints, East Coast Gear Supply chromoly axles, and EBC brakes have all been installed and should be ready for the rest of this season. Our next race is the Tejas Off Road Racing Association Vaquero 400 coming up on March 18-20. It will be a 300 mile course for our truck and a good test of all the parts. I will not be racing with the team as I have stake in the Association and do not want any conflict of interest. Plus my attention will be elsewhere.

We were able to shake the truck down a couple weeks ago we notices week steering tie rods, a leaking power steering reservoir, and blown electric radiator fans.

The fans have been replaced and two more added to ensure redundancy and extra cooling, a new reservoir will be relocated soon and power steering re-plumbed. The steering will most likely be replaced with another new stock setup until we are able to run the Synergy Manufacturing upgrade.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
On another note:

I'M GOING TO BAJA!!!

I have been asked to help chase with a team out of Texas during NORRA April 21-28!!!

I cannot contain my excitement at this incredible opportunity where I will finally set foot on the mystical peninsula. I'm looking forward to networking and taking many many many pages of notes!

Are any of you going to be down there?
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Topic for discussion:

Those of you who are visually impaired, do you use contacts or glasses, have you considered lasik?

Do you have a pair of "racing glasses?"

I can not go with out glasses or contacts, my vision is entirely too horrible. The glasses I wear daily do not work well with my helmet as the arms are very flimsy. I'm looking into other options. I don't think contacts are a good idea because of the risk.
 

oneleglance

Well-Known Member
When you are at the NORRA race look for a dark blue 70 Suburban with white roof....hollar at the one legged guy (me) and we can chat it up.
I do logistics/chase for a early Bronco in the NORRA race and would happy to offer thoughts on that aspect of racing.
Looking forward to meeting in April
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
When you are at the NORRA race look for a dark blue 70 Suburban with white roof....hollar at the one legged guy (me) and we can chat it up.
I do logistics/chase for a early Bronco in the NORRA race and would happy to offer thoughts on that aspect of racing.
Looking forward to meeting in April
Awesome! I will appreciate that input greatly!
 

FAT ROB !

Well-Known Member
book2-1.jpg


This book has helped a lot of "First Time Racers" make it to the Finish line, as well as, the Podium.
Its located at < RaceBaja1000.com>
 

biffgnar

Well-Known Member
have you considered lasik?
Lasik has been one of the most incredible things ever for me. Going on about 15 years since it was done. I wore serious coke bottle glasses since about fifth grade. 20 minute procedure and woke up the next morning with better than 20/20 vision. I know some don't have as good an experience as I've had but I still recommend it to everyone..
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
View attachment 166619

This book has helped a lot of "First Time Racers" make it to the Finish line, as well as, the Podium.
Its located at < RaceBaja1000.com>
I'll check it out, Thanks!

Lasik has been one of the most incredible things ever for me. Going on about 15 years since it was done. I wore serious coke bottle glasses since about fifth grade. 20 minute procedure and woke up the next morning with better than 20/20 vision. I know some don't have as good an experience as I've had but I still recommend it to everyone..
I've had a few friends go through the procedure with great success as well. Glasses have been a part of my life just about my entire life so I'm hesitant to give up that "security blanket" feel. I do consider it more and more every day though.
 

BoscoKID

Well-Known Member
Great thread on prep'n for 2017. We are a local Ensenada Class 11 team. If you need any help just let us know. We plan on racing the B1K in 2017 as well. Just let us know if we can help in anyway.
 

3 Amigos Racing

Well-Known Member
Topic for discussion:

Those of you who are visually impaired, do you use contacts or glasses, have you considered lasik?

Do you have a pair of "racing glasses?"

I can not go with out glasses or contacts, my vision is entirely too horrible. The glasses I wear daily do not work well with my helmet as the arms are very flimsy. I'm looking into other options. I don't think contacts are a good idea because of the risk.
I have been using their products since 2007
http://www.sportrx.com/
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Another item for discussion.

Phone service. (Cellular not Satellite)

I have Verizon in the states using an iPhone 5c. When I went to Canada to pick up our truck I was given a prompt to switch to Rogers towers and for $2 a day I could continue using my normal cell plan. This was a great option as opposed to the other choice of paying by the minute, text, or MB of data.

Does this also happen in Mexico?

I have visited my local Verizon store but they don't deal with questions like this very often so the information I was getting was a little spotty.

I'd like to hear from you guys with in country experience. I'm preparing for NORRA in about 3 weeks and am wondering if I should go pick up another phone from someone else or if I will have the same option to switch to TELCEL once I cross the border. (That is what the store told me would happen, same situation as in Canada)
 

MARXICO

Well-Known Member
Cross the border into Mexico , go to a OXXO or 7-11 buy a disposable phone for 30 bucks , comes with 100 minutes buy your crew the same phone .Program the speed dial with every ones new number and you are good to go .
 

racer_dude

Back2Back TL Champ!
Verizon works everywhere that the rest of the phones do in Baja. Verizon purchased either TelCel or Movifone (maybe both????) and now have decent coverage down the peninsula. Just don't expect to make a call south of El Rosario 'till you get close to Gurerro Negro

Call before you leave for Mex, and tell them that you are going to Mexico for a week and say something about a $15/ month plan for international. Something like 500 minutes, unlimited text and 1? or 2gb of data.

Starting in 2014 I left my Burn phone at home, that way you don't have to worry about people in the states not knowing how to dial mex numbers, or you worrying about not getting your Mex number to all the right people.
 

randy s

Well-Known Member
read the SCORE rulebook..you don't want any surprises regarding out of date harness', helmets or anything else..you'll have enough to do before the race as it is..
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
read the SCORE rulebook..you don't want any surprises regarding out of date harness', helmets or anything else..you'll have enough to do before the race as it is..
Agreed, I keep a copy in my truck and read it when ever I have down time at work.

We should be up to date on everything, all of our equipment including harnesses are new as of 2016.

Do the cages need to be recertified?

We have a SCORE tag on ours already but I'm wondering if it will need to be reinspected since it had been a while since our truck has passed through a SCORE tech.
 
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