2003 Iron Man Rob Ransford 2002 Finisher Pin Rob Ransford 2003 Baja 500 3rd Place
DO NOT let the nick name fool you, this is the story of one of Chicago's most courageous athletes. He races a 40 horsepower A.T.V. against high speed buggies and 800 horsepower trucks, through some of the most rugged and isolated areas that man has ever raced through. There are no T.V. or 20 second time outs, no end of the quater or half-time breaks, once the race has started it can not be stopped. This is the story of one man's obsession to conquer the world's most dangerous single day race, the Baja 500 !

Located 2500 miles southwest of Chicago is the sleepy sea side town of Ensenada, Mexico. It is the home and starting line of the Baja 500, as well as, the Granddady of all off-road races the Baja 1000. Baja racing is considered by enthusiasts as the most dangerous and physically demanding form of motorsports there is. Thats because in Baja racing there are no banked turns, no lazer leveled straight aways, no soft walls, and absolutely NO walking back to the pits ! In most 500 mile races competitors make hundreds of laps on a one mile race track, in Baja racing competitors make one 500 mile lap that travels over sandy deserts, deep rivers, and rocky cliffs with sheer drop offs, and this all takes place in the searing summer heat of Mexico.

After being involved in a motorcycle accident that left Rob unable to walk for close to a year, he gave up on his passion of becoming a motorcycle racer. Still scared of the reality of what happens to a racer when something goes wrong, years would pass before he realized that something was missing in his life. Rob would finally try to accomplish one of his most challenging life goals, racing in the Baja 500. Living in Chicago and now over weight and well passed his prime, Rob had many obstacles that he would have to over come.

Because of the tremendous physical demand on motorcycle racers in Baja racing, there are 4 to 6 competitors racing a single motorcycle. They pass the bike to each other much like a relay track team passes a baton. Unable to find teammates Rob Ransford would attempt to ironman or solo ride his first Baja 500, and to make matters worse he would have NO chase-crew watching him if something went wrong, this would be a true baptism of fire. Showing up in Ensenada the night before the race, with NO pre-running or practice time on the wicked Baja race course, Rob bolted from the starting line on race day piloting bike # 307X with a stock headlight and a 40 pound tool kit around his waist, in the end these would be the two obstacles that Rob would be unable to over come. Desert sand and silt. mountainous hill climbs, and hundreds of miles of bobwire fencing where all expected dangers during the race. But more dangerous obstacles would keep popping up, they where booby traps left by the spectators. Deeply dug ditches filled with water, jumps built on the crest of hills, and even telephones poles where dragged across the track, the reason is still unclear today. After solo riding 310 miles on the brutal Baja race course, Rob had only 2 hours to complete the final 164 miles. The writing was on the wall, Rob pulled off the race course and rode another 80 miles on the highway back to Ensenada. Although credited with a D.N.F. ( Did Not Finish ) Rob Ransford had rode further than many multi-rider teams.

The following year learning from his mistakes Rob showed up at the Baja 500 with a powerful A.T.V. ( 4 wheel motorcycle ). It was much of the same as the previous year, trucks, buggies, and bikes racing through almost unwalkable terrain. Again with NO chase crew and NO teammates and NO practice time, Rob would Ironman the Baja 500, finishing 12 minutes over the 18 hour time limit. At first being credited with another D.N.F. Score Off-Road Racing President Sal Fish waved the time limited after learning that this Baja 500 would be remembered as one of the toughest 500s in the last decade. Rob was awarded 3rd place in the Sportsmans ATV class, and later received a Baja 500 Ironman plaque, making him one of a handful of motorcycle racers to solo the tenacious Baja 500 race course.

Now known as a Baja 500 ATV Ironman by racers and spectators, Rob would join forces with 4 time Baja 1000 champion Penland Brothers Racing. Now armed with expert teammates Rob would have a chance at winning the world championship of off-road racing. On June 5th 2004 as the rider of record (Lead Rider) Rob Ransford won the Sportsmans ATV Division. He is the first racer from the Midwest to Ironman and win the Baja 500 ! Rob is also a favorite with the Mexican Nation as they affectionately refer to him as Roberto Gordo.

Most recently, Rob and his teammates backed up their Baja 500 win by finishing first in the Sportsman's ATV Class of the Baja 1000 on November 20, 2005.

Fat Rob Water Shot
AMA 250
Baja 500 2004 Finishers Pin
Baja 500 Plaque
2005 Finishers Pin
2005 1st Place Plaque

All content throughout this website copyright © 2005 - 2002, Fat Rob.Com. All Rights Reserved.