Baja Sur 500 A Huge Adventure For Brenthel Industries
April 27, 2015
Loreto, Baja California Sur Mexico
Anytime you line up for a 500 mile race in Mexico, it’s bound to be a challenge. For Brenthel Industries, the Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500 was much more than just a race; it was an adventure. The course would start in Cabo San Lucas, the tip of the Baja Peninsula, and travel 424 miles north to Loreto. The course touched the Pacific coast and ran along the shore of the Sea of Cortez with rocks and silt thrown in along the way.
Part of the adventure of Baja is the unexpected. On the trip down they had some trailer issues in Constitución that needed attention. They got some assistance from a local class 5 team and were soon back on their way. Days later while trailering the prerunner back to Cabo after a long day of course reconnaissance, a large, dark object suddenly appeared on the highway. Before they could even react, a black bovine darted in front of the truck. Jordan did the best he could to avoid it, despite the trailer out back and was able to clip the cow instead of plowing straight into it. It did some minor damage to the left corner of the truck but could have been much worse had Jordan been a second slower with the wheel. Nothing like a huge shot of adrenaline to help you stay alert getting back to the hotel.
Jonathan and Jordan both had local co-drivers to help them navigate during the race. While prerunning, they enlisted the help of local racer Rody Amaya. Rody has won the Dos Mares race twice; he knows the area like the back of his hand. As soon as they got past a few language barriers, Jonathan was very comfortable pushing the Brenthel Industries Recon Prerunner to the limits at Rody’s insistence. They put in several good prerunning sessions and took some time to see a few local sights like the 345 year old San Javier church. The church has a wall that is entirely covered in gold. The church, the food and the scenery in Baja Sur is just incredible.
After several long days preparing, it was finally time to race. Jonathan would be racing the Brenthel Industries class one car and Jordan would be competing in his Brenthel Industries Falken Tire Spec Trophy Truck. Jonathan started with the rest of the class one cars so he was on the course ahead of Jordan. Some of the pre-race instructions were a little confusing. He was following the GPS file to the letter when he slowed for a speed zone. Apparently, not everyone was doing the same. A couple cars passed him at full speed. There was a lot of dust on the course but Jonathan decided he better go for it. Their time prerunning with Rody produced excellent notes but when you are blinded by dust, accidents happen. When they pulled out of the dust for a pass, they hit a four foot deep, square edged ditch at 60 mph. The hit ripped the rear suspension mounts off the chassis; albeit by design. “It was an incredibly hard hit,” says Jonathan, “My co-driver Darren Carey and I are both fine; the car did what it was supposed to. The chassis and the trailing arm were both undamaged. We design our chassis for real world conditions. There has to be a failure point somewhere and this was right where we’d prefer for minimal damage and an easy repair.”
Jordan’s race would go much better but was not without some mayhem. At mile three, he had already passed the truck in front; he was off to a great start. He fell prey to the same GPS notes that fooled Jonathan; two trucks passed him while he slowed for the non-existent speed zone. He then had to stop when his electronic throttle pedal was causing the engine to cut out. With the tools they had on hand, they got it repaired and headed back out on course.
At mile 265 he handed the truck off to co-driver Josh Rigsby. They were running third at the driver change and Josh moved them up a spot to second. They were having a good race with quick pit stops for fuel and no flat tires from the Falken Wildpeak MT’s.
Just outside Loreto, Josh hit a ditch and rolled the truck 5 times; coming to a stop facing backwards on the course.Despite the roll, the truck was ok so they got going but not until the third place truck had passed them back. They pushed on to the finish landing on the podium in third. “It was challenging as always,” said Jordan, “We had a lot of adventures the whole time we were down there.” Jonathan was equally as stoked about the race despite his DNF. “It was awesome down there; Baja is awesome!” The Brenthel team will have just a week to prepare for their next race, the Best In The Desert Silver State 300. Their time spent in Baja Sur going flat out on twisty trails will be good practice for this 300 mile point to point race in Eastern Nevada.
Created on the computer and then proven on the race course, Brenthel Industries leads the way by design. Any job you have, big or small can benefit from Brenthel’s meticulous engineering and precise craftsmanship; give them a call today to discuss how they can help you accomplish your next project.
Photography By: Get Some Photo & Brenthel Industries