Winning the Baja 1000: Heavy Metal Class

In August 2017 John Maine (team owner) was on a sprung an surprise visit to Gordon Scott, an old friend, mentor and off road racer. After many laughs and tears John and Gordon ended up in the shop signing the paperwork for the old Vintage Race Car Red  Jeep III ( The same jeep watched  gorgon race at the age of 13. Later that month John surprised fellow JTR members and his friends at the Oregon Dunes, by rumbling up in the jeep. It did not take long for the team to decide we wanted to take a another run at Baja, for the 50th anniversary. The last time many of the team members had raced the Baja 1000 was 10 years ago at the 40th anniversary, where JTR’s Jeep Cherokee got DNF in 3rd at race mile 1188 of 1296. So it was important for these members to be back to Baja for the 50th anniversary. Over the next 40 days JTR pulled together all its assets, putting together four chase trucks, drivers and co drivers and smoothing out Gordon’s Jeep. There was not much time for all the modifications so we had to prioritize  This year JTR emphasized family, three of our drivers were father-child driver to co-driver pairs.

The jeep ran as expected, steady. We found the Large bumps to be biggest restraint for the jeep and  small bumps over a long period to be hard on some.  We had little trouble until San Ignacio when the jeep came into the rice and beans BF Goodrich pit with a broken axle truss and wheel. With a deeper look we ended up replacing the Carburetor.  This brought up our time. Then at race mile 873 the jeep slowed, because of a new failing alternator. Chase 1 drove 25 miles up course at night to jump start the jeep and get it to BFG pit 7  where Chase 2 was waiting for the repair . The jeep did the best in the silt. ( It was like a high speed tractor that would not be stopped) When the sun rose that morning all the JTR teams members had a feeling we would cross the finish line this  long awaited day . When the jeep crossed the finish line 42 hours later, there was many that shared our joy and surprise to see the on the other end of the peninsula. With the passing of Gordon in late October, the memory was made more valuable. Gordon looked apone us the hole time remover lots of obstacle and things were always falling into place !

Click here to watch our journey.