After covering rockcrawling events throughout the United States for the past few years, you can only imagine our keen interest in an event that allowed us to travel outside the usual rock obstacle venue, let alone an event that brought us to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico, situated at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Thankfully, event organizer Dan Brown combined his love for rockcrawling with his love for Mexico to create the 1st Annual Baja International Rock Crawling Association (BIRCA) competition.
Before the two days of rockcrawling action got underway at the course located just outside of Cabo, competitors and enthusiasts were treated to a two-night off-road expo held in downtown Cabo San Lucas. The expo featured vehicle displays and offered locals a chance to meet the drivers and see the vehicles close up. Competitors were also allowed the opportunity to sell their own T-shirts to the public, which quickly gathered autographs from the excited drivers.
The Tecate- and Coca-Cola-sponsored competition began the following day in a canyon north of Cabo, near the town of Candalaria. Two series of obstacles consisting of upper and lower courses were designed to test the drivers' skills throughout the two-day event. Each challenging obstacle put its best effort forward in hampering the drivers' performance, resulting in plenty of spectacular rollovers and crunching sheetmetal. When all was said and done, one clear winner was decided: Tracy Jordan, with a massive points spread, harnessed a First Place finish. Next in points was Jason Paule who nabbed Second Place. After these positions, however, scoring deficiencies and other issues clouded the results, leaving the other competitors no indication of where they wound up in the standings. At time of publication, organizers still hadn't reached a resolution.
Despite the scoring problems, the 1st Annual Baja Rocks competition was a big hit for all of those involved. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to explore a new 'wheeling venue and showcase their abilities among an international crowd. Organizers are optimistic that a 2nd Annual event will follow sometime during 2004, but it was too early to tell for sure at time of publication. For more information, contact: Baja International Rock Crawling Association (BIRCA), www.bajarocks.com.
Driver/Spotter: Jason Bunch/Steve Hastings
Vehicle: Jeep YJ
Sponsors: Tri County Gear, Goodyear, ARB, CTM, Warn Industries, Weld, OMF, Advance Adapters, Premier Power Welder, Summit, Klune-V, Black Diamond Suspensions
Driver/Spotter: Mike Palmer/Greg Noss
Vehicle: Campbell Enterprises tube frame
Sponsors: Dynatrac, Tractech, Campbell Enterprises, ARB
Driver/Spotter: Brian Hamilton/Ron Maxioff
Vehicle: Toyota Land Cruiser
Sponsors: Goodyear, CTM, Teraflex, Tractech, Bilstein
Driver/Spotter: Dustin Webster/Bob Roggy
Vehicle: '01 Chevy S-10
Sponsors: ProComp Tires, Red Bull Energy Drink, Dynatrac, J.E. Reel Drivelines, CTM, Trailer Equipment, CalRocs, JSA Off-Road Center, King Shocks
Driver/Spotter: Jason Paule/Travis Wadeson
Vehicle: CJ-7 Buggy
Sponsors: Twisted Customs, Tecate, Coca-Cola, Goodyear, Teraflex, ARB, Warn Industries, Rock Runner Racing
Driver/Spotter: Tracy Jordan/Don Robbins
Vehicle: '03 Twisted Customs Toyota Matrix Buggy
Sponsors: Twisted Customs, Coca-Cola, Tecate, High Angle Driveline, BFGoodrich, CTM, Sway-A-Way, Teraflex, Tractech
Driver/Spotter: Neil Lillard/Kimi Lillard
Vehicle: "Round Hound" rock buggy
Sponsors: Dynatrac, Goodyear, Bilstein, Tractech, Warn Industries, ARB, Coca-Cola
Driver/Spotter: Elizabeth Wayas/Steve Bulloch
Vehicle: '77 Jeep CJ
Sponsors: Team SheJ, AGR, Goodyear, Ramsey, Tane, Kuroda San, CLN Jeans, Super Pollo, Zeta, Postres Del Valle, Tractech, Superlift, Yukon Gear & Axle
Driver/Spotter: R.J. Brown/Lance Clifford
Vehicle: '83 Jeep CJ7/Brown's Fabrication tube chassis
Sponsors: Brown's Fabrication, Fox Racing Shox, Teraflex, BFGoodrich, TrailReady, pirate4x4.com
Driver/Spotter: John Gilleland/ Brian Hansen
Vehicle: Jeep Liberty Buggy
Sponsors: Dynatrac, BFGoodrich, Tractech, Warn Industries, Avalanche Engineering, Summit, Coca-Cola, Hella
Driver/Spotter: Randy Ellis/Jesse Keierleber
Vehicle: Randy Ellis Design "Red Racer"
Sponsors: Randy Ellis Design, Goodyear, Warn Industries, ARB
Driver/Spotter: Daren C. Runion/Joel Kelsey
Vehicle: Mercedes MOG Buggy
Sponsors: BFGoodrich, Marlin Crawler, High Angle Driveline, Tri County Gear, Warn, Power Tank
Driver/Spotter: Al Berikoff
Vehicle: Jeep TJ
Sponsors: Trail Ready, Goodyear, S.N.O.R.T.
Driver/Spotter: Eric Bills/Deb Bills
Vehicle: '87 Jeep TJ
Driver/Spotter: Charlie Copsey
Vehicle: Just 4 Fun Motorsports tube chassis
Sponsors: Just 4 Fun Motorsports, Transmission Ltd., United Body Works, Goodyear, Gaylons Drivelines, Advance Adaptors, King shocks
Neil Lillard buries the nose...
Neil Lillard buries the nose of his custom "Round Hound" rock buggy.
The only Land Cruiser entered...
The only Land Cruiser entered in the competition, Brian Hamilton did his best to make the TLC fans proud.
Mike Palmer landed in one...
Mike Palmer landed in one of the Top Five finisher slots in his Campbell Enterprises tube buggy.
A one-time competition cliff...
A one-time competition cliff diver, Dustin Webster now gets his thrills on the rock course in his Red Bull-sponsored '01 Chevy S-10 rockcrawler.
Piloting his Tecate/Coca-Cola-sponsored,...
Piloting his Tecate/Coca-Cola-sponsored, Twisted Customs-built CJ-7 buggy, Jason Paule captured Second Place in the two-day event.
Jason Bunch of Tri County...
Jason Bunch of Tri County Gear wowed the crowds with some spectacular 'wheeling stunts, including a backwards rollover during the first day of the event.
Continuing his healthy streak...
Continuing his healthy streak of finishing on top of the group, Tracy Jordan landed a First Place finish in his Twisted Customs Toyota Matrix buggy.
Charlie Copsey spins the tires...
Charlie Copsey spins the tires of his Jeep CJ as he crests the peak of Obstacle Three.