Last year at the Baja 1000 a new team arrived to SCORE to compete in the coveted Trophy Truck (TT) division. GSM Motorsports is the name they go by which has been said to stand for “Good Samaritan Motorsports”. What makes this team and story so intriguing is the teams top driver is a masked man that goes by the alias of Robert Acer aka R.Acer. The team arrived in Baja last year with 2 of the most beautiful TTs I have ever laid eyes on. Word is they are direct replicas of Robby Gordon’s current truck, and Robby himself confirmed via complaint on RDC (Race-Dezert.com) that they (GSM & ES Motorsports) stole his design essentially. One of Robby’s former team members / build assistants James Lin drives the second GSM TT. Lin is known in the sport for his insanely detailed wiring and technical abilities. The team clearly has no shortage of funding as each truck has to be well worth $500,000.00 by my guess (if not more), and are complete with full carbon fiber bodies and every high end component one could ever desire when building this type of machine. In addition to their race trucks they have amazing pre-runners and support equipment and a team that has done well at keeping things hushed as to who the man behind “The Helmet” truly is.
Acer appears to have all the right motives for this masked crusade. He has donated time and money to schools and children in Baja, upwards of $500,000 according to a post he made on RDC this week. SCORE has allowed this masked man to race despite no one ever seeing or knowing his true identity. To us its whats great and whats wrong with off-road all at once. Only in our sport can a masked super hero of sorts get away with such a thing while competing at the highest level (Trophy Truck) all while being supported by many of his peers. Its cool, yet when comparing our sport to F1, NASCAR, WRC or any other form of professional motorsports, the thought of such an antic is enough to make you realize this would never fly. Its hard to even fathom how fans around the world would react if this situation occurred in NASCAR, if one day a guy in a helmet showed up, racing only under an alias, no sponsors on his car, and told officials to just use their imagination? Its laughable at best to consider how NASCAR would react. Reality is we would never even hear of such an incident because it would be nipped at the lowest of levels. But that right there is what makes this so intriguing to me. Acer and SCORE’s owner Roger Norman have worked out some sort of agreement to allow this charade to be played out. Its an interesting situation to say the least, one every person in our sport should take some interest in. I am torn on if I love it, or despise it…..
“We should keep in mind that we are some of the most fortunate people in the world, we get to race these trucks in the desert where there are those that have supported this for so many years and have very little. ………. We need to band together as racers to build this sport to the level it should be. The mask is not important. Use your imagination.” – R.Acer from a post he made on Race-Dezert.com
People have speculated and some say they have confirmation as to who is actually under “The Helmet”. We won’t elaborate on what we have been told since we have no real official confirmation. In addition, without facts, our speculation essentially bare’s no importance and only takes away from what his (Acer) true purpose is said to be which is to give the under privileged children of Baja and around the world something to believe in. “Use your imagination” is a message R. Acer continuously promotes. Acer has loosely stated that he is on a mission to fight for these children and to save off-road by using his financial and personal resources. His Facebook shows him traveling to D.C. and lobbying with officials of the BLM. This alone is reason enough to support him, or is it? I fully support someone fighting for our rights as off-road enthusiasts. However, I hope Mr. Acer is meeting with officials he has pre-established relations with vs. him walking in dressed as a comic book figure. I mean, who would take that seriously? I am all for a guy who wants to give the children something to believe in, but I am not sure I want Batman or Luke Skywalker rolling into D.C. wearing the cape of off-road and representing us. We don’t have many allies at that level of the government anyway. Something tells me that Mr. Acer isn’t that over the top and that he leaves his shtick in the private jet he travels in. Some in the community without question, wholeheartedly support R.Acer, and rightfully so. Many however voice legit concerns. Who is Robert Acer? Why does he conceal himself? How do we know its the same person racing, qualifying, making appearances and glad handing and who is verifying this from an honest competition side? Is he hiding something? Are his motives just?
As previously stated, I am torn. One side of me says hell yeah Mr. Acer, GET SOME! The other side of me chuckles and says, come on dude, you can do these great things without the whole helmet gig. Acer claims its not about the helmet, its about what it and he represents to the children. That is something I do like and support. We all were kids once, for some it was G.I Joe or Hulk Hogan or Superman or even Darth Vader that they wanted to be like and pretend to be. If I was 7 years old and The Ultimate Warrior rolled into my class room, handed my teacher an envelope full of cash to buy better computers, threw me up in the air and wrestled with me, I would have lost my freaking mind! So I guess I could see why a guy who has more money then he knows what to do with (it seems) want to do something special for children vs. the old traditional way of just anonymously writing a check. As I think about it, its sort of cool that a philanthropist would go to this extent to not only donate his time and money for goodwill but also get to do something as bad ass as race a Trophy Truck. As weird and as strange as it is as an adult to analyze this situation, the kid in me and the guy who always thinks of the ultimate cool stuff to do says Robert Acer is not only living his dream but creating dreams for those who may otherwise not have much to dream about.
“You ask me what I have done for this sport as a whole to off-road racing. I’ve put in 500,000 dollars of MY personal money to fix schools ranging from San Felipe , Valley T, to Ensenada and will follow coarse circuit where SCORE is racing.”– R.Acer from a post he made on Race-Dezert.com
I have close friends who despise this whole situation, think Acer is making a mockery of our sport and they are flat our embarrassed by the fact that SCORE would support and allow such a distraction to occur. Others I know love what he is doing, think its funny and cool and don’t care one lick who he really is. The majority I know have no real opinion and say that if he is doing all these good things then who cares? Opinions aside, to see someone representing off-road to children and to schools and to the less fortunate families in Baja financially is something everyone should support. Maybe the real question here is, how long can Acer keep this gig up? How long can he hide his true identity with so many wanting to expose him? Only time will tell.
There are all sorts of worst case scenarios here but logic has to tell me that Roger Norman of SCORE has approved this for a reason. That the guy under the helmet checks out as a legit dude and his cause is noble. There are too many pieces of this puzzle, to many moving parts for this whole gig to be a total fraud. Then again, my “imagination” tells me this could be any one of a million things in terms of what is really happening. The mystery is what will keep the sport including myself intrigued with GSM and R.Acer. The Helmet is said to allow children to see that “There is a Hero inside Everyone”. No matter how much I try, I can’t help but support that. I will admit, it was my skepticism that forced me to write this article but for now, I will just use my imagination and hope this whole thing is actually for the good of our sport and for the people of Baja.
The video, “There Is A Hero Inside Everyone” was released today. As a test I brought my 7 year old son in and played the video for him, sound up and in full HD. (The fact that its on YouTube in 4K is pretty cool). The moment the truck appeared my son looked at me with a smile and a raise in his eye brows like “heck yeah”. (He loves Trophy Trucks). As the video concluded I asked him “was that cool?” and he responded with “Yeah, but who is he?” I replied “He is Robert Acer or R.Acer like RACER”. He then asked, “What does he look like?” and I said that I had no idea who he was or what he looked like. His very next question was, “Did he race in the Baja 500?” and after telling him he did he seemed confused. I told him he is kind of like a super hero but in real life. I had no better explanation. I guess thats part of the “plan” that R.Acer seems to have. To let kids be excited about something that many of us don’t seem to understand. Of course as I sent him off to bed he asked “dad do they sell those toy trucks that boy was playing with?” I had to laugh at that. So R.Acer, if you read this, at minimum, if this whole bigger plan doesn’t work out, you should be able to sell some toys! Or is that actually part of the bigger plan?? Oh man…
Until next time…
Since writing this story we were contacted by Eric Stewart, owner of ES Motorsports. He had this to say in response to our story about Robby Gordon’s comments towards them copying his design:
We in no way shape or form copied any of Robby Gordon’s Trophy Truck designs, geometry or tube placement. everything stated by Robby is a lie. There has been no conformation on such accusations. we have asked him to recant his assumptions and accusations as they are no where near the truth. James Lin had no Part in the design and engineering that went into those trucks. Those trophy trucks are the sole design and engineering of Eric Stewart and the guys of ES MotorSports. No parts, tubing or panels would come anywhere close to bolting onto Robbys trucks.” – Eric Stewart
Photos Courtesy of Race-Dezert.com and R.Acer’s Facebook Page