Well, it’s been a fun week, even though we didn’t even come close to finishing. We made it through the first check point at least. Looking back, we probably should have put the car on the trailer and hauled her down to Loreto. We would have missed a whole day, but we could have run the last day and still driven into La Paz and finished. We were the only ones in our class, so we would have gotten a trophy. But, live and learn, right?
I did get to talk to some great people this week. At the hotels at night and at the finish line, the thing to do is tell stories about the day and races past. We heard all about Larry Roeseler‘s motorcycle races in Dakar, the history of the Meyers Manx from the man himself, Bruce Meyers, and I even got to meet Gustav Vildosola, leader of the first Mexican team to win the Baja 1000 in 2010.
Dad and I with Gustav Vildosola. They ran a stock bug and came in 2nd in class, 24th overall.
The rally time sheet for Car 40.
When we looked at the results at first, NORRA had screwed it up! Car 40 pulled into the checkpoint for the 6th stage at 10:25am, with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes. NORRA wrote on the results that it took them 10 hours and 25 mintues. Ooops! That ain’t right! So we had to make sure they took 9 hours off the total time, which pushed us from 36th overall to 8th, overall, and third in class! Big mistake but NORRA took responsibility for it and fixed it right away. Thanks, Michele and Ken!
Quick note again, as we need to get over to El Borracho for the breakfast provided by Cam of Lucky Sperm Racing. Dad and I got off to a great first day. We started near the end of the pack, before all the stock bugs but after all the big Broncos. We immediately passed all those guys since the first part of the course was pretty rough. I thought I read the name Parnelli Jones on the side of the big Ollie truck, but I could have been wrong. So there is a tweet out there about my passing Parnelli Jones that might be a lie. Ooops! We got off course a little bit…added quite a few miles to our first stage. We had GPS but usually you can parallel a course with no problem. Not so here. We were paralleling the race course and the next thing we knew we were WAAAAAy right of the course. Dad somehow lost his radio in his helmet, so we had no communication between the two of us, which was frustrating. At any rate, we saw 4 other cars who had deviated from the course as well, so at least there were other idiots out there. I think we were on an old Mexican (ie NOT SCORE) race course, and we knew it would lead us back to where we needed to be. Eventually we got back on the dry lake and were kicking ass when I noticed I was losing power in 4th gear. Uh oh. So I downshifted to third, brought the revs back up, back to 4th and again, losing power. Then we started to hear it popping. The engine sounded like it was making microwave popcorn. We were able to get through the time station and on to the transit road. Our chase was nowhere to be seen as we weren’t planning on meeting up with them until after Coco’s Corner on the highway. We doinked around with the engine on the side of the road and diagnosed a blown cylinder and carburation issues. Oh boy. We limped into San Felipe, about 100km down the road and took the baja into our good buddy Juan’s place. He confirmed our suspicions. We did what we could but it wasnt enough. Oh, wait….while we were limping into San Felipe on the highway…WE RAN OUT OF GAS!!! First time that has EVER happened to me in baja! And who should drive by about 30 seconds later? The McMillin chase truck! These guys had given me shit at contingency (good naturedly) about changing my tire, and now I actually need them to help? And we were THISCLOSE to the first Pemex station outside El Dorado. But I digress…
We knew if we got the baja to Bay of LA that our chase guys could fix the car, but San Felipe to Bay of LA is a long way to go on 3 cylinders, wasting a ton of gas. So, as much as it pains me to say it, we went back to Dad’s house, put the old Hot Tamale in the garage, threw our shit in the truck and joined chase. We didn’t pull into Bay of LA until 10:15 at night, so we violated TWO cardinal rules of baja in one day: Don’t Drive at Night and Don’t Run Out of Gas.
It’s been fun chasing our pals, Ron and Steve. They are in a NORRA class 4 Meyers Manx with a V6 Subaru engine. It’s pretty sweet and they are doing really well. They are car 40.
I’m pretty disappointed, to say the least. I know that bigger and better racers have had to drop out of races, and the baja doesn’t give a shit if you’ve been planning a trip for a year or flew out from DC to drive. Baja is what it is, and all you can do is go with it. So far now, this is Mega Monkey Chase, live from Loreto, on my way to get a breakfast burrito.
Well, the car is ready, the suits are ready…if I could just pack then *I* would be ready! I leave tomorrow evening and will spend the night in San Diego. One of my sponsors, The Waterfront Tavern, is putting me up in their condo a block away from the roller coaster in Mission Beach. Unfortunately, I’ll only be there for 8 hours. Dad and I will be leaving the next morning at 6am to get to his place in San Felipe. There I will get my first look at our BRAND NEW 2180 dual carb motor and new transmission. Awwwww yeah!
After a quick sleep, we’ll be towing our Hot Tamale back up to Mexicali for registration, contingency, and of course, a party with our pals. Early morning of May 5th we’ll start Day One, driving back through San Felipe to Bay of Los Angeles. We’ll be staying with our pals at Villa Vitta.
Day Two will start at 8am at “South of town on Dirt Road”. What’s hilarious is that I know exactly where they are talking about! The second day will take us through San Ignacio, land of 1000′s of Palm Trees and we’ll end at Loreto. That night we get a special party at Del Borracho Saloon, sponsored by Team Lucky Sperm, YT Motorsports, and Team Courage.
But we can’t party too hard, because Day Three starts at 7am in a mad dash to the finish line in La Paz and another fun evening spent with friends, new and old.
The morning of May 8th will bring the awards ceremony and then Dad and I get the rest of the day and most of Monday to play in La Paz….or maybe I can convince him to buzz on out to Cabo? At any rate, I fly from La Paz to LA on May 9th, then red eye back to DC to be at work on May 10th.
I’ll be live tweeting the whole damn thing, when I can get a signal, using the #NORRA1000 hashtag, so be sure to follow me @MMMotorsports. You can also Like me on Facebook and stay updated there as well. We’ll have three Go Pro cameras on the car, so we should get some pretty sweet video.
That’s all from stateside…I’ll see you in the baja.
Well, dad has gotten the baja all ready to go for the Mexican 1000. YAY! 2180cc engine, new tranny, dual 40 mm Dellorto carburetors. We’ve also got a new tire rack on the back that will fit a front or rear tire, and a roof rack. Dad has promised pictures soon. The San Felipe 250 is this weekend. The gang down in Mexico will be watching from Matomi wash. I really hope to be able to race in the 250 soon.
A few pictures for y’all. I got my mug in the March issue of S & S Off Road. Here’s a screen shot.
And it seems I am now driving around a bit of a Franken-Miata. I got the SECOND tear in a month in the top of the car. I had put the top down this morning to bring a dress mannequin to work (don’t ask), and later in the day when I popped it back up…huge tear! I’ve fixed them both with Shoe Goo. It’s raining now…I hope it lasts. The Shoe Goo, not the rain. I just need to buy myself a few weeks until work slows down. Then its hello roll bar and brand spanking new top!
February 17, 2011, Washington, D.C. - Emme Hall of Hall Ass Racing – http://www.hallassracing.com - will tackle the 2011 outing of the historic NORRA Mexican 1000 race down the Baja Peninsula as one half of a father-daughter team with her dad, longtime racer Larry Hall.
The second running of the revived NORRA 1000 takes place May 5-7, starting in Mexicali and ending three grueling days later in La Paz. The two are campaigning Larry’s Class 5 “Trophy Bug” which Emme Hall drove to a second place class finish at the 2010 MORE Powder Puff race last October. More than 50 off road race cars from 1955-1991 are expected to participate in the race.
“We need more women drivers in off road racing,” Emme Hall said. “I want to inspire other women to get behind the wheel.”
Larry Hall raced the entire SCORE series, including the Baja 1000 from 1986-1992 and was a member of the Chapala Dusters race club. He built the Class 5 racer in 2007 as a weekend fun car with some friends. The MORE Powder Puff race, which raises more than $120,000 annually for breast cancer research, was Emme Hall’s first competitive outing. The NORRA race will be the first time the two have raced together.
“I’m excited to show him what I can do behind the wheel and learn from him when he takes his turn,” Emme Hall said. “It should be a great time.”
NORRA (National Off Road Racing Association) was founded in 1967 and was instrumental in organizing the first races in Mexico. Some of the best racers in the history of Baja will be participating in this year’s race, including Off Road Motorsports Hall of Famer Walker Evans and 12 time SCORE International Baja 1000 overall winner Larry Roeseler.
About Hall Ass Racing
Hall Ass Racing consists of Emme and Larry Hall as well as a team of unpaid but highly appreciated mechanics and welders. Emme lives in Washington, D.C. and Larry splits his time between Colorado and Mexico. Emme is a costumer for Ford’s Theatre and does car reviews for Roadfly TV. She hopes to begin Solo competition with the Sports Car Club of America in her 2001 Mazda Miata this summer. To learn more visit http://www.hallassracing.com.
NORRA released the list of classes for this year’s Mexican 1000 and all I can say is…wow. FIFTEEN classes in the Vintage Division, and five classes in the Evolution Division. NORRA’s motto is “Honoring the Past-Forging the Future” and they are definitely working their goals. Looks like Dad and I will be in class 4A : Non-production two-wheel drive buggy style vehicles raced with two or more occupants pre-1991 with less than 2000cc engines.
Since we’re rebuilding the engine from the blowout before the Powder Puff, we’ll fit right into this class. We were running a 2180cc with dual Weber carbs, but now we’re down to an 1835cc. Dad and Jimmy were thinking about only running a single carb, which I definitely don’t like, but I defer to Shook Hawk Performance Engines on the mechanics. I’ll make sure to kick up a lot of dust either way!
2/9/11 CORRECTION: We will actually be running in Class 9: pre-1991 baja bugs. What does this mean? It means I’m calling Dad and Jimmy and demanding the 2180cc engine goes back in!
In other news, my latest review is up . It really is amazing how people either love me or hate me. It’s mostly love, I think. Sometimes it’s hard to read people’s criticisms, but ain’t no way I can please everybody. My boss at Roadfly is happy with my style, I’m happy with my style…I guess that’s all I can do. Haters gonna hate but at the end of the day, I’m the one driving the cars, bitches!
Dad and I are getting pretty excited about the Mexican 1000. I’ve got my plane tickets all squared away, DC-San Diego on the way out, then a jumper flight from Loreto, Baja California-LAX, then red eye LAX-DC. I’ll probably roll up into work all dirty and tired, but who cares? I’d fly 24 hours straight if I knew I’d get a chance to race.
I’ve been chatting with a pal about feminism and off road racing; what it means to be a female in this sport. I’m not sure why it matters, since racing cars requires guts and smarts, which are not determined by gender. But it is a male dominated sport, and being a female trying to break into it, I will have to discuss feminism at some point. Fortunately, many have gone before me, notably Judy Smith. She was inducted into the Off-Road Hall of Fame in 2008 for her, oh 40+ years of being a part of the community, either as a member of a pit crew, a journalist, racer, or photographer. But my point is, she’s in her 70′s and she’ll be racing in Class 11 (!) at this year’s Mexican 1000. We’ve met on Facebook and we have plans to chat in person. So awesome! You can read all about her here.
My Roadfly review for the 2011 Infiniti FX50 is up. You can check it out here. I watched it, and by watching I mean I had it on my monitor, volume on low, while I kind of looked at it while trying not to. Yeah, not so good at watching myself at this point. Hopefully I’ll get better at it!