The Baja Rally: This Is Why We Rally

Special Stage 3 opened among boulders, Saguaro cacti, miles upon miles of sand and slithering creatures. It was a new day and some racers had time to make up from previous stages. One most notably by outstanding newcomer (can we still call him that?) Garrett Poucher who earned a 10-minute penalty on SS1 and, the following afternoon, exceeded expectations by besting his position from 3rd to 1st. A true battle has been brewing all week for the overall win by two beasts of a different species. Garrett on his rally bike and two-time BAJA RALLY champion Steve Hengeveld – eyes on the prize – in his Master Fabrication equipped UTV. Hengeveld recently mentioned in the press he wouldn’t enter a race he wasn’t planning to win. And with the performance he’s given this event, it’s hard not to believe him!

Smaller victories were won throughout the stage, as the navigation really took a toll on the competitors. Road books were the true protagonist in today’s challenges as the pilots zig-zagged tera firma in search of the illusive WayPoint. In the end, that’s rally. And when asked how the stage went, finishing 3rd in the UTV EXPO class, Josue Zaragoza (navigator for Manolo De La Concha in car #128) said, “Pretty fast, a lot of fun, a little dangerous – because of the speed and the routes… First thing I thought when we finished was we are safe. The second thought was we felt good. And altogether, we were really satisfied with the stage.”