2. Baja GB Rally
Should it be snowing in May? Starters 65 Result 21st
Buoyed by my Pikes Peak result I headed to another new event, the high-profile Baja GB, a two-day race that runs bikes alongside cars – Dakar style. This non-navigational rally was a case of following the arrows for a monster 50-mile lap. The meeting included a sighting lap, then two further laps each with two timed special stages to determine the results.
Despite the race taking place in early May we were greeted with heavy snow just minutes before the race was due to start. With warnings of dangerous conditions, I and the other 65 starters headed off high into the exposed Welsh hills with trepidation.
Given that the race was for cars as well as bikes, the terrain was predominantly fast and open with short sections of more technical going. The lap was ultimately defined by a monster shale hill climb, which was littered with stuck bikes and riders when I arrived on my first timed lap. Before the start, Moly had imparted some words of wisdom about tackling the hill. He’d told me that to give myself the best chance of not getting stuck I should wait for the hill to clear, so I sat patiently at the bottom of the climb.
No more than 30 seconds later, my petulance prevailed and despite the hillside still being strewn with fallen riders I attacked the climb like my life depended on it. Calling on my decade of trials competition experience from my youth, I fired the little AJP up the climb and might have even used a few of my rivals’ bikes for grip!
At the end of two bitterly cold and hard days riding I managed to secure 21st place overall. This was a pleasing result given that the speed of the event meant it didn’t really play into the hands of the smaller capacity AJP.