Cindy & Andrea Are Keeping Up With The Boys
Story By: Cody Carney
Photos Provided By: Cindy Jo Cobain & Andrea Manzur
In racing, when a driver and navigator have good chemistry, it makes every obstacle encountered easier to overcome. In this month’s Girls Ride Too feature, we learn the history of two very competitive women who just happen to have that good chemistry, Cindy Jo Cobian (driver) and Andrea Mazur (navigator). Their friendship began fifteen years ago during a trip to Glamis, where Cindy met not only Andrea but also her now-husband Oscar. Oscar and Andrea’s family are from Argentina and have been long time friends. Andrea grew up to see Oscar in the same light as an uncle, so during their chanced meeting with Cindy, it’s only natural it would be a packaged deal. Today the two women have joined forces to compete in off-road racing. Both have been riding most of Southern California deserts (Glamis, Johnson Valley, Ocotillo) for 15+ years, so already had a passion for UTVs and the desert.
Andrea has lived in Placentia, CA, since 2003. There she was raised going to the desert and to all of the offroad shows. Her boyfriend raced the Mint 400 in 2018 and the UTV Championships race in 2019. It was Andrea’s first taste of UTV races. Although her boyfriend currently does not race, he is hoping to build a car for a future season and race again giving Andrea and Cindy the opportunity to race against him.
Cindy was born in Riverside, CA, in 1965 and moved to Claremont, CA, in 1969 where she continues to live today. She has been an off-road enthusiast since she was four years old and still lives that life with her husband. Unfortunately, Oscar does not race anymore due to nerve damage to his upper back and neck that he sustained while racing. However, sometimes Cindy does find herself fighting him for the seat because he misses it so much. We can’t blame him and neither can Cindy now that she’s gotten a taste of things.
Andrea: “Both of our significant others had raced seasons prior, and we said to ourselves, ‘if we can’t beat them, join them.’ We had always joked around how bad ass it would be for both of us to join them racing. Cindy suggested we get a car and enter into the 2020 BITD season and we were both super stoked to do it. We were already pretty busy with our own work, Cindy is a police dispatcher and I own my own clothing brand, Pink Cactus Co., but we saw this more as fun than adding to our busy schedule.
Summer of 2019, we got our current Polaris RZR and entered the Unlimited class for Best in the Desert’s 2020 Season. Although we have been around this lifestyle, we didn’t really know how to prep a car, but the guys did. We spent hours watching, replicating, and practicing how to change out a belt, replacing axles, and timing our tire changes and all the fun things that could go wrong during a race. We are a very close group including our entire pit team, so getting together and working on the car became a normal occurrence.”
Best in the Desert’s Casey Folks Vegas to Reno race is a one day, 514-mile race that is the longest in the United States and just last August was the girls’ 4th official race ever. Their goal was to finish the race. It wasn’t until they began that they really understood how long, exhausting, and physically demanding this race was. Within the first 200 miles, they had flipped their car on its top and the muffler even caught fire. After getting the car on its belly and extinguishing the fire with the help of other competitors, the car started back up and the girls got in and kept going. Later they ended up blowing out their shocks but still managed to finish!
Andrea: “A lot of people doubted us to be able to sit in the car for 514 miles, but we didn’t see [quitting] as an option. This race and experience we both will never forget. It was one of the best things we have ever been able to do. But we know we have work to do, so we’re going back to testing the car and getting better, faster, and stronger for our next race and hope to finish this season in good standings. We couldn’t have done it without our awesome pit crew that never lost hope, raced us to the next pit, and kept us pushing the entire race up to the finish line.“
Both Cindy and Andrea are very competitive in their own right. They have the utmost respect for one another and know they have each other’s backs. It’s not always about racing for either of them though. They both love going out to Glamis with the family and just having a good time. The pair have already experienced a lot when it comes to their racing and can express a few words to others about jumping into the sport.
Cindy: “I would have to say that respect for others and your surroundings is very important. The key is persistence and determination. If you’re faced with a challenge, work through it, and learn from it. Also, it is very important to learn your machine’s limits and the potential it has. Go hands-on with your pit crew to learn as much as you can mechanically and TEST! TEST! TEST! all the while pushing yourself to excel.”
This is exactly what these two dynamite gals plan to do moving toward the future. They hope to continue to race in the BITD circuit and are aiming to finish the season in the top five of their class. Knowing it’s going to take a lot of work to get there, you can bet they’ll be pushing hard for it. The girls also would like to be able to race the Mint 400, UTVWC, and Baja sometime in the future. Until then, they’re looking to build great relationships with fellow racers, sponsors, and network. Follow @cindyjoaguilera and @dreamanzur to keep up with their efforts.