“We are Racing the Baja 1000!”
November 6, 2013: Ten days before the green flag drops at the Baja 1000, Mark Luhtala’s bright blue Class 7 truck left Florida bound for Ensanada. Teammates Billy Luhtala and Jay Edinger headed out on Monday with a trailer full of tools, spare parts, MX bikes, and enough gear to support Mark’s bid for the grand-daddy of off-road races. A two-time BRT racer, Mark cut his teeth on desert racing at Texana Ranch competing in the Texana 250 and the Chupacabra 300.
The core group for Luhtech Motorsports is planning to be in Ensenada by the end of the week. Pre-running as much of the course as possible will take place on motocross bikes to help prep the team for the grueling race. Mark’s brother, Holly, and several buddies from the aviation world (both pilots and mechanics) will all show up next week to help with the final push for the starting line.
Protection of Public Lands for KOH Race Heats up
August 30, 2013: The 186,000-acre Johnson Valley OHV park accounts for half of the land approved for off-road use in the state of California. It is also home to the legendary King of the Hammers event, which attracts upwards of 35,000 people each year from around the country and internationally. For the last several years, however, military leaders at nearby Twentynine Palms Marine Base have been exploring expansion options, chief among them the use of Johnson Valley OHV lands.
According to Shannon Welch, an off-road activist heavily involved in the Save The Hammers campaign, “Johnson Valley has been used by off-road and outdoor enthusiasts for 70+ years. While the Marines have the option of expanding to the north or to the east, their current proposed plan is to the west, as they felt this was the easiest course of action and it was mostly unused land. However, more than 300,000 outdoor enthusiasts use this land annually. Johnson Valley has become the Mecca of off-road recreation throughout the world.”
The Marine Base at Twentynine Palms has been in operation since the 1940s. According to Lieutenant General Richard Mills, expansion of Twentynine Palms is needed to accommodate large-scale training exercises involving up to 15,000 Marines. Such training is currently being carried out through simulations. Click here to read the full story.
2013 Race Outlook
Dallas, Texas, May 12, 2013: Spring may have officially begun a month ago, but for the average desert racer the spring racing season started getting underway right after Christmas. From California to Nevada, Mexico to Texas, teams are gearing up for another outstanding year of Baja-style racing.
Baja Racing of Texas was formed in 2011 to promote desert racing in the Lone Star State as the sport grows beyond its initial boundaries and moves not only to the Midwest but also the East Coast. “I see a lot of people looking for an extreme sport that takes them beyond the predictable atmosphere of the mainline stadium racing events,” said BRT President Chris Leitner. “Racing hundreds of miles through the desert is the ultimate test of man and machine – that is why we are seeing such growth in Baja racing.”
BRT was originally looking at a property north of Amarillo as a location to expand into for 2013 and provide a larger racing venue. “Moving to a new venue involves a significant level of details falling into place, and this has not happened on our original timeline,” said BRT Operations Manager Shannon Boothe. “Unfortunately the remaining BRT races will be canceled this season. As the doors have closed on this property, we are seeing several others open with property owners in the region. Our focus for this year will be building a new course and starting strong in 2014 with a full season of desert racing.”