Brandon Brown and team Quad75Dezert Baja 1000 Report
Quad75Dezert Headed for the 44th Annual Baja 1000
11.29.11 Quad75Dezert headed south November 10th for the 44th Baja 1000. SCORE International would have nearly 300 entries from 16 countries,including entries from 34 states. The course was approximately 692 miles this year, combining the San Felipe 250 and Baja 500 courses, which made it one of the roughest tracks entrants had ever seen. Quad75Dezert conquered small and large adversities throughout the day to win their class and finish 2nd overall for ATVs, securing their Class 24 championship as well as the ATV Overall championship. The race was held November 19th.
The day started earlier than usual for the team as many of them had not gone to bed until 3am, rising at 4am to get started on race day. After shaking down the race bike the day before Contingency, mechanic Kenny Sanford noticed something was not right with the bike. As it turns out the brand new crank was bad and he would spend Thursday night rebuilding the motor. After minimal break-in time the race bike headed to the starting line in Ensenada early Friday morning. Jorie Williams would be starting first in class 24 in Ensenada and would ride to Ojos Negros, approximately race mile 35. He left the line at 6:53am and rode through the streets and out into the dirt where he encountered mud and fog. I wasnt as nervous this time doing the start, Williams explained, and I made my way through the fog. I passed a few riders, but when I hit the road near race mile 35 I had to take my goggles off and I got passed back right before we did the rider change. He had come into the pavement in first overall, passing all of Class 25 in the dirt, but lost a position while removing his goggles. He then rode into the pit for fuel and rider change. As the team fueled the bike and rider Kenny Sanford got on, 2 more riders passed by. Sanford headed into his section as the 4th ATV overall.
Sanford rode this section from race mile 35 to approximately race mile 93 at the Baja 500 and was familiar with it, however it was much rougher than at the 500, and even more so than when he pre-ran during the week. He ended up ejecting himself from the bike partially through his section. I took a corner that was really rough and just ended up not being able to hold on. I came off the bike but somehow managed to grab hold of our Pro Armor heel guards. The bike drug me for thirty or fifty feet until it slowed enough that I could climb back on and restart it. It fired on the first kick and I didnt lose much time. Im glad it didnt run me over though! Sanford told us after he got off the bike at his next pit. Fired up from the adrenaline he made up all but 1 position coming in to pit the 2nd ATV overall with Matlock racings 700 right behind him. Unfortunately for Team Quad75Dezert the paid pit service they were using hesitated a few moments to fuel them happening repeatedly throughout the race opting instead to fuel Matlock first who came in a mere seconds behind them. This set Matlocks team into the Summit half a minute ahead. Rider Jorie Williams boarded the bike again and took off for the Summit and the lake bed, a section that can last 3 hours or more for quads.
Jorie Williams traded positions a few times during the Summit section and came into the lake bed again in 1st overall for the ATVs. Unfortunately, the high speed section of the lake bed found the Quad75Dezert race bike at a disadvantage as top speed was not much over 60mph. Here they lost a position to Matlock racing and faced a series of adversities that would keep them in 2nd overall for the duration of the race. Brandon Brown swapped with Jorie Williams near Borrego and rode a short, but exceptionally rough section to Borrego pits where Kenny Sanford would get on again. This starts the San Felipe loop. Sanford would ride for several miles before handing the bike to Jamie Kirkpatrick who would ride and hand the bike back off to Jorie Williams. Kirkpatrick, riding in the dust and closing the gap on the only quad in front of him, lost control and crashed hard during his first section, hurting his hip. He managed to get the bike to Jorie but felt he was unable to ride his second section. Brandon Brown was supposed to get back on the bike after a major pit at race mile 427 had to meet Jamie and his next section near Zoo Road. Brown had ridden sections of San Felipe before, but did not pre-run this part of the course during the week. After a brief discussion of what was wrong with the bike, Kenny Sanford headed back to race mile 427 to prepare for the pit.
Brandon Brown rode into the pit at approximately 6:30pm in the dark while Kenny Sanford and Sean McHugh changed all four tires, checked the oil, checked the TCS Motorsports skidplates, and made adjustments to compensate for a tweaked steering component on the bike. Originally the lights were to be changed for the race set of Trail Tech lights but the bracket was bent so they opted to keep the lights on and not waste time. Brandon got some water, swapped radios, and got back on the bike to head all the way to Valle de Trinidad. The entire pit took about 5 minutes. It was after this that the team headed to San Matias for a visual check and then on to Valle de Trinidad for another rider swap. The rider change at Valle de Trinidad took place at the top of a hill where temperatures dropped to the high 30s and a dense fog settled in making visibility poor. There were warnings of booby traps and a man-made jump in the following section, and Willimas would need to be especially mindful because of the poor visibility. Brandon came in approximately 30 minutes after the leading quad, the bike was fueled, and Jorie Williams rode from Valle de Trinidad out to the coast where rider Richie Brown would get on the bike. The fog lifted as the bike descended into the lower altitudes and Richie made up some time on the leading quad, riding from Santo Tomas through Uruapan and back to Ojos Negros where Brandon Brown would get back on the bike for the finish.
Temperatures in Ojos Negros dropped into the mid-30s and the team prepped for the final fueling and rider change in the cold. Brown changed into his cold weather Klim gear and the team anxiously awaited Richies arrival in the field as bon fires burned and the crowd pressed in near the course. It was approximately 12:30am when Richie came to the pit. The bike was fueled, Richie let Brandon know the bike had lost its rear brakes, and in a matter of seconds Brandon Brown took off for the finish approximately 17 minutes behind the leading quad. Brown would wade through fog, mud, and needed to remove his goggles during the last leg of the race and was unable to close the gap. The trucks just tore up the start, Brandon explained at the finish, gesturing at the muddy race bike, and the locals made a few booby traps in there. You had to be really careful and just focus on getting the bike through to the end. Brandon crossed the finish line at approximately 1:50am, where he was greeted by the rest of the team, fans, other racers, and SCORE officials. I am really proud of the whole team. It takes a lot of effort on everyones part to race down here. We are fortunate to have awesome riders Jorie Williams, Kenny Sanford, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Richie Brown who put in 100 percent every time they come out. Kenny is an amazing mechanic, our race bike is always improving and he did nothing short of a miracle before this race. And our support crew, all of our chase drivers, our operator and our family, friends and fans really help us pull this program together. Theres a lot to be proud of here, and by no means did we have a bad day, although we always come out shooting for the overall. The team finished first in class.
At the conclusion of the 2011 SCORE International season, Quad75Dezert secured the Class 24 championship as well at the ATV Overall championship. As December approaches the team is taking a short break and then preparations for the 2012 season, starting with the San Felipe 250 in March, will commence. You can find more information and more pictures, including some from pre-running, at Facebook.com/Quad75Dezert and Quad75.com
Quad75Dezert would like to thank the following for their success at the Baja 1000: Jamie Kirkpatrick, Kenny Sanford, Jorie Williams, Richie Brown, Brandon Brown, Ken Sanford, Dan Kirkpatrick, Joey Kirkpatrick, Rick Sosebee, Patrick Murray, Mary McHugh, Sean McHugh, Jeff Petrich, Dave Jenkins, Mike Gingles, Todd Petchnick, and Megan Murray.
Quad75Dezert competes with the help and support of the following companies: S&S Motorsports, Water Well Developing & Surveys, Fox Racing Shox, Maxxis, Klim, Teixeira Tech, HMF Racing, K&N Filters, CBR Performance, MotoXNutrition, UPP Racing, Fullbore Innovations, HiPer, Pro Armor, ProCaliber.com, IMS, TCS Motorsports, Spider Grips, Warn Industries, QuadTech, Maxima, Precision Racing Products,Fusion Graphixx, Powermadd, Asterisk, Wiseco, We All Ride, Scott USA, Rekluse, Pro Caliber Motorsports, Trail Tech, Hot Rod Fabrication, KBH Construction, Cycle Wash, Dune Tech, PitTraffic.com, Team Money$hot, & Murray211