Ensenada, Baja California – The Baja Peninsula is known for beautiful vistas, delicious seafood and it’s friendly industrious people. If you are a racer, it’s known for sand, rocks and silt. At the 46th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Roger Norman and his crew came up with a new twist, vertical silt. By reversing the direction of the race course, sections that would normally be taken downhill now had the added burden of gravity pulling against the cars. Two weeks before the race everything was fine. After prerunning the course it was still fine, only it was fine dust. The silt was deep and the course was steep and narrow. On race day it caused mayhem everywhere.
“We had the leader in sight when we got to the first bottleneck,” said Mike Shaffer of Shaffer Motorsports, “There were several trucks piled up behind a Spec TT that had a broken front hub. There was a slight gap that the leader squeezed through and took off. As we moved up to take the same line one of the trucks backed up and then got stuck blocking the gap. With no way to get around, we had to wait it out until the course cleared ahead. The steep hills covered in deep silt were trapping Trophy Trucks with 39 inch tires and class ones with tons of ground clearance.”