Baja 500 – 06/03/2006
On our trip south of the border – we got way more than we bargained for! SoBe headquarters was at Estero Beach with the All American Girls Racing Team. Our first couple of days in Mexico were spent familiarizing ourselves with the town, the culture and racing in general. We watched and learned from some of the finest racers and mechanics from all over the world.

On Friday, we went to downtown Ensenada to Contingency. This is where each of the teams push their vehicle through the streets towards the festival grounds for inspection. If they don’t pass, then they will not be allowed to race the following day. Reeve and Aaron pulled the Love Bus right onto Contingency row and handed out Life Water to all the racers and fans that passed by. It didn’t last long – people love that stuff! Even though the sampling went well – Team SoBe/AAGR had a rough start to the day at Contingency. The streets were swarming with race fans that wanted to see the drivers and their vehicles. While pushing the car through town – Kate got caught in a tight spot and the car ran over her foot! We took her to the medic station and she made the decision to go back to San Diego for further medical attention. Luckily, she didn’t break any toes and should make a speedy recovery! On the bright side – Kate adopted a new member to her family while in Ensenada, a puppy, who was appropriately named “SoBe.” After Contingency we all went back to Estero Beach. The Team worked on a few last minute modifications to the car and prepared for a photo shoot. In the meantime – a few of us were lucky enough to catch a ride with Baja Bob. There just happened to be a mini track at Estero Beach and a few of the teams staying at the hotel used it to test their vehicles as well as blow off a little steam. We all came back from our rides covered in dirt and smiles.

The morning of the race we got up very early to go downtown and see some of the trophy trucks take off. The motorcycles are the first group to leave, starting at 6 am. Each one goes 30 seconds after the other. Some of Team SoBe chose to watch the start from atop a near by cantina…breakfast burritos all around! I chose to follow the team on their way to the starting line. They waited anxiously 4 blocks away on a side street for their class to be called and as we moved up the street I started to get thirsty. Ordinarily, I would have a stash of SoBe nearby but not this time. Spotted a small convenience store and popped in there and bought my favorite, Cranberry Grapefruit Elixir! I opened the bottle and took a huge swig and then I read the under-the-cap saying…I couldn’t believe it! Wanna know what it said? Of course you do… “Driver, Drive!” How appropriate. I took it straight over to Heather and Cari – who promptly began to duct tape the cap to the front of the car. As we got closer to the starting line the girls finished suiting up, helmets, gloves, and a final drink of water. I took my place behind the barricade fence and snapped some pictures.

After the girls took off, we headed back to our vehicles and began the chase! Driving beyond the borders of Ensenada, all piled into the mini-van, we finally turned onto a dirt road that lead to the first pit stop. I followed Robyn and the other chase vehicles for 5 miles down this dirt road until I had to make the decision to end the chase and got back to the main road. But, not without a pit-stop in the middle of the desert! Unfortunately, we didn’t come fully prepared for this chase and instead we resorted to hanging out on the side of the road and ended up made friends with some of the other race fans.

All in all – it was definitely one for the record books! Team SoBe/AAGR finished the race – but unfortunately they were not able to complete it within the allotted time frame. Heather and Cari hit a rough patch on the course and cracked the frame of the car which took 3 hours to re-weld. The team did an incredible job, driving all through the night to complete the course early the next morning.

Congratulations Ladies from all of us here at SoBe on your first Baja 500! Get ready for the 1,000!

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