Off-roading is not just an adventure. It's a lifestyle. The thrills and risks associated with the sport are what keep us coming back for more. The Locos Mocos race-support program was born at the 1997 Baja 1000, after Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's race truck expired before Ivan reached the pit that was being manned by the soon-to-be Locos Mocos originators. With tools and equipment already on hand, the crew members decided that since they couldn't assist the Ironman, they'd pack their gear and head down the course to set up a "mercy" pit. This mercy pit offered services to any vehicle that required it, all free of charge.
Since that first year, we've offered our pit services at various races in various locations. Our motto, "We fix stuff for free," guides us, and our pit service helps racers get down the course as far as possible, and, hopefully, on to the finish line. We pitted once at the Baja 500 and at the Baja 1000 in several spots. We pitted twice in the pine forest during 1998 and 1999, twice in the silt beds at El Cuarenta in 2000 and 2002, once on a really silty hill by San Telmo Road in 2001, and in the silt at the beach at Punta Canoas in 2003. We regularly act as one link in a chain of full-service pits offered by pit clubs; first for Mag 7, and then for Baja Pits. Of the 38 vehicles we worked on in the 15-hour period our pit was open, seven proceeded to finish on the podium and 22 went on to complete every mile of the 2004 Baja 1000. We're glad to have played a small role in their success.
We get asked all the time about our membership. We don't have membership. Locos Mocos is an organism, not an organization. Without getting all Zen about it, we just flow. With the exception of rotating the pack-mule duties between a couple of guys, we just show up and throw together one of the best pit operations Baja racing has ever known. Since we're an informal group, we know each other better by our nicknames than the ones on our driver's licenses.
Although we're in Baja to help others, we're on the lookout for adventure of our own. One of the best things that happened during the Baja 1000 adventure took place when we arrived at Scorpion Bay. We stopped at the Scorpion Bay Cantina to wash down the dust from our trucks. Last year's pit captain Gadget and his lovely wife Gidget had been waiting for the rest of us to catch up for a day or so. We caused such a stir in the cantina that we were adopted by a local resident and invited to spend the night at Casa Juan Y Juan. The casa is a multimillion-dollar private compound situated on the breathtaking cliffs of San Juancino, overlooking the Pacific. The hacienda at Casa Juan Y Juan is a regular stop for world-class surfers and Hollywood types. Guests usually arrive by private plane, not prerunner. We felt like gypsies in the palace.