Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Stock Mini truck #761 ran into a few issues with failed steering rack and pump power that has now been fixed and Mike Winkle is 40 miles outside of Pit 2 (RM167) where Emily Miller waits patiently!
For more updates follow the Rod Hall Team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/rodhallracing1!
Our Stock Mini truck drove off the start line with Rod Hall in the drivers seat but shortly there after blew a steering rack seal and was not able to move for just under an hour. Rod stuck it out and was able to get the truck moving again and currently Mike Winkle is in the the drivers seat at RM111.
Josh Hall attentively sits at home as the two teams push forward. He calls it a typical Baja 1000...
"Looking at the way the race is unfolding it is a typical Baja 1000. No reason to be worried or feel like there is big drama because Truck 761 is 54 miles off the lead. This is the race."
Emily Miller just recently made it to Pit 2 and is suiting up to run her leg of the race in the dark.
Both teams sound good and the Baja 1000 continues...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Josh is the Driver of Record on the blue H3 in the Stock Mini Class. Our initial plan was that he would take the truck off the line to BFG Pit 2 and then would jump in Chad Hall’s H3Alpha in the Stock Full Class at BFG 4 and race to the finish. Josh is such a tremendous driver. He is so unbelievably fast and skilled that we knew he would shake things up right off the line. Chad has soloed the race plenty, but given how rough the course is, he was happy to have his brother sharing the driving duties.
Needless to say, it is a good thing that Josh is at home – doing the right thing by being with his family right now back in the US. However, it is tough to not have him here with us. He and Chad do so much of the organization and team management and he is such a vital part of the race plan in this year’s 1000. Fortunately, Rod and Chad have so much experience in Baja and they were able to construct a solid race day plan. So once again for his 42nd time, Rod will take the truck off the starting line.
Stay tuned and keep on the BLOG and TWITTER tomorrow and watch the Stock Class races unfold. Our trucks leave the line at approximately 12 noon. Good night for now from Ensenada.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Looking back on the Vegas to Reno, I thought it was deceptively fast. The roads were not wooped up like San Felipe or Primm so the speeds we were running were faster. I assume that because of the speeds, it led to mistakes which would make sense by the number of broken down, rolled and wrecked vehicles. We averaged 40 mph each day, which is fast for a stock truck.
The rack seal blew on Day 1, but other than that, the H3A had no problems. I missed the 10 car from it’s ability to run so smooth through the rough, but it is amazing how fast the H3A with 8’ in the front and 11” in the back can go. Running that truck back-to-back for three days gave me a different perspective on it. It is a durable, fast, nimble truck. And even though it is fast, I think we can make it faster. I really think that the H3A is such a bad ass truck, that no one else can compete against it - especially in the long races. I look forward to getting it ready for Baja.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
SECOND STAGE WIN FOR JOSH HALL!
Another great day for Hall Racing! The Leg consisted of 3 Selective Stages - 86.99, 242.75 and 62.02 kilometers. The day was tight, technical and overgrown in many sections. As the race is nearing the end, the competitors were definitely pushing it. Several competitors suffered multiple flats. However, after yesterday's flats on the H2, Josh was running Slime and had only one tire lose air at the end of Selective Stage 2. (Technically, the Selective Stages were considered #15-17 as they are progressively recorded. But for ease of reference, we refer to the Selectives per day.)
Thad noted that Josh's driving was incredibly smooth and fast today. And by Stage 3, Josh had captured his second stage win by :19 seconds in a short 62.02 KM stage! Several trucks had difficulties and the previous race leader - #110 - is now out of the race after hitting a tree. The trees and brush were definitely thick, and when Thad stepped out of the truck, the crowd got a great laugh as heaps of brush came pouring out.
We are now in Kalgoorlie - the final stop of the seven day event. Tomorrow is a short day with two Selective Stages and three transit sections, for a total of 164.98 kilometers of racing. And on another note - Annie Seel, the Huseberg rider who rode into the pit at the end of the second selective with a large stick impaled in her leg, through her boot. The story around the bivvy is she tried to remove it herself on the trail, but was unable to. The medical team was able to remove it onsite and within a short period, she was on her bike and back on course. Congrats to Annie!
FOR RACE PHOTOS AND VIDEO - CLICK ON RODHALLRACING.COM.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Good evening from Laverton, Western Australia. We are now spending two nights in this bivouac which will make our journey tomorrow a little easier. Today was another great day for the team - the HUMMER ran flawlessly, Josh was fast and Thad is nailing it in his role as navigator. In three Selective Stages, they posted 6th, 3rd and 2nd respectively. The overall result was third fastest for the day. Needless to say, the racers now know the team is truly competitive.
Tomorrow, Josh is third off the line. We have been told the day is the "toughest" out of the seven with 460 KM of Selective Stages and 85 KM of transit sections. Essentially, it is an all out race for the day with minimal breaks. It is also the second of three "Marathon Legs" - meaning the team has to perform their own service. Our support team can only refuel the truck. The long, all-out racing could favor Josh's experience with grueling endurance events.
Rod, Jason and I will be heading to various parts of the course in the morning to grab video, photos and update the action as cell service allows. Make sure you sign up for Twitter posts to keep up with the latest.
See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It was a redeeming and rewarding day for Josh, Thad and the H2 team and we are happy to report great news. The longest day so far on the rally, the guys had 4 selective stages and 7 transit stages, for a total of 745.68 km. The first selective east of Mt. Magnet was 122.59 and they took it relatively easy with the goal to warm up, settle in and focus on completing the day. By the time they entered the Agnew Service Area around 4 pm, they had made considerable time on a substantial portion of the field.
We saw them approximately 30 km into the last selective stage and they were moving fast. It was apparent that they were running a very competitive pace. We are now at the bivouac and checking the results as they keep coming in. Although these results are unofficial, here are the team’s result from each competitive stage today – 6th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd.
Tomorrow, we travel from Leonora to Laverton. There are 3 selective stages for a total of 301.17 and 163.81 transit stages for a total of 464.98. The progressive total of kilometers covered for all three days is 2390.17. We are waiting on tomorrow’s starting list, and because of the strong results, the HUMMER will have a much better starting position.
Jason Jacopian is working hard to get video posted tonight, but internet speeds have been challenging. With tomorrow's shorter stages, we are headed in early to get the video out and a mid-race update posted.
Stay tuned and good night from the Outback!
Monday, August 3, 2009
It’s a tough day for the team. I’m writing this update from Yalgoo which is known as the entry into the Outback. The day was over 600 km with two special stages – the first 244.75 km and the second 134 km. We saw them pass approximately 25 km into the first selective stage and they were running hard and strong. Just beyond that point, they were able to pass the car that started 2 minutes before the #111 H2.
Rod, Jason and I headed from RK 25 to RK 134 – the start of the “Timed Crossing” – and were able to catch the race leaders and record splits. The first truck off the line started 36 minutes ahead of Josh, but last year’s winner (Riley #100) who started in third position had moved up to first place by this point and put almost 8 minutes on that first truck. Based on how fast Josh was running when we first saw him, as the clock kept ticking, we knew there must be a problem. He came through the “Time Crossing” at approximately noon, and told us he broke a brake line and needed brake fluid.
Approximately 20 km down the course there was a tough creek crossing with one stuck medical vehicle. The team stopped and surveyed the area, chose a line and proceeded on across the deep mucky bog. The section was seriously wide and the truck got stuck beyond their ability to get out on their own - up to the diff and skid plate. After several tries and assistance from other vehicles, a recovery vehicle with 20 feet of Snatch Um strap was able to move them a few inches – just enough to get #111 unstuck.
Needless to say, a disappointing day. However, despite a big penalty, tomorrow is a new day and it’s a long event.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
FOR CURRENT RESULTS – CLICK HERE FOR THE SAFARI WEBSITE LIVE PAGE
Good evening from the coastal town of Geraldton. We are approximately 350 km north of Perth and settled in at the bivouac. The competition today consisted of short “special stages” (SS) – approximately 100 km total - as well as several transition stages. A "special stage" is where the competition happens essentially. The team ran into troubles midway through the stage when the insulation around one of the two mufflers basically had collapsed and clogged – causing the unit to become extremely hot and basically glowing when Josh was able to get a visual. After using one fire extinguisher, they made a wise decision to wait for the sweep to grab another extinguisher before continuing on. The team was down for approximately 30+ minutes but were able to pick off a couple trucks before the transition stage.
The second special stage was a short loop with many hard to see turns. In the first kilometer off the start, the team followed the deep ruts in the track, only to turn back as many teams had to do as well. Stories back at the bivouac confirmed that a majority of the field missed at least one or more turn. However, Josh reported that Thad did an excellent job navigating and we could tell from the in-car footage. There is no doubt that although he is new to it, he’ll make an excellent navigator for the long-haul.
The team is now working on the second muffler which was starting to develop the same problem as the left. Although the truck will be louder, the problem should be fully resolved. The H2 starts in 17th position tomorrow morning as we head east to Mt. Magnet. We have not been issued our road books yet, but will know the stages and distances shortly.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
We are wrapping up the first "official" day of the rally. The Prologue was a short stage intended to define the seeing for tomorrow's start. The course was 15.84 KM through a forested area east of Perth. The truck was running great but a navigational error cost the team 4 KM. Fortunately, the Prologue does not count against the team for the overall scoring, but does determine Leg 1 starting order. So tomorrow, they will be starting near the back of the pack. But then again, nothing new in the world of Stock Full racing back home. Veteran racer Bruce Garland ran the fastest time - 12:04 with an average speed of 78.8 kph.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The truck prep is wrapping up and we head shortly to the designated scrutineering time - 1:30 pm Perth time - 10:30 pm PST - back home. The guys were able to rig up the turn signals required by the governing bodies' race regs, but it made for a late night. The driver's meeting is tonight and will clarify outstanding questions about rules, regs and schedule. We will post those specifics and the information about the Marathon Legs.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
10:45am Wednesday 29 July (local time)
We’re here! After 36 hours of travel, including stops in L.A., Melbourne and Adelaide, it was a pleasure to step out of the airport in Perth to link up with Greg Knowles and Josh Ogg. His lifted H2 out in the parking lot was our clue they were there. From the airport, we stopped at Henley Saab/Hummer where our H3 was waiting for us. Thanks to Nick Richards (US Hummer Marketing) and his counter-parts in Australia, they have provided us with a Solar Flare H3 to use in the event as our primary support vehicle.
After some rest we are now down at the Race Torque race shop where Ogg is finishing up the UHF radio installation and Greg is completing the Monit rally computer and M.D. map reader electrical install. I’m glad that’s not my job! Jason is also installing all of the camera equipment inside the truck. So at the moment, it’s a full house around the truck.
In the next few minutes, Stump and I are heading to the mobile Safari HQ, which is located at the Ascot Racecourse near Perth, to finally meet Justin Hunt and his Octagon staff. According to Justin, that is to be the second thing we do today.
It really is great to be here! I’ll update this evening after we know what Justin has in mind for us.
Friday, July 24, 2009
My friend Wes Richie – a combat veteran U.S. Navy SEAL - and his company, EXSTA® Advanced Hydration, will be partnering with us for this event to create a stronger competitive package. I used EXSTA® at the last Baja 1000 and will it will in my daily supply of water in the race truck. Hydration and nutrition is a key component to long, back-to-back race days. Check out exstaenergy.com and look for it on our website soon.
The truck is there, the team is complete and even our shirts our done. Justin Hunt authorized us to be able to reproduce the Australasian Safari Rally logo on our team shirts for this year. So with the help of George Thompson our Safari Edition shirts and hats will complete our team appearance. We even look like a team!
All for now, but expect more to follow soon!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Our all important crew has been finalized as well. Josh Ogg (our SamCo prep guru) arrives in Perth on the 26th to start the final touches on the H2 SUT -"Tigger" as we refer to "him" in the shop.
I will arrive on the 28th with navigator Thad Stump and Jason Jacopian - our go to video pro.
Race truck owner Greg Knowles has lined up two additional Aussies to help with the cause. Daniel Villanova and Graham Jones both have extensive experience with Greg in the Australian Rally Championship and are a welcome addition to the team.
Add in the experience of Rod Hall and the talent of Emily Miller and our team is complete.
There are plenty of additional irons in the fire, so as those items become concrete, I will share that information as well.
All for now.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
We just wrapped up the fifth Light Truck Tire Seminar this past Friday for Michelin and BFGoodrich Tires. Along with organizational duties and demonstration driving, I get the fun job - driving participants on a "hot lap" in one of Rod Hall's "rolling stock." The vehicle is Rod's original H1 HUMMER race truck that debuted at the 1993 Baja 1000 and won the Full Stock class.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I am running the 10 car this year with Johnny Harrah in all the BITD events. We have completed two races - I start and Johnny finishes. The first race was rough for us. The car was finished just in time for Parker and we had minimal time to test and tune. However, Primm was a different story and there were significant improvements in ride and handling.