Hi all!! I thought I would share some information regarding the Baja 500. I left Ensenada, Baja California last night (Sunday) after spending Friday, Saturday and Sunday pre-running with Mark Miller & Ryan Arciero. Just before I departed back to the U.S., Geniel, Dirk, & Ralph arrived at the Coral Hotel where the VW team will be setting up the headquarters for their operations. It was a pleasure to finally meet the guys, who were looking a just a bit jet-lagged and tired from their flight to California from Europe. They had all flown into Los Angeles, where they picked up the 3 seat Support Touaregs that will be used for pit support, and then proceeded south into Baja Mexico to begin preparations for the race. Everyone was very excited about the new challenge of racing in Baja.
Unlike Rally racing, racing SCORE events allow for practicing the race course or what we call pre-running. On Saturday and Sunday Mark had already made one complete lap of this yearÂs course, which will allow him to help guide Giniel and Dirk as they begin their pre-running. MarkÂs pre-running was conducted with Ryan Arciero in RyanÂs special built Âpre-runnerÂ which is similar to the Trophy Trucks he races. The pre-runner is basically a trophy Truck with the cab of a pick up, so it has the suspension of the trophy truck, but the comforts of the pick-up! I believe the plan was for Mark and Giniel to begin pre-running in the Support Touaregs today and they will eventually complete at least one lap in the Race Touaregs by mid next week.
The weather has been really good for the last week and is expected to remain good though race day. On the Pacific coast side of the Baja peninsula, the weather this time of year is typically mild with late night and morning low clouds and fog which gives way to afternoon sunshine and temperatures at around 21 C. Inland through the central portion of the peninsula it will be hot and dry with temperatures at around 32 to 37 C.
IÂm a little disappointed that I had to return back to the US due to work commitments but IÂm really looking forward to going back down to help, hopefully early next week!