Colorado Springs, CO 11/19/12 – There are plenty of cliches about the Baja 1000. They are not artificial or concocted to drum up interest in a lackluster race. Baja racing is for real and it is for keeps. It forces us outside of our lawyer approved, safety barrier lifestyle. Suddenly trust takes on a new meaning. Amazing experiences occur both good and bad. Hardy souls face off against a wild landscape in the spirit of the wild west. This is what the Baja is about and why it continually attracts interest from those looking for the pinnacle of adventure.
As legitimate as the challenge of the Baja 1000 is BFGoodrich Tires. Another cliche? Maybe, but its true. Ride 1121 miles of Baja racecourse and you will understand what these production tires are made of. With over 35 years involvement in the race and 25 of the last 26 overall wins, its pretty clear that BFG knows Baja. These facts are why it is such a privilege for the Lovell brothers to be part of the Team BFG BC-2 car.
Brad and Roger Lovell joined Kyle Tucker, Mike Crawford, Bud Brutsman, and Luke Wilwert to race against five other Baja Challenge (BC) spec class cars. As one may expect, the team was well prepped, well educated about the course, and well supported with the BFG pit network. Even so, problems have plagued the BFG BC team and in its 7-year history, there have been no wins.
Brutsman started the race with a conservative pace while the other teams pushed themselves and their cars over the limit. While the BFG team was 40 minutes behind the leader at race mile (RM) 150, they were 1 minute ahead by RM 220. The smart pace continued through the rotation of drivers and the lead grew to 70 miles before disaster stuck at RM 969.
As the BC-2 car hurled through knee deep whoops, a 75 cent snap ring failed and the CV shaft destroyed itself leaving the team dead in the water. Inspection of the spare CV shaft soon revealed that it had lost key components in the near 22-hour journey from Ensenada. With the closest parts over 5-hours away, the team frantically attempted to make a quick fix. Luck was finally with Team BFG as salvageable parts where combined with the remaining pieces of the spare shaft to produce a working part. With their lead cut in half, BC-2 was back on the road.
Now with no margin for error, the team again set a conservative pace for the remaining 100 miles. Without further drama (unless you count eroded roads, washed out bridges, and on-coming traffic), BC-2 found it’s way to the finish line in La Paz delivering a strong victory. The BFGoodrich BC-2 car finished 53 minutes ahead of the competition, 42nd place overall, in a time of about 28 hours.
The exuberant team was left to celebrate a hard earned Baja 1000 championship and recall the toil and danger that they went through to get it. While the US border and the safety zone that it represents is welcome sight, it won’t be long before adventurous souls (and tire companies) once again look to the remnants of the wild west to prove their worth.
Lovell Racing would like to sincerely thank everyone who made a contribution to the team (large or small) that helped us set a new bar for measuring our success – two season championships and a Baja 1000 win. What can 2013 hold?
Please note: Lovell Racing has a new Facebook page to better update our fans. Join the new page for team updates: http://www.facebook.com/44BradLovell