With its dates and rally format firmly solidified, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) opened online registration to all participants for the 2012 Mexican 1000 on New Year’s Day. Since then rally registrations have surged to new pre-event levels. While there are still over three months left before teams converge at the historic bullring in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico for pre-rally technical inspections and an opening night “Welcome Fiesta and Driver’s Meeting,” nearly three dozen teams have already added their names to what should be record year for the unique four-day competition. (See below for the first 30 Mexican 1000 entries.)
The first three entries came from enthusiastic rally veterans Walker Evans, Michael Gaughan and Butch Jensen. Additional entries arrived courtesy of veterans Brian Collins, Mark Post and Mark Stahl. It is expected that two-time rally winner Bob Gordon will join Malcolm Smith, Bud Feldkamp, Frank “Butch” Arciero Jr., Larry Roeseler, Don Adams, Dave Westhem, Randy Salmont and many others making plans for the journey down the Baja peninsula this April 28 – May 2, 2012.
Evans, an iconic figure in the world of off-road motorsports, will return with his famous Dodge Class 8 pick-up truck that took him to so many victories in the 1980s. At last year’s Mexican 1000 a mechanical issue forced him to retire on Day 2 just outside of beautiful Bahia De Los Angeles, but the beloved racer is looking forward to his return to this vintage-flavored event.
“Well, here is the real story,” explained Evans, who entered his first NORRA Mexican 1000 back in 1969. “I love Mexico. I love everything about the place. I am at the age and at the time of my life when I want to give something back to the place that has given me so much. The new NORRA Mexican 1000 is the perfect way to do that; four fun-filled days of seeing that beautiful peninsula while having time to visit with old friends and locals. It’s the most fun you can have, and I intend to have a good time, I can tell you that!”
While still a competitively timed event, all entries will enjoy the same course, beautiful Baja scenery and group festivities. In addition, the NORRA organization is said to be working to greatly enhance participant safety, media coverage and one of the Mexican 1000’s most distinguishing elements – the rally’s camaraderie, hospitality and most important of all, fun.
Already gaining a reputation for bringing fun and a shared sense of adventure back to Baja off-road racing, the one-of-a-kind, once-a-year rally spotlights vintage off-road vehicles, motorcycles and ATVs, as well as rally cars, a limited number of modern desert racecars and classes for prerunner-type trucks and buggies. The four-day rally will offer teams high-speed off-road driving with unparalleled views of Mexico’s scenic Baja peninsula, as well as offering new levels of the hospitality and social camaraderie that is the heart of the Mexican 1000 experience.
FIRST 30 ENTRIES FOR THE 2012 MEXICAN 1000
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Dubbed the “Happiest Race on Earth,” by Dirt Sports magazine, the unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman in 2010. The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars, a limited number of modern desert racecars and classes for prerunner trucks and buggies. Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s.
Registration is now open to automobiles and motorcycles that meet basic safety standards as outlined the new NORRA rulebook (currently available at the www.mexican1000.com website. Although the spotlight will remain squarely on vintage machinery, NORRA has added several new categories for modern and vintage rally cars as well as some for modern desert racing machinery, 4x4s, dune buggies, and ATVs and motorcycles of all types and ages. Each day of the rally consists of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway).
For more information, please visit www.mexican100.com