Originally Posted by NSFW
i'm not a racer nor have experience in racing. just an outsider getting inside.
top contenders are excellent riders, have seasoned support crew and most likely finish the race without a glitch. they will trade off any thing that will weigh them down for performance. they're in the race for the podium.Was part of the overall winning team for the 1st 2 years in this rally and last year. Rally was not taken that seriously, it's a fun event that allows you to run vintage iron all the way down. Winning was good but the fun had was better. Had problems with some entries last year but still had fun because that is what this race is all about for everyone. Keep it simple, don't rely on radios to keep you out of trouble or as a magic gizmoe that will save your ass when you get in trouble.
the rest of the riders are there for fun and personal reason. when things break loose....it becomes a survival run. fun ends when the rider crashes and left alone and/or darkness falls. it will boil down to the rider and his crew to make it work and finish the stage. logistically, communication is the prime importance. radio, sat phone, wifi, spot etc., any of those can be a game changer or life saver.
Raced with the over all winning Monster "Prophy Truck" of Gary Williams & Ryan Arciero as well as the Bob Gordon Toyota Cenoworth, the Herbst Pre-runner and the classic BFG Blazer. Not one used wifi, all had spot, but nobody tracked with it except girlfriends and wives at home. The Sat phone was used with Gordon's entry after they lost a CV on the last day. No lives needed saving. Again, if you expect that a radio or sat phone is going to save you ass when you get in trouble you are going to be disappointed.
as for the crew, driving at night in mexico is not fun. at 11 pm, we encountered a cow in the middle of the road, and miss it by a foot. we could have warned the other support trucks behind us if we had comm. luckily non of them hit the cow.
I have no idea why anyone would be driving at night in this Rally, but if you do, animals in the road are common. Pay attention to what you are doing. If you miss a cow by a foot you were driving too fast for conditions, a common deadly mistake in Baja. Hundreds of people drive up and down that highway everyday and night without people radioing them that there is shit in the road. More people are killed in chase trucks in SCORE races than on the race course, all of them have radios, sat phones, and plenty of gizmoes.
experience is a good thing, but not all has it. what works for them may not work for all. only thing common is we're all vulnerable. Baja is NOT some uber remote place like it was 30 years ago. You guys are making the whole thing too romantic and too dramatic. Relax, stop dicking around, and enjoy the rally.