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The Stunts of BJ Baldwin: A Man and His Quirks

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M it Karacho the black pickup shoots over the edge of the sidewalk crashes down a flight of stairs. The almost three-ton monster crosses the main road flying at a height of two meters. 40, 50 meters later the pick-up starts to land, the load plunges deep into the springs. Driver BJ Baldwin has no mercy - he gives full throttle. The 800 hp V8 roars aggressively. With smoking rear wheels and a bold drift angle, he turns into a side street.

'Then my butt is bleeding'

This action video 'Recoil 2' filmed in the Mexican city of Ensenada with a population of 250,000 is seven minutes long. And not a second of it is boring. In the main role: the black pickup prototype, a so-called trophy truck, with which the American BJ Baldwin won the world's toughest one-day race in 2012 and 2013, the Baja 1,000 - a non-stop race that, as the name suggests, over one Distance of around 1,000 miles leads. Time for the winner: around 20 hours. Tough guys tackle this race as soloists. BJ Baldwin is one such iron man. 'After that your bum will bleed,' he growls.

The plot of 'Recoil 2'? Minor matter. And outrageous. But it does not matter. For some reason that the viewer does not find out, BJ flies to Mexico in a helicopter, accompanied by a pack of plump bikini beauties and a fighting dog. Baldwin's job is to cross the city as quickly as possible to meet the bunnies on the beach again.

Compared to what Baldwin performs in Ensenada, Steve McQueen's fabulous chase in the Hollywood crime epic 'Bullitt' from 1968 like a leisurely film from the traffic training area. And even Ken Block, the uncrowned king of stunt drivers, has every reason to go pale, because BJ Baldwin gave stunts the third dimension.

Full guest or silent athlete? Both and

'When I was shooting, I really had only one worry,' he says. 'Namely that I tear down the power lines with the roof of the pickup when doing the meter-high jumps.' He didn't have much time to practice or to repeat the scenes many times: 'We were done after five days.' 'Recoil 2' is still a long way from the click figures of the Youtube king, Ken Block. 'But six million views after three weeks isn't bad either,' says Baldwin.

ImThe turmoil of the Sema Show in Las Vegas, the world's largest trade fair for tuning cars, is not easy to spot BJ because he is usually surrounded by a crowd of rascals who, with their massive build, shaggy beards, lavishly tattooed arms and are very similar to baseball caps placed at an angle. These guys keep pounding on the shoulders, screaming at each other that even the most hard of hearing can easily follow their conversation from 20 meters away. Sample of Baldwin: 'I became a racing driver because I can neither sing nor dance.' The tattooed entourage neighs enthusiastically.

As long as his hyperactive buddies are around, it is hardly a sensible word to exchange with Baldwin. But once you've found a quiet corner for the interview, an astonishing metamorphosis takes place at BJ. The noisy full guest turns into a rather quiet athlete who seriously reflects on his sport, uses unusual foreign words correctly and is not even afraid to talk about his nervousness before the races.

Extreme load in the 800 HP truck

' I sleep badly weeks before the Baja 1,000, 'he admits. 'A month ago I was a different person. My demons are always with me.' The physical strain of the Baja 1,000 should not be underestimated. Baldwin sat behind the wheel for more than 20 hours non-stop on each of his victories. 'After that I had a bloody bottom and sore shoulders - from the belts,' he grins. 'The load increases exponentially the longer you are on the road. Ten hours behind the wheel feels like 15 hours. But once you have been on the road for 15 hours, you feel like you've been driving for a whole week. '

Romantic ideas about the beautiful landscape with even more beautiful wild west sunsets are completely inappropriate in this race. 'It's really tough and the Trophy Trucks are pretty fast.' Quite fast - that's an understatement: Baldwin's 800 hp trophy truck can reach speeds of up to 230 km /h, and it doesn't really matter whether the potholes are ten centimeters deep or half a meter.

Prestige off-road race Baja 1,000

Incidentally, Americans also know the Dakar rally. He's started the stage race twice and he found it 'pretty boring because the cars there only have 400hp. My Baja truck has twice as much power, it's 40 km /h faster, and it marches through the holes much better . ' In 2012 and 2013, Baldwin won the Baja 1000, the prestigious off-road race on Mexico's Baja California peninsula. 'After that, it took me four or five days to be myself again.'

But who really is BJ Baldwin? He immediately switched to the subject of the entertainer - specialty: rough humor. 'So far I've lost 146 races in my career - and I'm still counting. Well, I've won a few races too.' Baldwin is absolutely painless when he comments on his Instagram photos: these captions are sometimes more, sometimes less witty. But they are always one thing: ruthlessly direct, hopelessly silly - and to the very highest degree politically incorrect. Once the lover of large-caliber weapons posted the motto: 'Sunday is gunday' - Sunday is the shooting festival. Sometimes girlfriend Lisa is the target of his coarse humor: 'Today I'll buy her a few drinks,' writes BJ about a photo that shows the two toasting each other. “Hoping to see her naked later.”

When a boy asks him how to become a racing driver, he advises: “You're only 15. You could do better things than racing Drive. For example, you could become a gynecologist. Sounds like a lot of fun. ' If BJ were a baseball, basketball or football star, such jokes would have consequences: tabloid journalists would cry with happiness, feminists would demand a draconian punishment for the libertine, and most sponsors would turn off the money.

BJ Baldwin the loner

Baldwin is lucky because his sponsor Monster strives for a rather non-conformist - some would say: sinister - image. In addition, he does not drive on smoothly sucked circuit courses with run-off zones as large as the Sahara, but in the desert. Where guys are still allowed to be guys.

'I wasn't born with a steering wheel in hand,' says BJ Baldwin modestly. 'My natural talent for driving was limited. I have mine everything worked out with great effort. ' In Larry Ragland, the five-time Baja 1,000 winner, the 35-year-old had an excellent teacher. 'But my role model was always Ivan Stewart. The now 69-year-old American is a Baja legend because he was always on the Ironman in the desert races, so he did not replace him. That means 20 hours in the non-stop races in the desert and more without a break behind the wheel, half of it at night. Baldwin became an Ironman because he was annoyed about the inadequate performance of his teammates: 'They had accidents, they rolled over or they had a lot of flat feet.' 2012 and 2013 Baldwin won the Baja 1,000, both times as a soloist.

The mother of all off-roaders

Trophy trucks are fastest and most spectacular racing cars in off-road sport. These cars are subject to very few restrictions. As long as the prototype is safe, almost anything is allowed with the exception of all-wheel drive. The racing pickup from BJ Baldwin, on theNamed 'Fedor', it is powered by a small block V8 with a displacement of 7.5 liters. The power is 800 PS, the best value for the torque at 935 Nm.

A three-speed semi-automatic transmission transfers the power to the rear axle. The driving performance of the black and green off-road monster is just as remarkable as its thirst: 400 meters are enough for the 2.9-ton truck to reach a speed of 180. But when driving fast, the pickup requires 75 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers. The tank holds 250 liters. The skeleton of the pickup is an indestructible tubular steel frame. The enormous suspension travel, the huge wheels with a diameter of 37 inches (94 centimeters) and the high-tech shock absorbers are responsible for the outstanding off-road properties: the suspension stroke is 66 centimeters at the front and 86 centimeters at the rear.

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