The Baja 1000 at Punta Blanca

Disclaimer: There’s only three actual race-related photos, and one could be debated.

The Baja 1000 started and finished in Ensenada, with 900 miles inbetween. Steve and my task with COPS Racing was to work as a support/extraction vehicle for our race cars while they pass over a particularly long, nasty silt bed at the southern end of the course. We went armed with all the typical recovery gear, including a sat phone. Our sole purpose in life was to keep the COPS cars moving.

Thursday: We drove from Ensenada to Cataviña and spent the night with the COPS crew.

While driving down Highway 1 to our COPS Racing support position, we took a break at a beach near El Rosario.

While driving down Highway 1 to our COPS support position, we took a break at a beach just north of El Rosario. During the race, we were on the Pacific coast, 300 miles south of Ensenada.

Due to recent rains, the desert was green and blooming and happy.

Due to recent rains, the desert was green and blooming and happy.

Sunset at Cataviña.

Sunset at Cataviña.

The COPS dorms at Cataviña, near RM498. Craig fed us some killer lasagna and fresh-baked cherry/apple pie. We failed to set the desert on fire.

The COPS dorms at Cataviña, near RM498. Craig fed us some killer lasagna and fresh-baked cherry/apple pie. We failed to set the desert on fire.

Friday: Commute from Cataviña to our position on the race course, near RM430, at Punta Blanca. The last 30 miles of the drive was on unmapped, primative desert roads.

There's no Pemex station in Cataviña, but there's gas for sale.

There’s no Pemex station in Cataviña, but there is gas for sale.

Crossing El Islote five miles west of Highway 1.

Crossing playa El Islote five miles west of Highway 1. Pay no attention to that dark spot on the lake.

The road meanders west toward the Pacific. A few miles farther, we passed a Mag 7 support trailer which was at the side of the road,  bent in half. As it turned out, the worse was yet to come.

The course-access road meanders west toward the Pacific. A few miles farther, we passed a Mag 7 support trailer which was at the side of the road, bent in half. As it turned out, the worse was yet to come.

Silt, and lots of it.

Silt, and lots of it.

On the beach north of Punta Blanca (center background), near our support location. We had five hours to wait before the four-wheel racers would arrive at our part of the course.

On the beach north of Punta Blanca (center background), near our support location. We had five hours to kill before the four-wheel racers would arrive at our part of the course.

Two-wheeled racers passing us near RM435.

Two-wheeled racers passing us near RM435.

This unfortunate rider's bike blew a motor at our location, turning him into a pedestrian. We helped him out with a five-mile ride, down-course, to Baja Pits.

This unfortunate rider’s bike blew a motor at our location, turning him into a pedestrian. He cached his bike, then we helped him out with a five-mile ride, down-course, to Baja Pits. He’s from Peoria, Arizona, not Illinois. Update: the Locos Mocos guys at Baja Pits found the rider’s 403X bike (with his help), and got it going again – it turned out the headlight was shorted out, preventing the engine from running. He made a dash for the finish, but timed-out with a DNF.

This bike has been on-the-move for 16 hours since leaving Ensenada.

This bike has been on-the-move for 16 hours since leaving Ensenada.

Both of the COPS entries did not make it to us, both DNF’d. The Trophy Truck, while running strong, hit a boulder near RM350 and took out the front left suspension. The Class 10 car lost its clutch around RM385.

Saturday: Start the drive home. Here’s a video of our drive from our support location on the coast, back to Highway 1, aka Punta Blanca to Laguna Chapala.

Green happy desert.

Green happy desert.

A quick stop to say hello to Coco.

A quick stop to say hello to Coco.

We have a beer with Coco. Or, we have Pacificos, and Coco enjoys some Sauza Conmemorativo.

We have a beer with Coco. Or, we have Pacificos, and Coco enjoys some Sauza Conmemorativo.

Coco believes in recycling beer cans.

Coco believes in recycling beer cans.

From our "What Was He Thinking?" Department: Half-way between Coco's and Gonzaga, headed south. The load appeared to have shifted.

From our “What Was He Thinking?” Department: Half-way between Coco’s and Gonzaga, headed south. The load appeared to have shifted.

Gonzaga Bay from inside Alfonsina's Restaurant.

Gonzaga Bay from inside Alfonsina’s Restaurant.

1. Fly to Gonzaga Bay

1. Fly to Gonzaga Bay
2. Land at Playa Rancho Grande
3. Set up tent under palapa
4. Enjoy weekend
5. Fly home

The south side of Gonzaga Bay. Williard is on the right.

The south side of Gonzaga Bay. Willard is on the right.

Sunset at Punta Final.

Sunset at Punta Final.

6 Responses to The Baja 1000 at Punta Blanca

  1. Jerry McKibben says:

    you still take great pictures JWMC

  2. Karen T says:

    Wow, looks like an amazing trip & a beautiful Mexico.

  3. Tito says:

    Where is my beautiful Victoria?

  4. Jim Hartman says:

    Well done. Enjoyed re-living your adventure. Thanks

  5. Kat Kat says:

    You are so funny; your remarks after your photos totally crack me up. Keep it up!

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