Langley

Baja 250: Race Day

With the exception of one flat tire, the COPS Trophy Truck ran a flawless day, starting physically in the 24th position, and finishing 14th. The Class 10 car DNF’d 200 miles into the race with a blown tranny.

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Spectators and pits near RM65.5, south of Laguna Salada. The dust shows a Trophy Truck going past, right to left.
The COPS Trophy Truck rips along a pipeline near RM96.2.
The COPS Trophy Truck rips along a pipeline near RM96.2.

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The COPS Class 10 near RM65. Morgan Langley drove the first half of the race sharing duties with John Langley. Mike Howell co-drove the entire race.
The COPS Class 10 near RM65. Morgan Langley drove the first half of the race sharing duties with John Langley. Mike Howell co-drove the entire race.

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The COPS Class 10 running strong at RM96.
The COPS Class 10 running strong at RM96.
The BFG Baja TAs gathered some debris (and was still holding air). The larger stick is around 3x the thickness of a pencil.
The BFG Baja TAs gathered some debris and was still holding air.  The larger stick is around 3x the thickness of a pencil.
After the race, Red Lobster personnel pose for photos next to the COPS Trophy Truck.
After the race, Red Lobster personnel pose for photos next to the COPS Trophy Truck.

Baja 250: COPS Trophy Truck and Contingency

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While in San Felipe, COPS Racing pretty much dominated the Red Lobster Hotel.

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The COPS Trophy Truck runs with Rigid Industries LED lights.
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A peek inside the Trophy Truck’s front left wheel well.

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Zak Langley, COPS Racing’s Trophy Truck driver at Contingency.
There was a record turn-out at Contingency along the Malecón in San Felipe, including an over-served local, singing the Bad Boys Theme in Spanish.
There was a record turn-out at Contingency along the Malecón in San Felipe, including an over-served local, singing the Bad Boys Theme in Spanish.

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COPS Racing at the Baja 1000

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.

Staged race fuel at the BFG pits near La Purisima, RM750.
Staged race fuel at the BFG pits near La Purisima, RM750.
Waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting at the pits.
Waiting … and waiting … and waiting at the pits.
Dan Martin arrives in the COPS Trophy Truck and takes on fuel for his trip over the mountains to the next pits near Loreto.
Dan Martin arrives in the COPS Trophy Truck and takes on fuel for his trip over the mountains to the next pits near Loreto. See the video.
A race spectator's shoes, right about here.
A race spectator’s shoes, right about here.
A disappointed John Langley learns about the demise of the Team's Trophy Truck.
A disappointed John Langley learns about the demise of the Team’s Trophy Truck.

Prerunning the Baja 1000

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.

The spring-fed rio at San Ignacio - one of the first things you see driving into town.
The spring-fed rio at San Ignacio – one of the first things you see driving into town.
Sunset west of San Ignacio.
Sunset west of San Ignacio.
Dinner: carne asada tacos from a taco stand in San Ignacio. ¡Muy bueno!
Dinner: carne asada tacos from a taco stand in San Ignacio. ¡Muy bueno!

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The San Ignacio town square is quiet, and looks like something out of a Hollywood movie set.
The San Ignacio town square is quiet, and looks like something out of a Hollywood movie set.
Mission San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando in 1728 at the site of the modern town of San Ignacio.  The site proved to be highly-productive, agriculturally, and served as the base for later Jesuit expansion in central Baja.
Mission San Ignacio was founded by the Jesuit missionary Juan Bautista de Luyando in 1728 at the site of the modern town of San Ignacio. The site proved to be highly-productive, agriculturally, and served as the base for later Jesuit expansion in central Baja.
The mission is still a working church, and please, no hats or flash photography, Steve.
The mission is still a working church, and please, no hats or flash photography, Steve.
A restauranteur is a fan of COPS Racing and steekers.
A restauranteur is a fan of COPS Racing and steekers.
Our chase crew had a morning to kill, so we decided to drive down to the San Ignacio Lagoon, the winter-time sanctuary of the Pacific Gray Whale.
Our chase crew had a morning to kill, so we decided to drive down to the San Ignacio Lagoon, the winter-time sanctuary of the Pacific Gray Whale.
Prerunning between San Ignacio and Loreto.
Prerunning between San Ignacio and Loreto. See the video.
Gassing up the two prerunners, Oprah and Beetlejuice, at El Medano, five miles west of Santa Rita, on Highway 1. The prerunners run on Pemex.
Gassing up the two prerunners, Oprah and Beetlejuice, at El Medano, five miles west of Santa Rita, on Highway 1. The prerunners run on Pemex.

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Josh and Dan in a prerunner, headed to La Paz.
Josh and Dan in a prerunner, headed to La Paz.
George talks to Dan in a prerunner near Punta Conejo.
George talks to Dan in a prerunner near Punta Conejo.
LEDs provide light for the prerunners during night practice. North of Loreto.
LEDs provide light for the prerunners during night practice. North of Loreto.
About three weeks prior to our arrival in Loreto, the area got hit hard by hurricane Paul. The surrounding desert was Kauai-like green, and there was flood debris along the beach.
About three weeks prior to our arrival in Loreto, the area got hit hard by hurricane Paul. The surrounding desert was Kauai-like green, and there was flood debris along the beach.

COPS Racing in the BITD Vegas to Reno

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.

Zak Langley stages the COPS Class 1 car (#1593) at the start of the V2R near Pahrumph, NV. The 500 mile race course roughly parallels highway 95 all the way to Reno.
Zak Langley stages the COPS Class 1 car (#1593) at the start of the V2R near Pahrumph, NV. The 500 mile race course roughly parallels highway 95 all the way to Reno.

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John Langley started the COPS Class 10 in the V2R race. Fifty miles later, he would collide with an overturned race car hidden in dust, taking the COPS car out of the race.
John Langley started the COPS Class 10 in the V2R race. Fifty miles later, he would collide with an overturned race car hidden in dust, taking the COPS car out of the race.

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Zak Langley handed off the Class 1 driving duties to Dan Martin half-way through the race. Here, Martin is slowing down for a 25 mph pit speed zone.
Zak Langley handed off the Class 1 driving duties to Dan Martin half-way through the race. Here, Martin is slowing down for a 25 mph pit speed zone.

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One of the COPS pits with a gravity-fed fueling tower.
One of the COPS pits with a gravity-fed fueling tower.
IonEarth technology allows us to see other COPS chase crews along with the race cars, greatly reducing the "guess factor."
IonEarth technology allows us to see other COPS chase crews along with the race cars, greatly reducing the “guess factor.”

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Dan Martin brings the COPS Class 1 to the finish in Reno after running out of fuel only a few miles out. A helpful course worker added commercial pump fuel to the race car's fuel cell to limp it to the finish.
Dan Martin brings the COPS Class 1 to the finish in Reno after running out of fuel only a few miles out. A helpful course worker added commercial pump fuel to the race car’s fuel cell to limp it to the finish.
Post Mortem: The COPS Class 10 after the race and after the collision with a fatally-damaged front right suspension.
Post Mortem: The COPS Class 10 after the race and after the collision with a fatally-damaged front right suspension.

San Felipe Baja 250

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).

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Where we were chasing the prerun inland, it was 122˚. Along the coast it was only 108˚, but extremely humid. So it was either hot and humid, or really hot, but with no humidity.
Where we were chasing the prerun inland, it was 122˚. Along the coast it was only 108˚, but extremely humid. So it was either hot and humid, or really hot, but with no humidity.
Ron manages to stay cool in a kiddie pool the team purchased - the hotel where we were staying didn't have its own pool. A beer helps too.
Ron manages to stay cool in a kiddie pool the team purchased – the hotel where we were staying didn’t have its own pool, so we had to improvise. A beer helps too.

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Street art near the San Felipe Marina.
Street art near the San Felipe Marina.
A couple of local COPS fans were following the team on Facebook and decided to come by the hotel to say hello.
A couple of local COPS fans were following the team on Facebook and decided to come by the hotel to say hello.
Manny, George, Ron and I wait for the prerunners to arrive under the only shade in the area.
Manny, George, Ron and I wait for the prerunners to arrive under the only shade in the area.
John and Bill are in the first prerunner to arrive. We'll gas them up, then they'll finish the course.
John and Bill are in the first prerunner to arrive. We’ll gas them up, then they’ll finish the course.
Bill and John in the four-seater prerunner.
Bill and John in the four-seater prerunner.

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Ripping down the old Puertocitos Road, Zak arrives in the other prerunner.
Ripping down the old Puertocitos Road, Zak arrives in the other prerunner.

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A Baja road marker.
A Baja road marker.
Baja residents waiting to become road markers (or carne asada).
Baja residents waiting to become road markers (or carne asada).
Electricity went out in San Felipe, along with extreme Southern California and parts of Arizona. Hotel people came around and put candles in everyone's rooms.
Electricity went out in San Felipe, along with extreme Southern California and parts of Arizona. Hotel people came around and put candles in everyone’s rooms.
Zak brought the Class 12 home for a clean finish. Or as clean as you can get in a desert race.
Zak brought the Class 12 home for a clean finish. Or as clean as you can get in a desert race.
Endo helps the bartenders serve cool drinks after the race - the Class 10 and 12 both finished uneventful races.
Endo helps the bartenders serve cool drinks after the race – the Class 10 and 12 both finished uneventful races.

COPS Racing at the Baja 1000

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.

Grabbing a 2 a.m. taco before the Class 12 gets to us in La Purisima.
Grabbing a 2 a.m. taco before the Class 12 gets to us in La Purisima.
Waiting and waiting at the BFG pits at La Purisima.
Waiting and waiting at the BFG pits at La Purisima.
Morgan Langley brought the Class 12 in for the fuel stop. The car started in Ensenada, 15 hours earlier, and with the exception of getting stuck in a silt bed for 30 minutes, the trip was uneventful. Joe Taylor, COPS Crew Chief supervises from the left.
Morgan Langley brought the Class 12 in for the fuel stop. The car started in Ensenada, 15 hours earlier, and with the exception of getting stuck in a silt bed for 30 minutes, the trip was uneventful. Joe Taylor, COPS Crew Chief supervises the stop from the left.

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Morning tule fog in the desert cut visibility to only 25' at times.
Morning tule fog in the desert cut visibility to only 25′ at times.
At the BFG pits at Cuidad Insurgentes, Ron Martin discovers a sheared bolt on the Class 1's front suspension.
At the BFG pits at Cuidad Insurgentes, Ron Martin discovers a sheared bolt on the Class 1’s front suspension.
Dan Martin, driver, and Brian Martin, co-driver, cousin, depart the BFG pits.
Dan Martin, driver, and Brian Martin, co-driver, cousin, depart the BFG pits.
The Class 4 arrives at the BFG pits at Cuidad Insurgentes.
The Class 4 arrives at the BFG pits at Cuidad Insurgentes.
Mike Howel handled co-driving chores; Zak Langley was the driver. At the next stop, Zak would hand the wheel over to John Langley.
Mike Howel handled co-driving chores; Zak Langley was the driver. At the next stop, Zak would hand the wheel over to team owner, John Langley. John would ultimately bring the car to a first-in-class finish in La Paz.
Craig Casey inspects the Class 4 before departure. He also blew the dust out of my Tacoma's air filter (thanks!).
Craig Casey inspects the Class 4 before departure. He also blew the dust out of my Tacoma’s air filter (thanks!).

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Prerunning the Baja 1000

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.

One of the things chase crews are good at: waiting, telling stories, and being patient.
One of the things chase crews are good at: waiting, telling stories, and being patient.

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The Sea of Cortez out the hotel window. We stayed in the (said condescendingly) "golf course" section of town.
The Sea of Cortez out the hotel window. We stayed in the (said condescendingly) “golf course” section of town.
While prerunning, Bill and John stop for some minor electrical problems. As always, locals come out of nowhere.
While prerunning, Bill and John stop for some minor electrical problems. As always, locals come out of nowhere.
Some local cops ran out of gas, so we helped them get back to base.
Some local cops ran out of gas, so we helped them get back to base.
The motto of a good chaser: rest when you can.
The motto of a good chaser: rest when you can.

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The La Paz malecón.
The La Paz malecón.

SCORE Terrible’s Primm 300

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.

Joe Taylor, COPS Crew Chief, sees the Class 12 car off the starting line.
Joe Taylor, COPS Crew Chief, sees the Class 12 car off the starting line.
The COPS Class 4 staging at the start of the race. The car was driven by team owner, John Langley, with co-driver Bill Young.
The COPS Class 4 staging at the start of the race. The car was driven by team owner, John Langley, with co-driver Bill Young.
The COPS heli-video crew.
The COPS heli-video crew.

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The Class 1 cars are given last-minute prep at the main pits.
The Class 1 cars are given last-minute prep at the main pits.
Dan Martin pilots the new Racer Engineering Class 1 car. Brian Martin is his co-driver.
Dan Martin pilots the new Racer Engineering Class 1 car. Brian Martin is his co-driver.
John Langley brought the COPS Class 4 car to a flawless class win.
John Langley brought the COPS Class 4 car to a flawless class win.
On-course pit area speed zones.
On-course pit area speed zones.
Bean Smith rolls past in the Penhill-built Class 1.
Bean Smith rolls past in the Penhill-built Class 1.

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Smith is interviewed at the finish by the media after a well-run race.
Smith is interviewed at the finish by the media after a well-run race.