Four teams will have a distinct Australian flavour at the 50th anniversary BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, the iconic Granddaddy of all desert races. They will join competitors from all over the globe in their quest to conquer the rugged 1,134.40-mile (1825km) race course all the way down Mexico’s majestically magnificent Baja California Peninsula.
Starting at 10am Thursday local time (Friday 5am AEDST) in the heart of Ensenada in front of the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center, the course travels east to Ojos Negros before launching its weaving way south to the finish line in La Paz. The five checkpoints will be located at Coco’s Corner (race mile 312.30), Mujica Baja Sur (RM 524.22), near Loreto (RM 784.11), road crossing at the Lopez Mateos Highway (RM 930.58) and at Loma Amarilla (RM 1,033.65).
Teams have a total of 48 hours to complete the course, with the all Aussie Erceg Motorsport Team targeting a 30-33 hour run in their Class 10 Racer.
Central Queensland’s Brett Comiskey has been at the forefront of all forms of SXS Racing in Australia for the past few years, tackling Finke, the SXS Australian Championship, Aust4 and more. In January Brett purchased the #2930 CanAm Maverick X3 Max built at Lonestar Racing in Phoenix, Arizona and opened his account at the UTV Worlds, before competing at the Mint 400 and Vegas to Reno. For the 1134 mile race he will be joined by SXS Australian Championship regulars, Peter Carr and Dan McKenzie along with his US team mates Sean Cook (Driver of Record), Brandon Cook and Jesus Leon.
The current plan is for Comiskey and McKenzie to take the reigns first out of Ensenada, then hand the CanAm over to Peter Carr, with Sean Cook scheduled to do the final leg into La Paz. “Our idea is to stay fresh” said Brett “and we will be swapping drivers about every 250k’s.” The team will have three chase trucks for the race, with enough spares on board to rebuild the car if required.
“We have had heaps of help from everyone and the CanAm has been equipped with new 2.5 King Shocks, GBC Tyres, Summers Bros Axles and OMF Wheels. We have also had support from CanAm Dealers in LA and Lonestar have supplied a rear wide arm suspension kit. The car has been fully stripped down and rebuilt and we are testing on Monday with King at Ensenada. Bring it on!” said Brett
A fixture of Australian Offroad Racing, Luke Erceg passion for the Baja 1000 has escalated quickly over the past three years. Getting his first taste of Mexico in 2015 when he crewed for Chris Western, it quickly turned in to a stint in the navigators seat with Chris in 2016 before putting his own team together to compete in the 50th anniversary Baja 1000 this year.
Luke will be joined by his Dad, with Ben jumping in alongside him for the first section of the race out of Ensenada and down to the 360 mile mark. Another iconic son and father team, Chris and Rhyce Western will then steer the Class 10 Racer into the darkness before handing the wheel over to the North Queensland connection, Michael Marson and Talbot Cox at around RM780. The pair will share the driving on the final leg of the race into La Paz. Erceg Motorsport have engaged Mag 7 pit support for refuelling and tyres and they will be supported by a full contingent of 20 Australians, split over 4 chase trucks.
Erceg Motorsport will be campaigning a 2010 Racer Engineering Class 10 with an Ecotec power plant. The car has received a full rebuild from the chassis up by the Green Army, including a fresh 5 speed sequential Fortin and Shocks.
Sydney based fabricator, Garth Hannaford will be racing in the Unlimited Hammer Truck Class against Ultra4 identities Shannon Campbell, Dave Cole and Greg Adler. After teaming with the owner of the #4451 Jeep and good friend, Mel Wade for King of the Hammers in 2016, Garth was invited back to race Baja in 2016 and will be in the hot seat again this year.
The race car is a 2007 JK with a stroker Hemi V8 rolling on 40” tyres built at Offroad Evolution with predominantly bolt on components. Garth has been heavily involved in the prep for all three major events to date and is looking forward to getting behind the wheel again in 2017.
Micklefab Trophy Truck pilot and Stadium Super Truck grease monkey, Christian Mingay has headed over the Pacific to compete at the Baja 1000 in the #6061 Trophy Lite Truck.
Kyle Ahrensburg will launch the truck off the line in Ensenada on Thursday morning (local time) before Chris Mingay hops in with navigator Chris Gelston at RM240. The pair will take the Trophy Lite through to RM 540 before handing over to Russ Phillips for the third leg and Gary Hull, who will bring the truck to the finish.