Australian crew to tackle Baja 1000

Daniel Herrero

Thursday 24th August, 2017 - 11:31am

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The Trophy Lite truck known as ‘Stella’ which Mingay will race at Baja

Offroad racer Chris Mingay will lead a sizeable contingent of Australians in November’s 50th edition of the Baja 1000.

Mingay, the brother of stunt driver Matt Mingay, will make his driving debut in the offroad epic, which is set to be run over approximately 2000km this year, having served as a navigator in 2013.

The Baja 1000 is a rally raid event has been held annually since 1967 (except for 1974) and is contested over three classes, namely cars, trucks and bikes, similar to the famous Dakar Rally.

Competitors will tackle rugged terrain around Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Also joining Mingay from Australia will be navigator Chris Gelston and crew members Hannah Mingay, Marcus Goldston, Rachael Caird, and Brad Reynolds.

The drive comes after Mingay welcomed American Louis Chamberland over to Australia to navigate for him in this year’s Finke Desert Race.

“I did Baja 1000 as a navigator in a Class 10 Buggy in 2013,” Mingay told Speedcafe.com.

Mingay in action during this year’s Finke

“While my crew and I were in Ensenada (nearby in Mexico) having a coffee at a coffee shop, we met two fellas that were driving a Pro Buggy at the next table.

“They heard our Aussie accent and shuffled on over and said g’day and we just got talking and became friends.

“Many years later through being mates on Facebook and helping each other out with a few international freight deals, I invited Louis Chamberland, who was the driver of the Pro Buggy, to Australia to do the Finke this year.

“He came over and joined our team and navigated and had a ball.

“Out of that he said, ‘Hey, I’d like to return the favour, would you like to come and do Baja 1000 in a Trophy Lite with the team that I’m putting together?’, and I said, ‘Mate, I’m there, absolutely.’”

Mingay will share the driving load with US drivers Kyle Ahrensberg, Russ Phillips, and Gary Hull in the Vision Hype Motorsports team, with the possibility that they will compete in rounds of the Australian Off Road Championship, which Mingay races in, next year.

The 2017 Baja 1000 takes place from November 14-18 in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Australian Daymon Stokie was among the victorious motorcycle crew at the event last year.

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