On Nov. 14, more than 200 vehicles from 31 states and 16 different countries will tackle the granddaddy of all off-road races, the SCORE-International Baja 1000.
The 46th running of the Baja 1000 will once again be a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja California, and at nearly 900 miles will be the longest loop race in Baja history.
“We’ve put together a great course this year, a true challenge to the racers,” said Roger Norman of SCORE International. “This is not a watered-down version of the peninsula run. It will be as tough or tougher than any Baja 1000 to date.”
For the first time in its 46-year history, the Baja 1000’s starting order will be decided by qualifying in lieu of its traditional lottery drawing.
Qualifying will not only include the powerful Trophy Truck division and Class 1 Unlimited buggies but will also be open to the pro motorcycle and quad classes.
In an effort to further separate the motorcycles and quads from the trucks and buggies for safety reasons, SCORE has moved the start time up for all moto-classes to 11 p.m. the night before its traditional start time.
This is to lengthen the start gap between the last bike and first truck up to eight hours.
“Safety is my greatest concern at this event. There has been a long history of close calls with motorcycles and trucks at this race. Starting the bikes the night before and giving them a huge lead over the trucks will help,” said Norman. “It will be late in the race before the trucks catch the bikes and by then the bikes will be able to see them coming with the amount of light the trucks put off.
There will be no question on what is coming up behind them and we’ll have plenty of time to get out of the way of the trucks racing for the overall win. It’s going to be expensive but the goal is to eventually have them start the day before.”
Everyone is invited to the event.
“I’d like to invite everyone for this year’s Baja 1000, we are going to have a lot going on in Ensenada,” said Norman. “We have several big parties that are open to the public. There will be a Monster Energy street party at Papa’s and Beer on Wednesday, the Baja 1000 Goes Green kick-off party for the bike and quads start and also for the first time anywhere we’ll have short-course racer Adrian Cenni attempting to do a 360-degree barrel-roll jump.”