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Baja Will Never Be The Same
September 26, 2016

Baja Will Never Be The Same

Kelly-Moss Road and Race Launches 2016 Team Lonestar Baja 1000 Effort

Madison, Wis. (26 September 2016) – What does a race team do when the checkered flag flies on the season? Take some time off? Go on a vacation?

Not Kelly-Moss Road and Race. Just days after the team wraps up the IMSA GT3 Championship at Petit Le Mans, Kelly-Moss Road and Race’s Team Lonestar will take part in the Pre-Run for the Baja 1000 on October 6-9 where each driver will get to run on the anticipated event course. Kelly-Moss baja-01Road and Race will then focus on competing in the Supercup event at Circuit of the Americas with Formula 1 in October before heading back to Baja to participate in the Baja 1000 event scheduled for November 20-22.

The team will take part in a gritty offroad endurance classic, the Baja 1000, an annual three-day event that features 30 hours of non-stop cross country racing across the desert.

The event, which includes everything from sand storms to spectator-set booby traps, attracts drivers and racers from all disciplines, none of which can be considered the faint of heart.

Staged on the Baja Peninsula, the 2016 edition marks the 49th running of the off-road event and will be the sixth entry in the race for Kelly-Moss Road and Race.

Team Principal Jeff Stone describes the race as “totally irreverent, not politically correct at all” as participants embrace the opportunity to return to the root of racing —stripping off the layers of rules and regulations and straight-laced polo-wearing officials synonymous with most racing today to embrace the dirt and grime of 30 hours of nonstop offroad action.

baja-03Competing for Kelly-Moss Road and Race’s Team Lonestar in the No. BC-5 in the Baja Challenge division will be Jeff Stone, Alan Metni, David Ducote, Chapman Ducote, Paul Barnhart Jr, and Paul Barnhart III.

The drivers will pair up to drive each of the three legs of the loop-format race course. For each leg, the pair will switch between driving and navigating with each leg lasting around 10 hours for each
driver. Stone will team with Metni, while the Ducotes and Barnharts will each pair up.

For both Metni and Chapman Ducote, the 2016 running of the Baja 1000 will be their first off road racing experience, but the Ducotes just finished a week-long motorcycle excursion through Moab to sharpen their skills in preparation for the Baja event.

Paul Barnhart Jr. has ridden the Baja seven times on a dirtbike and will look to use that experience to his advantage come race time. baja-02

The Baja 1000 will be far from the first adventure for Metni, a three-time US National Champion and a World Champion in Freefall Formation Skydiving.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I thought my opportunity would come many years later,” said Metni. “Jeff (Stone) brought up that there was an opening and I jumped on it. I expect to have a great time and enjoy a bunch of fierce racing with a great group of guys! I used to skydive for a living and have done a bunch of other adventure sports, so this will fit right in for me!”

Stone will make his sixth start in the grueling event which requires extreme focus with various road and weather conditions. The 2016 Team Lonestar campaign will run in honor of Jeff Stone’s brother David, who made five starts in the race co-driving with Jeff, before passing away last year after a battle with cancer.

The team will be supported by Wide Open Baja who provides the high-performance equipment as well as the support crew.

baja-05“Running Baja is just an incredible experience,” said Jeff Stone. “I had mixed feelings about racing Baja without my brother, but he loved this race just as much as I do. It’s hard to explain to people why we keep coming back. There’s something just magical about it and it just takes ahold of you. It’s intense, it’s super challenging, one of the hardest races you can do, but it’s just downright fun. It’s really the only time you can be like ‘Billy the kid’ and Mario Andretti all rolled into one.”

The Kelly-Moss squad impressed in the team’s very first Baja 1000 outing, leading 987 miles on the way to scoring an impressive second place finish in their debut. That podium effort has been backed up with two third place finishes and one run to fourth.

Several racers who have driven for Kelly-Moss in the sports car ranks have also joined Kelly-Moss as part of the Baja event over the years, including Darren Law.

“This is an amazing race, like nothing I have experienced before in all of my years in racing,” offered Law. “I joined Jeff and David Stone of Kelly-Moss in 2006 for the Baja 1000 and will never forget that event. The people, the competition and the wild things that can happen during the race are unique baja-darren-lawto that one event. I have more stories from that one race at Baja than I have in the last 10 years of Sports Car racing! We had a great run that year, all the guys with Kelly-Moss did a great job in getting us prepared, we were running in the top-three in the event up until the final segment. I look forward to going back at some point and trying it again.”

With a different course every year that is sometimes a point-to-point race where the teams finish in a completely different place from where they started, and sometimes a loop format where the racers finish right back where they began, the teams never quite know what to expect when preparing for the non-stop adrenaline classic. The course is estimated to be around 800 miles long for this year’s race, in a loop format and teams anticipate racing flat out for 28-32 hours.

Racing through the rugged terrain of the Baja California desert, the hardcore event showcases the best of the best in offroad equipment with entries baja-safari-carranging from motorcycles to trucks to buggies. No air conditioning, no bathroom breaks, no power steering. The drivers put themselves to the ultimate test of physical endurance as they spend close to 10-hours with the “hammer down” on some of the most rugged terrain possible, at times crossing bumpy deserts at 100 degrees and others skating across frozen rivers and ponds.

That wide open attitude and need to be prepared for anything that comes your way is also reflected in a recent Kelly-Moss Road and Race custom build, the “Safari Car” (http://kellymoss.com/projects/safari). The Porsche 911 based machine boasts  everything from a custom bash-guard bumper to over 8 inches (and will grow to more!) of suspension travel to carry the low 2,400 lbs machine through pretty much anything.

1. Jeff Stone – Driverbaja-memory-sticker
2. Alan Metni – Driver
3. Paul Barnhart Jr. – Driver
4. Paul Barnhart III – Driver
5. David Ducote – Driver
6. Chapman Ducote – Driver
7. Wayne Ducote – Spectator
8. Rudy Montes – Security detail / Chase Mechanic
9. Alex Stone – Chase Crew / Video
10. Brad DeVries – Chase Master Mechanic
11. Photographer from Lucas Oil Off Road Series
12. Greg Landis Jr. – Drone pilot / Video

40th anniversary race – Kelly-Moss Road and Race car was BC-12 you can see our first spot in it at about 5:35 in the video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlLuycW8TzM

Previous Baja Finishing Times:
2015 – 28:58 (28.34 mph) – Loop Race – Ensenada to Ensenada – 821 miles
2014 – 40:14 (31.68 mph) – Point to Point Race – Ensenada to La Paz – 1,275 miles
2013 – 28:43 (30.8 mph) – Loop Race – Ensenada to Ensenada – 883 miles
2012 – 28:48 (38.93 mph) – Point to Point Race – Ensenada to La Paz – 1,121 miles



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