LICENSING, is it time?

fatnbald

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AAAAAAND STILL, THE UNDISPUTED INTERNET CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, KENTKROEKER
 

bobsson

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Well said however, I never said screw the fans or suggested driving them away. What I said was the fans and masses directly contribute very little to the sport financially and direct sponsorship dollars are not a determining factor to most racers participating in desert racing.

As for most; I think it's the challenge is the attraction and would be the determining factor in wanting to do it and before the internet and the current national marketing campaigns, people found out about it and the sport is still around. And sadly only a very, very few of those fans or masses get even minutely involved in helping save or support the sport against he issues we face, and the racers themselves are mostly apathetic to getting involved.

Contingency exists to support the racers and the racers support those companies. Major organizations involved in the sport derive some benefit but does Polaris really sell any more UTV's in the U.S. by being the event sponsor of the Mint or Baja 1000? Does Bud Light sell more beer? Jimco, Fortin, Weddle or McKenzies more parts in Atlanta, Chicago or Seattle?

The fact is the sport is regional in it's direct appeal and the industry is primarily self supporting and very specialty. If it was a big deal WM, Amazon, and others would be on board; trust me on that one...

Back on topic: With, without sponsors, contingency etc...: It's a sad fact that all it takes to participate at the top levels of the sport is the ability to get the hardware. We are one of the only professional motorsports disciplines that allows this and the only one racing on mostly open courses.
Amazon is on board with Youtheory. There's still short course racing in the Midwest and it's growing. Compared to the southwest how many people in Georgia or the south east know anything about desert racing? Market penetration is a big part of that. They know mud bogging since they have swamps, but we still see posters come on here from the Midwest and further East looking to race.

And while you didn't say screw the fans, the post I quoted essentially did with their idea of secret starting times and locations. And while you're right about most doing it for the challenge, denying cost is a factor seems short sighted in my opinion. I'm personally putting together a program and like many others I have run the numbers to see who's contingency helps me the most. Take that money out and I'd definitely race a lot less. A roll over that trashes my front end can easily run up over 5 grand, but if I have a few hundred in my contingency saved it's a bit easier to swallow and I know I'm not the only guy out there like that. How many trucks sit for years after a roll?

As for Polaris, they might not sell more utvs, but all the people that sell LT kits, light bars, roll cages and accessories benefit from spectators seeing them at the races. I'm sure LT trucks that aren't built for racing are a sizeable cash flow for people like Camburg, Giant, Brenthel and others. Sure a LT Ranger doesn't cost as much as a 6100 chassis, but for every 6100 that enters a race there's dozens of Rangers Tacomas, and other trucks. If you hide racing from spectators like the guy I originally quoted suggested, that's going to start being reduced.

I do agree on your point that it's a bit crazy we allow anyone with money to just jump in a 900 horsepower 3 ton missile. As for the best way forward, I don't know.
 

619offroad

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Hate to say it but, pistol nailed it. I myself just with 2 years of driving and co-driving in code races. That being said, there is no way I wouldnt have felt comfortable just jumping in a TT. I have been in a couple of TT's and you have to be on your game all the time. Not only the speeds at which you are driving but how to read the terrain.

Now with the "i have money and want to drive a TT". I say go for it but doesn't mean that you should race with us. There is a lot of open desert to have fun in and do dumb s*$#. If a person is serious about racing baja, then they should take it seriously.

As the 500 reminded us again there are accidents and tragedies in this sport. IMO the only way to improve is having spectators informed of the hazards of off road racing. Also drivers that want to run unlimited, should have a certain amount of hours ( miles) behind the wheel. Experience is key to help make good decisions, in hairy situations in Mexico. No license will stop accidents from happening.


Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
 

deano

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"situational awareness" would come into play as the person driving the new unlimited vehicle would know through his/her 2500 miles of limited experience that the brakes don't work as well when cold and would KNOW that being extra careful near the start is important.......some arbitrary "test" would not give them that real life EXPERIENCE that is needed when competing in the highest level of our sport.......the TT drivers SHOULD be the cream of the crop, NOT just the super rich......being super rich is fine but experience should be required.........this latest incident puts ANOTHER huge blackeye on our sport.......joe blow public sees this report and vids and says "look at these idiots, they cant even negotiate a 10mph corner, then they just gas it and mow over and kill the fans".....its NOT good........sorry I cant sugarcoat that better.....
"Truer words were never spoken" .........
 

ML Racer

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Was this his first time running Baja? Aside from coming in too hot for that corner, once the front wheels locked up, turning wasn't an option! Not sure what he was thinking after that!

 

BANNED4LIFE

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This is a very important matter, so I spent 12.8 minutes making a test that will put this subject to rest once and for all.

BAJA RACING QUALIFICATION TEST

Baja racing is the most dangerous form of motorsport on earth. Consequently, this challenging endeavor attracts the most sophisticated athletes in the world. If you are attempting this written test it means that you have already passed the rigorous oral exams administered upstairs at the vetting offices in Ensenada. You have made it to the next level in your quest to become one of the chosen elite.

You have 17 hours to complete this multi-disciplinary test, but we will accept it, “whenever.” You may collaborate with your colleagues and all sources are open. You may use a calculator and/or slide rule. Someone else may perform the exam en lieu of the examinee. And you must get zero questions correct in order to pass and become a fully-qualified Baja racer.

Good luck.

HISTORY:


Baja Racing was started in order to:

A. Increase taco sales

B. Decrease tax liabilities

C. Test cactus-resistant tires


Baja racing takes place in Mexico because:


A. Libya is busy

B. Somalia is too peaceful

C. The Isle of Man has no dirt roads


The flat-billed hat was first worn by___________ in a futile attempt to make his face look smaller:

A. Abraham Lincoln

B. George Washington Carver

C. Justin Davis


Montezuma’s Revenge was:


A. An ineffective strategy against Cortez

B. The guy on the velvet painting carrying an unconscious Aztec woman

C. Inevitable the night before the race


LANGUAGE:


The word, “Baja” means:


A. “Land of silt and hookers”

B. “I’m out of money”

C. “My wife will never know”


The most important Spanish phrase to memorize is:


A. “One more beer please”

B. “where is the toilet”

C. “if you are female, why do you have an Adam’s apple?”


"Menzies" is a form of:


A. Swine flu

B. Spinal infection

C. Generic cough syrup

D. None of the above


CULTURE:


Baja locals most enjoy:


A. Throwing live snakes in your window

B. Having a party right next to your camp at 3 am.

C. Stealing your all stuff

D. Selling Chinese souvenirs


POLITICS:


The most important political institution in Baja is:


A. The Navy Band

B. ISSSTECALI

C. Angels Verdes

D. Arellano-Félix


GENERAL KNOWLEDGE:

Baja racing is finally dignified, professional and lucrative now that there are huge sponsors and big media coverage. All the teams get career-level pay and the prize money is fantastic:

A. False
B. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
C. Because NASCAR is way more exciting to watch


The only difference between a Trophy Truck and a Class 11 car is:


A. The bank account of the driver’s daddy

B. All of the above


There are other races besides the Baja 1000 that matter:


A. False

B. False



If you devote your life to Baja racing, your Wikipedia page will:


A. Show a photo of your statue at Imola

B. List your achievements and contributions to humanity

C. You won’t have a Wikipedia page



The Baja 1000 matters:

A. False

B. False



Desert racing internet sites are excellent for:


A. Demonstrating that you have no idea what the difference between you’re and your is.

B. Keeping a thread that was started by a reality T.V. mechanic alive in order to prove that you have no life

C. Posting photos of the elk you shot

D. Typing in caps separated by ellipsis to sound authoritative in the absence of intelligible thought



In Baja Jeeps are good for:


A. Nothing

B. Nothing

C. Nothing

D. Showing everyone that it’s your first time in Baja


In Baja UTV’s are notorious for:


A. Humiliating car teams that think they placed well

B. Being comprised more of accessories than original vehicle

C. Driving from the 9th to 11th hole


The only real athletes in Baja compete on:


A. Motorcycles

B. Motorcycles

C. Motorcycles


The only prerequisite for racing in the Trophy Truck class is:


A. Enough florescent colors still available

B. Enough positive real numbers still available

C. Enough mirrors to fog still available


Baja racing was awesome and nobody complained back when:

A. The Queen of England raced 1/2 1600

B. Christ was a Corporal

C. Sal Fish ran things

D. Never. Everybody always complained about everything all the time



PROCEDURES:


When your daughter drives into a ditch at the Baja 1000, the only thing you ask is:


A. “Why the long face?”

Sorry, there are no other choices...



When driving off a cliff and into the Pacific you should:


A. Make sure your pumper is on.

B. Think fondly of the night before at Paris de Noche

C. Be happy there won't be a urinalysis

D. Keep your face frozen in a Grinch-like expression for eternity


When chasing it’s best to:


A. Blame the prerunner who hit you even though you were going the wrong direction

B. Stay awake for 40 hours, then turn around and drive home from La Paz

C. Bring all kinds of parts and tools nobody will ever need


Fans of, "My Little Pony" are:


A. Called, “Bronies”

B. Believe that, “Friendship is Magic”

C. Complain about being nerfed on the internet

D. All of the above



HEALTH:


Energy drinks are:


A. Hazardous neurotoxins

B. Destroying the endocrine systems of global youth

C. The only companies that support Baja racing

E. A and B, but mostly C


Beer is:


A. A vegetable

B. A vitamin

C. The most important nutrient in the food pyramid

D. All of the above



The best exercise for Baja racing is:


A. Typing on the internet about racing

B. Drinking beer and talking about racing

C. Writing checks to pay for racing



You and your crew members can best be described as:


A. Portly

B. Men with boobs

C. Obese

D. All of the above


HUMAN RIGHTS:


Painting a race car pink will:


A. Justify your husband spending more money on racing

B. Not make you look better in yoga pants

C. Visually signal that you will lose every race


Saving the children while securing the future of off road racing was never accomplished by:


A. Mother Theresa

B. Oskar Schindler

C. Batman


BONUS QUESTION:


In developing nations possessing weak institutions, little public accountability and few enforceable laws we should:


A. Create scatter plots and run regression analysis to identify the economy’s critical vulnerability, then find the most unethical members of the host nation’s government and provide development loans they can’t pay back so we can appropriate their resources later…

B. Send the military under the auspices of peacekeeping, establish a sham democracy using our own stooges in their government, the effects of which will radicalize and turn violent their illiterate population thereby requiring more military spending to, “keep the peace.”

C. Go hobby racing there
would you think it was so funny if you were standing next to me as I watched the bystanders attempt to save the lifeless boy???? is it funny that the moto guys died too???...yes , YOU"RE an idiot......
 

Maple Leaf

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would you think it was so funny if you were standing next to me as I watched the bystanders attempt to save the lifeless boy???? is it funny that the moto guys died too???...yes , YOU"RE an idiot......
Why the long face, Pete?

Kent's hardly making fun of tragedy; instead, he immediately cut to the root of the entire discussion in a single, clever post that highlighted the peculiarities of desert racing and why arguing for "regulations" won't accomplish anything. Read the part at the end. It's a good summary - if you have a brain. Baja racing happens in Mexico specifically because rules are not required there.

That's why the smart people say he, "wins the internet" and "internet champion" and all that all the time and the one stupid person responds like you do. You still have no clue what the meaning of his post is do you? Except for your personal butthurt, the rest is probably a big mystery to you.

Now you're trying to use some real tragedies to deflect a lightweight jab or two directed at you? That is really sad.

Pretty cheap way to try to defend yourself - using terms like, "lifeless boy" to hide behind. Disgusting actually.

you must really hate it when people laugh at you.
 

Hendricus

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The initial intention of this thread was to consider licensing. Fine, give it a look.

The more significant deeper issue - and problem - is spectator safety. That's the whole reason to consider licensing in the first place.

Licensing might help, but I think there are other things that can be done to improve spectator safety.

There is also racer safety, but racers know the risk and they should be allowed to risk their lives. Racer safety is a different subject than is spectator safety.

In the US their is always a powerful government entity that's eager to take charge and keep us safe. In Mexico not so much so. (We love our gov in the US. Oh yes we do!)

The spectators are not very organized, so they are not going to make much head way in bringing about spectator safety, but eventually - maybe - they will get smarter about standing on the edge of the race course. If they don't get smarter they will continue to die.

So what about SCORE, the race teams, the sponsors, and the fans that know better? Have WE had enough? Do we want to make Baja races safer for the spectators?

As soon as a critical mass in SCORE and the racing community decides, "Yes, we want our Baja races to be safer for the fans," ideas can start to develop and eventually implemented.

If your attitude is "This is not my problem." I would counter this with, "Well then who's problem is it?"

And maybe you are right, maybe it's not the race community's problem, but sometimes in life the right thing to do is to man up and solve a worthwhile problem for the well being of someone else.

If you don't think it's really much of a problem, recall Lucerne 2010.

http://jalopnik.com/5613276/eight-killed-in-california-off-road-race-accident

How long until there's a massacre in Baja?

More and more fans line the course each year. The races are a HUGE deal to the people of Baja. And, the race cars, trucks and bikes are going faster and faster. This a fomula for a massacre plain and simple.
 
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Hendricus

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If you think Mexico is a primitive culture, where people come out of their huts to watch the races, think again.

Consider:
(1) Mexico has the 15th largest economy in the world.
(2) Mexico ranks 5th in the world as an auto part exporter ($25 billion worth in 2015.)
(3) Mexico is the 10th largest country in the world by population. (Russia is 9th. Japan is 10th)

Yes, there are poor people and shacks in Mexico. There are poor people and tent communities all over Southern California too.

My point is that we should look at the Mexican spectators the same as we would look at a US spectator. To think that the Mexican people can't be reached or taught, is wrong thinking.
 

3 Amigos Racing

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Tuck in it in and stop the licensing talk. Whatever your racing good on yah.. Freedom isn't free.. Don't give it up.. If you bought made or stole a trophy truck good don't rely on a referee c blocking you.. Same in an 11..go for it. It's history.... Or deal with some bastard who wished he raced c blocking you.

Call NASCAR and ask to start I will buy you a beer at my next nascar party..
 
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Bdub 1020

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Where is this drofmij character. He seems to think your a puzzy and need to stay on the couch if you cant just jump in a TT and live life dangerous. That's the kind of thinking some have. Its not about licensing as much as common sense and knowing you have enough off road racing experience before getting in an unlimited. But some guys think anyone should be able to jump into TTs or class 1. Its FN Ridiculous read what the arse hat wrote on when its time to quit racing.
 

BANNED4LIFE

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Why the long face, Pete?

Kent's hardly making fun of tragedy; instead, he immediately cut to the root of the entire discussion in a single, clever post that highlighted the peculiarities of desert racing and why arguing for "regulations" won't accomplish anything. Read the part at the end. It's a good summary - if you have a brain. Baja racing happens in Mexico specifically because rules are not required there.

That's why the smart people say he, "wins the internet" and "internet champion" and all that all the time and the one stupid person responds like you do. You still have no clue what the meaning of his post is do you? Except for your personal butthurt, the rest is probably a big mystery to you.

Now you're trying to use some real tragedies to deflect a lightweight jab or two directed at you? That is really sad.

Pretty cheap way to try to defend yourself - using terms like, "lifeless boy" to hide behind. Disgusting actually.

you must really hate it when people laugh at you.
so the mother SCREAMING, not from her injuries but in anguish, trying to get to her son is a joke too?? wanna take a jab at that, YOU IGNORANT %#CK!!!! ...maybe its a Canadian thing, or you are childless......., you disgust me.....go away......forever, we don't need you......
 

JayQC

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No one is actively playing down what happened to Xander Hendricks and his mother. Kent's post is not an attack on anyone, and especially not the Hendricks, Livingston or Evermann families.

Other than one rotten apple in the off-road community going out of his way to shed a grey and cloudy sky (get it) over everything he touches, everybody is very aware and caring for their brothers and the fans. Attitudes and personal opinion of other indviduals may vary, but this canuck guy would stop for you if he saw you in trouble, as you would for him, and as you did for Robby during prerun.

I'm a childless Canadian, and I'm not offended by what you wrote because I know what you meant, and I don't want to take your post out of context to stir up more drama.
 

racer_dude

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If you think Mexico is a primitive culture, where people come out of their huts to watch the races, think again.

Consider:
(1) Mexico has the 15th largest economy in the world.
(2) Mexico ranks 5th in the world as an auto part exporter ($25 billion worth in 2015.)
(3) Mexico is the 10th largest country in the world by population. (Russia is 9th. Japan is 10th)

Yes, there are poor people and shacks in Mexico. There are poor people and tent communities all over Southern California too.

My point is that we should look at the Mexican spectators the same as we would look at a US spectator. To think that the Mexican people can't be reached or taught, is wrong thinking.

"Mexico" has some horsepower, but please remember that Baja California is not a big part of its economy and is almost literally cut off from the main country of Mexico in more ways than one, but is grouped into its statistics as a whole.

Baja, and Baja Sur combined only contirubte 3% of all of Mexico's GDP. Practically nothing in the grand scheme of Mexico, and somewhere around 95-110th on the list of the world's economy by country. In U.S. numbers, Baja and Baja Sur combined wouldn't break into one of the top 50 states.



Baja spectators can learn and financial status has nothing to do with that, but don't you think it is easier to take the bullet out of the gun instead of shooting at a vest?


Accidents happen every day, in every town across the US. Licensed drivers wrecking cars for who knows what reason. Can you imagine if there were no "training" courses before everyone hopped in a car to get across town? I'm pretty sure we would be in a worse situation.

Just a thought.
 
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Can you imagine if there were no "training" courses before everyone hopped in a car to get across town?
Apples and oranges in the discussion re licensing Class 1 and TT pilots, since one can "qualify" and be licensed by demonstrating "proficiency" in a Leaf and then can operate a 40 foot turbo diesel motorhome towing a trailer on the public highways nationwide.

Has any neophyte driver with no behind-the-wheel experience every tried to enter any off road racing class?

I can't recall that issue ever presenting.

Conversely, I don't think any license, be it from SCCA, FIA, NHRA, NASCAR, any state/nation or even SST, actually could qualify any racer "safe" in a Baja 500 or 1000.
 

Hendricus

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"Mexico" has some horsepower, but please remember that Baja California is not a big part of its economy and is almost literally cut off from the main country of Mexico in more ways than one, but is grouped into its statistics as a whole.

Baja, and Baja Sur combined only contirubte 3% of all of Mexico's GDP. Practically nothing in the grand scheme of Mexico, and somewhere around 95-110th on the list of the world's economy by country. In U.S. numbers, Baja and Baja Sur combined wouldn't break into one of the top 50 states.



Baja spectators can learn and financial status has nothing to do with that, but don't you think it is easier to take the bullet out of the gun instead of shooting at a vest?


Accidents happen every day, in every town across the US. Licensed drivers wrecking cars for who knows what reason. Can you imagine if there were no "training" courses before everyone hopped in a car to get across town? I'm pretty sure we would be in a worse situation.

Just a thought.
Racer, point received. As I penned those stats I did think about the GDP and who really benefits from the economic activity. No doubt the multinational corps doing business make handsome profits from inexpensive labor.

But with this said, I worked for a multinational corp and would spend time in their Tijuana plant. I loved learning just how smart the Mexican nationals were. Prior to this my visits were limited to a couple of quick trips to Tijuana, Ensenada and San Quintin. I only saw the poor. But while working down there I made friends with a number of talented college educated Mexicans. One very sharp young engineer was born and raised in Ensenada. The salaries these men and women earn is lower than a US salary, but it was not as low as you might think. I'm talked about the skilled folks. Minimum skilled labor is still probably very cheap in Mexico. But the Mexicans are earning degrees and are as valuable as my arrogant American dumb ass. They are not all starving on the streets. Mexico has problems no doubt, but there is a lot of good stuff happening too.

All of this is a little off point, I know, but it's tangentially related.

Baja racing is a beautiful thing. My engineer friend from Ensenada would say, "We are a racing town."

Spectator safety needs to be improved, and I think the racing community can at least engage a conversation about it.

I think we can come up with some reasonable ideas too. The actual implementation and cost will be the heavy lifting, no doubt about it, but save that for a later discussion. For now we compile a list of five or ten things that can be done.

... and keep the flaming to a dull roar... :)
 
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racer_dude

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Racer, point received. As I penned those stats I did think about the GDP and who really benefits from the economic activity. No doubt the multinational corps doing business make handsome profits from inexpensive labor.

But with this said, I worked for a multinational corp and would spend time in their Tijuana plant. I loved learning just how smart the Mexican nationals were. Prior to this my visits were limited to a couple of quick trips to Tijuana, Ensenada and San Quintin. I only saw the poor. But while working down there I made friends with a number of talented college educated Mexicans. One very sharp young engineer was born and raised in Ensenada. The salaries these men and women earn is lower than a US salary, but it was not as low as you might think. I'm talked about the skilled folks. Minimum skilled labor is still probably very cheap in Mexico. But the Mexicans are earning degrees and are as valuable as my arrogant American dumb ass. They are not all starving on the streets. Mexico has problems no doubt, but there is a lot of good stuff happening too.

All of this is a little off point, I know, but it's tangentially related.

Baja racing is a beautiful thing. My engineer friend from Ensenada would say, "We are a racing town."

Spectator safety needs to be improved, and I think the racing community can at least engage a conversation about it.

I think we can come up with some reasonable ideas too. The actual implementation and cost will be the heavy lifting, no doubt about it, but save that for a later discussion. For now we compile a list of five or ten things that can be done.

... and keep the flaming to a dull roar... :)
We travel as a family to our house on the east cape quite a bit, and spend a bunch of time each year south of the US border. Mexico is part of our lives in many ways, and we try to personally give back each time. We have MANY national friends down there that build multi-million dollar homes for gringo's, and employ sub-contractors that would blow away a lot of US contractors in terms of speed and quality. Young kids with engineering degrees and the lot, butttttt they had to go to mainland to get them 9/10 times. The Tijuana and Ensenada areas get the benefit of being close to the US border, and the steady tourism money because of it

Everything can be improved for sure, but to shut down some sort of driver knowledge courses for the "less" experienced racers because "Baja racing is the wild west and that's why we like it" mentality is kinda archaic and down right regressive in terms of advancement of the sport.

Licensing may not be the correct answer, but some sort of experience before going off into the middle of the peninsula would be wise.

Apples and oranges in the discussion re licensing Class 1 and TT pilots, since one can "qualify" and be licensed by demonstrating "proficiency" in a Leaf and then can operate a 40 foot turbo diesel motorhome towing a trailer on the public highways nationwide.

Has any neophyte driver with no behind-the-wheel experience every tried to enter any off road racing class?

I can't recall that issue ever presenting.

Conversely, I don't think any license, be it from SCCA, FIA, NHRA, NASCAR, any state/nation or even SST, actually could qualify any racer "safe" in a Baja 500 or 1000.

I can't say "yes there has been" to your question about someone that has never drove 10 feet entering the Baja 500/ 1000 or desert race in general.

I do believe that it's not quite "apples and oranges" though.

Who is to tell the newer (not younger, not older) racers to desert, the hidden rule book? Is this part of "School of hard knocks?" and you have to learn for yourself?

See a group of people in Mexico along the course? chances are there is something of "interest" in the area, so you should probably be more cautious than normal correct?

1/4 mile and 2 turns into a race, your brakes are cold and are not going to work like you think on slippery concrete with 600+- lbs of a full fuel cell. - this is something I tell myself if I am driving, or my driver if I am navigating.

etc. etc.


If you don't know to think of stuff like this on the fly, then yes, your risk of an incident is worse and only compounds any situation in any race. A class CAN help, not hurt yes?
 

Maple Leaf

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so the mother SCREAMING, not from her injuries but in anguish, trying to get to her son is a joke too?? wanna take a jab at that, YOU IGNORANT %#CK!!!! ...maybe its a Canadian thing, or you are childless......., you disgust me.....go away......forever, we don't need you......
Hey, "Pistol Pete,"

Now I'm wrong for being an "Ignorant Canadian," eh? Is that it? Or I'm lesser because maybe I don't or can't have children?

What kind of person says things like that?

You're the only one on this forum who, "disliked" Kent's clever post. Everyone else understood it, but you.

Maybe it's time to make note of the preferences of smarter people because your singular perspective appears to be quite irrelevant and unpopular.

You're still trying to use the real and true suffering of others to attack someone who barely slighted you. What does this say about your character?

Maybe it says that you're a thin-skinned half-wit who hates himself?

But I think you're just a feeble-minded opportunist - like an ambulance-chasing lawyer or a sidewalk beggar who would make use of an injured animal to earn a few extra bucks...
 
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