(San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California): The final stages of the NORRA Mexican 1000 were not merely a formality. Plenty of challenging terrain was in store for competitors as they made their way down the coast from La Paz to the finish in San Jose Del Cabo. Some pulled under the NORRA banner at the finish with hardly a scratch. Others limped in, dirty, broken and barely running. Most notable in its absence was the #72 Trophy Truck of Robert Acer. Acer’s V-drive gave out during the first special stage, leaving him miles from the finish line. Rear engine trucks have the back end of the engine pointing forward. The V-drive redirects the drive shaft back to the rear axle. Without it, the truck doesn’t move. The NORRA Mexican 1000 is the happiest race on earth but it’s also an extremely challenging test of endurance.
(Bahía de Los Ángeles, Baja California): The opening stages of the NORRA Mexican 1000 were like beauty and the beast for competitors. Both the bikes, and the four wheeled competitors ran along the Pacific Coast; taking in spectacular scenery. The ocean contributed to the show with huge surf that crashed onto the jagged coastline. Just off shore, whales could be seen breaching out of the water. Much of the coast section runs along towering cliffs that drop to the surf below, but drivers got a chance to dip their treads into the water as they ran right on the sand in some spots. Don’t think that it was all fun in the sun; the beast would be found on the second half of the 456 mile long course. As they turned east and crossed the width of the peninsula on their way to the Bay of LA, there was plenty of silt and whoops to endure.
Led by veteran champion off-road truck racer Dave Westhem, the winning relationship between Westhem Racing and BFGoodrich Tires has spanned a remarkable 29 years and numerous desert race wins and series championships. Next week, that long-standing partnership will be celebrated at the 2016 NORRA Mexican 1000; a vintage-flavored, four-day competition that takes place from April 23 – 27 in Baja, Mexico.
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): NORRA is more than just adventure wrapped up in a race down the peninsula. For many who enter the Mexican 1000, it’s time spent with family and friends enjoying the diverse challenges unique to Baja.
Rob and Kyle Usnick are a father and son team who are no strangers to off-road racing. In fact, they enjoy every brutal minute of it. Having started in 2009, Rob has competed in numerous King of the Hammers, the Mint 400, several other SCORE, BITD, BRT and of course the NORRA Mexican 1000 in 2013 and 2015. With a diverse resume, Rob has raced JeepSpeed, rockcrawlers, motorcycles, and UTV’s.
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): There are always great stories that come to light during the NORRA, Mexican 1000. With such a diverse group of vintage cars, modern race vehicles, UTVs, motorcycles and prerunners competing this year, the rally has become compelling before the it even begins. Vehicles in the race range from PJ Jones’ Polaris XP1000 to Larry Trim’s 1968 SC/Rambler sedan. Trim raced in 2013 and made plans to return with a vintage racer. His S/C Rambler is a recreation of a car once driven by James Garner. “We had help from a member of the original 1969 build team,” says Trim, “We have made the car as authentic to the original as possible, right down to the airbags in the front coils, and the bias ply super traxion tires. I’ll be trading driving duties with my co driver and business partner Brent Yeadon.”
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Race for Cash is back. For all competitors who are up for a friendly wager at the NORRA Mexican 1000, the Race for Cash requires a $2000 dollar buy-in and pays the entire pot to the racer with the lowest elapsed time, after penalties, at the finish line in San Jose del Cabo.
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Bob “The Weatherman” Steinberger will be Grand Marshal of the 2016 NORRA, Mexican 1000. The voice on the other end of the radio for many years, Bob has been a part of off-road racing since chasing for Bill Stroppe at the Baja 1000 back in 1972. He spent days waiting in the desert without any word from the team until the truck arrived. It motivated him to adapt two-way communications for desert racing.
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting recently released the following reaction to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it would withdraw its proposed regulation on modified racecars:
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Event organizers for the 7th annual NORRA Mexican 1000 will be the first to tell you – putting together the logistics for a five day motorcycle, four day car, truck and buggy, 1,300-plus mile romp through Mexico’s Baja peninsula is never easy. There are myriad of details to confirm, crews to assemble and a sombrero full of details to finalize.
As teams, racers and adventure seekers look forward to the final weeks of preparation before arriving in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico for the start of another chapter in “The Happiest Race on Earth,” today the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) released its official Event Schedule for its 2016 rally that will eventually find competitors enjoying the world-class beaches and sunshine of San Jose del Cabo at land’s end.
(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Event organizers for the 7th Annual NORRA Mexican 1000 will be the first to tell you – putting together the logistics for a five day motorcycle, four day car, truck and buggy, 1,000-plus mile romp through Mexico’s Baja peninsula is never easy. There are myriad of details to confirm, crews to assemble and a sombrero full of details to finalize.