The Baja 1000 – it’s not just the most grueling off-road race on the planet, it’s also the greatest race in all mankind, and one of the longest, too. Anyone who’s ever competed in one will tell you, all of the rumors are true: the terrain, the heat, the darkness after the sun sets, the silt, the traps, the crazy spectators, and the finish line, all of it combined makes for an amazing experience that comes only once a year.
And with every year comes another excellent Off Road Expo, during which SCORE makes its much-anticipated reveal (SEE THE 2018 COURSE MAP BELOW ↓↓↓) of the course and details all of the challenges racers will face. We were there to see the unveiling in person, and listened as SCORE’s president, Roger Norman, and director of sales and marketing, Jim Ryan, went in-depth.
“The 2018 SCORE Baja 1000 promises to be another amazing experience for all participating,” started Ryan. “We also have racer registration officially open on the SCORE website.”
For this year’s Baja 1000 – taking place November 14-18 – SCORE is doing a loop race, starting and finishing in Ensenada. The total length is 807 miles, and will cover some territory that racers are familiar with, as well as some areas that are completely new and have never been driven on before.
Some of the biggest highlights included:
- 192 VCPs (Virtual Check Points) to keep the racers on course
- 22 speed zones to ensure safety
- 5 checkpoints – north of San Felipe, RM 177; before Highway 1 on Chapala Road, RM 378; on Highway 1 at San Quentin, RM 597; coming out of Vicente Guerrero, RM 633; and near Santo Tomas, RM 733
- A new trail will be raced south of Puertocitos to Gonzaga Bay before Coco’s Corner. It will take racers into a section of nasty silt and hill climbs.
- Another new trail will be north of San Quentin. It will be “fast and smooth.”
Prerunning is very important for the racers, and will be open on October 27th. The starting location will be RM 38, between 5-6 miles from Ojos Negros, and extend to RM 767 (taking a shortcut, no doubt). This will allow racers to get a sense of the course without having to drive into the depths of Baja.