Mark-McMillin-NORRA-4-24-13Legendary Baja racing champion and San Diego-based homebuilder Mark McMillin has been named by the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) as the honorary Grand Marshal for this year’s upcoming General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000.  The unique fourth annual on and off-road rally is set to kick off this Saturday, April 27th in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico and will conclude at lands-end in San Jose Del Cabo on May 1.

Mark McMillin’s Grand Marshal role places him in an elite group of previous icons of the sport and industry who have enjoyed the honor. Two-time overall champion of the original NORRA Mexican 1000 rally (1971 and 1972) and Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones served as Grand Marshal in 2010, while original four-wheel Baja recor d holder and inventor of the fiberglass dune buggy Bruce Meyers was honored the following year. Highly popular motorsports television host and Baja enthusiast Dave Despain enjoyed his time as the General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 Grand Marshal last year.

Armed with a now-proven track record of creating, promoting and hosting the latest form of desert off-road racing, the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) today officially announced it will stage a second vintage-themed rally this year from September 25th to September 28th beginning and ending in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico. The yet-to-be named event will be held the same weekend as the more traditionally formatted 10th annual “Mexicana Logistics 300” race of the CODE Off Road Series, and will offer competitors a second calendar date to NORRA’s General Tire Mexican 1000 rally, which this year takes place from April 27-May 1.

In a unique partnership, NORRA will work on this event with CODE, a well-established Mexican sanctioning body that attracts a very large and enthusiastic group of local racers. CODE has been instrumental in helping NORRA with the complex logistics needed to hold the annual NORRA General Tire Mexican 1000 adventure.

Sacramento, CA – Brothers Don and Ken Moss and their ‘Black Bronco Crew’ have returned victorious from the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Off Road race on June 1 – 3 in Baja Mexico.  This marks the crew’s eighth Baja 500 victory and an amazing 40th win in Class 3 competition with the same 1979 Transfer Flow Ford Bronco!  Competing along with 259 other entries, the Moss Brothers, who took the green flag at 11 am and finished just shy of 2 am, completed the 450 mile course in just under fifteen hours to remain undefeated in SCORE Class 3 competition.  The Moss Brothers are the nine time and reigning SCORE Class 3 champions.

Round four of the five race SCORE Off Road series, this year’s race saw entrants from 34 U.S. States and 15 countries competing on what Don Moss called an incredibly rough course, and which only seventy percent were able to finish.  Moss stated, “This course is rougher because of the number of times it has been used as a race course.  We ran this same course twice last year.”  The course encompassed a wide variety of terrains, starting in Ensenada, winding east thru Ojos Negros and thru San Felipe and back west again near San Vicente and north to Santo Tomas and finishing in Ensenada.  The course also featured five short controlled-speed pavement sections totaling 13 miles where race vehicles are limited to 60 miles per hour, and subject to time penalty violations.  “We had no problems at all.  We ran our own pace and we didn’t touch a tool or change a tire.  Nothing.  We just kept driving the whole way,” beamed a very happy Don Moss.

Veteran off-road racer and National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 participant Cam Thieriot has never made any bones about his fortunate and “lucky” life. But on the eve of next week’s 2012 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000, Mr. Thieriot has announced a massive charity program designed to challenge Mexican 1000 racers, teams and industry sponsors to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.

As part of the 2012 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 “Rally For Relief” effort, Thieriot has committed a $500 matching pledge for every $500 raised and donated by each team up to 100 contributions. This is roughly the number of entries expected for this year’s Rally. If these numbers are reached, the joint effort would net $100,000 in charity contributions to these two legendary children’s heath organizations.

Scheduled for April 28 – May 2, the 2012 Mexican 1000 will cover over 1,200 off-and on-road miles beginning in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico  and finishing four days later in the world-class Cabo Azul beach resort in San Jose del Cabo. Known as the “Happiest Race on Earth”  the retro-flavored Mexican 1000 rally is a unique, once-a-year, four-day competitive event that includes vintage off-road vehicles and  motorcycles, rally cars, trucks, Jeeps and a number of modern desert racecars and prerunners.

“I have to admit that when I created this whole Lucky Sperm concept it was a tongue-in- cheek joke about my life,” explained Thieriot, whose family founded the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. “But now my focus is to help find a cure for pediatric cancer and other children’s diseases, so hopefully someday some of these kids will be “lucky sperms” in their own right. The Mexican 1000 is a perfect way for our sport to give back because I have always felt its true magic was not in being a traditional race, but in our whole community joining up each year in Baja to share something special.”

As a first step, NORRA’s Mike Pearlman pledged the first $500 donation on behalf of his staff and crew. “This is a tremendous blessing to our event, and I encourage every team to raise that $500 donation so Cam Thieriot can match it,” added Pearlman.” I challenge all our entries to call their family, friends or sponsors to help us hit that $100,000 goal.”

All of the contributions are tax deductible. Teams can make their pledges during the Rally’s Technical inspection held on Saturday, April 28th at the historic Mexicali Bullring parking lot. A special Rally for Relief table will located in the Crew and VIP sign-up tent next to the Tech inspection area.

For more information, visit www.MEXICAN1000.com.

OAKLAND, CA – Shaffer-Motorsports car #401 won the San Felipe 250 in Class 4 last weekend in Baja, Mexico.  After a long week of prerunning and a 24 hour turn around to the US for a rebuilt transaxle, the team made the mad dash to the finish line with only 12 minutes separating them from second.  “It was quite a race.  From being down at the half way point, then making a great pass at RM194 for the lead, then watching Daniel put some time on them, we just focused on keeping the sprint up,” said Mike Shaffer, driver of record and owner of Shaffer’s Offroad.

The race didn’t come without consequences, as with most desert races.  They wound up with three flat tires and four wheels that need some serious attention.  But the tolls of the course didn’t stop the drivers Mike Shaffer, Shawn Twitchell and Daniel Aeberli from pushing the Transfer Case Express car to its max and finishing.  “All of the drivers and co-drivers are working really well together and you can see the difference at each race as they meld together,” said Shaffer.

Prerunning may have been more of an endurance experience than the race itself.  During the shock tuning session on Thursday the transaxle gave way.  Ron Weddle, from Weddle Industries, invited them to the shop in Southern California to get it fixed.  “He showed up at 2:45am in the morning when the guys got there to work and had them back on the road to Baja by 7:30am,” said Shaffer.  Within 24 hours the Shaffer-Motorsports crew had diagnosed and fixed the problem, and had the car through tech and ready for the green flag Friday morning!

Read more of the Transfer Case Express driver reports on the Shaffer-Motorsports website: http://www.shaffer-motorsports.com.

The next race for the Red, White and Black Transfer Case Express car will be the Baja 500 June 1, 2012.

With its dates and rally format firmly solidified, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) opened online registration to all participants for the 2012 Mexican 1000 on New Year’s Day. Since then rally registrations have surged to new pre-event levels. While there are still over three months left before teams converge at the historic bullring in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico for pre-rally technical inspections and an opening night “Welcome Fiesta and Driver’s Meeting,” nearly three dozen teams have already added their names to what should be record year for the unique four-day competition.  (See below for the first 30 Mexican 1000 entries.)

The first three entries came from enthusiastic rally veterans Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan and Butch Jensen. Additional entries arrived courtesy of veterans Brian Collins, Mark Post and Mark Stahl. It is expected that two-time rally winner Bob Gordon will join Malcolm Smith, Bud Feldkamp, Frank “Butch” Arciero Jr., Larry Roeseler, Don Adams, Dave Westhem, Randy Salmont and many others making plans for the journey down the Baja peninsula this April 28 – May 2, 2012.

Evans, an iconic figure in the world of off-road motorsports, will return with his famous Dodge Class 8 pick-up truck that took him to so many victories in the 1980s. At last year’s Mexican 1000 a mechanical issue forced him to retire on Day 2 just outside of beautiful Bahia De Los Angeles, but the beloved racer is looking forward to his return to this vintage-flavored event.

“Well, here is the real story,” explained Evans, who entered his first NORRA Mexican 1000 back in 1969. “I love Mexico. I love everything about the place. I am at the age and at the time of my life when I want to give something back to the place that has given me so much. The new NORRA Mexican 1000 is the perfect way to do that; four fun-filled days of seeing that beautiful peninsula while having time to visit with old friends and locals. It’s the most fun you can have, and I intend to have a good time, I can tell you that!”

LOS ANGELES—Moving out from the shadow of his father and his uncle’s experienced tracks, Southern California desert racer Cody Parkhouse has assumed the SCORE overall and unlimited Class 1 point lead after the first two rounds of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series.  With the season’s last three races all to be run in Baja, Mexico, Cody Parkhouse, 24 of Long Beach, Calif., opened the season at the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in mid-January by finishing second in the first round and winning the second in a Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheeled desert race car the following day.

A second-generation desert racer and the youngest of the three Parkhouse racers, Cody Parkhouse has 103 season points to help launch the 39th season of Sal Fish’s SCORE Desert Series, the world’s foremost desert racing series.

With Mexico’s Juan C. Lopez finishing second in both Laughlin races in the No. 18 RPM Off-Road Chevy Silverado to lead the featuring SCORE Trophy Truck division points, RPM leads the point standings in seven classes after the first two races of the five-race 2012 SCORE Desert Series. Lopez, of Tecate, Mexico, is also second overall in points with 101 heading into the upcoming 26th Annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250, to be held in San Felipe, Mexico, March 9-11.