Words by Jason Roy
We recently took our shot at the 44th annual SCORE Tecate Baja 1000. The race was exciting and full of adventure; and we’re happy to have been part of this great race even after solving several issues to then fall victim to mechanical failure at RM 350.
Early in the race, probably in the first 10 miles, our driver Tom and co-driver Randy lost the display in our Lowrance GPS. Tom and Randy were able to find their way to the first pit at RM 80 despite no GPS. At this pit, I stole a GPS from our Ford F250 chase truck and made it fit into the race car so we had a race course display in the car. We lost about 5 minutes in the pits, but we were again on our way without any major issues.
From the first pit to RM 190, we had co-owner Cliff in the car who fought one of the roughest sections down to Borrego in the dark. The car showed up at the Borrego pits with some issues with our tiptronic shifter. It seems that the shift lever was giving us troubles when too much dust and silt built up in the car. A little fidding with that and it was again working properly.
At this point, we handed the car off to drivers Rob and Andy to race the southern loop through the night. Knowing that I would take over early in the morning at RM 433, I decided to sneak to a San Felipe hotel and get some sleep. Waking up to not knowing where the car was or what was going on was a little disturbing. But, after a few minutes on the radio, we learned that the car was at RM 320 and things seemed to be going well.
After that, silence…
The car ended up being stopped for several hours at RM 350 according to IRC tracker. Unfortunately, it was a spot that no chase truck could reach. A relay via Weatherman wasn’t successful either. Finally, we had to send a chase truck in deeper, which is when we got the bad news.
A leaking axle seal left the diff running dry in the rear. This, over time, melted the teeth from our pinion gear. Several hours of trailering back to Ensenada ended our run.
We’ll get’em next time!!!