Radar Tires wins Baja 1000
After 28 hours and 1,275 miles, the Radar Tires-sponsored Bronson Motorsports Class 10 buggy team won the 47th Annual Tecate SCORE International Baja 1000. The team took the lead in the first eight hours of the race and lead for the majority of the event. Radar Tires and the Bronson Motorsports team crossed the finish line approximately an hour before its first Class 10 competitor.
Mike Johnson, Mike Majesky and Brent Fletcher co-drove the No. 1031 Radar Tires Class 10 Buggy, to victory on Friday afternoon. This victory marks the second win for the team this year. Johnson and Majesky won the 2014 SCORE International Baja 500 in June. The duo finished second at the Imperial Valley 250 and Desert Challenge races. While on Radar Tires, Cody Robinson and Roberto Romo of Robinson/Romo Racing won the San Felipe 250.
In its first two seasons of long-course off-road racing, Radar Tires has competed in 10 events, earned five wins (four SCORE International, one Mojave Off Road Racing Enthusiast) and 10 podium finishes.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the Class 10 win at the SCORE International Baja 1000,” said Scott Rhodes, vice president of sales, Omni United, the parent company of Radar Tires. “We’ve had great success in our long-course off-road program. Mike Johnson and his Bronson Motorsports team have shown that our Radar Tires can withstand the desert terrain and win races. We’re very proud of the team today. This is the longest endurance desert race in North America and the drivers proved they are running on some of the strongest tires – the Radar Renegade R5 tires.”
Majesky started the race from the 10th position of the 24 entrant Class 10 field. His official start time was Thursday, November 13, at 1:30 p.m., in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Before exiting Ensenada, he passed one Class 10 buggy and that began his charge to the front. By race mile 100, Majesky was running third on course.
At race mile 160, crew chief John Hoffman called for a pit stop and a splash of fuel. Majesky was running second on course heading into the pit stop. He was also the first of the Class 10 buggies to pit. A quick 24.62 seconds later and an additional five gallons of fuel, Majesky returned to the course in third.
Majesky pitted again at race mile 195. The 90-second pit stop included two rear Radar Renegade R5 tires and fuel. He was running third in class and emerged from the roadside pits in fourth place.
The next time the team saw Majeksky was for a visual check at race mile 216. He was physically third in class and less than two minutes behind the class leader.
At race mile 250, near San Quintin, it was the start of the sandy beach-like section of the circuit - one of Majesky's favorite parts of the course. It was during the beach section, Makesky found his way to the front of Class 10.
Majeksy maintained and increased his lead until pitting at race mile 405. The scheduled pit stop lasted five minutes and included a driver change to Brent Fletcher, fuel and two rear Radar Renegade tires.
At the start of Fletcher's stint, the Bronson Motorsports team estimated the team had a 19-minute lead on the next closest Class 10 competitor.
The team next spotted the buggy at race mile 470 and Fletcher was still running first.
Fletcher stopped for a splash of fuel at race mile 564. Most of Fletcher's course terrain up to this point was ever-changing with silt, rocks, beach and plains.
Fletcher completed his stint at race mile 737. The scheduled stop included two rear Radar Renegade tires, fuel and driver change to Mike Johnson. Based on team calculations, at this point of the race the No. 1031 Radar Tires Buggy had a 40-minute lead on the next Class 10 competitor.
Near race mile 800, the left rear wheel came loose and flew off the race car out of Johnson’s sight. In an ‘only in the Baja 1000 moment’ the incident happened near three race spectators who helped mount the spare, find the rogue wheel assembly and re-attach the tire to the back of the buggy.
Johnson pitted for fuel at race mile 915. Team estimation placed Johnson in first place with a one hour lead.
At race mile marker 1022, Johnson went through a big mud hole and emerged with a flat rear tire. Johnson changed the tire, again with the help of some local race fans, and returned to the race course. Immediately the other rear tire went flat likely from the same mud hole. During the two tire changes, Bronson Motorsports team calculations reduced the one hour lead to 30 minutes.
Johnson pitted at race mile 1088 for fuel and two new rear tires. He would pit for fuel and tires once more.
Johnson crossed the finish line in La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico, at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Friday.