BILSTEIN Racers Win Big at Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000

BILSTEIN-sponsored racers swept the Challenger Car class at the 2023 Yokohama NORRA Mexican 1000 earlier this month.

Pajaro Loco Racing won their class handily for the 2023 race, which was April 30 to May 5. The intense, 5-day race traverses approximately 1,300 miles, beginning in Ensenada, Baja California, and ending in San José del Cabo, Mexico.

Using BILSTEIN shocks, Team Pajaro Loco finished first in the Challenger Class and 57th overall with a time of 23 hours and 28 minutes. With their vintage 914 Porsche, built in 1983, teammates alternated driving and navigation duties during the multi-day race.

Pajaro Loco team manager and lead driver Scott Wagstaff said the team experienced mechanical problems and difficulties in 2018 when they used a different brand of shocks. In 2019, when they switched to BILSTEIN shocks, they started winning races. The team that prepares the car equipped the 914 Porsche with BILSTEIN 7100 Series motorsports shocks – perfect for meeting the demands of Baja’s harsh terrain.

The team’s goal was to get back to the NORRA Mexican 1000, and this year they finished every mile of the race with no breakdowns or mechanical problems. They started in 167th place on the first day and moved their way up 110 spots for their overall spot in 57th. 

Along with their class win, Team Pajaro Loco took home the Manny Esquerra Memorial Trophy, and the coveted BILSTEIN Madonna Award, which is given to an individual who wins a championship in a major American racing series, displays sportsmanship and positive character traits on and off the track, and possesses an intense desire to win while overcoming adversities. Of all the awards, Scott said he was most thrilled to earn the Madonna.

“It’s one of those special trophies that not everyone can get. They don’t give very many of them out,” he said noting its previous recipients have included NASCAR champions. “The Madonna signifies you’ve actually accomplished something.”

The vehicle’s owners, Tom Bird, and Scott Wagstaff have been racing together since 2010. Rounding out the team are Scott’s son, Ryan, who was the navigator for Tom and Scott; John Koltura and Johnny Koltura, and Craig Wagstaff and Garrett Wagstaff — making three sets of father/son duos on the team.

“That’s kind of the best part of this type of racing, is you can make it a family event,” Scott Wagstaff said.