The Baja 1000 is an off-road race that takes place in Baja Mexico every year, and is the most anticipated race in the world of off-road racing. The first Baja 1000 took place in 1967 and was won by Vic Wilson who was driving a Meyers Manx Volkswagen Buggy, where it took him 27 hours to finish the 1000 mile (1600 km) course.
(Source: Images courtesy of www.fourwheeler.com and www.dubmagazine.com)
Ever since then, the Baja 1000 has taken place every year on the same course and has become a grand spectacle for residents and motoring enthusiasts alike. What makes this race so interesting is that cars and motorcycles can compete, even if they are production vehicles. This race spawned the birth of Trophy Trucks in 1994 which are trucks built with one purpose, go off-road as fast as possible.
Trophy trucks are usually supported by manufacturers and sponsors who provide parts to the racing teams, as these trucks cost an upwards of 500,000 USD to build and cost an extra 30,000 USD to run each race. One of best known tory trucks is driven by BJ Baldwin, known for his recoil videos, also winner of 2012 and 2013 Baja 1000 with a time of 20 hours both times. For the past 3 years, the winner of the Baja 1000 has been Rob MacCachren where in 2015 he managed to finish the course in a staggering 15 hours and 38 minutes.
The race can come in one of two formats, either a point-to-point race, or a loop race, the difference being that in point-to-point races drivers start and end at different locations, whereas in loop races, drivers start and finish at the same point.
Given the length of the course, sabotages and traps are set up along the track by spectators. The traps and obstacles are not set up with the intention to damage race cars or injure drivers. The idea behind them is to create a spectacle for the viewers where most of these obstacles are dirt ramps so the cars would catch some air. Given the comradery among race drivers, they usually inform each other of obstacle and trap locations.
This year marks the 50th year that the race has been running for. For 2017, the race will be a point-to-point starting on November 16th while the awards ceremony and 50th year celebrations will take place on the 18th of November at the finish line La Paz Mexico.
You can watch a detailed video about the 2016 Baja 1000 below: