- General Tire driver Jim Riley set his goals aside to help others in need.
- Canadian, and paraplegic, Kane Fraser races in first Baja 1000 to help raise money and awareness for the abilities of people with disabilities.
- Fraser seeks to raise $25,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation.
Baja California, Mexico – (November 23, 2011) While Tony Stewart gave a class on how to win an oval-track race on NASCAR’s big stage, Team GT’s Jim Riley gave a class on how to be a winner in life on off-road racing’s biggest stage, the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Following more than 36 grueling hours in the Mexican desert, the No. 1802 of Kane Fraser and the General Tire sponsored No. 7 of Riley crossed the Baja 1000 finish line at 2:00 a.m. PST on Sunday, November 20.
A wrong turn forced Fraser, a paraplegic, over 100 miles off-course. Eventually he met up with Riley who offered to help the newcomer complete his goal of running the entire Baja 1000 race. While they were the last two vehicles to cross the finish line at the 44th running of the Baja 1000, both drivers emerged as big winners in the eyes of thousands of fans that were glued to the Internet cheering them on on-line and posting their support to these two brave drivers.
“This was definitely one of the toughest Baja 1000 courses ever,” stated Riley following his 36 hour adventure. “Team Azunia had several mechanical issues ourselves but when I came across Kane I wanted to help him realize his goal, to finish the Baja 1000. This is a tough race for a veteran desert off-road racer and to attempt it as a true rookie is simply amazing. I have a lot of respect for what he did.”
The race marked Fraser’s first foray into auto racing. The Canadian piloted a RZR 900 XP for more than 700 miles and 36 hours after making a wrong turn that put him over 100 miles off-course. What makes the story all the more compelling is that Fraser is a paraplegic and was racing to bring awareness to the abilities of those with disabilities, enter veteran-driver Riley.
Riley fixed one mechanical failure after another on the No. 7 and stepped up to help two cars that had driven off a cliff before undertaking his next challenge. Darkness fell upon the desert Saturday night, and the teams of Riley and Fraser met up. With the dangers of the desert looming, and all the race check points shut down, Riley vowed to follow Fraser to the finish.
At 10:18 p.m. SCORE operations closed the finish line but volunteers manned the check points and finish line so Fraser and Riley could finish. Fraser’s extraordinary effort helped to raise money and awareness for the Rick Hansen Foundation however, his goal of $25,000 has not yet been met. Donations can be made via the web atwww.baja1000fundraiser.com.
If you can’t be there to see all the action first-hand, you can get up-to-the-minute information on all the races at www.twitter.com/teamgt.