Baja is synonymous with desert racing, but it has never been raced like this. The Baja 4000 Rally will take place January 17th to 22nd and travel 4000 km starting and ending in Lon Angeles, California and is open to “anyone by anything.” This means if it is street legal you can drive whatever it is.
The creators of this rally are no stranger to large events like this as they have put on the world’s largest amateur rally – The Budapest to Bamako Rally. The rally next year will run along Route 66, down into Mexico, and across the Sonora Desert.
This race is a charity off-road race and is open to any street-legal vehicle and anyone with a valid drivers’ license. “Our events are open to amateur rally drivers and professional adventurers”, said Andrew G. Szabo.
There is no time limit, rescue team, helicopters, ambulances, or sweeping trucks to collect broken down vehicles. Participants will need to rely on their own resources, the kindness of others and, if any, good luck to get out of any peculiar situation.
The Baja 4000 will be a navigational and endurance rally. Teams have to find GPS check points and complete difficult daily stages on time and on demanding terrain. “By keeping the time element out of our races, we can ensure that even low budget teams with simple vehicles can compete. We never wanted to become and arms race, where the team with the biggest budget, the strongest car, and the largest pit crew wins”, continued Szabo. The race will be monitored and tracked by GPS logger devices.
Think the teams will be in high-class accommodations? Szabo said, “Just like in Africa most nights will be spent in make shift desert camps, but we’ll make sure that every three to four days participants can take a shower and have a proper meal.”
The group has had 140 pre-registrations and have 40 teams who have finalized their entry – 20 in the racing category and 20 in the 4×4 Touring class. Applicants and participants range from the US and Canada, but teams from as far as Hungary have signed up. This event will only hold a total of 50 teams so space is very limited.
“The Baja peninsula with its raw natural beauty is pure magic. Unfortunately, participants of the pro-races, like the Baja 1000 can’t enjoy this stunning beauty”, said Mr. Szabo Events like this get people out and in the dirt, but also are done for a great cause.
Stay tuned for more updates as they release a detailed route next month. This event comes from a history of great races, and this will surely be one to live up to its name. Who would want to participate in something like this? Should there be one that runs strictly round trip in the US? Tell us in the comments below!