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2017 NORRA Mexican 1000 Day 4 – Loreto to La Paz

2017 Race-Dezert NORRA Mexican 1000 Coverage

Note: Results were provisional at the time this was written.

Day Four of the NORRA Mexican 1000 (from Loreto to La Paz) didn’t cover as many miles as the previous day, but it was no less brutal. Many teams arrived late into Loreto on Tuesday night, leaving little time for chase crews to make repairs or fatigued drivers to get some rest. That made for an early morning on Wednesday; a day that would feature bottomless silt beds on the 240 miles of timed special stage course. The Mexican 1000 shares a race course with the upcoming Dos Mares 500, and prerunning for that race has already started, increasing traffic along the route.

Bert Ferguson won the 66-mile-long first special stage of the day in his Crumco Class 5 VW, followed by Kirk Von Matre in a Polaris RZR XP1000! No class seemed to be impervious from the silt, with everything from Trophy Trucks to Baja Bugs getting mired into the deep silt. Despite their small tires, lightweight UTVs like Von Matre’s made it across the silt beds the easiest. And perhaps more surprisingly, the Porsche entry of Jeff Gamroth skipped across the silt without missing a beat. Gamroth and his team had an unanticipated engine swap in Bay of LA, but have soldiered on each day of the race.

The 174-mile-long second special of the day saw Cary Francis and Lobsam Yee finishing within minutes of each other, but nearly an hour ahead of the next closest competitor. Yee suffered a spinal cord injury as part of a Trophy Truck accident in 2012, but demonstrated that he is still an incredibly fast and talented racer. Cameron Steel has backed off from his earlier pace in the Mexican 1000, yet despite not winning either special stage on Day 4 he has maintained a 10-minute overall lead on Mark Post. The final day of the rally covers a quick 90 miles of dirt and 40 miles of pavement before concluding in San Jose del Cabo. It would appear as though Steele has the win locked up, however he was in this same situation at the SCORE San Felipe 250 last month and suffered a heart-breaking driveline failure. There is still plenty of time for the leaders to make a mistake before the trophies are awarded tomorrow night at the Club de Playa Campestre.

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