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GOOD, BAD AND UGLY ABOUT NORRA M1K 2019

sredish

Active Member
side note / question - did anyone else get thoroughly cavity searched at the San Ignacio military check point? I frequent baja a ton so not new to checkpoints but we got stopped, pulled to the side and held up for at least an hour, ripped everything out of the truck and totally harassed, more so than I have at any checkpoint in the history of going down. we were with sweep team and I heard of at least 5 other similar stories, some with race teams having to completely unload trailers, multiple mil guys overwhelming the drivers and in at least one case, stealing a bag of tools and $800 out of their truck. obviously, it's mex and we need to do our due diligence but there was definitely a lot of unnecessary illegal harassment with the intention of targeting and taking money from the racers. very unfortunate.
 

43mod

Well-Known Member
went through that one 4 times. got us for at least 20 sticks of red licorice twice and handful of cookies the other 2.. Maybe 40-60 seconds each time. sorry you guys got hammered.
 

volks 73

Well-Known Member
side note / question - did anyone else get thoroughly cavity searched at the San Ignacio military check point? I frequent baja a ton so not new to checkpoints but we got stopped, pulled to the side and held up for at least an hour, ripped everything out of the truck and totally harassed, more so than I have at any checkpoint in the history of going down. we were with sweep team and I heard of at least 5 other similar stories, some with race teams having to completely unload trailers, multiple mil guys overwhelming the drivers and in at least one case, stealing a bag of tools and $800 out of their truck. obviously, it's mex and we need to do our due diligence but there was definitely a lot of unnecessary illegal harassment with the intention of targeting and taking money from the racers. very unfortunate.
We were behind 2 young men and 1 young lady who had surfboards in the back of the truck. The soldiers performed the most thorough inspection I have ever seen. We pulled up expecting something similar, the soldier asked if we raced NORRA, where we were coming from and where we were going. When I answered he motioned us to go. Its a bummer you guys had to go through that.
 

sredish

Active Member
Pretty sure they were holding me up hoping for a 'monetary donation'... especially after they weren't interested in any monsters or goodies that I offered. In fact, after I offered, they ordered me over to the side, sent like 4 dudes over plus a couple federal police to empty my truck and try to intimidate us. Super aggressive but they don't intimidate me, been through them to many times lol.
 

sredish

Active Member
Been through them to(sic) many times? Sounds like you have something making you a target.
Been through checkpoints many times, meaning I'm plenty familiar with them, never seen them that aggressive is what I meant. They're usually super cool to us and wanna chit chat.
 

trailready

Well-Known Member
Finally got back home Saturday. I have to say I don't see much room for improvement on an effort as big as this. Every single element of the race went smooth for us from border to border(well, except for the chicken in Loreto) . My 5th NORRA 1000 and this is the first time I bothered to write down the emergency phone number. Well, we used it on SS01 before Ojos when my other driver broke is arm when the wheel got away from him in some ruts. After getting a splint applied by the medic crew at the hiway crossing, we call the number and they directed our chase crew to the Ensenada Hospital where they traded his wrist band for a cast and billed NORRA's insurance. He was in and out of the hospital with one signature and cast within one hour and they beat us to San Felipe for dinner. Now, we do move at a much slower pace that most in the SC/Rambler but Stella worked perfect for us all week. Awards party greatly improved. Military check points were a breeze as were the border crossing both directions. I've been racing offroad for 20 years and no one makes more effort to work with participants to continually improve their program than NORRA. See you next year.
 

Dusty Times

Member
Eliseo, our tenth year racing the MEX1K and it always gets better, big thanks to you and your team. Now with the unpleasant stuff, Baja Voyager is the fly in everyone's cocktail. I get it, he's a hustler and there's money to be made but seriously what can be done about his strangle on hotel rooms? Teams can no longer book on their own hotels, sounds like NORRA is in the same boat too? Not only overcharging he's also overbooked hotels and double screwing people. We don't need his "help" figuring out our hotels, what we need is for hotels to be available to choose from through regular channels not from the "ticket scalper" reselling rooms at top dollar on his own terms. How can we get hotels to stop cooperating with him?
 

MasTacos

Well-Known Member
Ahh, the sensitive subject of hotel rooms rears it's head again (I assume this is primarily related to BofLA since there are tons of rooms in the other cities).

My incomplete understanding was that Baja Voyager wasn't affiliated with NORRA anymore but rather was focusing on their own clients. In the past, I've gone both routes (working with and without BV) and I have to say, I have no complaints about the service BV provides. I've never been left waiting and never had stuff stolen.

It seems to me that maybe there's a higher instance of shady "Ay-Carumba" (Can we please bring that feature back!) that occurs when you've got high demand for hotel rooms either at a specific hotel (close to start line, close to party, etc) or demand in a location where rooms are scarce (BofLA anyone?).

I know there are other folks who do an equally good job of supporting racer logistics (Optimum Logistics, Bajabound Moto to name two) so to each their own.
 

TRAVISD

Well-Known Member
This had nothing to do with BofLA, we all know the situation there. Its more of everyroom in the host cities are booked full the minute or before the release of the dates by NORRA. I tried booking rooms in mutiliple host cities only to find everything booked solid. The other issue is BV canceling rooms that we booked on our own and only to find out days before the race that our reservation that we made 6 months prior all of a sudden has disapeared.
 

jeff

Moderator
I wish the push to pass didn’t have a 1000 foot range. That is more than 3 football fields. It sucks when you pull over and no one is there. The push to pass should be used like nerfing. Get on them then hit the button instead of their rear bumper. I have used it a lot and I don’t hit it until I am through their dust on on their bumper. It worked great this way. I also run with my lights on. Most of the time people see the lights and move over before I hit the push to pass. I know a lot of people hit the button as soon as they see dust ahead.
The issue with this recommendation is it will encourage people to run right up the backside of the vehicle in front of them which is the exact thing the STELLA is trying to reduce / prevent. Running at "race" speeds in dust is rarely safe but I agree that pulling over for no apparent reason (Ghost PtoP) is a waste of time. So pick your poison... Do you want to get smashed (and possibly injured) by another vehicle that's running right on your ass in your dust that can't see the obstacle you are about to panic brake for or do you give up a few seconds here and there along the 1000+ mile route and play it safe?

Aloha
 

D10R10717

Member
This had nothing to do with BofLA, we all know the situation there. Its more of everyroom in the host cities are booked full the minute or before the release of the dates by NORRA. I tried booking rooms in mutiliple host cities only to find everything booked solid. The other issue is BV canceling rooms that we booked on our own and only to find out days before the race that our reservation that we made 6 months prior all of a sudden has disapeared.
I've done all my own booking for rooms the last two years, a month from when the race starts, no problems finding rooms at very cheap prices. And the hotels I have found are now our favorite places to stay. I use booking.com Only good thing about JC is his secured parking lots.
 

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
The issue with this recommendation is it will encourage people to run right up the backside of the vehicle in front of them which is the exact thing the STELLA is trying to reduce / prevent. Running at "race" speeds in dust is rarely safe but I agree that pulling over for no apparent reason (Ghost PtoP) is a waste of time. So pick your poison... Do you want to get smashed (and possibly injured) by another vehicle that's running right on your ass in your dust that can't see the obstacle you are about to panic brake for or do you give up a few seconds here and there along the 1000+ mile route and play it safe?

Aloha
I’ve always look for and pick the best place to charge the dust. Once you get on their tail you are out of the dust and ready to pass. After some false alarms, I won’t pull over anymore for someone way back that doesn’t like my dust. What I was saying is Stella should be used as the electronic nerf. If you are not there you are not ready. I have passed and been passed this way and prefer it. I think some of the abuse with Stella are people who not confident in the dust and hope that by pushing the button we will pull over and give them clear air.
 

TRAVISD

Well-Known Member
I’ve always look for and pick the best place to charge the dust. Once you get on their tail you are out of the dust and ready to pass. After some false alarms, I won’t pull over anymore for someone way back that doesn’t like my dust. What I was saying is Stella should be used as the electronic nerf. If you are not there you are not ready. I have passed and been passed this way and prefer it. I think some of the abuse with Stella are people who not confident in the dust and hope that by pushing the button we will pull over and give them clear air.


I did the same thing. If I could not see their headlights or bumper I didnt move or accept the pass signal.
 

jeff

Moderator
I did the same thing. If I could not see their headlights or bumper I didnt move or accept the pass signal.
Sort of related... but did I hear you correctly in La Paz (hotel parking lot) that you went through 3 windshields this year?

Aloha
 

TRAVISD

Well-Known Member
Sort of related... but did I hear you correctly in La Paz (hotel parking lot) that you went through 3 windshields this year?

Aloha

Same windshield, 3 rock hits that resulted in cracks. All from overtaking.
 

Bajades

Well-Known Member
Eliseo, I would be reluctant to do this race again if Mag 7 is responsible for fueling the UTV's. The service from Mag 7 was horrendous and essentially lost the race for us. Coming into day three, we were the leading stock turbo UTV out of 25 cars. There was supposed to be a Mag 7 pit at race mile 75, but instead it was at 106. We ran out of gas at race mile 86 and I ended up hiking 3.5 miles to Rancho Piedro Blanca to get fuel. We figured we had somehow missed Mag 7 so we had to get all the way to the highway at about race mile 130. We had to run in ECO mode and definitely not at race pace. When we got to Mag 7 at 106, they first refused to give us fuel because "we were not signed up for that pit". After much cajoling, I got them to give me a splash so we could make it to our crew at the pavement. Running out of fuel on this stage cost us 3 hours of down time, plus time lost for limping the car along for 50 miles or so. We started the next stage late in the day and did the half the stage in the dark. We thought our race was done, so we never pushed in the longest stage of the race. You were kind enough to give us our stopped time back, but it killed our race momentum. This was just the tip of the iceberg with Mag 7. The previous day their gas pit on Stage 1 was 14 miles early, making getting to our next gas stop very sketchy. We made it on fumes. On the gas pits that they were where they were supposed to be, they often were ill prepared to fuel a UTV. Several times we pulled in the pit with only fuel in large quick dump cans that won't work on a stock UTV filler. They would have to pour that into a smaller 5 gallon "motorcycle' can to fuel us while we waited. If we were getting a full tank (9.5 gallons), this process could take 10 minutes. The fuel cans they had were often so old and in poor condition, that almost as much fuel went on the ground as in the car. They fuel cans had small diameter petrified hoses that were painful in how slow they were. Much of our competition, having done this race before carried emergency fuel. We paid Mag 7 over $800 for around 40 gallons of fuel for this race. The service we received was disrespectful. UTV's made up the largest field by far in this race, and if you want to continue to see this class grow and continue, the fueling issue needs to be resolved.
 

Bajades

Well-Known Member
In addition, I think that passing in the speed zones should be legal. Throttle control is a big part of racing and if you can accurately control your speed better than a competitor, you should be rewarded. I agree that you should not be able to exceed the speed limit in order to pass, but passing within the speed limit should be legal. Another problem with the rule is that a racer could purposely reduce his speed in the speed zone to bunch up the racers behind him so they have to race in the dust while he/she has clear air in front of him.
 

lyhoftom

Member
In addition, I think that passing in the speed zones should be legal. Throttle control is a big part of racing and if you can accurately control your speed better than a competitor, you should be rewarded. I agree that you should not be able to exceed the speed limit in order to pass, but passing within the speed limit should be legal. Another problem with the rule is that a racer could purposely reduce his speed in the speed zone to bunch up the racers behind him so they have to race in the dust while he/she has clear air in front of him.
Couldn't agree more on your previous post ref Mag7, just glad we got to the Ranch before you...rancher must have had more fuel than a Pemex, we got 10l not knowing where, when, or if Mag7 would be next.
On the passing, if we can find the balance between the electronic nerf and the ghost pass, with everyone playing by the rules, we all win. The caution and SOS was way closer than 1000'...not sure how they can strike the balance with the P2P if they're all supposed to be the same distance. If folks get over the fact that they got caught and give way, not ignoring the request into a speed zone and then resuming the dust storm, everything should be safer which is the goal. We're not all in chromoly cages, as another UTV/golf cart, we're less protected hence the Stella. I can't imagine how some handled mixing with bikes or quads if they didn't told to a smaller but faster car. Playing by the rules should also avoid your need for speed zone passes too. If you caught them at the end of the dirt, why not let you by in the speed zone instead of being stubborn and making you Stella your way by? As I stated above, only significant time penalties/DQs from NORRA will make everyone comply.
 
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