2021 YOKOHAMA NORRA Mexican 1000 Presented By Method Race Wheels Day 2 Of Racing Heads Down The Coast On New Course!
San Felipe ~ Bahia de los Angeles
AGUA DULCE, CALIF. – On day 2 of racing, the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 presented by Method Race Wheels made a run down the coast towards Bahia De Los Angeles; the final destination for the day. The course went out of the El Dorado, down back roads in San Felipe to Rancho Percebu where a new section will be used for the first time. It was a dunes section and salt flats next to water that was very challenging. Many vehicles got stuck in the sand. The stage ended at Delicias a little village south of San Felipe. The cars, and trucks then hit a transit on Hwy 5 to El Huerfanito; then Huerfanito to Huguay. It goes first on a 10 mile fast section through big jumps, and then highway to Gonzaga Bay where a brand new section was used east of Gonzaga towards Punta Final. The course then used the old road towards Cocos corner, and Chapala dry lake bed, then through a cactus, and boojum filled section near Punta Prieta that took competitors to the finish in Bay of LA where they enjoyed food and drinks at the Slime Finish Line. The Motos ran a separate course to Guerrero Negro where they stayed the night.
While day one of racing had lots of tight, technical sections through the mountains, day two had more fast sections, as well as deep sand where big tires, and gobs of horsepower were beneficial. On day one we saw a pair of lightweight open wheel cars take the top 2 spots; Troy Johnson first overall, and Rhys Millen second. Justin Lofton was right there in third; probably looking forward to day two. It was really no surprise to see that two big powerful vehicles would take over the lead in the conditions previously described. Lofton assumed the overall lead, with Gay Smith right behind him. Both vehicles designed to eat terrain at high speeds. Going across the Diablo Dry lake bed on day one, Rhys Millen hit a top speed of 117 mph, but dropped down to 113 to make his car happy. The NORRA Mexican 1000 is “The Happiest Race On Earth!” for participants, but the vehicles need to stay happy too. Meanwhile, Lofton hit 130 miles per hour. It’s hard to overcome a speed advantage like that.
Despite them battling against huge tires, and 800 plus horsepower, Johnson, and Millen remained 3rd, and 4th overall. All vehicles in the top ten overall are Evolution era unlimited buggies or trucks, which is not a surprise. You can find full results on the NORRA website here: www.norra.com. What is a surprise is 11th place overall. The spot belongs to Hap Kellogg driving his Vintage VW Class 5 unlimited. Two spots behind Hap is Bill Hernquist in his Vintage VW Class 5. Other surprises include Scott Steinberger in 15th overall in his Evolution Modified Turbo UTV Can Am X3, and in 18th PJ Jones also in a Can AM X3. PJ is running a “Big Oly” livery to honor his Father, Bill Stroppe, and Dick Russell. The OG gold color looks as great today, as it did way back in the 1960’s. PJ is doing them all proud.
Overall standings are interesting to follow, but there are 37 different class leaders all competing for a win. These battles all have their own rivalries, and personal goals along the way. On day one, Boyd Jaynes, and Brian Godfrey wanted to beat all the broncos to San Felipe. The Vintage Class 11 VW Sedan racers just want to finish each day, and then see how it comes out in the end. If you can imagine negotiating terrain that swallows big powerful cars and trucks with V8 engines, and a couple feet of suspension travel in a nearly stock VW beetle; well, the class 11 guys are just plain amazing. That’s why the fans cheer when they come along.
The cool thing about NORRA is that you can pick a favorite no matter what type of cars, trucks, UTV’s or bikes you like. There are also plenty of incredible drivers; both young and old, who inspire us. There are top pros, and regular Joe’s that distinguish themselves with their performances. Look at riders like Jeff Leonard, and Robert Stewart who compete in the 60+ Vintage Dudes class, or the Busch’s who ride the whole way tandem. Everyone in the field is pursuing a personal best, or fulfilling a dream. You can’t comprehend what all those people having the time of their lives does to the whole atmosphere. Add in Baja’s charms and you know why it’s “The Happiest Race On Earth!”.
Day 3 will be a large loop that will take in lots of challenging terrain around Bay of LA. Both the 4 wheel, and 2 wheel competitors will be in Bay of LA at the end of the stages. Internet is difficult at best, so we’ll have to see what information we can gather, but we’ll do our best to bring it to you. We will provide race updates every day to keep you informed. Just go to NORRA’s facebook page, Instagram, or the NORRA website for the latest news. Be sure to click on the JOIN LIST button on the far right side of the NORRA web page to add your email to the mailing list.