Originally Posted by in2baja
Hi Hog. You are correct. And, I have to remind everyone out there that what Hog wild is referring to was discussed, dissected and aired-out VERY publically afterward, including this venue.
For lack of a better choice of word's, things were "solved & resolved" afterward.
ONE of the "missing pits" was actually late arriving on-site due to an 18 wheeler side-swipe which launched the Pit Crew into a dark field alongside the highway. Multiple blown tires, damaged vehicle and trailer and, literally...stuck in the dirt way off the road. They were traveling in caravan so there was plenty of help on-site, but, the nearest location for enough spare tires was hours away. I (President) was advised by phone shortly after the accident, and, I advised NORRA by phone right away. AT THAT MOMENT, there was plenty of time left on the "clock" for repair and travel.
Ultimately, the team in question, after far-away tire searching, Police involvement, then repairs and all that pain, was about 2 hours-ish late arriving on site the next day (18-ish hours elapsed time).
Once road-side repairs were completed, since they were, at that point "pushing" the clock, they discussed options and time-lines, then, made the decision and night-traveled and the lead vehicle nailed a cow / bull many hours into the night. Compared to the 18 wheeler, this one was a "minor" delay.
Eventually, the were inbound on the final leg and they were actually getting passed by out-bound racers as they were in-bound to the pit location.
After they had been "passed" by a couple racers, they correctly decided to pull off-course and drop anchor on-the-spot rather than continue, head on, into the racer's. I agree. Off-site, but, close and SAFE!
The other "missing pit" was exactly, on-the-spot perfectly placed where we were asked to be. HOWEVER, A last-minute route-change was made up-stream and we did not get the information. Actually, no one even thought to give it to us.
The funny / horrible punchline is that for that particular pit, the night-before that "leg" of the race, our crew was on-site well before dark just chilling out. Mike Pearlman himself was out on-course and came rolling in to our pit to say hi. He sat around the campfire with the MAG-7 crew and ate, shared, chatted etc. Eventually, he headed off to complete his rounds. Life was good!
The next day, race day, my guys could hear racers somewhere off in the distance, but, they couldn't even see dust clouds and there was no way to find out "wtf" or change locations (chase the dust).
Oddly, about 2/3 of the MAG-7 supported racers pulled in, fueled, repaired etc and rolled away happy. No one said a thing. My guys, while concerned, figured that some racers were picking other lines...and, that the usual high Baja attrition was taking it's toll.
So, for 2013.... On travel / accident / breakdown potential... We will continue to caravan, daylight drive and as we ALWAYS do, leave more time on the "clock" than even worst-case could use. (BTW, the "accident people" were scheduled to be on-site a full day before the race).
Our Communications with NORRA, especially late changes and course evolution is one of our top priorities.
A challenge we have been unable to address / solve so far, is that for Southern Pits, (Baja Sur) they MUST leave Mexicali by noon on Fri in order to safely arrive on-site. A LOT can happen! Leaving Fri noon means... press on with no space for tourist-ing. It would be preferable to depart Mexicali Thurs, but, we cannot due to racer arrivals, spares, fuel etc.
Multi-vehicle caravan's, hauling trailers with many, many drums of fuel, tires etc means that the "fast" route through San Felipe, Gonzaga and Coco's is simply not doable, not smart. (a few years ago, I had multi-flats and 2 broken leaf springs on the road to Coco's). ALL Sur crews have to go to Ensenada then slog all the way down Mex. 1. The road does not "open up" and become manageable until after San Quintin. From Ensenada to San Quintin is only about 150 miles, but, it can take an entire day...
One of the things that is going to be done differently this year is that on Thurs and Fri. pre-race, we will verify what routing the racers get and will be able to double-check, verify with NORRA that we are on-track.
I hope this explanation helps answer your questions.
MAG-7 Pit Captain & President