Bilstein Tech Inspection, Stroppe Classic Car Round-Up, Method Happy Hour.
AGUA DULCE, CALIF. – Perfect weather in Ensenada, and an incredible gathering of off road history brought out the fans en masse at day 2 of the Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000. Families, Kids, dogs, you name it; everyone was having a great time checking out the incredible line-up of historic, and current race vehicles during Bilstein tech inspection. NORRA did a great job getting all the vehicles inspected in just 2 days, but the competitors do make it easier. The combined experience of the teams in the field is staggering. They know what they are doing. Some, including NORRA CEO Mike Pearlman, have been with NORRA since the sport of off road racing began back in 1967.
At one point during the day, Ed Herbst, Mark Post, Walker Evans, Sal Fish, and Mike Pearlman all posed for a photo together! Talk about history! While the Mexican 1000 is underway, it is the center of the off road racing universe. There were countless other notable drivers, and living legends in the crowd as well like Mark McMillin, Curt LeDuc, Mark Stahl, Scott Steinberger, Frank Arciero; the list goes on and on. They are joined by many second and even third generation off road racers at the Mexican 1000. One up and coming driver who is fresh off a win is Max Gordon. Max will be driving in his Grandfather Bob’s legendary 1985 Chenowth DR2 with the Arciero’s. Max’s Dad Robby has also driven the same car. Spending some time in a legendary truck once driven by their Dads as well are our Grand Marshals PJ Jones, and Willie Stroppe. PJ will be racing his own UTV in the event, but has been able to do some testing in his father’s Big Oly Bronco. Let’s hope Willie got a ride too. Big Oly has been a big draw for the fans in the Stroppe Classic Car Round-Up. Who knows when so many Stroppe built vehicles will be together like this again except for maybe at the next NORRA race?
Fans of the motorcycle riders were treated to some incredible bikes, and the incredible riders who pilot them. Since everyone will be using roadbook navigation, they were all equipped with roll charts and rally towers; even Adam Sheard’s 1966 Triumph TR6. This is Adam’s first Mexican 1000! He is joined by some very experienced riders on high tech equipment, but they are racing in a different class. He won’t be the only one with a huge challenge ahead. Lyle Tonelli is back with Julian Hoefert, and Chris Kieffner on their 1986 Honda 250R three wheeler. At least the 250R has some suspension travel. The most inspirational, and amazing competitors in the event are probably the Vespa riders. The number 6 1978 Vespa px200 of Phillip Benham, Fabio Ballarin, and Roger Benham will be racing against a second 1978 Vespa px200 piloted by Marcus Benham, Pietro Bologna, Pat Lawrie, Jose Mezzetti, and Victor Resendez. NORRA is all about fun, and these guys are definitely going to have some fun as they travel more than 1000 miles of the Baja peninsula.
As day one of racing gets underway, there will be many stories. Some racers like the Fab School’s Troy Johnson will be looking for redemption after coming very close to winning the overall last year. The man who beat him, Rhys Millen is also back, and will be looking to defend his title. Ironically, he won’t be the only RMR Jackal in the field. Bill Zemak, and Alex Reed will be in a sister car giving Rhys, and the rest of the field, a run for their money. There is also plenty of competition throughout the field including the Baja bugs, the Myers Manx class, and the UTV’s. Don’t miss any of the action left to come. Each day will have its own challenges, and unique rewards. www.norra.com