UTV Safety and Starting Order

Baja Belk

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I'm sure this well get all drama-y but that's not my hope, so here's to a pipe dream of a reasonable, objective conservation regarding safety......

Class 5 started behind all 4 UTV classes at the 1000. That's 61 cars. The two lead Class 5's had physically passed 41 of those UTV's by Check 1. By the finish line, the winning Class 5, Travis Chase, had beaten 57 out of 61.

Now, this is not a 2013-esque gripe about who's faster.....UTV's now are basically AWD Class 10 cars and especially on a technical course, we in Class 5 have no chance against the fastest UTV guys. I recognize that and I'm cool with it. However, looking at the raw data, we passed all but one of the 20 Pro Stock UTV's and Pro UTV Opens....before Check 1. Honestly I'm not familiar with the UTV classes so I don't even know who is considered the fastest, but I'm guessing it's Pro UTV Turbo since they had the most cars who stayed in front of us all day.

Clearly, however, there is a large number of UTV entries who are MUCH slower than Class 5. And a few UTV entries who are definitely faster than Class 5.

So, perhaps next time the Class 5's start somewhere in the middle of the UTV classes? Instead of behind......ALL of them? I've always thought it was safer to have a few fast underdogs pass a few "faster" cars, versus a few fast cars having to pass a WHOLE BUNCH of slower cars.

And yes, I understand starting order is typically set by previous race(s) finishing order. I get that, but I think there has to be some critical thinking involved when a slower class with 20 cars has an obviously better finishing rate than a faster class with 2 cars who both DNF at the previous race.

Additionally, and maybe more importantly, while sitting in the starting line (both of them), for 9....er...3 hours, I noticed that several of the single-seat UTVs had aftermarket fuel tanks that were literally bolted directly to the inside of the rear bumper. I'm not a car-builder or tech inspector......but this seems highly un-safe. Obviously I would never intentionally nerf a fuel tank, but Thor Herbst might (kidding - a joke), and a very common collision in the dust would easily rupture one of those tanks. And I know enough to know that's not ideal. Maybe someone has a better picture of one of these bombs....er, UTV's?

Thoughts?

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 9.45.49 AM.png



Epilogue: We also started behind the 16's, but that's cool since the slower guys in that class have actually raced before and know when to move over and are easy to pass. Also, the stock Hummer that was the size of a schoolbus and was 50% wider than most of the course really needs to enter Sportsman, instead of "Hammer" or "Ultra4" or whatever they call that class. Who also started in front of us.

Also, Jeepspeed? Really Roger?

That's all.
 

Dave Cole 4454

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Why cant qualifying be for all classes. Charge more for the opportunity to qualify and everyone that doesnt qualify, treat them as sportsman.

Maybe only a handful of 5s or 16s would qualify...but you are the pro teams.

In the end its not about class of car. Its about class of racer.

Most of the 5 guys are salty veterans that know how to race.

Most of the UTVs are relatively new. They need to learn how to pass...and be passed.
 

C.J. Hutchins

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Why cant qualifying be for all classes. Charge more for the opportunity to qualify and everyone that doesnt qualify, treat them as sportsman.

Maybe only a handful of 5s or 16s would qualify...but you are the pro teams.

In the end its not about class of car. Its about class of racer.

Most of the 5 guys are salty veterans that know how to race.

Most of the UTVs are relatively new. They need to learn how to pass...and be passed.
Score wont even qualify the unlimited's anymore, let alone any limited cars. But I agree with you, it would pretty cool to qualify the entire field and start everyone according to their overall qualifying time. I hate that SCORE doesnt having qualifying for every race.
 

desertspeed

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They started in front but are relatively slow from what I've gathered.

Well, we were the only "Jeepspeed" entered, and we are racing a 7200 truck with an LS3 in Class 4700, so we are not exactly a "Jeep". We actually identify as a Dodge :)

I started, and I already posted our in car for the first 90 miles. In fact, I also posted prior to the race in the Class 5 Only thread that the starting order was wrong. We usually start right behind 5 opens at BITD races, and that seems about right. We can be about as fast as them in most terrain but since they usually have higher competition they are usually quicker.

In any case, we knew they were coming and were keeping an eye out and pulled over as soon as we saw any PTP. They were racing each other and we were just going for a finish, so I made sure not to impact their race. I had to pass about 20-25 UTVs in the 1st 50 miles as well.

Lets keep the focus on bashing UTVs in this thread, leave us Jeepspeeders out of it :)

Here is the in-car video again......

 

michael.gonzalez

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Well, we were the only "Jeepspeed" entered, and we are racing a 7200 truck with an LS3 in Class 4700, so we are not exactly a "Jeep". We actually identify as a Dodge :)

I started, and I already posted our in car for the first 90 miles. In fact, I also posted prior to the race in the Class 5 Only thread that the starting order was wrong. We usually start right behind 5 opens at BITD races, and that seems about right. We can be about as fast as them in most terrain but since they usually have higher competition they are usually quicker.

In any case, we knew they were coming and were keeping an eye out and pulled over as soon as we saw any PTP. They were racing each other and we were just going for a finish, so I made sure not to impact their race. I had to pass about 20-25 UTVs in the 1st 50 miles as well.

Lets keep the focus on bashing UTVs in this thread, leave us Jeepspeeders out of it :)

Here is the in-car video again......

Sorry if you got the wrong idea.
Nothing against jeespeed at all! Jeepspeed classes are great!

More so highlighting the bad decision made by the race promoters.
 

desertspeed

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Sorry if you got the wrong idea.
Nothing against jeespeed at all! Jeepspeed classes are great!

More so highlighting the bad decision made by the race promoters.
No worries, I didn't take it personally. I agree that the 5-opens should have started in front of us. We probably should have started in front of the 3900 UTV class as well but no big deal.
 

jon coleman

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Thats ThE Sc0op??, one jeepspeed?, jeez, i thought it was like my glory days with 25-30 1700s bouncing around Parker getting roosted by mr. Leduc
 

mig29

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Well, we were the only "Jeepspeed" entered, and we are racing a 7200 truck with an LS3 in Class 4700, so we are not exactly a "Jeep". We actually identify as a Dodge :)

I started, and I already posted our in car for the first 90 miles. In fact, I also posted prior to the race in the Class 5 Only thread that the starting order was wrong. We usually start right behind 5 opens at BITD races, and that seems about right. We can be about as fast as them in most terrain but since they usually have higher competition they are usually quicker.

In any case, we knew they were coming and were keeping an eye out and pulled over as soon as we saw any PTP. They were racing each other and we were just going for a finish, so I made sure not to impact their race. I had to pass about 20-25 UTVs in the 1st 50 miles as well.

Lets keep the focus on bashing UTVs in this thread, leave us Jeepspeeders out of it :)

Here is the in-car video again......


Do the hood scoops really help in cooling? Where do you get them, or did you make them yourself?

Alan Pflueger got flak from BJ Baldwin, for taking off his front hood ("p*ssy"). I know someone who works on German sedans, he told me late model Mercedes have more engine issues due to more cramped engine compartment (harder for heat to dissipate)
 

swiftracing5

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Desertspeed brings up another good and frustrating point. Class 5 was a FINALLY good race, we were changing positions until literally mile 1215... we were all driving hard and had to make a lot of other class-passes for the sake of our race so it was frustrating to hear that Zac got tangled with a backmarker UTV which cost us 3 hours downtime in repairs.

It will be nice to finally have data from this race to show SCORE for this argument, but nobody will race next year and we will be right back to this spot.
 

jon coleman

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i can just hear the score answer, ' its baja, utv class is just part of the terrain, deal with it', it sux looking in from the out side, from a competition standpoint And a safety stand point, oh well..( ps^^ jeep xj love the hood off / ventalated, the unibody nature holds a Lot of heat in with a tight hood, best thing to do and be 1700 leagal is lift hood about 1 inch all the way around, put 1 inch lift blocks on hinge to hood, and lift front latch / hood pins about 3/4"., my eng.temps loved me long time after that😉
 
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Zac Reish

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Class 5 beat all the 12’s as well. I’m not surprised the starting order for 5’s is a joke as the 5’s that race score are usually racing themselves so there is no sense of urgency.
 

Dave Cole 4454

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we are not exactly a "Jeep". We actually identify as a Dodge :)

Im fat...but I identify as skinny. Im translender ;)

My daughter really hates that joke. And most of my other ones.

Its not about class, its about the drivers and teams. There are some UTVs faster than most if not all the 10s. (Wayne Matlock would smoke a 10 with the ProR)...but there is also TTs that get passed by 10 cars.

Qualifying solves it
 

ONE_RJ

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Having raced a UTV for the 1st time at the Baja 1000, they are fun to drive, all wheel drive is a advantage for sure but because of class size should probably start behind the class 5 cars. The few fast 5 cars should be gone and should not be a problem and the other others should be easy to pass by the heard of fastest UTVs. And I agree with Dave , there are some very fast UTV drivers that will be faster then the slow 10 car , 6100 & TT cats . My .02
 

jon coleman

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but wouldnt it be better for spectators if all utv classes started in front of Everyone?, tt, cls 1, 6100 ect, i mean , think of the passing/ racing action that would ensue👌
 

djdrew8

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I agree with Dave Cole about the qualifying and certain veteran drivers are going to be faster no matter what car they are in. I don't know about the racing/passing before or by Check 1, or how it affected overall finish, but with just a quick scan of the finishing order, I don't think Class 5 got the better of the UTV's. Could there be a mix and put class 5 before half the UTV's? Maybe. Here just a portion of the results: 3 UTV's finished ahead of first Class 5, 15 UTV's finished ahead of 2nd class 5, and 21 UTV's finished ahead of 3rd Class 5 and there were multiple UTV's within a few minutes behind that 3rd Class 5 that luck could have gone either way to increase the number to well over 25. I don't think there is a clear answer to this without qualifying. EDIT: With 61 total in the combined UTV classes, making it the largest class of cars, it's safe to assume that half of those are rookies or "learning" the sport, as Dave also said. Possibly half the class should have entered the Sportsman class, or have a rookie class that starts behind Class 5. But, then there's another whole new argument.
 
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10 shot

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Im fat...but I identify as skinny. Im translender ;)

My daughter really hates that joke. And most of my other ones.

Its not about class, its about the drivers and teams. There are some UTVs faster than most if not all the 10s. (Wayne Matlock would smoke a 10 with the ProR)...but there is also TTs that get passed by 10 cars.

Qualifying solves it
🤣🤣 he has not smoked anything yet
Looks like another grudge match and why anyone thinks this is even going to beat a turbo car is hilarious.
 

Baja Belk

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I agree with Dave Cole about the qualifying and certain veteran drivers are going to be faster no matter what car they are in. I don't know about the racing/passing before or by Check 1, or how it affected overall finish, but with just a quick scan of the finishing order, I don't think Class 5 got the better of the UTV's. Could there be a mix and put class 5 before half the UTV's? Maybe. Here just a portion of the results: 3 UTV's finished ahead of first Class 5, 15 UTV's finished ahead of 2nd class 5, and 21 UTV's finished ahead of 3rd Class 5 and there were multiple UTV's within a few minutes behind that 3rd Class 5 that luck could have gone either way to increase the number to well over 25. I don't think there is a clear answer to this without qualifying. EDIT: With 61 total in the combined UTV classes, making it the largest class of cars, it's safe to assume that half of those are rookies or "learning" the sport, as Dave also said. Possibly half the class should have entered the Sportsman class, or have a rookie class that starts behind Class 5. But, then there's another whole new argument.

This is all correct. Re-read my original post. I do not think Class 5 should start in front of the Pro Turbo UTVs. But we should start before the two slower UTV classes (Pro Stock and Pro Open). We passed 19 out of 20 of those guys before Check 1 (both the P1 and P2) Class 5s. Finishing order can be deceiving when you only have 4 entries in a small class like C5. But that's another argument for starting us ahead of some of the slower UTVs - the 1 or 2 fast UTV guys will have a much easier time passing 2 or 3 or 4 Class 5's, than us fast 2 or 3 Class 5 guys will have passing 20 UTVs.

Honestly I don't want to start in front of Pro Turbo UTVs. A lot of those guys are super fast. But when you have the top 3 Class 5's passing 10-15 "stock" UTVs before Ojos, something is not equitable.
 
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