Chasing the 43rd SCORE Baja 1000 – Part 5April 8th, 2011 by admin
The chase crews got to our next scheduled stop in Loreto an hour or so ahead of the race car. Eric Filar and Ron Lessley suited up and prepared themselves for the final push to the finish. Our driver change and pit stop went off smoothly. We started this race with the intention of a first place finish and we were three quarters of the way there. Eric and Ron had pre run their section three times, so they were familiar with what was ahead of them. Victory was within our reach.
The race radio had gone from bad to worse. It would still transmit, but reception was all but gone. We shadowed the car down the course along the highway. South of Ciudad Insurgentes, the chase crews split up. Each truck went to a different access road and then pounded down dirt roads to the intersection with the race course. A chase crew would see the car every 15-35 miles for the next one hundred miles. The car was working as well as it had been with no new issues.
The last time we would see the car before the finish was at BFG Pit 7. The final load of fuel was dumped in, everything was looked over, and the boys were sent on their way to La Paz.
The chase crews rallied at the highway. It was now well after dark again. We had all been going for over 36 hours with nothing more than cat naps here and there.
The final adrenaline rush from seeing the car had worn off. I was against the wall, not sure if I could push on, but knowing that I had to. Quitting the chase now was not an option. Stupidity or just plain being stubborn kept me from letting a relief driver take over the driver’s seat of my truck. The roads were treacherous, I’m a crappy passenger, and it was my truck. If something were to go wrong, I wanted it to be my fault. I hate all of the energy drinks, rarely drink them. We’d made coffee in my camper along the way, but I was coffee’d out; it wasn’t doing anything for me. Reluctantly, I resorted to one of the concentrated versions of Nitro2Go, slamming down a double dose and hoping that it would kick in.
I wasn’t the only one that was in bad shape. We tried telling stories on the radio as we freight trained down the highway to La Paz. We had to pull off the road several times to jump up and down to get blood circulating and try to get some life back into our bodies. We were all seeing things on the road at some point. This was bad. Disaster was always lurking around the next corner. We had no choice but to push on and hope for the best.
Check out my next post as we make our way to the finish line of the Baja 1000.