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Just another cool story. At close to 2am the teams of #1802 and TT7 crossed the finish line of the Baja 1000, after approximately 36 hours on the course. Who are these guys? Nobody really knew until they made a wrong turn that would change their lives in our offroad community forever. UTV #1802 was driven by Kane Fraser who is a paraplegic from Canada that is running the Baja 1000 as a fundraiser for the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen Foundation. After watching Dust to Glory multiple times, he decided to add the Baja 1000 to his bucket list. “This was our first Baja 1000, our first time racing, and for me my first time racing in any sport ever,” said Kane Fraser. He enlisted the help of his friends, and with never even being in the desert, much less racing, they set off on this awesome journey. “We were super naive, but we learned a lot along the way, and got laughed at a lot which was fun,” Kane said with a smile. “In terms of what I wanted to accomplish, for me number one was to raise $25,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation. Second, is to create awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities. And third, to inspire one disabled person to really move ahead with their goals and strive to achieve their goals, because as long as you try and try you will succeed, you just have to keep moving forward.”
We were first introduced to the team when they made a wrong turn. And I mean a major wrong turn. As the Polaris RZR900 came down into the San Felipe loop area, they forgot to turn left to go down, they were headed to the Pacific Coast. “There are obstacles in everyones life, like we were just talking, how could you miss the turn, there were like 15 flags! We kinda knew there was something wrong when we were mixing it up with the Trophy Trucks and Class 1 cars. Then the challenge was how do we get back in the race. We couldn’t let our team down, we had been prepping for 11 months and just to let a little 100 miles get in the way of the finish wasn’t an option.” And they did. The chat went wild with people watching the 1802 go way out of the way to get back on course. But still no one knew their story.
As the night started to fall for the second time of the Baja 1000, the 1802 was still moving. They had gotten back on course and had maintained a consistent pace, but not one that would allow the 1802 to make it to the finish line before it closed.
SCORE Ops shut down the finish line at 10:18 pm, but one of the largest outpourings of support rallied across multiple internet outlets and the Weatherman continued to be vocal. The focus now turned to watching these two get to town. “We were already damp and cold but we wanted to finish, we didn’t care, nothing would stop us. We kept going and did finish! We were a little bug eyed, but we finished,” said Heino Seibert, Kane Fraser’s Co-Driver. Jim Riley adds, “At the end of the day we met up with 1802 at the beginning of the wash in Ensenada and drove to the newly established finish line by friends and family. There was no Tecate or finishing pin but the smiles on our friends faces will never be replaced by a formal finish line. We shook hands with the support team from 1802 and took some pictures together – all knowing that we just beat Baja on our own terms and timelines…I would not trade my race for all the wins in the world!”
The level of support for these two teams would make any pro racer envious. Kane and his teammates persevered for almost 800 miles over 36 hours. He never let up, he never whined, he kept a smile on his face and moved ahead, 1 mile at a time…and TT #7 was right by their side, battling their own demons to finish this race, but together, they helped each other and made it across! Just another amazing story of the Baja 1000! To read more or support their fundraising go to http://www.baja1000fundraiser.com.
Kane Fraser entered a UTV 1802 into the 2011 Baja 1000. www.baja1000fundraiser.com