HPD Blog

Monday, January 18, 2010

Baja 1000 - Journal #9

Challenges of the final race day.

11.21.09 The best news of the morning: we hear that the JCR Honda bike had won the motorcycle race outright from Kawasaki, with the team’s second entry placing third. Good for them!

As 779 approached, we heard that it had sustained left-rear suspension damage and was calling for someone with a welder. It transpired that the front location point of the rear trailing arm had broken away from the chassis and was now ‘flapping around in the breeze’. Noel proved to be very capable with the welder and in 17 minutes, the truck was repaired and back on the race track … let’s see the local body shop fix something like that in a similar amount of time! We also noticed that the left-front strut mount was cracking, too. No action was taken there, though.

By the time the repairs were complete, both the Toyota and the Hummer had passed the Ridgeline, but the race was very close, with just minutes separating all three. Gavin was fired up, and very confident that he could catch both.

Our chase vehicle, Chase 4, was scheduled to track the race truck down near the beach and then run parallel to the race course for several miles, until the course headed back inland. We had to drive hard to ‘leapfrog’ ahead of the truck, and arrived at our first destination point with just a few minutes to spare. By this stage, 779 had passed the Hummer and was within 15 seconds of the Toyota. One of the chasing helicopters had caught on to this three-way battle (once again, Honda vs. Toyota!) and was tracking the trucks very closely.

to be continued. . .

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