Can Campbell and Honda Go Four-for-Four?

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Team Honda's three-time Baja 1000 championJohnny Campbell will be trying, once again, to win this year's iteration of what many people think is the most grueling race on this continent.

The promoters group, SCORE, nearly doubled thedistance this year to commemorate the turning of the century. For the riders,2000 miles makes the race all the more dangerous -- and even more thrilling...

The race will begin in Ensenada, Mexico, a few hours south of Tijuana. Theriders will depart around 7:00 a.m. Sunday, November 12th and embark on ajourney that will last roughly 36 hours, covering just over 1748 miles at anaverage speed of almost 50 mph. If all goes well, the first rider will cross thefinish line around 4:00pm Monday afternoon.

With the increase in mileage, Campbell will be allowed to have a five-memberteam. Each rider will be responsible for a section of the course. For example,Tim Staab is a 22-year-old southern Californian and an excellent night riderandmay be charged with carrying the race into the late evening and early morninghours. A chase vehicle and a support helicopter will be accompanying the leadHonda motorcycle for rider changes and to supply replacement parts.

Campbell has had many off-road mentors growing up, but the one that stands outis American Honda's own Bruce Ogilvie. Ogilvie, who has five Baja 500wins andtwo Baja 1000 wins to his credit, is now the coordinator for the Team Hondaoff-road racing program. "Bruce has been a father figure to me more than a teamadvisor," says the 29-year-old Campbell.What will the father figure be doing in this year's Baja 2000 race?Racing, ofcourse! Ogilvie has built a six-man "B-Team" to contest this year'sevent. "Thegroup is basically six guys who have won Baja on Hondas in the past, and whoareall over forty years of age", says Ogilvie. When asked if he thinks that histeam can win, he deadpans "I taught Johnny a lot, but not everything!"

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