CODE TECATE CASAS GEO GP – Class 11 shootout – race-deZert.com

CODE TECATE CASAS GEO GP – Class 11 shootout

CODE kicked off the year with their annual Tecate Casas Geo GP and added the 1st annual Class 11 Invitational, toting some of the brightest stars of our sport and the best drivers in class 11; but the hype around this was more than some could handle. When asked, one Trophy Truck driver plainly and simply said “No friggin way. I’ll get my ass handed to me out there.  I don’t want to be embarrassed.”  There was much at stake for the race, far more than bragging rights.  The goal aimed to settle who were the better drivers:Trophy Truck or Class 11?

The start/finish was held on the flats of the Laguna Salada.  However, the rest of the course was anything but flat as the area is pure Baja and presents some of the gnarliest terrain on the planet. There were other races throughout the day, all of which provided great competition.  But it wasn’t until the third race of the day that everyone gathered to watch. Over 30 class 11 cars lined up for the land rush start. Not one of these drivers were going to give an inch, and the door to door battle for the first turn set the tone for the race.

Gustavo Vildosola took the lead into the desert but a flat tire took him down a few notches. “I must have hit a rock or something around rm 4; the left rear was totally flat and the dust was really bad. But I have another chance with Martin in the second race; he’s a excellent driver. If they do this again, I’m definitely in. This is a great event.”

MARTIN GARIBAY and GUSTAVO VILDOSOLA

Larry Ragland was moving steadily through the pack from 18th to 3rd but a broken shock tower put him out. “You gotta be making decisions all the time,” said Larry. “But completely different than a Trophy Truck; at the same time, it’s lots of fun. t’s totally two different things, like baseball and football. There’s no comparing them. The decisions you have to make are happening quick. Your mind is working very hard. A good Trophy Truck driver would probably be a good Class 11 driver; but I promise you a Class 11 driver could drive a Trophy Truck. I’m so sad that we broke though.”

Larry Ragland

Bob Shepard returned to the desert for this event. “That was a lot of fun! These things are tough cars, very competitive. Everyone just goes at it 100%. I’ve always had respect for class 11, and I have even more now. These guys have my heart; they are the true off-road racers.”

Chad Ragland crossed the finish line third in class but was the first Trophy Truck driver to bring it home. “Third is third. It’s nice, but we came here to win! That first guy out there was really good. He was gone. But we had a good pace going and we diced it out with a couple of guys. It was fun. It was really nice of CODE to have us out here. Mexicali is a great place and awesome place to race. Everyone should drive one of these cars.  You’ll learn a lot no matter what class you race. These guys are tough; the cars are tough. We abused this car just as much or more than a Trophy Truck. Momentum is the key in these cars. We’ve made Trophy Trucks so good now that it’s kinda made us a little lazy. You don’t get that in class 11. You can’t blow turns; you don’t have that luxury. You have to be on the edge with these cars. I’d love to come back and do this again!”

Chad Ragland

Roger Norman never returned after the first lap and was rumored to have suffered engine trouble. “I had an absolutely great time. The team I raced with were top notch great people,” said Roger. “We did plenty of testing and ran about three laps to get in some practice. We ended up having trouble right off the start with the coil and it took us a bit to figure out the problem. We got her back on track and went about seven miles until she started to blow oil all over the place and smoke really bad. We changed the motor for the second heat and all was going well until we crashed into another car in the dust; then another car hit us and that cracked the distributer cap which pretty much put us out of contention.”

But when the checker flag flew, it was a Class 11 regular who took the top spot. Gilberto “Boomper” Arreola took the honors. As Roger Norman called out in the RDC forum thread, “Who is the Greatest Desert Racer in the World.” It would have to be Boomper Arreola who had a perfect day, taking first place in both heats with a dominating performance over our brightest stars in desert racing. Boomper earned bragging rights he’ll undoubtedly carry for the rest of his career. Not many can say they took on the likes of Larry Ragland, Roger Norman, Gustavo Vildosola, Ryan Thomas, Bob Shepard, Chad Ragland, Tavo Vildosola, Jaun Carlos Lopez, Scott Steinberger, Perry McNeil in equally prepared cars and beat them all, not only once but twice in one day!

Gilberto "Boomper" Arreola

This is just another great event put on by CODE. Roger Norman stated, “Poncho and Joaquin asked me about doing this about a year ago and I thought it was a great idea from the start. CODE is the best kept secret in Baja; they put on great events and really put their hearts into it. People love it and it shows at contingency, the race and the awards. It’s the heart and soul of off-road racing.”

The next CODE is the OXXO San Felipe 200 on April 15th-17th.

Class 11 shootout results:

1109GILBERTO ARREOLA/DENISSE BOJORQUEZ
1100ROBERTO ROBLES
1118MARTIN GARIBAY / GUSTAVO VILDOSOLA / EFRAIN VARGAS
1111RENE RODRIGUEZ / GUSTAVO
1119LOLIS / WENDY CASAREZ/JYDEN GASTELUM
1107ERNESTO MARTINEZ / CHAD RAGLAND
1149ALEX RIVAS/LUIVAN VOELKER
1147MIGUEL MEXIA/MARIO FLORES
1105HUGO AGUNDEZ / JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ / RICARDO MATUS
1114GUILLERMO VALLE / TAVO VILDOSOLA
1158DAVID HENDRICKSON/PERRY MCNEIL
1116ELIAT CABRALES/KEVIN SANCHEZ
1112ROBERTO ESCOBEDO / RYAN THOMAS
1122FERNANDO PRADO
1102JORGE A MARTINEZ / MARCOS MARTINEZ
1123GERARDO GARIBAY /JESUS A. RODRIGEZ
1146JUAN ZAMARRIPA / BOB SHEPARD
1148OSCAR ACOSTA/EDUARDO L0PEZ
1124SERGIO GALINDO
1108CESAR FISCAL / ENRIQUE MORALES
1125MAURO DIAZ
1104FEDERICO RAMIREZ / SCOTT STEINBERGER
1110SERGIO GUTIERREZ / MARCO ROBLES
1113GUSTAVO GARAIZAR / LARRY RAGLAND
1115DANIEL REYES / ROGER NORMAN / HECTOR ORTEGA10:21:0

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