Preference: Charlene Bower and Ladies Offroad Challenge winner Megan Stevenson will be reporting live from the 50th Anniversary of the Baja 1000 as they expose the complexity of the BFGoodrich Tires Pit Support Program, highlight all the ladies racing and of course talk racing! This article is by Megan Stevenson:
Maybe we should have titled this The Tale of the Toilet or The Legend of the Lavatory?
While Jack Sepoole was running a BFGoodrich Tires pit for the Baja 1000 in 1992 he had the challenge of finding a couple of the female volunteers a private place to use the bathroom, at least as private a place as one can have in the middle of the desert, and that’s when it struck him! When he returned to the states, he went to work. It took Jack a couple of days to figure out the most efficient way to cut up pieces of plywood so that one could fit comfortably, and in the end he had all the pieces he needed to construct an outhouse in their BFG Baja pit the following year. It worked!
The word of his creativity quickly spread throughout the pit groups and soon he was being asked to produce more kits so that other pit locations could have a private pooper of their own – 7 was the most he did for one year.
Greg Atherton and his son Wesley have since taken charge of the building and distribution of these coveted commodes. It takes them a little over an hour to get one kit measured, cut and ready to go. There are 37 pieces that make up these private privy packages. These are not just any ordinary outhouse kits. The time gets taken to cut out a handle for the door, an inside door latch, two toilet paper roll holders and even a fancy seat for the toilet.
The kits are then distributed to each pit to take with them and assemble once in their designated spot. Don’t worry, there are instructions if the guys read them! Each pit gets at least one bathroom bundle with all the precut pieces of lumber and screws to construct it. This year they produced 10 toilets, one for each pit and an extra for Pit 1 and 8 for their hospitality groups.
What started as a nice gesture has evolved into a popular and growing competition between pits as to who can best decorate their wooden thrones. What’s the challenge in that you might ask? Well, they are only allowed to spend $10 on decorating materials! The innovativeness and creativity that flows from this competition is impressive, awe-inspiring and down right hilarious. Quality undoctored photos of their lavish loos must be submitted to the head of the pit support team in order to be eligible to win. In addition, since Charlene Bower and I will be dropping through each of the pits on the way down to La Paz, we will be official use judges in this historic competition.
What will be the prize this year for the 50th Anniversary of the SCORE International Baja 1000? Will it be pride and bragging rights or will there be something bigger…? We can’t wait to try them out and find out! Stay Tuned…
** Previous Year Outhouse Photos by Jesika Borowick