Claudia Saldana
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Claudia Saldana

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkClaudia Saldana

Forum User Name: Ruca Racing Baja Off Road
Chat with Claudia

"I just met Charlene at the Baja 1000 registration in Ensenada, BC and continued a dialogue at the different pits through Baja. Last we saw each other we were eating ice cream at the best place in the town square of San Ignacio on the trip home from the race. She was very supportive and inviting in sharing the Network and her knowledge. I had heard great things about the organization through Trish from Yucca Valley!"

Occupation: Real Estate Professional
Birthday: February 14, 1958

Ladies Offroad Network Events Attended: 
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Questions & Answers

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkAbout Claudia:

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: "It is ever changing."

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: "Black Mole from Oaxaca."

Q: Do you have kids? 
A: "I have two daughters as well as my 13 year old grandson Tristin, who has been with me most of my races."

Q: Do you have any pets?
A: "Mi Ruca, she is a French Bull Dog / Boston Terrier Mix I rescued almost 4 years ago from Road Dogs and Rescue in LA."

Q: Do you take your pets off-roading?
A: "She doesn't actually race with us, but I do take her along with us to events if I am not racing. I would rather take her because I don't like leaving others to be responsible for her. She is chill and loves to ride."

 

Claudia's Off-Road Facts:

Q: How old were you when you first started wheeling?
A: 
"I was 10. There wasn't much out there for poor kids in the 60's, but in the early 70's my Mom worked at Sears and bought me a Mini Bike. I had one of the first in San Felipe, and the locals loved to ride it. Many of whom I am still friends with to this day!"

Q: Is your whole family into off-roading?
A: "My Best Friend Diane Giannelli shares my passion. I thank God for my San Felipe Racing family, Jetza Nava (another lady off-road racer) and Juan Gallo of Gallo Racing, who has embraced me and given us (Ruca Racing Off Road) the opportunity to do what we love.

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkQ: Are you usually the driver or the co-driver?
A: "It really depends on the race. I love doing both, it just depends on what makes sense for the individual race, and who I am racing with."

Q: Do you have any off-road traditions or rituals?
A: "Not really; I try to stay focused on the safety aspects and preparing both my team and myself for the race."

Q: How often do you get to go off-roading?
A:  "I try to do at least 3- 5 races a year, but it really depends on the size, cost, and logistics of the races."

Q: How did you get started in the off-road world?
A: "I decided 3 years ago that I didn't want to watch in the desert anymore, I wanted to be in the vehicle driving!"

Q: Where is your favorite place to wheel?
A: "Baja of course!"

Q: How are you active in the off-road world?
A: "I am there racing and supporting the communities I race in. Ruca Racing has a Youth Fund that we have set up to help with the different needs in the community like the Poblado School Art programs, sponsorships for High School students from our village and the Annual CODE Racing for Boobs, where we race for donations for the local Cancer Societies in Mexicali and San Felipe. We do this by selling Ruca Racing apparel and donations apart from any racing sponsorships."

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkQ: What is on your off-roading bucket-list?
A: "I would love to jump in a rock crawler at King of the Hammers and see what that feels like. I live 20 miles from there and go every year. I would also like to do the 4 Score series this year and some more off-road races in Baja Sur, It is so beautiful there!"

 

Claudia's Off-Road Stories:

Q: What is your most memorable off-road moment?
A: "There are so many.... but most recently, finishing the Baja 1000!"

Q: What was your first wheeling trip?
A: "First one was in 1972 when I was 14 years old. We loaded up the Toyota Land Cruiser, left San Felipe with my friends’ Dad to go south from San Felipe. He was drinking and we crashed rolling 3 times, the top popped off and I flew out skidding across the desert landing in the Toyota Top. Laying there in no man's land and bleeding, but with the help of passing buggy (sent by God), they got me back to town and the late great “Dona Lola” of San Felipe cared for me for 2 weeks. There were no phones, doctors or transport services at the time. She saved my leg from amputation."

Q: What was your longest wheeling trip?
A: "The entire Baja Peninsula."

Q: What was your favorite wheeling trip?
A: "Pretty much all of them except the first with the accident."

 

All About the Ladies:

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkQ: Who do you look up to in the industry? Why?
A: "I really don't know anyone in the industry to make an educated opinion; however the organizers of some of the Baja Off Road Races have been very welcoming and helpful. Gallo Racing who has been racing for 30 years has been pivotal in giving me Legitimate Off Road Racing Opportunities. It's people like Charlene and the Ladies of this Network that are making the industry more accessible."

Q: How do you feel as a woman in the offroad industry?
A: "Haha, Being a woman has always had its hurdles, but I never have passed on anything because of my gender. Getting the 'road cred' at my age has been a bit steep, but those that know my skill and passion for off-roading have never questioned, or cared what others may think. On the contrary, my team members and fans have supported me, and defended Diane and I from the haters."

Q: Give us a story, any story, about educating, guiding, empowering ladies in the off-road, past or future:
A: 
"I don't think I have that on my resume, but I do know I grabbed hold of my race partner Diane to do the first race and she has never let go! One more for the team! I guess the best we can do is lead by example."

Q: What changes have you noticed in the off-road industry?
A: "There are more opportunities for those with passion, taking it from an elitist sport to one of the “people”. It now has a place for people who don't have tons of money and big money marketing partners."

Q: What advice do you have for ladies who want to get started off-roading?
A:  "Attend off road events, talk to like-minded people, don't get discouraged!"

 

Claudia's Vehicle:

About Claudia's vehicle:
"It is a desert racer."

Claudia Saldana-Ladies Offroad NetworkRacer Information:

Team Name: Ruca Racing, Currently Racing with Gallo Racing & Ella Y Yo Racing From San Felipe
Type of Racing: Off-Road Racing
List Career Statistics/Wins: 
SCORE 50th Anniversary Baja 1000/ Co-Driver Finishers 4th Place
2017 CODE Driver & C0-Driver Racing for Boobs1st Place Class 18
2017 San Felipe Desert Mayhem 150 / Co-Driver 2nd Place
RECORD San Felipe 250 Class 18 D0-Driver 1st Place
RECORD Coast to Coast Class 18 2nd Place
RECORD Class 18 Champions 2017
RECORD San Felipe 250 / C0-Driver 1st Place Class 18 2016
CODE Racing For Boobs / Driver / Finisher 2016
Sponsors: Individual donations & sponsors, mostly friends and family

Q: How do you prepare for competition?
A: "I make sure all my gear is in good operational condition, look at registration stats, pre-run the course, and be excited!"

Q: What is your favorite part about racing?
A: "I love that every race is different. I am always learning something new. Also, the great support I receiver from my team and my fans!"

 


Author:  Claudia Saldana


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Say HI to LON Member Claudia Saldana -> "I just met Charlene at the Baja 1000 registration in Ensenada, BC and continued a dialogue at the different pits through Baja. Last we saw each other we were eating ice cream at the best place in the town square of San Ignacio on the trip home from the race. She was very supportive and inviting in sharing the Network and her knowledge. I had heard great things about the organization through Trish from Yucca Valley!" Enjoy her full Member Page: www.ladiesoffroadnetwork.com/claudia-saldana #ladiesoffroadnetwork #membershipmatters #offroadgirls #ladiesofoffroad #ladiesofbaja #baja1000 #womenrule #offroad #dirt #desertracing #ladiesracing #racing #sanfilipe #bajaracers #womenrule #girlpower #bowermedia #imnotjustagirl

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