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Lance Clifford, from Pirate4x4.com, will be co-driving for Roger Norman in the 2010 Baja 1000.   The team has been in Baja pre-running and preparing for this years race, to win.  He has been keeping a blog of their pre-running events, taking pictures, and Roger has been streaming live.  Keep up with their daily adventures here, and for more options check out these two links:

ION Earth Link: http://www.ionearth.com/2010/baja/view_race/2763

Live Coverage, Click “Follow” to get Instant Email When Live: http://rogernormanracing.com/live-coverage

Participate in the Chatter… http://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=925360

Monday October 18, 2010

Roger Norman 1LANCE: I don’t have much time, so I can’t type all the thoughts in my head right now. But I did want to share a little so you guys can see what’s going on. Yesterday morning I woke up on the lake bed at the Hammers. I headed down to San Diego where I met up with Roger Norman who I will be racing with in the Baja 1000. We would begin our effort at soloing the Baja 1000 together in the #8 Crystal Bay Casino Trophy Truck in an attempt at winning the overall in the 1070 mile point to point race from Ensenada to La Paz.

After a tour of Roger’s jaw dropping 20,000+ square foot race shop, it was time to load up one of the chase trucks and say adios to the United States for a while. We would be heading to Mexico for an unknown amount of time to pre run the entire course, with no real plans for returning between now and the November 18th race.

We headed into Ensenada where Roger has his 720 horsepower pre runner prepped. Down a few back alleys and we were there. The crew was running around like worker bees to get everything buttoned up so we could begin our painstaking job of covering every square inch of the race course over the next month.

We headed out and decided we would go to San Felipe that night. We arrived in San Felipe at 1:00am, and crashed out. We are up and at em here at 6:00AM and Roger is telling me it’s time to go, so I have to cut this short. Today we plan to pre run from San Felipe to San Ignacio which is about race mile 500. It will be a long day. I will check back in from San Ignacio.

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LANCE: Hello from San Ignacio! We had a great day pre running today. Roger’s truck is awesome, and VERY comfortable. We had the windows rolled up, that A/C blowing, and cranking the ipod over the intercom. We did get a flat today, didn’t even notice it till we pulled over to take a pee. Rear tire had a hole right the the center of the tread. Must have been a piece of rebar or something.

Anyhow, we are at RM550 and just ate some dinner and plan on heading all the way to Loreto TONIGHT. We are pushing it, but we need to. We need to get used to the pain! That’s all for now, hopefully I can upload some photos later from Loreto if I’m not too tired. Adios for now!

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Tuesday October 19, 2010

LANCE: Good morning from Baja Sur, Loreto!

We made the gnarly journey to Loreto last night and rolled in about 2:30AM dead tired and passed out. We woke up early this morning to the waves of the Sea of Cortez coming ashore. I got up and got to work editing all of the course notes I took yesterday while the chase crew guys looked over the pre runner. I took a LOT of course notes yesterday, so it took me a couple of hours to get everything logged.

This section of course was VERY rough and nearly virgin from just below San Ignacio to Loreto. We had some concerns as to if we could really pull off this ironman thing as the night wore on, as the course was demanding mentally. We will continue to work hard and deal with the demands of 110% concentration all the time. There is no possibility of making a mistake when going 130mph in the desert. We were in the vehicle for about 17 hours yesterday, and we expect it to take us 19 hours to complete the entire race in the race truck. So we are optimistic that with additional pre running, note taking, and sleep deprivation we can make it happen.

Today we will back track and run the last 50 miles of course we did late last night because it was very tricky. After we are comfortable with that section we will continue south all the way to La Paz where we will call it a night. Hopefully we will get there at a reasonable hour so I can upload a few more photos. Hasta Luego!

700+ horsepower and it runs on Mexi-gas!

Roger signing Coco’s guest book -

Coco’s fancy TV -

Coco’s oasis -

Coco and us -

Bay of LA -

Our current location: Loreto, Baja Sur

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Getting Ready to Pre-Run…

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LANCE: Yes, we have/had an armed police officer on our chase team. He will rejoin us when we head back up to start pre running the north sections. We also have a member of the green angles on our crew. Our pre run chase team is made up of all Mexicans. Pretty cool.

I feel as safe here as anywhere. I don’t hang around the border towns like Tiajuana though.

We are pre running at 80% race speed.

Much of the course is open all year. You can drive it anytime you wish.

So as you can see from our Ion Earth tracker, we are still in Loreto. That’s because we have been pre running the same crazy rough section all day, running it multiple times to get it down.

“This reminds me of the Reno Stampede,” laughed Roger earlier today on the course. There was some legit was rock crawling.

We are done with this section of the course and have it down. We are now eating a nice dinner and then we plan on hopping in the pre runner and heading from here in Loreto tonight all the way down to La Paz. That’s a little over 250 miles, and we hope to hit some high speeds tonight and make it with at least a 50-55mph average. So that’s it for now, as my steak is getting cold.

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Wednesday October 20, 2010

LANCE: WOW… What a crazy night. We pre ran the Loreto area pretty heavily. After dinner in downtown Loreto it was time to make the blitz to La Paz. We figured we could run hard and make it by 3:00AM California time. Well it didn’t quite work out that way. The course was a little rougher than we thought it would be, and we blew out a front driver’s side shock. That made for a much slower, more uncomfortable ride. We were only able to drive about half the speed we should be able to, and the slow going began to wear us out as the night dragged on. Around 3:00AM (the time we thought we would be pulling into La Paz) we decided to pull over and take a nap in the truck. Some way and somehow we all managed to get something that resembled a couple hours of sleep, and woke up to an awesome Baja sunrise.

We powered on driving into the blinding morning sun while the 100 miles of relentless whoops pounded on us Jeepspeed style. There was miles of silt, and when I say 100 miles of whoops, I mean 100 MILES OF WHOOPS. Big ones. It’s going to be rough on the limited class guys (like the Pirate4x4 Jeepspeed).

Mission San Javier -

Some locals in Ciudad Insurgentes:

Slept in the pre runner for a couple of hours and woke up to this -

Fueling up before continuing on to La Paz -

Punta Canejo on the West Coast -

Ok it’s time to eat some lunch (or is it breakfast, or is it dinner?)

LANCE: So we’ve decided to stay the night here in La Paz so the crew can get some rest. We will load up around 3:00-4:00AM and head back up the highway all the way to San Ignacio where we will pre run all the way back to La Paz.

The hotel we are staying at here in La Paz has a full race shop out back (the owner has a TT I believe) so it was sweet to be able to use their facility to get the pre runner all fixed up (rebuilt both front coilovers and bump stops) apparently they have some valving in the front coilovers even though the truck has 3″ bypass shocks as well. At any rate the ride should be a little better now.

Part of the story…..

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Chips and Salsa anyone?

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And to see a lot more race videos go to Roger Normans Video Library….

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Thursday October 21, 2010

ROGER: Yes, as far as I am concerned. I would not say that if I did not believe he will be the best co-driver I have ever had.

LANCE: Well it’s 3:30AM and we are showered up and hitting the road back up to San Ignacio (currently in La Paz). We may try and run all the way from San Ignacio to La Paz today.

Its Dark at 3:30am…but the spirits are bright…


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Coffee and Conversations….


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LANCE: Hello from Loreto! We are making a quick pit stop in here to get our tourist visas (ooops, forgot to get them in Ensenada, and they wouldn’t give them to us in Tiajuana because we didn’t have pesos)

I picked up a pay-as-you-go mexi cell phone (since Verizon is useless here) and we are good to go. A few pics from the ride -

Sea of Cortez

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(CNN) — A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico’s Gulf of California on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/10/21/mexico.earthquake/index.html?hpt=T2

LANCE: Didn’t feel the quake, we are North of Mulege now…

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LANCE: We made it to San Ignacio. We are at Rice & Beans having a late lunch. We decided we would head up to the Bay of LA this afternoon and pre run from there back to San Ignacio. We’ll stay the night here and get a good night’s sleep then hit it hard tomorrow and try to make it to La Paz.

Quick Recap on the day….


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ROGER: It took about 12-13 hours (on black top to get from Lapaz to Ignacio). That’s towing a pre-runner and all the spares. They are stopping everybody and searching all vehicles because of the recent giant drug busts at the military checkpoints. They guy driving, drives the roads for a living as a Federal Green Angel. He is fast and smooth. We had to stop for gas a couple times because you never know if they will be completely out in some of these towns when you are sucking fumes. I had to wait for a fuel delivery overnight once because of this. Now I have extended range fuel tanks on all the chase trucks.

LANCE: We finally arrived in Bahia De Los Angles around 9:30PM. It was a long day of traveling on the highways today, considering we woke up at 3:00AM. It really puts things into perspective how big of a race the Baja 1000 is traveling back up the highway along all the dirt roads we’ve already pre ran… Think of it this way: Hop in your truck in San Fransisco, CA, and drive all the way to Albuquerque, NM. Do it non-stop without getting out of the car for anything including going to the bathroom, eating, or getting gas. Oh wait, do it all off road too.

We had an awesome run from Bay of LA to San Ignacio tonight. Our notes gave us tons of speed and we had a great run. We were well over 100mph for miles on end. It was bad ass!


Speed is in the upper left hand corner of the GPS screen. You might hear me laugh in the video, we ran over a rabbit…

Roger says it was at about 4400 rpm. It will wind out to 135mph.

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Friday October 22, 2010

LANCE: We had an awesome run today! The weather was awesome, the pre runner worked great, and Roger drove like a finely tuned machine. We ran from San Ignacio to Loreto, and ran the first 90 miles of that section twice to make sure we had it down pat.

It was nice to get into town at a reasonable hour for once, and enjoy a nice dinner at a normal hour. The pre runner is having a small issue with a rear wheel bearing, so we will go check it out after dinner. The chase truck is loaded down with pretty much a spare everything so we should be able to fix whatever is wrong.

We handed out about 200 stickers today to the children of the small villages that we traveled through. To the kids of Baja, desert racers are like rock stars. Giving them a simple sticker is like giving them a $100 bill. It’s truly is one of my favorite things to do in Baja. You can’t explain it, you just have to do it to understand.

The new state of the art gas station in Scorpion Bay!


Check out their high tech EPA approved pumps -


ROGER: Thoughts on Helmets and Intercoms…. We are wearing Bose Headsets with active noise canceling. They are extremely quiet and the ipod hooks into the intercom. I have some helmets called Peltor that have headphones built in but they are very uncomfortable and cause massive sweating. We used them pre-running back in 2007. After a while they get pretty gross. I will need to upgrade the a/c system in order to start using helmets inside the pre-runner. I just became an authorized dealer for STILO Helmets and Intercoms this week and both the Trophy Truck and the Pre-runners will be outfitted with the absolute ultimate intercom systems and helmets. When your pre-running for 12 to 20 hours everyday it is important to be comfortable. The helmets are used in Formula 1 and World Rally. They have headphones built in and are extremely quiet, clear and comfortable. They also have a complete back up built in in case the first system fails it automatically switches itself to the second intercom power supply. You can have the water and intercom cables on one side and your air on the other, you get to choose. They also have Bluetooth so you can answer your cell phone while pre-running and have a clear conversation with the helmet on. That just happened this week so pre-running will be a little safer very soon. They are very expensive but you get what you pay for. We will use the WRC open face Carbon Fiber helmets in the pre-runner and the ST4W Carbon Fiber in the race vehicle. I have used almost every system out there and have had more trouble with intercoms than you can imagine.

LANCE: Thoughts on eating and drinking during race… We will eat and drink at pits. During the race we wear an external catheter (think of a condom with a tube attached to the tip of it that runs down your leg) for peeing. Better hope you don’t have to poop because nobody is stopping.

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Saturday October 23, 2010

LANCE: Hola amigos!  We had an awesome day running from Loreto to La Paz today. We ran a few sections more than once, and checked out many optional lines through washes, etc. We logged about 340 dirt miles today putting us at 1880 dirt miles for the week. I have some good video and photos for you but unfortunately I left the power cord for my laptop in our hotel at Loreto and my laptop is totally dead. I will borrow Rogers charger tonight so I can get everything posted in the morning.

Teams are beginning to show up for pre running now. We ran into SCORE points leader Jesse Jones and team mate Larry Ragland at the gas station this afternoon in Loreto. Jesse has a built to the hilt pre runner… Oh wait, he has two of them – one is in Northern Baja and the other is down here in Southern Baja. Once he gets to La Paz he hops in his private airplane and flys up to his “northern pre runner” where he runs the northern section. Crazy stuff. Roger just walked in the door so maybe I will get to post some pics tonight after all!

Left to right – Larry Ragland, Jesse Jones, Roger Norman, Me, Chad Ragland

Honda Accord?? In the middle of the desert…

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Mission San Javier

20 pages of note taking and we still have lots to do


Pre-Running

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And they are off…

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Full moon tonight, it was awesome.

Enjoying a great dinner on the water in La Paz

ROGER: Thoughts on High Angle Drivelines…. Yes we are (still using the same one), it is working great. Starting to get a vibration now because the u-joints are getting loose. I think it’s going to need some new u-joints pretty soon. They are starting to show some wear after about 2,860 miles of hard pre-running. I ran about 1000 miles of pre-running on it in the week leading up to the Baja 500 and 225 miles pre-running the Mexicali 300. About 100 miles pre-running the XO 250 in Reno. So far for the Baja 1000 pre-running we have done 1535 miles. We will put another 300 miles on it going from Loretto to La Paz today then I think it’s time for us to send it to you to work some magic with it. These numbers I’m giving you do not include freeway miles.

ROGER: Thoughts on hitting cows…. No, I have never hit a cow. I hit a deer during the Norra 1000 at 115mph and it was just a spray of hair and tiny meat particles. The deer jump out from behind a tree about 10 feet in front and it really rattled me because I thought it was going to be a day ender but it barely upset the truck. Once I came over a rise at 110 in the pre-runner and there was a big herd of cattle covering every possibility. It was on the run between Loretto and La Paz and I hit the brakes as it was the only option. I came within a foot of hitting the cows as they scattered and came to a full stop. When I tried to continue I found that I had broken a rotor. I had a head on with a drunk local during the Baja 2000 in a Hummer H-1 when I raced with AM Generals Rod Hall Hummer Team. That was a day ender for his truck and his underwear. We were only going about 5 mph when we hit but his truck didn’t take it very well.

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Sunday October 24, 2010

LANCE: So today is a day of rest. We are hanging out in La Paz this morning and will catch a plane home this afternoon. Roger has some things to attend to, and I need to do about 3 weeks of work in a day, and spend some time with my family. We are planning on heading back down to Baja Tuesday evening and then hitting it HARD Wednesday. Hope you guys enjoyed the updates, we will bring down some in car cameras for next week’s adventure and get some good pre running footage. I actually got some yesterday but the camera malfunctioned. It was GOOD stuff too.

ROGER: Thoughts on Mastercraft…. Those are brand new Matercraft 3G seat and belts. I just switched over to the Mastercraft seats and belts and I really like them. The belts are very comfortable, usually I get rubbed so raw on my upper shoulder blades, traps and neck that it is actually painful after about a week of pre-running. We have done 1880 miles and I feel like I haven’t even been in the truck. The seats have nice back support which helps on the long days.

LANCE: Thoughts on Mastercraft… The seats were very comfortable, and typically my lower back gets beat up pretty bad. My back is in perfect shape, and I have minimal irritation on my shoulders from the belts (which like Roger, usually get rubbed completely raw).

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Monday October 25, 2010

LANCE: I made it back to Georgetown, CA last night. Man what a difference in weather. It was 85* at lunchtime in La Paz, and here it’s 45* raining, and heavy winds (hell, the power was out half the day according to my wife). Ahhhh home sweet home!

So while I was at the airport I started going through the on-car footage that didn’t come out (something wrong with the camera) but I was able to come up with some good stuff, so here is part 1. This is near Ciudad Constitution, and we are doing about 85-95mph and catching some pretty big air. We get a little nose heavy on one of the jumps.

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Tuesday October 26, 2010


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Wednesday October 27, 2010

LANCE: I flew down to Roger’s house in San Diego Tuesday night so that we could get an early start first thing in the morning on Wednesday. We arrived in Ensenada around 10:00AM and did a few things to get the truck prepared for the brutal week it was about to endure.

With the hard core schedule we would have for week two of pre running, comfort really has to be a high priority. Roger decided we would take the truck over to a window tinting shop to get the windows tinted a little more so that interior would stay a little cooler in the blazing sun. This ended up eating up much of the day, and we didn’t get on the road until about 3:30-4:00PM. It was opening day for pre running from Ojos Negros to San Felipe, so we headed to Ojos and began our week. Pre run was going well until we got to the rough stuff on the outskirts of San Felipe and I noticed something was spraying the windshield on my side. At first I thought it was water, but it was oil. We pulled over in the pitch black desert night and checked it out. We lost the oil cap to the motor so oil was just blowing out. Not good with a high dollar 700hp motor!!!

We couldn’t come up with a replacement cap, so we made one out of a tree branch. Pelechino whittled down a branch with a hacksaw and made a perfect fit. The new “cap” made it to San Felipe without issue. By this time it was pretty late, I’d guess around 10:00PM or so. I figured we would stay the night in San Felipe. I was wrong, Roger wanted to push on to Bay of LA.

So after filling up at the PEMEX station with fuel and sourcing a real oil cap in town, we were off into the night with an ice chest full of Monster and 5 hour energy drinks.

It was an uneventful ride to Bay of LA, and we met up with the chase crew of Tony and Scott in town around 2:30AM. Damn I was tired and glad to finally go to bed!

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Thursday October 28, 2010

LANCE: After what only seemed to be 5 minutes later, we were up at 7:00AM and getting ready for the day’s pre run. The plan was to blast all the way down to Loreto. Pelechino changed the oil in the truck and looked everything else over, and then we were off. We had an AWESOME run, and ran into none other than Pistol Pete in Vizcano (SP?) where we joked with him about our new Pirate4x4 Baja team name. He got a good laugh out of it. We decided to change the driveshaft since it was beginning to develop a vibration at about 80mph. We changed it out and were off where our next stop would be Scorpion Bay, where we took a tour of a relatively new place called the Scorpion Bay Beach Club (or something like that). Cool place, and real nice rooms for a place in the middle of BFE.

The rest of the ride was smooth and Roger and I were working awesome together, and really hauling ass. There’s no doubt in my mind that if we are still leading the race at Bay of LA NOBODY will catch us through Loreto.

Speaking of Loreto, just before town was a couple of 3-5 foot long silt holes about a week ago. After a week of people pre running, this mild little bit of silt had grown. A lot. How much, you ask? How about well over a mile and literally coming over the hood? By race day I have NO idea how the limited guys will make it through there. It’s going to be absolutely INSANE.

Tomorrow we head to La Paz for what will most likely by my last time for a little while. We will head North after that and concentrate on the North. We’ve got the South DIALED.

We’ve got just under 800 miles under our belts since yesterday afternoon.

ROGER: Everybody loves stickers down here.  If you go to Baja without stickers you will upset hundreds of people.   In the town of La Purisma you will need atleast 70 stickers for one pass through town… We have been through La Purisma three times now… We are going to have to call for reinforcements as we only have a couple hundred stickers left


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Friday October 29, 2010

LANCE: WOW, what a day! LOL   It all started out pretty routine… We got up in Loreto, and got everything ready for the long pre run from Loreto to the finish line in La Paz. The chase crew had the truck washed and prepped, I had my notes ready, Roger had his hair and makeup all done up nicely.

The pre run was going great and we had about 250 miles out of the way when the truck made a loud noise from the drivetrain. We pulled over and checked everything out, but couldn’t find anything wrong. We tightened up the rear end bolts, looked over everything else and took back off. We made it about another 1/4 mile and entered a deep sand wash when there was a loud “Ka-POW!” and the truck came to an immediate stop. It turns out the flex plate broke and we were dead in the water in a VERY VERY remote location about 15 miles before “Punta Canejo”.

As we scratched our heads trying to figure out how we were going to get anywhere, the only locals within a 50 mile radius drive up in an old clapped out Ford Ranger. Pelochino does some quick negotiating with the guys gets them to agree to try to tow us out of the sand wash and down the 30-40km of race course to the highway for a few bucks. And then we heard a loud motor roaring closer and closer to us. It was Pirate’s favorite mullet man, Pistol Pete.

He pulled up and offered to try and yank us out of the wash so we hooked up the tow strap and he gave it a HUGE yank. Roger’s pre runner barely moved, and Pete nearly got stuck as well. After a few more futile attempts we decided to try the clapped out Ranger. At least it had 4wd (and four different brand/sized tires!)

With about 4 of us pushing the pre runner and about 4 sitting in the back of the Ranger, they hammered down and amazingly pulled the pre runner out of the wash. I was impressed! I was beginning to think we were going to be camping in the sand!

We figured it would be best to keep the pre runner as light as possible, so Pelochino and I rode in the back of the Ranger in true Mexican fashion. It was a pretty rough ride bouncing around back there down the race course, but I don’t think we stopped laughing the entire time.

By the time we made it to the highway my ass was pretty much numb but we still had one more hurdle – we had to load the pre runner onto the trailer. The issue was that the pre runner is 92″ and the trailer is 90″ wide so you have to drive over the top of the fenders. Tough to do without power or a winch! The Mexican Ranger pulled the pre runner at an angle onto the trailer and after a few attempts popped it up and over the fenders. The problem was that the Mexican got a little gung-ho in his pull and dragged the passenger tire right off the trailer and stuffed the pre runner right into the transmission box on the front of the trailer!

After some creative jack-jerry rigging and whatnot, we managed to get the truck back onto the trailer. I’m sorry, but I didn’t get any pictures of this part – I didn’t want you to think we were a bunch of rookies or something.

So now we’re back in La Paz, and the chase crew is tearing the pre runner apart as I type this to replace the broken parts and get us back in the dirt. Tomorrow we plan on running one specific section of course down here in the South then we will make the long journey back up to Ensenada to begin running the North over and over so it is permanently burned into our minds.

Total pre run (course miles) since Wednesday afternoon: 1050 miles.
Everyone wants a sticker in Baja!

Pre runner broken and stuck in a sand wash – Pete offers to help us get out:


In the end, it was the Mexican Ranger that pulled us out!

New pre runner!

Crap on a strap!

Yeah, it took a while! LOL


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Saturday October 30, 2010

LANCE: It was a long day today of getting the pre runner fixed. We needed to source a few parts which took a while. We decided to rebuild the front bump stops as they were leaking, and we met a local guy who is a shock building guru so we had him rebuild them while the transmission was getting reinstalled.

We are all piled in the chase truck (5 of us) and headed to Loreto now. It’s about a 4 hour drive up to Loreto. We will get up early and run a “short” section of the course from Loreto to Ciudad Constitution tomorrow and then head up to Ensenada right after. That is about a 20 hour drive.

ROGER: Thoughts on Pre-Running… The first time through you run real slow taking it all in. The second time through you read your notes and make adjustments. Sometimes adding and sometimes deleting notes and that goes for all runs after that. I am always keeping in mind that when we are pre-running many times the locals are having fun on the dirt roads in the opposite direction. We watch for livestock lurking in the bushes and cactus that may rush out. One time I thought I was catching another pre-runner when it was a local having some fun with passengers riding in the back of the truck He knew the road well and was really throwing it around.

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Sunday October 31, 2010

LANCE: The pre runner is being hauled back up to Ensenada today. We will go back to the states for a day and then return to San Felipe on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning for a marathon Northern pre run schedule…

Yesterday was awesome. We left Loreto and headed South for La Paz for our final pre run of this trip. We were having a great run, refining our notes, getting some good video, and having a good time. At around RM1020 we encountered an unannounced detour in the course which had not been there the last time we pre ran the area. We were skeptical that it was legitimate, thinking the locals probably changed the signs to take us on a wild goose chase. After about a 1/4 we figure it was probably legit, as there were score ribbons and markers all along the way. And then it happened. There was a very sharp left hand turn up a hill, with silt and sand. We made a loop so we could hit it with a little more speed but it still wasn’t enough. The massive rear differential and trailing arms burrowed their way deep into the silt and we were stuck. Thinking we were in the middle of nowhere and would become vulture food, we hopped out of the pre runner and began digging. And digging. And digging…

Then just like the day before, we hear an engine, and a local pulls up on a quad. His wife is with him, and speaks perfect English? Want us to pull you out? We are building a new resort on the beach right up the road. We’ll go get the 4×4.

There is a God. And he’s Mexican.

A few minutes later they return with an F250 and yank us out of the silt climb from hell. They laugh and say they’ve pulled out several others in the same spot today including Jesse Jones. After we dust off and hand out a bunch of stickers, they invited us to come check out the progress of the small hotel they are building.

We headed around the corner and pull into their amazing oasis on the Pacific. The hotel is sitting atop a large dune that has the most amazing view of the ocean. We decided to go down to the water and check it out. For some reason we all decided it would be a good idea to barrel roll all the way down the dune to the water, 6 year old kid style. The end result was sand in every crack and crevice.

The water was nice, so we all jumped in for a bit and hung out. Now this is what Baja is all about. I was in heaven. How could it get any better? It does…

We headed back up to the hotel, and the guys were folding up fishing nets and jabbering in Spanish quickly. They motioned for us to come over to a guy who was crouched over in the corner pounding on something with a rock. Turns out they had just returned from getting a big pile of fresh giant oysters and wanted to share. They cracked open the shell, sliced it into quarters, and handed them out. A little soy sauce and habanero sauce, and down the hatch. Oh man, DELICIOUS!!!! Pelochino and I powered down a few of them while Roger watched from a distance.

After a great time at the resort it was time to head to La Paz. We had a great run all the way to town, and I feel very comfortable with our ability to really haul ass through all of Baja Sur. Once we got to La Paz, Pelochino and Tony loaded the pre runner onto the trailer and began the long journey back up to Ensenada. Unfortunately I left my camera and video camera in the pre runner so I won’t be able to post pictures till we return back to Mexico on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning for more pre running. The plan is to run the northern section as much as possible all week.

Total miles this run: 1350
Total miles last run: 1800
Total miles in 10 days of pre running: 3,150

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Monday November 1, 2010

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Tuesday November 2, 2010

LANCE: Got to be home for 24 hours. Was GREAT to see the wife and kid. I’m flying back down to San Diego tonight and Roger and I will be heading to Ensenada tonight. We will hit the dirt first thing in the morning!

All right, we’re back in Ensenada after a good day of pre running. But before we can talk about that, I need to post the photos from the other day. So let’s get started:

Your 35 spline shafts are child’s play.

Our office for the month

The coolest tree I’ve ever seen (just outside of Loreto)

Race Mile 1000 (almost there!)

Stuck!!!

Still stuck!

Yes, this IS hard work!

See how stressful it is?

Hard day on the job

Awesome…

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Wednesday November 3, 2010

LANCE: Back in Ensenada. Today we will pre run from Ojos Negro to San Felipe. Twice….

We had originally considered running from Ojos to San Felipe twice today, but Pelochino had to get home early today because he has an important meeting tomorrow morning. We had started off our run and took it easy while we scouted out the fastest lines. At around RM67 we smelled burning rubber and heard a squeel so we pulled over.

Changing out the seized pulley:

It ended up being a seized bearing on one of the engine pulleys, luckily we had a spare on board or it would have been a bit of a hike out to the highway (about 10 miles). Pelochino had the pulley changed out in no time and we were back on the road. It was an easy ride to San Felipe and I was happy that our notes were pretty damn spot on and didn’t need much editing. Tomorrow we will run the same section but continue on all the way to Bahia de Los Angeles (Bay of LA) scouting out faster lines through the wide open washes. It was a slow but uneventful ride back to Ensenada in Chase 1. As we cruised down the highway we noticed the mini van in front of us was leaking lots of water so Roger hung out the window and flagged him to pull over. The guy probably thought Roger was a nutcase at first, but finally pulled over so we could tell him that he was probably just about out of water/coolant in his radiator. We offered him up some water and were back on the road. Hopefully we got some good karma for that one.


Roger and I went to a great restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner before retiring back at the hotel. It’s nice to be ready for bed before midnight (ok, it’s 11:50PM, that counts!)

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Thursday November 4, 2010


Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv


Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv

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Friday November 5, 2010

LANCE: Wow, yesterday was another crazy day in Baja. I thought we had a great adventure last week when we got stuck in the silt and had oysters and swam on the beach… Well that was nothing compared to yesterday!

The Cliff’s notes as I don’t have much time right now -

We lost a serpentine belt (it was damaged when the pulley bearing locked up the other day so it was no surprise) and got it fixed and had a fairly routine pre run from Ojos *almost* all the way to Puertocitos Road… Until we decided to check out an optional line through a sand wash. That’s where it all went to crap.

We got stuck. Ohhhh did we get stuck! And for the first time, there wasn’t a local hiding right around the corner. We were on our own this time. After about an hour and a half or more of digging, flattening our tires, stacking rocks, and pretty much building a new highway we were able to get out. It seems that every time we get stuck, good things reward us after the fact, and this time was no exception. We limped the pre runner back to the highway (because we only had about 3psi in the tires) and found a place to air up. Roger got a phone call from a new friend in town who owns a land development on the south side of San Felipe, and he invited us over for dinner and to be guests at their small hotel there. When we pulled up to the beach house, we were greeted to ice cold cervezas, the finest tequila I’ve ever had, and the most amazing dinner I’ve ever seen. This dinner would have made Bubba Gump blush – every single kind of style shrimp you could imagine! Garlic shrimp, bacon wrapped shrimp, BBQ shrimp, tequila shrimp, etc. fish, etc. etc. Enough to feed 30 people, and there was about 8 of us. We ate dinner perched atop the roof of an amazing house in Victor’s development and enjoyed the breath taking view of the city lights and Sea of Cortez while the patio fireplace took the late night chill off the ocean air. I could get used to this!

Today we will run from Ojos to San Felipe yet again.

Juan is filling in while Pelochino takes care of business at home -

Muy grande!

Whooops for miles

My new class 11!

Eat yer heart out Bubba Gump!

Rooftop party pad

San Felipe

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Saturday November 6, 2010

LANCE: Well today was a short day. We came around a corner at around RM95 and a cow was in the road. Roger hit the brakes and did some of that Trophy Truck driver stuff and we missed it. Unfortunately the brakes worked so well we sheared the two bolts that hold the caliper to the bracket. So we jacked up the wheel and removed the caliper. Then we noticed the king pin (steering) was loose as well. We decided to call it a day and head back to Ensenada so Pelachino and Juan could do some much needed maintenance to get the truck back into order. It will be really nice having the new H.A.D. driveshaft installed. We could not go over 75 without getting a back massage.

ROGER: Thanks for getting it out to us so fast!!! We had a close call with a cow today and I broke the grade 8 bolts that hold the left front caliper on. We missed the cow but had to remove the caliper. We decided to come back to Ensenada to freshen up the pre-runner after 4,000 plus miles on the course. Some of our rod ends are getting changed out as well, the steering was starting to get a little loose. A few other things like rotors and brake pads are getting changed tonight as well. I can’t wait for the run on Monday to La Paz.

Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv


Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv

Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv


Watch live video from rogernorman8 on Justin.tv

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Sunday November 7, 2010

LANCE: Well we are up at 4:00am for one more pre run before heading home tonight for Pirate4x4TV. Roger is going to bonzai the entire race course (from Ojos to La Paz) tomorrow with his single seat trophy truck. Wish him luck!

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Monday November 8, 2010

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Tuesday November 9, 2010

Watch Pirate4x4 TV Live! … Lance put together a video segment for the show!  Never before seen footage…
Pirate4x4TV Live! Episode 14 PART 1 – November 2010 http://pirate4x4.com/tv/live.php

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Wednesday November 10, 2010

LANCE: I am flying down to San Diego tomorrow. We are going to take the Trophy Truck out for a test drive. If all goes well we will then head to Ensenada and hit the dirt HARD Friday morning. We will probably put in at least anther 1,500 miles.

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Thursday November 11, 2010

LANCE: Testing went great. Got the truck up to 135 and it felt awesome. Got to try out the new suits. Lookin pretty pimp, I must say!

We are in Ensenada now getting a late start on our pre run to La Paz. Roger is hell bent on going all the way to Bay of LA today. It’s gonna be a long night.

Uno mas… Time to go pre run. Adios amigos!

Here’s a video of the 135mph run. Note the speed on the GPS

Lance and Roger trying out their new firesuits:

The night pit:


Dialing in the lights:

Dallas helping Lance with the new HDS GPS:

Tiny shocks:

Race Number that’s electrically lit….BLING!!!!

Helmets on and ready to rock!

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Sunday November 14, 2010

LANCE: So we are sitting here in Loreto. We have logged another 740 miles in the past couple of days. That puts our grand total up to about 6,000 miles of pre running.  We will be pre running from Loreto to La Paz today and then flying back up to Ensenada tomorrow while Pelachino, Juan, and Javier tow the pre runner back in a non-stop blitz (takes about 22 hours non-stop) so that we can begin pre running the Start to Ojos Negros Tuesday morning. The start section (first 35 miles of the race) is only open for the two days before the race because it runs through the residential area. So once we complete today’s run we will be done with all pre running from Ojos to La Paz. We will then concentrate on the start and run it as many times as we can before the race.

Having breakfast with Ivan “the Ironman” Stewart getting Iron Man advice. Kinda of surreal.

LANCE: Made it to La Paz tonight.
There is a silt bed at RM742 that is going to kill everyone (everyone except the #118 Rock Donkey 4×4 ) even the trophy trucks. It is long and bottomless. Roger says it’s the worst silt bed he’s ever seen. Rumor has it the city of Loreto is going to bulldoze it tomorrow, so we’ll see…

We had a great run to La Paz today. The truck is showing some signs of wear though. The sway bar broke in a hard corner today, and the truck has more and more creaks and rattles than it did a month ago.

That puts our grand total of pre running up to 6,250 miles. Tomorrow we fly back to Tijuana and then get a ride back to Ensenada. The crew is making the mad dash with the chase truck and pre runner for Ensenada first thing in the morning and will be back in Ensenada just in time for us to begin pre running the start to ojos on Tuesday morning.

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Monday November 15, 2010

ROGER: Thoughts on BFGoodrich Tires: With 850 horsepower it is much harder on the tires than the pre-runner. In the pre-runner we have to cover a lot more ground and we try to save our tires from real abuse. During the race we change the tires often enough that we can pretty much be on it in all dirt conditions without having any worries about the rear tires. We run the same tires on the front throughout the entire race and we change the rear tires at each fuel stop.

We had one flat but we caught it while it still had good air pressure and plugged the nail hole.  BFGoodrich Tires are amazing! We are still using our bald tires as spares.

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Tuesday November 16, 2010

LANCE: So the pre runner made it to Ensenada about 8:30AM this morning. The guys are getting it ready for some pre running. Of course Roger is not one to sit around and wait, so he hopped in teh single seat trophy truck that he did his iron man test with last week and hit the dirt. He will run the start once or twice till the pre runner is ready then we will go out and map it and take notes.

Well we were only able to run the start 3 times before one of the headers broke off the collector and ended the day. We called for the chase truck to come pick us up just outside of Ojos Negros.

The Truck ~ Ready to Race!

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Wednesday November 17, 2010

Its CONTINGENCY DAY!  The most talked about contingency in Desert Racing….

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Thursday November 18, 2010

Its RACE DAY Folks!

Go to http://www.pirate4x4.com/trailreports/baja-1000-2010/ for Live Coverage

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