Behind the Scenes

First lap at Blue Water Desert Challenge 2011.

Blue Water Challenge

After the uneventful trip to Utah, and by uneventful, I mean no event at all Lost Boys Racing was chomping at the bit to get in some dust.  And boy did we get some!!!  This year’s Blue Water Challenge was like a Sahara dust storm, zero visibility at 100 mph, whoooo!

Click on the photo above for a full slide show.

After seeing the first two races Derek and Stewart knew what they were in for.  We started off the line at 10:30 and started battling our way through the dust.  On the first lap four competitors had already fallen out of the race.  We caught a fifth car at MM 15 on the first lap after a little fender bender banging in the corner, we got by them and continued making our way through the dust.  On the third lap something happened that surprised us because it rarely happens… you got nerfed.   It was Cameron Steele.  Apparently, he has dust vision.  But we finished the day well and prepared for Sunday.

Sunday morning we started with the strategy to lay on the throttle and go for the mine, no spare tires, no tools… just gas and speed.  It worked the first lap.  It felt like a pitch black roller coaster.  We couldn’t see but we stayed on it anyway.  We blew by the Honda team like they were standing still and quickly made up ground on the others.  Our crew told us we had knocked 5 minutes off the previous day’s lap time.   We came through the python and everyone was excited… we were gonna get this one!  BUT in true Parker fashion, coming down the Shea Road on lap two, the engine started missing and we had to shut it down bringing an end to our weekend.

The nest quote I heard from a spectator on Shea Road was, “The quickest way to get a million dollars in desert racing is to start with 10 million.”

For those who were there thanks for coming and thanks for the support!  And to those who weren’t you missed out on a great weekend (seriously check the pics.)  Until the next one.  Boooyaaa!

2011 Mexican 1000 Rally

NORRA Day 1:

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Parade start from the bullring in Mexicali.  A wild ride through the streets in rush hour.  We re-staged just off the highway and are going to start 40th or 50th, just behind Rick Johnson.  Right off the start we are all lost.  Rick Johnson is just ahead of me and I hope he knows where the course is.  GPS is not loaded correctly and the course is not showing up.  Thirty minutes later, we are back on course.

The rear suspension is not working at all, the shocks are too stiff.  And why did I use three shocks per side?  It takes the whole day to loosen up the rear end.  Carlos, Lisa, and my Mom are at the end of the first section.  I am going to stop for fuel.  Carlos spots oil around the rear tire.  After a quick check, the valve cover is broken.  The first person over to help has an extra engine in his truck and gives up the valve cover.  I wish I knew his name so could thank him.  I am ready for section 2.  Just before the start, Jeff and Betsy are towed in to the staging area with no gas.  The AMC is not getting very good gas mileage.  We had changed the ring and pinion just before the race.

Day 1 ends in Bay of L.A..  The AMC is not here, Jeff shows up later with a broken upper control arm and a massive exhaust leak.  It’s a couple of hours to fix it but the welder isn’t working and I don’t think it will hold.

I can’t sleep so, I get up early at 5am to take pictures.

NORRA Day 2:

It’s an early start, 8am and  Jeff decides to start the race then return to  repair the arm again at a local repair shop.  It takes a couple of hours but they are going to take a DNF for the day.  I am off to a rough start, also something is clicking in the rear end and half way through the day, all three shocks break off the right side.  After a long stop at Mag 7 pit support, I weld them back on with a welder that doesn’t work again.  Just down the road all three left side shocks break off.  I stop during a transit section and weld them back on with an arc welder and $40 later, I am back on the road.  I am now at the last section with 120 miles to go for the day and all the shocks on the right side break off again.  I am going to finish the day with three shocks in my lap.  Rear suspension now works too good and the car is going metal to metal, with 120 miles to go I can’t keep this up and must slow down.  It makes for a long day but I finish.  I got to the finish line just before dark.  I will spend the next 3 hours fixing shock towers at a local repair shop.  Another $40, a bottle of Tequila given to a local for his help, and I am ready to race.

(insert pic 7797)

NORRA Day 3, Loreto Bay:

Just out of town the road turns to asphalt and goes straight uphill with blind turns, no lines, and a long drop off the edge.  The shocks are working but why did I put three back on again?  Albert Einstein said “Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  The sections are getting harder to run fast, rocks everywhere, and small whoops take me out.  And the hard pack!  Every bump is transferring into the car.  I have hit my head at least 100 times today on the roll cage.    This was a brand new helmet.

Almost to the end now and I hit the silt beds full speed.  It’s 3’ deep but the Hi-Jumper keeps going.  It’s 1 mile to the finish then it’s all over.  Two trips to the Mexican 1000 and two finishes.  A long transit section to La Paz and 2nd place goes to Lost Boys Racing.  The AMC is not far behind, he’s having his own issues throughout the day but completes the race just after me.  Even after taking max time for day 2, he is still  awarded 2nd place in his class for making it to La Paz.  Jeff and Betsy did the best they could, this car really took a beating in 2010 and the prep time almost 4 months.  It’s amazing just how much damage these cars can withstand, but this may be the AMC’s last year.

The awards are tomorrow at 10am then poolside for the rest of the day.  At dusk we are off at Papas & Beer then a nice drive to the Marina Hotel.  Dinner at Guillermo’s overlooking the bay, a great evening with music, Jeff, Carlos, Lisa, and Mom.

What next?  A 30 hour drive to San Diego with 6 people in an F350 Crew Cab.  How do you spell relief?  Well, it doesn’t start with “Ford.”

NORRA 1000 Tech Day

Silverstate 300

We are heading to Vegas!  Keep checking back for updates.

Parker 425 Recap

We tested on Monday for two hours, focusing in on the rear arms to see if they were going to bend again.  Everything looked fine.

Click on the photo above for a full slide show.


Contingency:

We were off to a slow start, it was very cold the night before and our heater went out, somewhere around 29 degrees.  We were entering two vehicles, the Lost Boys Truck #7205 and #938 our Class 9.  It took all day to finish tech.  There were somewhere around 300 vehicles at the race.  The driver’s meeting started at 6:30am.  Everyone was there and the building was completely full, including Robbie Gordon, Andy McMillan, and Jesse James.  The meeting was very long with more new rules, it seems like there are changes every year.  No one live pits, 25 mph parades this year.

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Race Day:
At 5:00am Saturday it was rime to get up and put on our race suits.  Pre-staging started at 6:15am at the Casino and then we paraded down to the start.  From our truck we could hear the start of the top 20.  We left the start line one minute apart starting at 8am.  Just before the green light a pastor from Racers for Christ gave us an opportunity for prayer.  We were at the start light around 9:30am where Casey greeted all the racers.  We were finally ready to do battle with the “soft, sandy” desert floor of the Parker 425.

Just off the start we hit 80 mph and started to slow down for the first turn.  We noticed our first problem-  the intercom was not working properly and we could not hear each other.  It looked like hand signals from there on out.  The truck was running excellent with 540 horsepower, it pulled hard through every turn.

 

 

We ran on our first set of sponsored BF Goodrich tires.  They were excellent.  Traction in Parker has always been important.  And with the new KRT projects in the rear we had no problems. (Video #2)

We passed four trucks in the first 20 miles.

 

 

Our truck weighs in at around 5,700 lbs, how fast do you think it could possibly be weighing that much?  I clocked it on our GPS at 100 mph, uphill on Powerline Rd.

The course had a combination of everything, deep sand, deep ruts, high speed fire roads, riverbeds full of trees, blind uphill turns, and solid rock goat trails.  At mile marker 120 the engine started to misfire but all the gauges looked OK.

For the 7200 truck that nerfed us on a 40’ wide road, you were only running on five cylinders, so congrats on a terrific pass.  We made it to the main pit and it was time to check out the engine and fill up with race fuel.  We couldn’t find anything wrong but the engine was still missing at low rpm’s.  We completed 93 more miles running wide open trying to keep the engine running at the high rpm.  We had never driven this hard for anything but my back was screaming, “slow down!”  I think we were driving just as fact on five cylinders as we did with six.

At mile  marker 90 on the 2nd lap we lose more power and oil pressure, it was down to 30 lbs.  We rolled into the midway pit to try and fix it one more time but at that point the truck and I were both ready for the trailer.

Overall, the truck is capable at keeping up with anyone in our class.  I hope someday we can finish a race and prove it.

Click on the photo above for a full slide show.

NORRA 1000

Lost Boys Racing has decided to double down we have just purchased a 1980 model Hi-Jumper RS II 1600 single seater for the NORRA 1000.  It was built by Pete Sigwardt and raced for many years in CO, TX, and Baja.  Pete’s connection to NORRA is that in 1971 as a Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering student he built the Ford “Baja Taxi” that is still a part of the early Baja racing history.

It is currently being evaluated by our mechanic and all necessary repairs will begin after BitD’s Parker 425.

The new addition to Lost Boys Racing will be driven by Gary Dixon all three days.

Thank You, BFG!

After 3 years of pestering, we finally got our first corporate sponsor!  We want to thank BF Goodrich for their participation with Lost Boys Racing.  Our first sponsored race will be BitD’s Parker 425 on 2/5/11!

Lost Boys Promo Video

A big thanks to John Tuba at Tuba Art Films.  Thanks for sticking with us!  Turn it up and enjoy the ride.