Micron Execs to Race Video-Equipped Cars
Oct 4, 8:23 PM (ET)

By The Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Top Micron Technology Inc. executives seeking to demonstrate their products' durability will race cars equipped with on-board digital video memory cards in a grueling 1,000 mile off-road race down Mexico's Baja Peninsula.

If the chipmaker is successful, it would be the first time there's been an entire continuous video recording of the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000, the legendary off-road race known as the "roughest run under the sun," race officials said.

"It's the next step to use technology to bring our sport to the masses," said Sal Fish, chief executive of SCORE, the Los Angeles-based sanctioning body of the Baja series.

The largest U.S. manufacturer of DRAM memory chips for personal computers, Micron has expanded its microchip product line to include image sensors such as those for video-enabled mobile phones.

Steve Appleton, Micron's chairman, chief executive and president, will drive one of the four Micron cars in the Nov. 15-18 race. All four will record the entire 1,052-mile race from Ensenada to La Paz on solid-state image sensors and a series of 8-gigabyte Lexar flash memory cards. Sensors on each car will record both a cockpit view and a forward-looking race course view. The video will be recorded for later viewing online.

Appleton, a professional stunt plane pilot and former motocross racer, said Micron officials originally considered equipping professional racers' vehicles, but later decided to drive the Porsche-powered Baja touring cars themselves.

Appleton said he's not worried about putting himself and his executive team behind the wheels of race cars pounding over rough, remote terrain for upwards of 20 hours.

"I don't know what could be worse than being in the memory business for risk-taking," he said. "If we were in some stable, monopolistic business, I'd probably get objections from my executive staff about doing this, but they're all dying to go."

- Christopher Smith, AP Writer.