NORRA Mexican 1000
GoWesty is proud to have competed in a VW camper in both the 24 hours of LeMons (2WD, lowered, sticky tires) and the NORRA Mexican 1000 race in Baja California, Mexico (the same camper converted to a Baja-crushing 4WD Syncro)!
What: Sometime around 2012 a group of us were sitting in a natural hot springs pool in Guadalupe Canyon, down in Baja California, Norte. Our friend Ned was telling us about his crazy friends that were competing in the 24 hours of LeMons in an old Jeep Cherokee, of all things. And we were all, what? Why? Huh? My son Lucas said, “well, we gotta do it in a VW camper. Got. To!”
Then we sat there in silence… Nobody could come up with a good reason not to! What? Why?
So, we send in our application and our check. They cashed the check. Then they called me to ask, “What? Why? Huh?” I said, “Hey man, you cashed the check, you gotta let us race!” They went on and on about “cab forward” this, and “gonna just roll over” that-whatever. They cashed the check!
Fast forward to December 2016 and were attempting to win our class C in, yes, a VW camper—for the sixth time! I figured we would never, ever win, ever! So I announced to the crew, “If we EVER win, we will turn this thing into a Syncro and race it in Baja! Low and behold: we win our class at our last 24 Hours of LeMons race - at Sonoma Raceway, no less: by far the most competitive tack (200+ cars start the race). Before I knew it, my crew had blabbed to the race promoters who immediately announced to the crowd, “these crazy dudes are going to convert this thing into a 4WD desert racer and run the Mexican 1000, four months from now!” Then, just four months later, on Sunday, April 23rd of 2017, in the same van—now converted to Syncro— we were lined up in Ensenada to compete in the first of many 1250 mile NORRA Mexican 1000 rallies!
At first, they started us dead last. Compared to all the other vehicles entered, our van looked a bit... well, unprepared. Indeed, there were some absolutely beautifully prepared vehicles at the starting line that day. Nobody thought we would finish, let alone beat anybody to the finish. The sweep crew (the guys responsible for getting every single rolled over, crashed, burned-up vehicle out of the desert every night/morning) were pretty certain we would end up being “those guys”, every single day of the five-day event. At the end of the first day, when we got to the finish line before about 25% of the cars that started ahead of us, all they could ask was, “who towed you in?” Clearly, they don’t know what a GoWesty-outfitted Syncro can do. By the end of day three, we were halfway up the pack! Not only have we finished every single race we have ever entered, we actually drove the van to/from the race on many occasions!
So, why do we do this? Is it just for bragging rights? Well, there is that—we love to brag! But it is much more than that. It is about practicing what we preach. It is about actually using what we sell, which often ends up breaking what we use—then changing what we sell! The lessons we have learned on race track and way, way out in the middle of the desert are just not something that you can simply imagine and employ. It’s the hard knocks that come from pushing our products way beyond what most people would do that sets GoWesty apart from all of our “competitors”
Check out all our NORRA Mexican 1000 race videos.
GoWesty. Good parts. Good people. Good times!
A heart-felt thank you to our sponsors:
Fox Racing Shocks
We took a full set of spare shocks—never took them out of the box!
We took an extra transaxle and front diff with 6.17 ring an pinions—not needed even after several dry-pavement burn outs!
They donated the four tires on the van, plus 6 spares—these things are tougher than rocks. No flats! Not a single one! Incredible.
The torque biasing diffs worked great, almost never had to lock up the front or rear diff!
Beard Seats couldn't manage to follow through with their sponsorship obligation, but luckily PRP Seats jumped in and saved the day with a pair of seats and harnesses at the very last minute. Those guys were absolute life-savers!
Guayaki Yerba Mate
These folks have been with us from the beginning. Quenching our thirst and energizing every moment of our adventures with the cleanest of clean energy!
The guys over at Linear Logistics had us well informed with their Scangauge product. At all times we had our engine vitals monitored and displayed right on the dash.
Provided the sweet threads we rocked all week long. Nice job, team!