Two Mariachis Walk Into A Bar…
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
While most Mexican 1000 competitors find themselves fighting the challenging forces of Baja in their quest to merely finish this epic journey, the Caballo del Diablo team harnessed the powers of darkness to pummel the path leading south. This years NORRA Mexican 1000 reared it’s ugly head in the form of deep silt and stages traversed mostly in the blackness of night but the horse of the devil laughed off these feeble attempts to slow it’s progression en route to be the fastest pioneer era vehicle of the race.
The evil mariachi duo of Boyd Jaynes and Brian Godfrey piloted their 1968 Ford Bronco backed by a single chase truck containing one Baja seasoned mechanic (Chris Godfrey) and one misplaced school teacher (Yusef Marrouf) who before this week had never stepped foot inside the country of Mexico.
While having such a small team may seem like a calculated gamble it was actually a wicked twist of fate played out only minutes before the start in Ensenada when Crew chief “Safety” Steve Godfrey needed medical attention and was rushed north to San Diego. His departure from the team and concern over his well being hung heavy as the team scrambled to make the start line and take the green flag. As the caballo stomped through day one the timing sheets in Bahía de los Ángeles showed the mariachis leading the class.
Racing south to Loreto on day two the old Bronco began to show signs of fatigue with sloppy steering components making precision movements of the wheel impossible and the truck was a handful for the second longest stage of the race which had to be navigated mostly in darkness. Thank you RIGID Industries for lighting the way! With another stage win the team maintained their lead at the halfway point of the rally.
The third day had the longest special stage at 202 miles of rocky cliffs again traversed mostly at night but a bigger issue in the form of cracked 40 year old sheet metal caused the team to resort to ratchet straps holding the front clip of the truck to the frame.
These straps would get cut by the sharp sheet metal while being rattled by the rough terrain and forced the mariachis to stop and replace them 4 times during the timed stage and would lose precious time to the 2nd place Bronco of Rod Hall. An added bonus to the finish in La Paz was the welcoming party of the Baja Bronco club of Baja Sur who lined the road to the finish with their engines revving, they then made the mariachis honorary members.
Optimism filled the driving seats on day 4 as a tortilla flip decided who would drive the final stage into San Jose del Cabo, but with only a mere 10 miles from the finish, Satan flicked the ill-handling Bronco into a tree bending rear end components just before entering the deep sand wash leading to the finish. While creeping slowly, nursing the broken rear, both competing Broncos passed by at race speed but with nearly an hour lead their efforts would not be enough as the Caballo del Diablo emerged from the sandy wash into the finish line where the sombrero wearing mariachis stood on top of their horse victorious 29 minutes ahead of Baja legend Rod Hall.
Thank you to our generous partners American Racing Wheels, Rigid Industries, FOX, General Tire, Mastercraft Safety, Currie, Finish Line Racing, Wilwood, Autometer, Odyssey Battery, Wild Horses, Geiser Bros, Camburg, Raceco, Tavi Tequila and most of all to our team for the months of hard work both before and during this epic journey.