FOR THE 50TH BAJA 1000
UDBG Editors at the Baja 1000
We were working on this issue of Ultimate Diesel Builder’s Guide during late November and early December 2017, which is typically a slow time of year for diesel motorsports and we are not typically rushed. This year was a little different as my son Kyle and I were invited to help navigate sections of the 50th SCORE Baja 1000 in Baja California, Mexico. Even though it would be in support of Andrew Hulse’s Ford F-150, which is powered by an LS1 gas engine, we jumped at the opportunity to participate in the legendary race as a father and son adventure. I had previously navigated for RPM Offroad and their Class 2 truck in 2012 when we won our class, and Kyle and I have done work with Robby Gordon and his Dakar Rally race team, but this would be Kyle’s first time in Baja.
We bought and painted new Pyrotect race helmets (never wear a motorcycle helmet for automotive racing) and rented the rest of our safety equipment from racesuitrentals.com so we were ready for the adventure of a lifetime. But Baja California is a long way from Tennessee! We loaded up our 2015 Chevy Cruze Diesel and struck out on the road Sunday, November 12, knowing that we had to meet the team in Escondido, Calif., early morning on Tuesday the 14th. With my wife also joining in on the joys of driving straight through across the country, we made it into Escondido late Monday night and caught a few hours of sleep before heading into Mexico the next morning. When the trip was over and we got back home to southeast Tennessee, we had put over 4,700 miles on the Cruze in less than two weeks. The little diesel handled the extended road trip without a hiccup, averaging about 44 mpg on the cross-country trip and back.
Unfortunately, Hulse’s Ford suffered a front wheel bearing failure at around race mile 606 in San Ignacio and the team was unable to complete the race. Kyle didn’t get a chance to get in the race truck for his section this time around, but we still had a great time in Baja. We hope to finish my 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD project truck and tackle the Mexican desert with a Duramax diesel-powered machine one day so we get the chance to experience the race from behind the wheel as well as in the navigator’s seat.
Meanwhile, here in this issue, the team and I have worked hard to bring you a wide variety of diesel features and tech including a new mini-feature Reader’s Ride. If you think your diesel ride is up to par, send us a few high-resolution pics along with a description of your upgrades and why you feel your truck should be the next UDBG Reader’s Ride—and who knows? You might see it right here in the magazine.
In addition to all the great feature and tech articles here in this issue, we also have 10 pages covering the hot new diesel performance products that were on display at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas, as well as another feature highlighting the coolest diesel rigs we saw at the show. The cover truck feature beginning on page 12 is a great-looking 1st Gen Cummins that was purchased and built by a teenager, showing that the next generation of diesel enthusiasts is well on its way.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the issue as well; we’ve included trucks, tech (more than 30 pages’ worth), and events that should make just about any diesel enthusiast happy. If you have any questions or comments feel free to send me an email to let me know what you like or dislike about the magazine, what you would like to see in the future, or what we can focus on to make the magazine better for you. We look forward to hearing your thoughts. Until next issue—keep the shiny side up and have fun in all of your diesel adventures! UDBG
The desert in the Baja Peninsula has an aweinspiring beauty whether you experience it from the race course or from the highway, as seen here as we travel south to chase/pit the race truck down the course. Getting strapped in and ready to head out into the Mexican desert for one of the hardest sections in the 50th SCORE Baja 1000.
Kyle Tobin and Wayne Guidinger set up Pit 3 near a road crossing at around race mile 360 and were able to view this amazing sunrise before the truck came in for refueling, service and a navigator change.