SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF – The year was 1967. The place was the Tijuana Bullring By The Sea. The occasion was an eclectic group of pioneers gathering for the first professional off-road race in history – the inaugural NORRA Mexican 1000.
At the stroke of midnight October 31, 1967, the first of 68 officially entered teams left the still-standing bullring, running down Baja’s Highway 1 on a ceremonial start to the Ensenada starting line in time for daybreak the next morning.
With a unique history of promoting top level off-road tribute events,on April 21,2017 the Rennsport Group will join local and state officials in recreating this milestone moment with a once-in-a-lifetime “Baja Legends Rally & Reunion”of some of the sport’s most recognizable machinery and greatest personalities.
Spanning 1967 to the present day, it will be the largest gathering of historically significant desert racing vehicles ever assembled. Parade participants are by invitation only, and limited to historically significant, original or restored vehicles.
“2017 marks a significant milestone year in the history of Baja and desert off-road racing,” explained event producer and 2014 Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Marty Fiolka. “While the Baja Legends Rally & Reunion is not a formal part of the 2017 NORRA Mexican 1000, we are pleased to bring this celebration to the 50th anniversary of their inaugural race in 1967.”
While a list of event participants is yet to be finalized, it will be comprised of special vehicles that have come out of private collections, newly-discovered vintage race machines and also entrants that will compete in a multitude of “Pioneer,” Legend,” Challenger,” “Vintage” and “Historic” Era categories in the subsequent 8th annual NORRA Mexican 1000.
Event organizers have enjoyed a special spirit of cooperation in bringing this one-of-a-kind celebration to life. This includes newly-elected Mayor of Ensenada Marco Novelo, his Chief Advisor Arturo Zayas, Former State and Federal Director of Tourism Nico Saad, Jared Gutierrez, who manages International Relations for the City of Ensenada, Carlos Castañeda from the State Tourism Office of Promotions and the entire management team at NORRA.
“On behalf of the cities of Ensenada, Tijuana and all of Baja, we look forward to hosting this very special and significant reunion of machinery and heroes,” Marco Novelo, who proudly enjoys the nickname of the ‘Off-Road Mayor.’ Off-road racing is an important chapter in the story of Baja, and on April 21st we will be excited to to see this history come alive in such a unique way from Tijuana to Ensenada.”
The event certainly goes beyond a simple static display. Once participants gather in the parking lot of Tijuana’s Bullring By The Sea” for a photo shoot and refreshments, they will hit the ignitions and take a scenic, police-escorted tour on the road to Baja racing’s spiritual home – the seaside city of Ensenada.
The only stop will be for a bathroom break at the halfway point then a “Baja Support Run Checkpoint” at the Casa Hogar Rancho Milagro children’s orphanage. There is no cost to participating teams, drivers and crew members, but instead organizers are asking for a cash donation dropped-off directly to the children of Rancho Milagro, many of whom will be on-hand to greet the Rally & Reunion participants at the special “Checkpoint.”
After that, the event will wind its way to the historic Ensenada Riviera Convention Center to be part of NORRA’s kick-off “Welcome Fiesta” reception open to all Mexican 1000 and Rally & Reunion participant. The gathering will be hosted by NORRA and include “The Off-Road Mayor” Marco Novelo. The reception will feature samplings of gourmet food, beer and wine from nearby Guadalupe Valley, as well as a NORRA press conference and presentation. The event is designed to embody and celebrate the passion, grit and innovation that are still alive and well today.
On Saturday, April 22nd Baja Legends Rally & Reunion participants are invited to display their historic machines as part of NORRA’s 2017 Mexican 1000 Technical Inspection activities at Ensenada’s Riviera Convention Center. There will also be a special autograph poster signing from 12:00-1:00pm for all Baja Legends Rally & Reunion participants.
For more information on the Baja Legends Rally & Reunion please contact: email@example.com.