The Baja 1000 is a world-famous off-road race that takes place in Baja Mexico. It draws in visitors from around the globe. Because of its close proximity to the United States border, a lot of Americans venture down to attend every year. The race is always held in November.
History of the Baja 1000
In 1967 the Baja 1000 came to be born by Ed Pearlman. It is now a SCORE sanctioned event. The race is a huge event attended by racers from around the world. Racers from Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, England, Canada and more. Not to leave out every single state in the U.S. participates.
It all started in the early 1960’s by a Honda subsidiary. Jack McCormack and Walt Fulton wanted to test the endurance and reliability of a Honda CL72 motorcycle. Together they approached Bud Elkins who sold Honda and Triumph motorcycles at the time. Elkins proposed the ridiculous (at the time) idea of racing their bikes from Tijuana to La Paz on Federal Highway 1. Elkins saw he had a conflict of interest as a Triumph dealer so he sent his brother Dave Elkins and Billy Robertson Jr. (son of another Honda American dealer) to make the trip.
First they took a little Cessna 180 to fly the route. Then on midnight March 22, 1962 they took off on the first of many Baja 1000 races. Well, technically it was 952.7 miles.
Ultimately they added classes of motorcycles and added four wheel vehicles and today it’s a full-blown international spectacle.
Location of the Baja 1000
The off-road race takes place in the middle of the Baja Peninsula and the conditions test the participant’s limits. Because of its extreme length, participants often take longer than 20 hours to finish. In fact, 20 hours is right around the time that it takes a world-class expert to finish the course. Many other participants are at it for nearly 36 hours in total.
The Baja 1000 comes in many forms. There are both point-to-point races (such as the one from Ensenada to La Paz), and loop races that both start and finish in Ensenada. In addition to the two different forms, there are a variety of racing classes. These classes are first broken down by type of vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, ATV). And then broken down further by engine size, wheelbase, operator’s age and experience, and a variety of other factors.
Though the event it called the Baja 1000, its name can be misleading for first-time spectators. The event is usually not exactly 1,000 miles in length. For instance, in 2011 the loop race was right around 650 miles. The point-to-point race, sometimes called the Peninsula Run, was just over 1,000 miles. Even though the name and specifics of the event don’t match exactly, it doesn’t matter.
Seriously, if you are a fan of off-road racing, adventure sports, or motorsports, then you will love the Baja 1000. With hundreds of people competing, world-class equipment in top condition, and thousands of spectators. The Baja 100 is unbelievable to watch. If you’re in Mexico during November, the Baja 1000 is definitely worth a look. And, hey, you could even venture down just for the race – that’s what most of the other spectators do anyway.
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