The Baja 1000 was not kind to COPS Racing. The Class 1 car, driven by Morgan Langley, made it about 250 miles before the tired torque converter gave up the ghost. The Trophy Truck lost two engine cylinders near Loreto (RM850), but after several hours of down-time tinkering, Dan Martin managed to limp the truck to RM975 where it DNF’d. The combination of a hill and a silt bed near Punta Conejo sucked the remaining life out of the engine.
The COPS Racing Trophy Truck receives fuel at the BFGoodrich pits near Race Mile 747 (La Purisima) in the 2012 Baja 1000. Fifty miles down course from this pit, #50 would lose two engine cylinders (listen to the engine sound at the pits). Driver: Dan Martin.
Some say prerunning is one of the most-fun aspects of desert racing – I have to agree. It’s much more relaxed than the race environment, and there’s always time to stop for a taco and admire the view. COPS Racing divided its chase/prerun crews into two groups: one working the top half of Baja, and one working the lower portion of Baja. We got to work the southern section, between Loreto and the finish line in La Paz.
COPS Racing, Dan Martin, Driver, prerunning the 2012 Baja 1000 between San Ignacio and Loreto, BCS. Stewart occupied the right seat and handled the co-driving/GPS-tagging/gate-opening duties. I handled the back-seat-ballast duties.
The COPS Racing Team ran two cars in the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno Off Road Race. The Class 1 ran a nearly flawless 500 mile race, but the Class 10 DNF’d after colliding with an overturned car early in the race. No COPS team members were injured in the accident.
COPS Racing at the 2012, Best in the Desert, Parker 400. The course consisted of four, 100-mile laps — Zak Langley would drive the COPS Class 1 car the first two laps of the race, then Dan Martin would get in half-way to finish the race. COPS had one pit at the main pit area, plus three remote pits.
This race was originally slated to be run in Primm, NV, but at the last minute it was moved to San Felipe – the reason so few racers showed up. Also, it was hot – San Felipe is a good place to avoid in September (or July or August).
COPS Racing entered three cars in the Baja 1000: Class 1, Class 4 (aka 10), and Class 12. These pics were taken at two BFG pits – one near RM690 (La Purisima, night time) and one near RM850 (Cuidad Insurgentes, daylight). John Langley brought the Class 4 to a first-in-class finish in La Paz. Hours later, Dan Martin finished in the Class 1, but not without mechanical problems. The Class 12 ran strong until it blew its motor near RM800 and was out of the race.
We went to Baja to prerun the Baja 1000 a week before the race with COPS Racing. Our section of the course to practice was between Loreto and La Paz – the lower third of the course, around 300 miles of Baja nastiness. Dan Martin practiced for his race-day Class 1 run, and John Langley reconned the course for his Class 4 car. Those of us chasing, practiced waiting and being patient. The race would start in Ensenada on Thursday morning, but wouldn’t reach us, 800 miles down-course, until early Friday morning.
COPS Racing entered four cars in the 300 mile SCORE race: two Class 1s, the Class 4 (aka Class 10), and the Class 12. The Class 4 and 12 would start the race at 7 a.m, while the Class 1s would start in the afternoon with the other faster classes. The course consisted of three, 100-mile loops in the desert. The COPS main pit was at the start/finish, plus four, smaller, out-lying pits.