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Baja 1000 Update
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FabSkool



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 191
Location: El Cajon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to give some love to the Tom Car team. I saw them come through and pit in El Crucero and remember seeing their support vehicles frequently as we headed south. the race was already long over for me as we stopped to re-up on cerveza on friday afternoon and their chase crew pulls into the pemex looking haggard, they told me they were running strong through San Ignacio 3 hours ago, right then and there those guys all earned my respect in a big way. they battled hard and were just getting close enough to smell the finish line and are surely dissappointed, but you should be very proud of your showing. my hats off to team 1803
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kelli



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabskool! Thank you so much for your recognition of Tomcar Racing’s Baja efforts! It really means a lot to me and the rest of our team members. I am already going to apologize for the length of this reply but I think our story is truly amazing and worthy of this forum thread. You touched on a subject that is near and dear to my heart and I will explain further….

Out of our 15 member Tomcar Racing crew we had 13 team members that have NEVER been to Baja or had much experience in this type of offroad racing. Another amazing thing is the fact that MOST of our team had never even met each other until the DAY BEFORE the race at contingency!

I really need to extend special recognition to the following:

Tomcar! The company sent down 5 key individuals from their factory to support our efforts. They even flew in the inventor (Yoram) and the main R&D guy (Gili) all the way from Israel! You can see some of their late night racecar thrashings at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2xFM0MhPqE

Ron & Jaime Hodgson and their crew (Bob & Rolie)! These four gentlemen came all the way down from Edmonton, Canada to be a part of our program. Their diverse and accomplished background in Top Fuel and Sprint Car racing was a definite asset! Ron & Jaime also sell Tomcars in Edmonton through their dealerships – Southgate Pontiac and Ron Hodgson Hummer.

Jason Cobb with True Flow! Jason’s 15 years of Baja racing experience was one of the key ingredients for us doing as well as we did. Besides his expert driving which put us two hours ahead of schedule at one point, Jason also perfectly choreographed ALL the pit stops, driver changes, etc. Our Tomcar Racing team would have never run as smoothly as it did had it not been for Jason’s driving and tribal knowledge – especially considering our team had never even worked together before AND we had some cultural/language barriers! Kudos to Jason for the perfectly orchestrated pitting and expert driving!

John McClure with Tacit Services – Not only did John build a really kick butt chase vehicle, he also worked diligently for two months straight helping out in every way with the trivial logistical errands that just take a lot of time! John also drove me, the truck, the trailer and Tomcar out to California to get (4) one-off mufflers and headers from Gibson Exhaust. Gibson also deserves thanks for doing 4 one off mufflers and headers in less than a week during SEMA!!

Christopher Barrett with Windermere Realty in Prescott, AZ. Not only did Christopher “suit up and show up” he also loaned out his truck for chasing - to a couple of guys he had just met less than 24 hours prior! Christopher basically handed over his truck keys to our Canadian friends and turned them loose in Mexico with his vehicle.

And now for the rest of the story….

Gili and Matt were driving the Tomcar when it broke at 4pm, 27 hours into the race at rm630. They could not have picked a worse location to break down if they tried! Christopher, Jason and me were already waiting for them at race mile 724, next to checkpoint 7 when we got the relay from the Weatherman around 5pm. Unfortunately we were in an F350 dually towing a support trailer and we didn’t think we could make it back trackside with the truck, let alone with a trailer in tow. So…..we decided to go the LONG way around (which was over 6 hours one way!) but after talking to some locals at a gas station it was probably the better choice given the condition of the roads with the recent hurricanes. Fortunately our stranded team members were able to get an E-ticket tow from a local to the BF Goodrich pits at San Juanico. Rusty and his crew at BFG took in our team members and fed them a great meal and showed them some unbelievable hospitality. We weren’t even running BFG’s at this race but I can guarantee you that we are now lifelong loyal customers for all future races!

After being awake 43 hours and also racing a 9 hour leg of the race, Jason & Christopher (and me) finally reached our stranded team members at 2am….We got the Tomcar loaded onto the trailer and headed back toward checkpoint 6 to catch up with the rest of our crew. We finally reached them around 9am and decided to just continue on back to Enseneda. We drove all day and reached the house around 7pm. In total, most of our team was awake a full 60 plus hours before we got our blessed showers and sleep!

Despite most of our team members never meeting each other, our rookie status, our multi-country cultural and language barriers, and running a car that had only run the Snowflake race (and only been tested once after that) – we were extremely pleased with the outcome! The car ran strong and exceeded ALL of our expectations. Besides the oil pump issue, the only other thing that happened to the car is we cracked a front headlight. The drivers handled the car perfectly and didn’t overdrive or underdrive the car by any means.

In extreme circumstances such as offroad racing you really do get to see the true character of individuals. We were all sleep-deprived and tested to the limits and every single Tomcar team member showed amazing endurance, patience, and grace under pressure. For all intents and purposes, our team members acted as though we had been working together for years as smoothly as things went.

Additional special thanks for excellent products goes to:

KC Hilites – we ran the HID’s and when we turned those babies on and pointed them out over the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii waved back at us!
Gibson Exhaust – 4 one-off mufflers and headers in less than a week?! I am still impressed…
True Flow – an excellent product for offroading and they also have an amazing asset with Jason and his knowledge.
Sparco – I dropped in on them (unannounced) the week before Baja and they bent over backwards to get me fitted for my race suit and other gear!
PCI Race Radios – Jimmy and Rihanna deserve extra special recognition for their effort and dedication to Baja!
BF Goodrich – We didn’t even run their tires and they were there for us! We are now life long loyal customers.
Zack at ZMR – You did some great work and also put up with all of us…!!!

Again, Fabskool - thank you for recognition of our efforts! It does mean a lot to hear it from you.

We look forward to racing with everyone in the upcoming 2007 season! In the meantime, we hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday...

Sincerely,
Kelli
Tomcar Racing Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Last edited by DELETED on Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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itsasecret



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 230
Location: Chandler, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know!! I'm still waiting, too!!!! Very Happy
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FabSkool



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 191
Location: El Cajon

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelli- was it you that I talked to at the Pemex south of Mulege? I was the one with no shirt, no shoes, and no beer left in the cooler. sounds like you and your guys are "hooked." I look forward to seeing more from you guys at the next one.

I love the part of your story about turning the truck over to the canadians in Mexico. that would be a big mistake with the guys I know Twisted Evil but I guess it worked out for you.

Tomcar sending factory assistance is awesome, was there any point when they really made a difference or were they just on vacation?
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kelli



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fabskool - I am kinda hard to miss....I was one of only two girls in the entire 15 member Tomcar crew! I have jet black hair Twisted Evil and the other girl is blonde so we are not very easily confused! LOL

If you had a chance to watch the race video you will see the Israeli Tomcar factory crew CONSTANTLY working on the car! The video is in sequential order so you will see Tomcar factory support during testing to re-building to the last minute thrashing at the Enseneda house and then a thorough once-over at every pit stop. By no means was the factory support team of Tomcar on vacation! They poured their hearts and souls into this program as much as we did.

In fact, at check point 3 and 6 the entire Tomcar factory guys did a complete once over on the car. They each spent an hour (5 man hours in one hour!) checking the brakes, belts, A-arms, tie rod ends, filters, etc. Our Canadian and U.S. crew did just as much work as the Tomcar crew so I dont want to discount their efforts.... but I don't see Yamaha and Polaris sending out factory support and KEY production personnel to support racing efforts! Many Kudos to the Tomcar factory for EVERYTHING!!! I cannot even begin to tell everyone how much they did to support us in every way. Very Happy
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Tomcar



Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 14
Location: Glendale, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great adventure this trip was and it was a pleasure racing with all of you. So they say whether you finish the Baja or not, either way you come back with stories that will last you a life time.

Gili (one of the guys who flew in from Israel to race) and I were the first team in the #1803 Tomcar, and I can say that just being in the Baja 1000 was a surreal experience. We got a great start and the Tomcar was running great, so we should have expected a hiccup. About 10 miles into the race we had a flat tire (drivers rear), and we were forced to pull over and deal with it. So the first place that we found to pull of the track just happened to be a favorite spot for the locals to view the race. There was a hundred plus people there and as soon as we pull over they surrounded the car to see what was happening. When we got out of the car and before we barely assess the issue one kid had already pulled off the breaker bar and was working on the lug nuts. At this time I was about ready to disconnect the jack when about 20 local kids gathered around the rear of the car and started grabbing iron. So when the one boy had finished with the lugs everyone else help me lift the Tomcar up and Gili rolled the new tire into place and the same boy tightened the lugs back up. We hopped back in the car and we were on our way with the cheers of the crowd behind us. The only thing I regret is not having any stickers on the car to reward the kids with, other then that is was a great memory.
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FCRMotorsports



Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 193
Location: El Cajon,Ca

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is awesome and I vote to let the tomcars start racing with us in the bitd races. It is cool that Tomcar is out supporting teams and maybe it will help some of the other guys like Yamaha and Polaris to get out there and start supporting the racers.

This is exactly the kind of stuff that would make me go buy a Tomcar. The same goes for BFGoodrich. I will buy from companies that support our sport.
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FCR Motorsports #1981 The Truggyino!
McMillin Racing, Gear-One, Sol-Tek lights, Kartek Off-Road
"don't act like were not going to do this"
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:22 pm    Post subject: Artic Cats Reply with quote

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