The BIG, BAD, BAJA 1000

Adventurers and the world’s best desert racers will begin practicing Friday as official pre-running starts for November's 42nd Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race.

With over 325 entries expected to compete in 29 Pro and 6 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs, the granddaddy of all desert races will be held Nov. 19-22 in Ensenada, Mexico. Completing its 36th year as the World’s foremost desert racing sanctioning body, the event is the finale of the five-race 2009 SCORE Desert Series. To date entries have come from 38 U.S. States and 13 countries.
It’s the oldest and most well known of all desert races, and it remains as the single most appealing accomplishment to a driver. Since 1967, the Granddaddy of all desert races has been run over the mysterious Baja California peninsula. Because of the economics and logistics involved, some years it is a peninsula run while most years it is a loop race, starting and finishing in Ensenada.
This year’s 672.85-mile race will start for the 35th time and finish for the 20th time in Ensenada. The motorcycle and ATV classes will start their journey at 6:30 a.m. (PST, Friday, Nov. 20. 2009) with the trophy truck and unlimited open-wheel Class 1 and other classes following at approximately 10:30 a.m., or three hours after the last ATV leaves the line.
Vehicles will leave in 30-second intervals in the elapsed-time race and while the fastest finishers are expected to complete the course in approximately 14 hours. All vehicles will have a 31-hour time limit to become official finishers in the legendary adventure.

The race will start and finish on Boulevard Costero adjacent to the picturesque Bahia de Todos Santos in front of the historical Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in the heart of Ensenada.

Pre-running on the 672.85-mile loop course will officially begin on Saturday. Pre-running will be allowed from Ojos Negros and back, starting at race mile 43.3. One way pre-running from the start to Ojos Negros will be allowed only on Wednesday and Thursday of race week (Nov. 18 and 19). During the race, the first section of the course, approximately 40 miles, will be used leaving the city and returning to Ensenada.

The course features six checkpoints, where vehicle numbers and passing times are recorded to help verify the information gathered on the electronic recording devices that are mounted on all vehicles in the race.

The locations of the six checkpoints are: Checkpoint 1 (race-mile 90.03, North of Santa Catarina), CP2 (rm213.27-southwest of Borrego), CP3 (rm309.80-South of San Felipe), CP4 (rm401.94-Southwest of Borrego), CP5 (rm 535.32-San Vicente Vineyards) and CP6 (rm631.25-Ojos Negros).