This is me and my dad after racing the 2009 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
"There is something about buildings in Ensenada, Baja California.
Perhaps it’s lack of insulation, but let’s just say this: The nosie level in the abandoned front lobby of the modest hotel we called “home” for the next five days was deafening. What brought me to the recent running of the 42st Annual SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 was an offer to get an inside look at new satilitte technologies that are literally bringing off road racing direct to your home. Would I tolerate a few sleepless nights to help fellow racers?Of course. We are one big family regardless of who you are or where you came from.
Well over six feet tall, some “executive” style girth around the wasteband, and dressed in neatly pressed kaki shorts – (and let’s not forget the part about the deck hand slippers…) Raymond Calore looked like a high ranking corporate member of a major sponsor of the Baja 1000 to shake a few hands, get a little bright corporate sun, and mingle around the finish line. I have been around for many years in Baja racing, and it was clear this fine looking gentleman might need a little extra assistance as we have come to understand and appreciate.
I went back to my job and decided that if the man needed help in this busy registration and installation center that they would like me know.
Now mind you, my duties, among many, were to interface with Mexican security, local municipal traffic laws, and private traffic in and out of the tight confines of the hotel where some installations were performed, so I did not want to go babysit some corporate “big wig” around to give him a demonstration on the IRC Tracking System.
About five minutes later, I see this guy Calore – whom I had not yet met – holding one of our valuable transponder devices in his hand, headed straight to a small Class 14 entry. It still did not occur to me that Raymond Calore was an actual competitor in the toughest single off-road motorsports event in the world. I also noted Ray running closely behind one of our technicians.
Raymond Calore’s trailer was blocking a Mexican intersection. Not a good thing. At least not in Mexico.
Now Raymond had created a potential hazard and the cops might come over real soon, but we got things straightened out, and during installation, we learned that Raymond and his two boys, fifteen year old Andrew, and fourteen year old Alex, were “newbees” to not just SCORE Off-Road Racing, but they had never had even stepped foot in Mexico!"
Me installing the IRC tracking unit down in Ensenada, Mexico
"Fifteen year old co-driver Andrew Calore helping to install tracking system for race.
Suddenly I found myself charmed and moved by Ray and his two boys. They were “real” true pioneers of the sport and were the same charismatic individuals who represented the fierce determination of the Inaugural Mexican 1000 in 1967, when competitors know really of one direction to head for, and that was South. These guys are going to really try this? I recall offering to keep an eye on fourteen year old Alex during the race, and he checked with his father who blessed the offer.In Mexico, if you truly dive right in and try to become a part of the environment, you will find the easy-going lifestyle alluring. That is one of the reasons the SCORE Baja 1000 is one of the single most attractive off-road events are Mexico and their beautiful people and countryside. I saw quickly that the boys were in awe of Mexico and the seaside city named Ensenada. Their proud father, taking them on an adventure of which I silently envied.Inside I smiled and wondered if they really knew what they were getting themselves in to; what would be their folly?Ray and his boys thanked everyone for their help and headed off to the Mandatory Drivers Meeting. I wished them well, gave them some very important tips, and went on about my duties. They had brightened my busy day, and I looked forward to seeing Alex in the morning.The Baja 1000 is uniquely qualifed to promise adventure. It is a shame those who live on the East Coast do not attend at least one of these races. In any event, it soon became apparent that Ray and his boys were going to have the adventure of a lifetime!
While I thought our paths might never cross again, it was several hours after the race had started that I handled a “Stop Alert” on our tracking system. Because the famous Pacific Coast sunset had gone down hours ago, I knew this was not going to be some routine check on a driver. Raymond, whose voice I did not recognize over the garbbled static of a satilitte phone, sounded concerned and focused. I matched his Vehicle Number on the tracking system and realized whom it was I was talking to!
“Raymond! It’s me; ‘Baja Bill’ handling this call! What do you need?”
Ray explained they had several mechanical issues and initially thought they had strayed 100 yards off the course. They had not thought of having a “chase crew” to pull them out if they broke down. Generally you are at the mercy of Good Samaritans. I told him: “I want you to take a flashlight; walk straight to the race course, and wait for help.”My specific memory of the communications to extract Ray and his son, Andrew, are fuzzy right now, but suffice it to say, we got Ray and Andrew out courtesy of the Los Pilanons Racing Team – fine people to sacrifice so much for the Calore’s. I remember that throughout the extrication process, the rescue group got lost themselves!Over the following hours upon their safe return to Ensenada, and, having performed a ceremonial crossing of the Finish Line despite their misfortune, Ray came over and thanked me several times. Moreover, he thanked my superiors for having me on board. In the forty years I have been involved in off-road racing, this will be one special memory of one very special family.If you are interested in watching history getting made, watch the Calore Family as they promised to make another attempt to conquer 1,300 miles of the entire Baja Peninsula in 2010. With the help of BFGoodrich Tires and other willing sponsors, I look forward to greeting Ray and his boys at the Finish Line in Cabo San Lucas."
written by: Baja Bill ( http://bajaholicsanonymous.ning.com/forum/topics/the-road-from-rhode-island)
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