KORE OFF-ROAD Wins the Baja 1000
Posted February 06, 2014
SAN DIEGO, CA, Nov 23, 2011 – In a history-making race, Kroeker Off-Road Engineering (KORE OFF ROAD) drivers Kent Kroeker and Alan Roach won the 2011 SCORE Baja 1000 – Class 8 in a Ram 1500 marking the first Baja 1000 win for Chrysler in decades. The KORE Class 8 race truck also debuted the Mopar® 800 horsepower V-10 Competition Race Engine in it’s first desert event.
“Mopar’s new 512 cubic inch V-10 crate motor was incredible. Our General Grabber Competition Tires and Method wheels worked perfectly with no failures. Our massive 4.4 inch Fox shocks gave us yet another flawless race. And Baja Design’s HID light system and Philips DRLs turned night into day,” said Kroeker.
Known as “the worlds toughest race”, this year’s Baja 1000 stood out as the toughest yet. Recent torrential rains had turned the racecourse into a quagmire of mud, exposed rocks and ruts. Out of 278 entrants in the 2011 SCORE Tecate Baja 1000, only half ever made it to the finish line.
Ram Ready for Baja 1000
Team KORE arrived in Mexico ten days prior to the race in order to reconnoiter the course and finalize the race truck development.
“Normally, you arrive in Baja with a proven race car that’s fully-prepped and ready to go. Due to an engine change and complete suspension reconfiguration, this truck was nothing but a cab-cage in September. We literally worked on her 12-15 hours a day, not finishing the build until it was on the starting line,” said crew chief Mike Kerr.
Kroeker drove the first 450 miles of the 700-mile race. Although making aggressive physical contact with 8 other trucks that made the mistake of not immediately moving over for him, Kroeker handed a cosmetically damaged but functional vehicle to precision driver, Roach who then raced it to the finish without incident.
“Winning the worlds toughest race is a testament to every aspect of what it means to be a man. And I’m not talking about driving skill; I’m talking about everything – from the guys who forge the pistons in the motor, to my pit crew who works tirelessly through the night, covering thousands of miles, bringing parts and fuel where they need to be – winning the Baja 1000 means laser-focused excellence that can’t be demonstrated any other way,” said Kent Kroeker on the team’s class win and 30th overall finish.
“This victory is especially gratifying for our entire team because we dedicated it to our fallen comrade, Jeremy,” continued Kroeker.
Jeremy Graczyk, co-driver in the Ram 1500 for KORE’s 2009-10 assaults on the Baja 1000 died earlier this year. Graczyk, along with Kroeker made national headlines in 2010 after their life-saving first responder actions to a nearly fatal crash on the Baja course.
“Our sponsors are great but aside from General Tire’s Baja Pits, we have no external support, so we rely heavily on improvisation and adaptation. This year was particularly difficult – with a newly engineered vehicle and only 12 volunteers, we felt like a Special Operations Team doing a mechanized assault behind enemy lines. But the time compression and adversity made winning that much sweeter – in fact, I know the team will never again feel this accomplished – this one was hard-fought,” Kroeker said later.
Chris “Mongo” Williams, KORE’s lead chase driver, summarized the victory when approached by a fan asking for a KORE race T-shirt, “We don’t give these away; you have to earn them.”