The PURE "200" - A MOST UNUSUAL RACE!!!
If we were to tell you that this weekend's PURE "200" had to be the most unusual and unnerving event we have ever put on since 1986, when we promoted our first event, you would have to say, “I don’t believe you.”
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (Other than because of weather conditions) WE HAD TO STOP THE RACE for safety reasons, about three-quarters from its completion (9 lap race, leaders had completed 7 laps).
What happened was that it looks like drunks, spaced out, or meth-heads were on the course. These local guys (no identities yet), came out about half way into the race, while it was dark and started trying to run into racers, T-bone cars, and scare the beegeezus out of many drivers--to the point that we had to stop the race. Sheriffs were called, four of our crew fanned out into the desert to try to catch these crazies who apparently knew that section of the desert quite well and managed to avoid any of the official vehicles. At some point, they would lie in waiting, and as soon as a racecar went by or just before, they would turn on their lights and try to ram the car. Only drunk or spaced out people would try to do that with a street car
We believe they were a couple of local cars from Aerial Acres, which found their Saturday night party at our race and created havoc for most of the people on the course. They threw bricks, placed land-mines, cinder blocks, mattresses, railroad ties, you name it, on the course.
At the end, and very fortunately, no vehicle was tagged and no one was hurt, but it could have been just a terrible disaster.
We apologize to all racers and their families and friends for this experience. I must admit that since 1986, when we first produced our inaugural off-road event in San Felipe, Baja California, we have never had something like this happen. Yes, a few arrows missing or turned the wrong way, ribbons pulled off the race course, cows eating markers, etc., that is to be expected. But never, people trying to hurt racers on purpose.
The nearest thing that comes to mind is when many years ago, a friend, Bill Varnes, found himself broken down about half way the Baja Peninsula. He had to hold off some of the villagers at gun-point because they were trying to rip-off parts from his out of commission Mirage single-seat Class 10. Other times, I’ve been led the wrong canyon, or sent the opposite direction from the course. I remember one Barstow to Vegas race, where we were all sent into this canyon with no way out. Environmentalist whacks did this to us and you should have seen several hundred bike riders trying to get out of the canyon while more still kept coming.
But to try and hurt racers on purpose and literally try to hit a racer on the course goes beyond the pale.
Right now, we are seeking for description of the vehicles in questions. We have received reports ranging in description from a “blue station wagon, with three headlights,” to “a white Pinto with a brown strip down the middle.” Even though this took place during the night, if anyone has any type of video (on-board or otherwise), photo still or other that can help us identify the culprits, we and the Sheriff’s Department would like to see it. If you experience this first-hand, we would also appreciate a short-version of what you saw. We need to build up the case because these clowns will be found.
As a result of stopping the race short from its original nine-laps, we had to scramble to make sure we have the correct finishing order. We have posted the provisional or “un-official” results on our webpage (www.averacing.com), we are still going through the checkpoints and by July 10th all this will be worked out.
On behalf of AVE Racing, Lois and me and our staff and volunteers, we again feel badly that it turned out the way it did but we are delighted and lucky that nothing more serious happen and we will make improvements in the security of the course for the next event.
You can contact us directly and send information to: firstname.lastname@example.org