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Team bongo mexico #4472 survive the hammers - koh 2011 post race report

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Team bongo mexico #4472 survive the hammers - koh 2011 post race report - GRACIAS

TEAM MEXICO #4472 starting on spot #37
Jose Manuel Ponce & Dave Gutwillig

Dave Gutwillig racing his fabrication while Ponce rides shot gun.

“ WOW! Now we know why they call it the hammers! We felt like we were being hammered on from all sides for 12 hours, including internally. The whoops and train track desert bumps were just retarded and really hard on both the car and us. Fastest we went was 85mph (138kph) in the open flat lake section and we played it safe due to the high winds. The first lap was really sketchy in the desert sections due to all the dust in the morning. The Piñata buggie worked great on the rock sections and we went by fairly quickly unless if there was a traffic jam. The only problems we had were a blown valve stem from bumping into another stopped car, loose electrical connector, and bad gps visibility. We ran only four 37 inch stickies and no bead locks, and no communication radio. IRC helped us out with a tracking device just in case we broke down, we could be easily located. Congrats to all the teams that participated. “ Stated Ponce and Dave.

Ponce starting of the race while Dave navigates his fabrication

This unique team has tried the LCQ twice in the past and this time they returned as a guest star international team to participate in the main race. Ponce was unable to finish his race rig on time and ended up partnering up with Javier’s Gulf Coast Crawl Shop and Dave Gutwillig. “Javier Ibarra and his crew are tight and 110% pro, I have seen them race and knew they could help pull Team Mexico thru the finish, I am glad they accepted my offer, Gracias Amigos. I would like to especially thank Javier Ibarra for putting up his shop, tools, rv, tow rig, and trailer as well as Dave Gutwillig for prepping the Piñata Buggie to pass tech and survive the race. Dave’s fabrication is the best race buggie I have ever driven and it crawled and raced like a world class machine. Dave is an excellent desert racer and crawler, we both helped each other to keep cool and finish. I have raced and finished the WRC Mexico twice without any prior rally experience, but when compared to the King of the Hammers, which is a new type of motorsport that combines 120 miles (193kms) of the most brutal rock trails and open desert terrain known to man, KOH is way more challenging and has lived up to its name of being the toughest off road race on the planet” Stated Ponce.

Ponce and Dave getting ready for takeoff into Planet KOH

The team chose to run using a unique strategy that worked well, Ponce started and ended the race driving the desert sections and then switching off to navigational duties, while Dave Gutwillig (fabricator and owner of the Piñata buggie) raced the rock and other desert sections. Overall it was a great learning experience and we will be back next year with more Bongo to try and finish in the top 20. Dave and Ponce will be running 2 rigs in 2012 and will make sure to pre run next time at least 2 times and mount a large view GPS unit, along with radio communications. Recce is the key to be able to go fast. They both have also been signed on the new Dyno Max Off road Race Teams Program and are dealing with other new partners. Both will also be concentrating on racing the new Baja Texas Racing and Texas EDR Series. Ponce will head back in April to Norway to do some rally and Nordic off road racing. Ponce still remains the only driver in the world that has competed in the rock motorsports of rock crawling and rock racing since 2006 in Mexico, Venezuela, USA and Norway where he has learned new racing techniques to help him survive and finish 2 WRC events without any prior rally experience and now a KOH; his new addiction of desert rock racing has now begun. Dave also plans on doing more desert racing and has some new fabrication concepts that he will be adapting to race and crawl faster.


Ponce and Dave at the finish

The Team would like to thank their main partners LAREDO CVB OF LAREDO TEXAS, JAVIER’S GULF COAST CRAWL SHOP, RAMSEY WINCHES, IRC Tracking, LIZARD SKIN, QUARTERMILE GRAPHICS, SAMS LIQUOR, PRP Seats, FOA Shocks, TOM WOODS Drive shafts, PSC, MASTER PULL, BAJA PITS, BIKE BARN, Liberty Country Constables Office Precinct, and Northwest Machine Shop.

Other sponsors include Javier’s Autos Unlimited, Rusty’s Offroad, Ameri-Freight Auto Transport, Moods of Norway, Latination TV, Despain Automotive, TacoTote of Laredo, Allied/Raceline Wheels, Pronto Muffler Shop of Laredo, Triple J Express, JACAMAN WINES, FRS Energy, H.E.B. Supermarkets, Pizza Hut of Laredo, Casanova 4x4, Wine Country Motorsports, Taco Palenque, DJ Safety, Despain Automotive, Rugged Radios, Ajeepear.com, Wamel, Dental Creations Lab, PCI Race Radios, Laredo Performance, Offroad Mexico News, Zona Car Mexico, Bower Media Productions, Rally Buzz, Pirate 4x4 TV, Wicked Mag, Crawl Mag and Track-Any-Car.com

The Team would also like to thank the following amigos who helped them thru out the race.

Dave Cole and Jeff Knoll, Hammerking Productions, and all the volunteers.
Damien Gioia – Baja 1000 and VORRA racer - Cal Neva Extreme (KOH recce notes)
Don, Shannon and Nick Campbell, Loren Healy, Danny Grimes, Dustin and Becca Webster, RJ Brown for racing advice.
KOH Tech Staff – Rob and Shawn, and Carrie Steiner
Javier Ibarra – Gulf Coast Crawl Shop Owner - Head Coach and Crew Chief
Marcos Ibarra – Gulf Coast Crawl Shop - Pit Crew
Natasha Gutwillig – Gulf Coast Crawl Shop - Photography and Video
BJ Kohlleppel alias el Pop Corn – The Sealy Boys - Pit Crew
Austin Bitner Alias el Butter – The Sealy Boys - Pit Crew
Thomas Ellis alias el Jorgen – The Sealy Boys - Pit Crew
Mario Madrigal - Redding Black Sheep 4x4 – Pit Support
Tom Wehrlie – Pit Support
Becca Sherbundy – Photography and Video
Robert Andresen – Photography and Video
Jorge Roberto Lopez Moreno y la raza de JLFabworks de Nogales,Sonora Mexico – Photos & Cheering at Backdoor
Raul Vega de Zamora, Michoacán from Orange Country who showed up for the 2nd year in a row to cheer us on.
Baja Pits – Remote Pit – Gracias Andy
Chris Ridgeway – Trent Fab Team #23 – For Winch Support
Louie Keener and son, and Heath Catron of Balls Out Motorsports.
Wyatt from Triple Nickel Racing for lending us his fuel cans.
Matrix Dane of the Holigan Crew for helping us locate parts for Shawn Inman & the Texas Crawling Chaos Buddies.

Great to see Chris Cole, Stacie Albright, Jessi Combs, Lance & Renee, Camo, Angie Knoll, Charlene, Louie and Heath, Don, Shannon and Nick Campbell, RJ Brown and Casey Trujillo (667 Rockers), Alex and Emil of Master Pull, THE KING Loren Healy (who proved that an LCQ can bring it on), Dean Bullock, Matt of Dyno Max, Brent and Greg of 4 wheel parts, Krusty, Ragnar Robertson of Iceland, Ben of Australia, Jeff Mello, Ritchie Keller, Brandon and the Smorr Crew, Doug Bigelow, Mike Coleville and the PAC crew, Roger Lovell, Jose Lugo, Joel Withers, Desert Fab Crew, Carlos Benegas de Honduras, and our KOH neighbors the Crawling Chaos of Texas Crew.

A pleasure to meet Les Figueroa, Rally Shaun SMC, Jack Childers, Derek Trent, Jorge Torres from Goodyear, Aaron of PRP, Greg Mulkey, Charlene Bower, Albert Sarabia, Fabio and Laura Manno of Team Italy, Jimmy of PCI, JT Taylor, Cassie Currie, Tom of Roark Supply, Tony Pellegrino, Curtis Warner/Kris Fraser and the Crazy Canadians, Casey from Austin, and everyone else who helped in some way and enjoyed our Scorpion Mezcal and Dill Aquavit by the nightly bomb fires.

Once again Gracias and see you all soon! BONGO! BONGO! BONGO!

Racing done in memory of guitar legend, LOUIE ALFREDO PONCE. As well as el Pachangas and Pepper.

Click here for more info about the LAREDO WORLD RALLY TEAM www.worldrallyteam.com and JAVIER'S GULF COAST CRAWL SHOP www.gulfcoastcrawlshop.com

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Unfortunely our cam that we had did not work and if you have any footage or pics on our team. Please contact us via our website, post them here or pm us. We will be printing up some promo gear and will mail it off to you for helping us.

Once again thank you all for your support, this KOH was super!

Here are some more pics that we found on the net. Waiting on some video and pics from our support crew from Black Sheep Club of Redding, CA

Click here to visit Sir Marlon Trujillo's Gallery

Photo by Jorge Roberto Lopez Moreno of JLFabworks de Nogales,Sonora Mexico

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Way to go guys! It was fun watching the action unfold over the internet and getting some chats going in support of your team. I'm a friend of Dave's from back in Houston and can't wait to watch next year....hopefully i'll have a LIVE view!

Great write up! Remember to look me up here if you are goin to be in NJ. If not see you in 51 weeks!

TEAM MEXICO #4472 logra llegar a la meta del KOH 2011

Gracias Chris,

Found some more pics by Charlene with Bower Media Productions :D

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Congrats on the finish, the car looked like it worked very good!!! It was nice to meet you guys. BTW, we were the guys who gave Thomas a ride from Corona. Hope to see you guys at next years KOH.
congrats again on the finish guys! look foreward to racing with yall again soon!
Way to go guys, and everyone associated with your successful finish. Congratulations.

It has been a pleasure watching Dave's buggy go from a pile of toob on "The Dancefloor" jig to completing King of the Hammers. Who woulda thunk it!

It was fun tracking y'all throughout as we also got updates from Tasha as well as video and pics during the race. Hope to be there in person next year to help....or get in the way, LOL.

Again, congrats on the job well done!
Hi Ponce!!!!

So happy you guys finished, what an accomplishment. Thanks for sharing your photos and story with us and I look forward to seeing you in your rig placing in top 20! I haven't met you Dave but congrats as well, you boy's rocked hard! Way to go! :D

Laura Manno
Hey Ponce, thanks for the great pics and putting all the stickers on your rig. Hit me up when everything settles down for you and I will get those recovery kits for the upcoming WRC season.:smokin:

King of the hammers official results

Gracias Amigos! * GRAZIE, Laura y Fabio. * Good to see you again Shawn * Alex, Thanx for the support.


Drivers * Start Position * Car Number * Start Time * Finish Time * Elapsed Time * Finish Position
Jose Manuel Ponce/Dave Gutwillig * #37 * #4472 * 08:09:00am * 20:02:05pm * 11:53:05 * 37 (Cut off time was 22:00pm)
12 hours is way to long to hang out with the Devil and Hecuibus! Wow, what a race!

Definition of the Hammers, remember when this used to be funny as a kid...now we know why its called the HAMMERS!


Driver Start Pos Car Number Start Time Finish Time Elapsed Time Finish Position (Only 47 out of 100 teams finished before the cut off time of 10pm)
Shanon Campbell 62 5 08:15:00 14:26:54 06:11:54 1
Tony Pelligrino 41 4485 08:10:00 14:52:31 06:42:31 2
Jason Scherer. 36 76 08:08:30 14:58:20 06:49:50 3
Randy Slawson 3 4448 08:00:30 15:01:43 07:01:13 4
Greg Adler 1 210 08:00:00 15:09:40 07:09:40 5
Gary Ferravanti 35 4446 08:08:30 15:35:55 07:27:25 6
Matt Messer 44 17 08:10:30 15:39:12 07:28:42 7
Tracy Jordan 2 112 08:00:00 15:35:17 07:35:17 8
Les Figueroa 31 4478 08:07:30 15:46:33 07:39:03 9
Ben Napier 6 4461 08:01:00 16:16:16 08:15:16 10
Bill Phillips 25 4480 08:06:00 16:35:58 08:29:58 11
Tom Wayes 54 321 08:13:00 16:45:20 08:32:20 12
Matt Peterson 27 212 08:06:30 16:39:49 08:33:19 13
Erik Miller 58 4421 08:14:00 16:48:22 08:34:22 14
Rob McKeeney 46 8 08:11:00 16:47:56 08:36:56 15
Bill Kreisel 63 407 08:15:30 16:58:35 08:43:05 16
Roger Lovell 9 4432 08:02:00 16:50:46 08:48:46 17
Todd McCullen 32 4422 08:07:30 17:07:11 08:59:41 18
Dustin Emick 10 4443 08:02:00 17:06:47 09:04:47 19
Dean Bulloch 96 4411 08:23:30 17:32:45 09:09:15 20
Jack Adams 67 284 08:16:30 17:45:10 09:28:40 21
Nick Nelson 48 4404 08:11:30 17:45:02 09:33:32 22
John James 83 28 08:20:30 18:32:35 10:12:05 23
Clint Ellett 59 70 08:14:30 18:43:28 10:28:58 24
Rick Mooneyham 64 554 08:15:30 18:46:52 10:31:22 25
Greg Hussey 94 4450 08:23:00 18:57:28 10:34:28 26
Todd Pucket 76 7114 08:18:30 18:59:25 10:40:55 27
Brandon Watson 77 4488 08:19:00 19:00:35 10:41:35 28
Doug Bigelow 39 4413 08:09:30 18:58:02 10:48:32 29
John Reynolds 33 427 08:08:00 19:01:44 10:53:44 30
Levi Shirley 50 81 08:12:00 19:07:00 10:55:00 31
Mike Coleville 49 4418 08:12:00 19:07:17 10:55:17 32
Tony Rietdorf 26 302 08:06:00 19:32:32 11:26:32 33
Adam Carter 70 4433 08:17:00 19:52:35 11:35:35 34
Ritchie Carter 90 4474 08:22:00 20:04:35 11:42:35 35
Travis Cook 84 4440 08:20:30 20:10:53 11:50:23 36
Jose Manuel Ponce/Dave Gutwillig 37 4472 08:09:00 20:02:05 11:53:05 37 (we started and ended in the same spot maintaining a constant pace)
Craig Ross 14 4138 08:03:00 19:59:26 11:56:26 38
Derek Summers 80 4454 08:19:30 20:21:10 12:01:40 39
Mike Klensin 56 143 08:13:30 20:25:39 12:12:09 40
Joe Silva 73 4449 08:18:00 20:46:22 12:28:22 41
Derek West 11 4420 08:02:30 20:53:20 12:50:50 42
Dave Schneider 60 4471 08:14:30 21:16:33 13:02:03 43
Jason Spegal 87 69 08:21:30 21:35:35 13:14:05 44
Rusty Bray 24 4498 08:05:30 21:23:45 13:18:15 45
Jesse Haines 68 4499 08:16:30 21:57:15 13:40:45 46
Casey Currie 69 2 08:17:00 21:58:21 13:41:

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I don't have much of a race report to put up, Ponce pretty much covered it. It was an AWESOME race! About the time that we were crossing the finish line, I was thinking to myself ,"There is no way I'm ever racing this again, this is ridiculous", but as soon as we got out I started thinking about how we are going to race next year. Jeff and Dave put together an absolutely brutal course, and can't wait to go back. What an honor for Ponce to call us up to race this race with him!

I just can't thank everyone enough that helped us out. We only had 3 weeks to prep the car, and friends immediately started just showing up at the shop to help with whatever they could. There is no way we could have made the trip without everyone's help.

On another hand, it still blows me away how friendly and helpful the people in this sport are. We met some pretty big names who were unbelievably cool. We had dinner over at the Campbell tent, and they were unexpectedly welcoming. They offered for us to pit with them. I think Chris Ridgeway helped us out winching through some trail that he and another rig were broken down on. I can't even name all the names of people we met, but I just couldn't believe how cool everyone was!

Not to mention, thanks to all the companies that helped us out! Lizard Skin, PSC Motorsports, Tribe 4x4 - thanks for checking out our steering in the middle of the race!, Tom Woods Driveshafts, Master Pull, Sway-A-Way, IRC Tracking, PCI Race Radios, Poly Performance, FOA, Longview Driveshaft & 4x4, Bike Barn - sorry if I left anyone out.

Last I'd like to thank all the friends and family at home that watched/tracked the race! What an awesome feeling to get off the lakebed and see all the comments and messages!
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Way to go guys, and everyone associated with your successful finish. Congratulations.

It has been a pleasure watching Dave's buggy go from a pile of toob on "The Dancefloor" jig to completing King of the Hammers. Who woulda thunk it!

It was fun tracking y'all throughout as we also got updates from Tasha as well as video and pics during the race. Hope to be there in person next year to help....or get in the way, LOL.

Again, congrats on the job well done!
Kris, we're gonna need a prerunner for next year! Think your Jeep is up to it? :D

It was nice meeting you this year and congrats on the finish.
Are you going to race any of the other Ultra 4 races this year?

If you do I am sure we will meet up again.

Casey Trujillo
King of the hammers 2011 official results

Gracias Dave, all I can say is your fabrication alias the Piñata Buggie can flex, crawl and go fast, the value just went up on that Piñata :D You are a great racer and teammate, it was an honor to be there stuck in hell with you for those 12 hours :D

Casey, thanx again for the 667 rocker koozie and keep me posted on the Tacoma upgrades. Dave is going to do an Ultra 4 and Texas events, I plan on doing some Texas racing as well but not until Oct.


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Always a pleasure to see you, Ponce. You bring a lot to the race and I'm very glad that it was a good experience for you. Thanks for making the trip.
Congrats. You guys kicked ass and were great to work with. Thanks for choosing Baja Pits

here's a couple pics off of the Baja Pits Face book page

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TEAM MEXICO #4472 Ponce and Gutwillig

Gracias Andy,

Here are some more pics taken by SIMON SLAPSTICK

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Ponce is a RAD guy!!

spent a couple hours with him drinking beer while he drank tequilla aroudn the fire. Congrats on the finish guys!
Koh bongo #3

Gracias Greg,

Speaking of the Bongo Fiesta, our team would like to thank Vinny and Sam of SAM's LIQUOR of Laredo for sponsoring an international Bongo to keep the fiesta going strong at the TEAM MEXICO camp and around the camp fire for the King of the Hammers race!

SAM's LIQUOR carries the all the top brand names with a great selection of beers from all over the world! Visit them at 7913 McPhearson Road TEL: 791-3080 for all y...our Liquor * Beer * Wine * Cigars

Gracias Vinny y Sam Idnani for the Amarreto, Mezcal, Gin, and Sierra Madre Beer! :grinpimp:

According to legend, a lightning bolt struck an agave plant and thus mezcal originated, which is why it is considered a drink from the heavens, an "Elixir of the gods". The word mezcal comes from the Nahuatl word mexcalli, which in English means "leaves of cooked Maguey

"...Note the scorpion and worm are proof that this alcohol is pure and good enough to keep the critters in pristine condition. Mezcal has now become a popular world trend with bottle running in the $hundreds overseas.

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