FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2013 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 Goes Down In the History Books
-- -- Walker Evans, Gary Williams and Justin Morgan Big Winners out of Record Field of Vintage and Evolution Machinery -- --
After four years of trying, off-road icon Walker Evans finally fulfilled his wish of returning his famous Dodge truck to the top of the NORRA vintage standings. Evans claimed both a class victory and the overall vintage title at the 2013 General Tire Mexican 1000.
May 7, 2013:
After four days of competition through 1,200-plus miles of the most demanding terrain on earth, the 2013 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 is now in the history books. An event record of 148 entries (up from 95 just one year ago) took the green flag at the historic Mexicali bullring for the fourth annual running of this vintage-flavored on and off-road rally through the legendary Baja peninsula, with overnight stops in Bahia de Los Angeles, Loreto and La Paz. The rally ended in San Jose del Cabo with a huge seaside "Post" party at the Cabo Azul resort, with just over 850 guests enjoying cocktails, food, racer awards and a massive fireworks display courtesy of NORRA and the South Point Casino Hotel.
For much of the event, two-time Mexican 1000 winners Bob Gordon, Frank Arciero, Ryan Arciero and Tim Crabtree led both the vintage and overall standings in their 1992 Chenowth-Toyota. Their dominating performance was slowed by a broken rear hub on the on the rally's final semi-final stage. That failure left the door open for rally veteran and off-road icon Walker Evans to finally fulfill his quest to pilot his #20 1978 Dodge pick-up to a Vintage Open Truck class and overall victory in the Vintage category. Evans was followed by the #29 Funco-VW of Vintage Open Buggy 2.2 category winner Buddy Feldkamp, the #79 Raceco-VW of George Erl, the 1968 Meyers Manx-Subaru of Ronnie Landaker and the #24 Raceco-VW of Marty Fiolka/Jim Greenway.
Gary Williams set the pace in the Evolution categories, taking the victory in this Arciero Motorsports-prepared Chevy Protruck. It was Williams' first desert race in Baja.
The Gordon/Arcierio entry wound up on 6th place overall for the vintage categories, but Gary Williams upheld the honor for Arciero Motorsports by taking their #81 1996 Protruck to the rally's Evolution category win. Williams, driving in his first Baja off-road race, managed to beat the #19 1994 Chevy 1500 of Jerry/Troy and Tim Herbst, as well as the #5 Alumi-Craft Chevy of Steve and Bryce Menzies.
The #85 Toyota-powered Chenowth of Bob Gordon, Frank "Butch" Arciero, Ryan Arciero and Tim Crabtree set the pace for most of the rally until a hub failure on Day 4 ended their quest for a third NORRA Mexican 1000 title.
This year's General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 also attracted a large number of two-wheel competitors, none of whom were faster than the #403 2012 Honda CH450K of Justin Morgan. Morgan, who claimed the Modern Motorcycle Open category in the process, was followed by fellow MMO competitors #804 Gerardo Rojas (2007 Honda CRF405X) and the #82 of Mark Nardi/Tim Gomez.
Tragedy struck near the end of Day 2's second stage near Loreto as Jimmy Stocker of Rathdrum, Idaho was involved in an on-course accident with a four-wheel competitor. Despite being attended to almost immediately by fellow racer Dr. Buddy Feldkamp, Stocker succumbed to his internal injuries a short time later. The rally was run in honor of #208, Stocker's entry number.
After four years of trying, the 1956 VW sedan of John Howard and Judy Smith made it to the Mexican 1000 finish line. Their efforts, along with the authenticity of their car, earned the couple one of four Azunia Tequila "Spirit of NORRA" awards.
2013 Mexican 1000 Grand Marshal and five-time Baja overall champion Mark McMillin was also involved with an on-course accident with another four-wheel racer. The incident caused a broken collarbone to the popular McMillin, whose team kept driving his "Macadu" Chenowth-Porsche until front suspension failure ended their rally a day later. McMillin has undergone surgery and is recovering in his San Diego area home.
In addition to the various class victories, Azunia Tequila presented specially handcrafted prizes for the inaugural "Spirit of NORRA" awards, which honored the finest and most authentic vintage vehicles and teams. This year the beautiful awards went to Cam Thieriot and his 1975 BFG Chevy Blazer team (which included Kash Vessels, Don Adams, Larry Ragland and Bob Bower) for the Truck category and John Howard/Judy Smith in the Sedan category for finishing the rally in their unique 1956 VW sedan after four years of trying. John Graves and his team earned a Azunia award for entering both a 1971 Honda SL350 and a 1977 Yamaha XT500 in the Motorcycle category. The final award went to Buddy Feldkamp and his 1975 Bel-Rey Bullet Funco-VW in the Buggy category. Feldkamp, a medical physician, not only won his class, but also stopped to aide Stocker immediately after his tragic accident.
The just restored #609 1957 Chevy of Rick Johnson/Jim Riley took the win for General Tire in the very competitive Vintage Production Sedan category.
Other victories of note included the newly restored #609 1957 Chevy Bel Air of Rick Johnson in the hotly contested Vintage Production Sedan class, a second consecutive V10877 class win for the #26 Ford Bronco of Boyd Jaynes/Brian Godfrey and King of the Hammer's founder Dave Cole taking the V108 crown in his 1986 Toyota 4Runner. Dakar and Baja veteran Darren Skilton, who teamed with Mexican racer Pedro De Uriarte in the #350 Jeep Grand Cherokee, dominated the Rally categories.
The seaside Cabo Azul resort in San Jose Del Cabo hosted more than 850 racers, their crews and VIPs at the South Point Hotel Casino-sponsored "Post" Party and Awards at the Rally's completion on Day 4. Food, drinks and a huge fireworks display capped of the evening.
"We are very proud of all our racers, their teams and our crews for making the 2013 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 the largest and best event yet," said NORRA President Michael Pearlman. "It goes without saying that our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jimmy Stocker, who passed away living life to its fullest. NORRA will be reviewing new formats and procedures upon our return from Baja to insure our future rallies are as safe and enjoyable as humanly possible. We will always remember #208."