Every year, the Off Road Expo in Pomona, California draws thousands of show goers. The show is a sprawling venue of eye candy, with off-road demos, display vehicles, and vendor exhibits. With so much to see, it’s easy to lose track of time, wading from booth to booth, but as 3pm rolls around, there is a noticeable migration. Show goers and exhibitors alike start moving to one particular display area – SCORE International.
It’s about 3:15. The scheduled press release is 15 minutes away, and the area continues to fill as a mix of race teams, media and fans gather to hear the details of the upcoming Baja 1000. SCORE International marketing and media manager Jim Ryan sits in front of a giant screen, waiting to reveal the details of the most anticipated off-road race.
Jim starts by thanking everyone in attendance and introduces legendary racer and former SCORE president Sal Fish. After a few words from Sal, Jim goes on to thank the sponsors of the race and series. BF Goodrich, in particular, is called out for their $40,000 contingency prize for the overall race winner of this year’s Baja 1000. Talk of upcoming media and SCORE company news fills the next several minutes, including the announcement of renaming the milestone award given to racers who complete every mile of every race in the season. The Rod Hall Milestone award presented by VP Racing Fuel is now the official name for the hard-earned award.
“With all the housekeeping out of the way, it’s time to reveal the race map and details,” Jim declares. As he reviews the details of the course, the enormous video screen lights up with a map depicting the full course, checkpoints, and sportsman class alternate routes.
As always, the main course leaves from Ensenada, Mexico, heading east before it takes a southern turn skirting the coastline to San Quintin. From there, a turn north at the San Quintin wash heads back up to the first of three checkpoints around Mile 225. After that checkpoint, the race heads northeast across the peninsula, where it meets up with a speed-controlled zone following Highway 3. As the course splits from the highway, a 70-mile southern run to the Matomi wash marks the southernmost point for the race. The next 120 miles lead back north to the second checkpoint in El Chinero. The climb back north continues until Highway 2, where the race turns west running through La Romorosa to the third checkpoint outside of El Condor. That checkpoint marks the start of 70-mile southern run until the course reruns the first 34 miles back to Ensenada.
The Race Details:
- Race: 52nd Baja 1000
- Race Dates: November 19-24
- Course Type: Single counter-clockwise loop
- Start/Finish: Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
- Race distance: 799.1 miles (sportsman class approximately 700 miles)
- Major Checkpoints: 1. Mile 225 San Quinton; 2. Mile 538 El Chinaro; 3. Mile 705 El Condor
- 11/19: Racer registration and check-in starts
- 11/20-21: Tech and contingency
- 11/22: Race begins – Bikes start 4am, four-wheeled vehicles start 10:30am
- 11/24: Awards
With the details of the 2019 race revealed, a few notes on qualifying changes for the 2020 were mentioned. After that, the maps were handed out as the crowd pushed forward to get a copy.
With the course, contingency prize money, and details laid out, this year’s Baja 1000 is looking to be another great race. To get a small preview of a short section of the course and a pre-1000 desert fix, keep an eye out for the television broadcast of the Baja 400 set to premiere 10/27 on ABC, or visit score-international.com for more coverage and details.