The definition of crazy… is racing Baja. It really isn’t just the race itself that is crazy, it is all the preparations that go into racing there that make the difference. For our team we also add in a proximity disadvantage and it gets very complicated. Our team is responsible for 21 people, 7 vehicles, one trailer and approximately 23,000 miles logged on vehicles in the next two weeks. We will consume nearly 150 gallons of fuel… just in our race car. During the event we have to be sure to provide lodging, food, rest and more to all of these people while making sure the race car keeps on moving. When you step back and look at the Logistics involved to make this all happen, it is absolutely insane and… it certainly makes us a little insane as we move ahead. Fortunately, we have some secret weapons: Gina Wilson and Hudson Keyler. Just the food element of our race is pretty intense. We don’t like to rely on roadside food, we like to make sure that our crew has food available when they need it and they don’t have to go looking for it. There is plenty of time for tacos after the race!
Logistics are part of an overall effort to get to the race. That effort requires vehicle preparation, not just of the race car, but of the Chase vehicles as well. Our team has a number of lights and radios, but our chase vehicles change at times so we have to do a final installation, service and inspection of all of the chase vehicles. This year that effort meant that we had to make mounting bars for two of our vehicles because. well, it was too late to buy anything.
Radios needed to be installed as well, and, though all that seems easy, it does require a little thought. The worst thing in Baja is when someones Mic button is getting clicked around cause they threw their mic on the seat, or cup holder. It ties up the whole line. So being mindful of installing the radio where it won’t get bumped, but also is very accessible so our teams can use them easily is also important. Sometimes it means a quick and dirty mounting bracket, and sometimes that bracket used to be the foot plate in our race car…
There is an endless supply of things arriving daily, sometimes you just can’t believe how much stuff you need in order to be prepared, but we use creative methods to go pick up some of our supplies. With 7 vehicles, that means 7 GPS units and we previously had 5…
With the glamorous comes the not-so-glamorous. When you are going to be in the car for 8 hours in a row, minimum… You have to be prepared for any eventuality.
In addition to all of that, there are electronics. Gadgets and more. Programming Course maps into GPS’s, Working on Google Maps to make sure we have every piece of this puzzle ready for race day. Retrieving and familiarizing ourselves with new Sat Phones and more. This year we are using Garmin Inreach navigation and communication devices.
We also map out every piece of information we can on a Google Map site.
14 months of preparation, thousands of hours on the race car, Hundreds of dollars on Pizza and non of that guarantees that we will make it to the finish! Dedication is the name of the game. This sport pushes everyone and lets you see every emotion you can experience. Just when you think it is too much you leave the start line and feel the sense of accomplishment.. It is an amazing thing and we couldn’t do it without such a great team.