Speedcafe.com teams with BF Goodrich to stream Mint 400 desert race
By Brett Murray
Friday 6th March, 2020 - 3:27pm
Speedcafe.com has joined forces with BF Goodrich to present a live feed of this weekend’s Mint 400 out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The race coverage will start at 06:00 AEDT Sunday and will continue into the afternoon.
The BF Goodrich Mint 400 is one of the world’s most famous off-road desert races along with the Baja 1000.
The overall event involves several Australians including former Supercars racer Paul Weel who will be using the event as a comeback to off-road racing.
Other Australians in unlimited trucks include Burleigh Heads’ Dan McKenzie and Rockhampton’s Brett Comiskey and Billy Geddes while Giru’s Michael Marson will be in the class 10 field.
In 1967, Norm Johnson organised the first ever “Mint 400 Off-Road Rally” to promote and publicise The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas.
The inaugural match race involved two identical dune buggies which raced across 970km (600 miles) of desert, from The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, California.
The following year racing stars Parnelli Jones and Mel Larsen were employed to promote and drive in the race and more than 100 cars turned up for the event and it remained part of the American off-road calendar until 1989.
During that time the race attracted some of the biggest names in racing and entertainment including Indy 500 winners Jones, Al Under, Rick Mears and Rodger Ward and film and TV stars Steve McQueen, James Garner and Larry Wilcox.
Film and television producers Matt and Joshua Martelli eventually bought the event and the race was resurrected in 2008 after a 20-year hiatus and it again attracted no shortage of celebrities including comedian Mort Sahl, astronaut Gordon Cooper, rock musician Ted Nugent and TV host Jay Jeno.
In 2012 the Martelli brothers partnered with off-road industry veteran Casey Folks and The Mint was added to the Best in the Desert championship schedule, and a new 160km (100 mile) race loop was carved out for the 640km (400 mile) event.
The Martelli brothers were responsible for the revolution of digital media in the action sports space and produced the Ken Block gymkhana series of videos.
“It is great to have several Australian drivers and riders at this year’s BF Goodrich Mint 400,” said Matt Martelli.
“We are also happy to have Sspeedcafe.com on the ground with us for the first time.
“We look forward to introducing more international viewers to our live stream through the Speedcafe.com partnership.”
This year 550 entries from 30 US states and 17 different countries will compete over a 192km (120 mile) course – the unlimited entrants completing four laps.
There will be no less than 62 female drivers and riders competing across the next two days, including Sara Price, who has recently made a name for herself in Stadium Super Truck competition.