While winter still rages over much of the greater United States and Canada, for a special group fun-loving competitors, adventure seekers, crew members and families, the dream of spending a sun-filled week rallying down the Baja peninsula is starting to become reality.
For the past six years, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) has set into motion a powerful yearning to enjoy a new motorsports passage of spring, and it appears 2015 won’t be an exception. While the 6th annual General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 may be three months away, many of NORRA’s unique racing family are already making plans and prepping their two and four-wheel machinery.
In keeping with NORRA tradition, official registration for the “Happiest Race on Earth” and NORRA’s new Cortez Rally Raid opened precisely at noon Pacific Standard Time on January 1, 2015. This year’s General Tire Mexican 1000 rally is scheduled to run from Ensenada, Baja, Mexico to the sands of Cabo San Lucas from April 25 – 29, 2015.
While new entries being submitted on a constant basis, the current list of 2015 competitors already includes some of the sport’s most notable superstars, including Walker Evans, Rod Hall, Larry Ragland, Brian Collins, Jimmy Smith, Michael Gaughan, John Swift, Mark Stahl, Randy Wilson, Clark Gable, Buddy Feldkamp, Brad Lovell, JT Taylor and many others.
Recognizable names, however, are only part of the annual NORRA Mexican 1000 story. As has been the case since the first event in 2010, the true heartbeat of this vintage-flavored on and off-road rally lies in adventurous men and women taking on a true “bucket” list event with a wide variety of trucks, sedans, dune buggies and motorcycles.
An early sentimental favorite is a three wheel 1985 Honda ATC entered by Brian Wilson, Craig Saxe and Tom LaJoie – otherwise known as “Dynamically Unstable Racing.” In reference to their rather unusual (and now illegal) choice of vehicle, their motto is in perfect keeping with the fun-filled spirit of NORRA. According to their entry form; “Three-wheelers are outlawed in the U.S., so why not race one in Baja?”
As was the case in 2014, leading the online registration process was veteran rally racer Dave Sykes, who will once again race his 1972 Ford/ Dodge hybrid race truck fondly referred to as the “Super Fodge.” Sykes will once again be entered in NORRA’s Vintage Open Truck
Sykes will run in NORRA’s popular Vintage Open Truck/SUV category that already includes seven entries. The Mexican 1000’s Vintage 108” Wheelbase 4×4 class (pre-1978) is also seeing strong early interest, with seven vintage Ford Broncos scheduled to take on the 1,200-plus mile adventure. Leading the motorcycle categories is the Modern Open Motorcycle/ATV class, with both KTM and Husqvarna-built bikes on the entry list.
“While we are expecting many, many more entries before we arrive in Ensenada for the Mexican 1000’s opening night welcome party, we are really excited about the fun and colorful group of race teams already signed-up,” explained NORRA President Mike Pearlman. “All of our guests have a great story to tell. NORRA’s goal for 2015 is to communicate the tales of hospitality, competition, history and commoradire that separates this event from any other on the off-road landscape.”
The Mexican 1000 rally is building a growing reputation as one of the world’s most enjoyable and accessible motorsports adventures. Given that momentum, NORRA is also expecting to host a large contingent of national and international media, as well as various automotive and off-road industry VIPs.
In addition to General Tire, NORRA is also supported by General Tire, American Racing Wheel, Azunia Tequila, South Point Hotel and Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Bilstein Shocks, KC HiLites and MasterCraft/Impact Safety.