Tecate Score Baja 1000, Ensenada Mexico 2009
Grabbo & Wonka's Baja Adventure
Like all good adventures, you never know what is in store for you. Grabbo had come up with the idea of racing the Infamous Grandaddy of all Desert races, the Baja 1000. Planning the event is not an easy task and with a lot of help from Warren Lovelace of Aussie Iron Rider, based in the USA, the plan started to fall into place.
KTM Australia got behind them, and KTM USA were able to help out with two practice bikes and a one race bike. Other sponsors like Force Accessories, Chill Dynamics, Mitchum Contracting, Roc Stompa, FWF Air Filters, Browns Grafix & Steg Pegz all helped out, to make the Aussie assault possible.
Grabbo and Wonka were a bit surprised at what they found in Mexico, and now have a new appreciation for their own country. Mexico is a bit on the wild side, and even more wild out in the desert! It is a beautiful, but harsh country and a place that demands some respect.
The boys covered around 1200 miles in pre running and had almost a faultless run. There were a few occasions where they had some close encounters with the local flora and had to help each other remove the spikes!
Their race got off to a slower than planned start due to the still air, lots of dust, and riding straight into the sun. It did not take Grabbo long to move from 12th on the road up to 8th as he handed the bike over to Wonka at race mile 100. From there, Wonka had to negotiate the rocky summit pass, at an altitude of 3500 feet. Despite riding some of the gnarliest rocky tracks he had ever encountered, Wonka managed to pass a further three riders, putting the KTM 530xcw into 5th position.
At race mile 210, Grabbo was ready to take the bike and make up some more time in the whooped out San Felipe loop. Grabbo had pre run this section a few times and was quietly confident of making a real impression in the whoops. Grabbo quickly caught and passed another rider, puting the Aussies into 4th position. However luck was not on the Aussies side. At race mile 242 the big KTM came to a halt. The chase team were so far away, it took over three hours to get to the stricken bike. By this stage, it was decided to call it a day and the race was over. There was over 400 miles left to ride in the dark with 800 horsepower Trophy Trucks now coming through the pack. A sad end to a great effort.
To finish off the adventure, the boys were preparing the bikes, ready to return to KTM. The original stators needed to be put back in the bikes, since larger after market ones were fitted to run the huge twin HID lights. A bad solder joint was found on the after market stator fitted to the race bike! Yes this was what had caused the bike to stop.
Hopefully the rest of the World can see what the Aussie riders are capable of at next years Baja 1000.
42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
Nov. 20-21, 2009
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (672.85 miles)
TOTAL STARTERS: 328 TOTAL FINISHERS: 185 (56.4 Percent)
1.Kendall Norman, Santa Barbara, Calif./Timmy Weigand, Santa Clarita, Calif./Quinn Cody, Los Olivos, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 13:27:50 (49.97 mph) (Class 22)
2. Robby Bell, Sun City, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif./Ryan Penhall/Connor Penhall, Corona, Calif./Destry Abbott, Peoria, Ariz., Kawasaki KX450, 13:30:47 (49.79 mph) (Class 22)
3. Colton Udall, San Clemente, Calif./Matt Eddy/Max Eddy, Barstow, Calif./Brent Harden, Menifee, Calif., Honda CRF450X, 14:10:10 (47.49 mph) (Class 22)
1.Wayne Matlock, El Cajon, Calif./Harold Goodman Jr., Brownstown, Mich./Wes Miller, Fallbrook, Calif./Josh Caster, El Cajon, Calif., Honda TRX700XX, 16:54:52 (39.78 mph) (Class 25)
2. Greg Row, Alpine, Calif./Travis Dillon, Spring Valley, Calif./Jose Ramirez, Albuquerque, N.M., Honda TRX450R, 18:43:03 (35.95 mph) (Class 25)
3. Nick Nelson, Tehachapi, Calif./Brandon Brown, Amantilla, Ore.; Jason Greenhaw, Bakersfield, Calif./Jorie Williams, Longview, Wash., Suzuki LTR450, 20:37:30 (32.62 mph) (Class 25)
Pro Cars & Trucks
1. Andy McMillin/Scott McMillin, National City, Calif., Chevy Silverado, 14:19:50 (46.95 miles per hour) (SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK)
2. Roger Norman, Reno, Nev./Larry Roeseler, Boulevard, Calif., Ford F-150, 14:52:27 (45.24 mph) (SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK)
3. Rick D. Johnson/Brian Sallee, Barstow, Calif., Ford F-150, 15:02:36 (44.73 mph) (SCORE TROPHY-TRUCK)