Team Hummer Baja 1000 preview

Reno, NV - Nov 15, 2003: Chief mechanics, Sam Cothrun and Brad Falin are busy making final adjustments on the race trucks as Team HUMMER prepares to head South to Ensenada, BC, Mexico and the 36th running of the Score/Tecate `Baja 1000', ...

Reno, NV - Nov 15, 2003: Chief mechanics, Sam Cothrun and Brad Falin are busy making final adjustments on the race trucks as Team HUMMER prepares to head South to Ensenada, BC, Mexico and the 36th running of the Score/Tecate `Baja 1000', November 20-23, 2003. Team owner, Rod Hall, who has won this legendary event a record 17 times, will start the race in the HUMMER H2 Stock Full SUV. Taking over for the second half of the race in the #862 SUV will be co-driver and business partner, Mike Winkel, of Reno, Nevada. Chad Hall will team with brother Josh, again this year, in the #861 Stock Full HUMMER H1 Pick-up. The brothers Hall, who each have won several `Baja 1000' championships in the past decade, will be going for the third Team HUMMER victory, in this event, in as many years.

The always challenging `Baja 1000' course will start and finish in the coastal seaport of Ensenada, BC and will cover a huge loop of roughly 765 miles (1275 Kilometers). Racing for the four-wheel classes will begin at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 21, in downtown Ensenada and, if all goes well, will conclude for Team HUMMER somewhere around 20 hours later, after covering some of the most extreme terrain in the western hemisphere.

Preparing to support two HUMMERs over 765 miles of racing on both coasts of the Baja peninsula is a logistical nightmare, to say the least. While communications have always been a problem in Baja, Team HUMMER will be relying primarily on satellite phones to stay in touch during the race. The trucks are also equipped with the FM radio systems that are normally used but their ability to communicate is somewhat compromised by vast distances and mountainous terrain, a factor which limits their usefulness in Baja. Ultimately, Team HUMMER's biggest advantage will prove to be the reliability of the trucks and the experience of our drivers and crew.

"We've made quite a few changes to the H2 since it's first race at the `Vegas to Reno' in August," said Sam Cothrun, chief mechanic for the H2 program. "We have changed gear ratios, valved the shocks differently and made a number of `tuning' modifications to the suspension. It's a new truck and we're still climbing the learning curve but we've done a lot of testing and fully expect the H2 to be competitive at this race."

According to Brad Falin, "The H1 Pick-up was well in the lead at the last race when an experimental cooling system failed, putting us on the trailer. We removed that system until we can work out the bugs, rebuilt the engine and transmission and replaced every part that looked even slightly worn." Falin, who heads up the H1 program feels that the Team HUMMER H1 is the fastest Stock Full Pick-up in desert racing: "We have the fastest truck and the best team. By focusing on reliability I believe we can win this race and bring another `Baja 1000' championship home for Team HUMMER."

Meanwhile, team owner Rod Hall, the only four-wheel racer to compete in all 35 `Baja 1000' events is down in Mexico, quietly pre-running the course and preparing for the teams arrival on the 19th. Asked to comment on complaints from many drivers, who have petitioned race promoter, Score International, to divert around a particularly rugged part of this year's race course, Hall had only this to say: "It makes no difference to us if they change it or not. Either way, Team HUMMER will be there at the finish!

HUMMER®...Like Nothing Else

- grt -

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