2010 NORRA Mexican 1000

May. 10, 2010 By Art Eugenio
After a long three days, those still running finished in La Paz at the NORRA Mexican 1000.

With a legendary lineup like Parnelli Jones, Walker Evans and Malcolm Smith, combined with an insane collection of classic Baja rides - such as the 1968 Bronco that Rod Hall drove to win this race 41 years ago - and some new vehicles, the National Off-Road Racing Association Mexican 1000 Rally was positioned for an amazing adventure, good times and great memories. This is exactly what promoter Mike Pearlman set out to do with the event, which ran from April 28 to May 2 down the Baja Peninsula. NORRA hoped to recapture what they began in 1967 by running a 1000-mile race from Mexicali to LaPaz.

Racecars were drooled over before the event began. Here is the #14 of Dave Westhem.

The event was originally scheduled for September 2009, but violent Hurricane Jimena damaged the Baja Peninsula and forced NORRA to push back the event. NORRA then focused on collecting donations to help Mexican people impacted by the storm. So the NORRA Mexican 1000 was pushed back to April of 2010, but the excitement about the event hadn't diminished. This time the event would run a three-day rally-style format rather than a single shot down the peninsula like the traditional Baja 1000. Beginning in Mexicali with overnight stops in Bahia de Los Angeles, Loreto and ultimately finishing in La Paz, this race embraced its historical roots by running vintage racecars that ran in the primary years of the original event. But not all the racers in the event were in vintage cars, as NORRA also opened up entries to alternative-fuel racecars running on E85, diesel and propane.

Malcolm Smith stayed true to form and ran with the front runners entire race.

Contingency was held in Mexicali near the city’s bullring where the racers paraded their cars, trucks and bikes for public viewing. The setting allowed current racing regulars to rub elbows with their heroes and fans while reminiscing and exchanging stories of past glories and sharing their love of Baja racing.

Chris Wilson and Glen Straightiff ran their Rod Hall/Jim Fricker Stroppe Bronce. This truck was the overall winner of this race back in 1969 and won its class in 2010.

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Doug Mendez raced this Ivan "Ironman" Stewart Toyota look-a-like at the NORRA race.

“Baja has a mystique about it,” Walker Evans said. “It calls you and that’s why we’re all here. It’s great to be back.”

Day one started on the Laguna Salada, just west of Mexicali, and ran three stages through Cerro El Borrego, San Felipe, Puertocitos, Coco’s Corner and finally finished in Bahia de Los Angeles. The race combined both desert sections and paved roads while excluding super Baja’s rough terrain. This prevented potential destruction to the vintage racecars.  It was kind of a “glorified poker run,” as one racer put it, but this “poker run” had a little more to offer than originally expected.

Late night repairs outside Loreto for Steve Heckert and Les Potter and their '68 VW Burro.

By the start of day two, a good amount of racers had dropped off or barely made it to stage two. The NORRA course had proved to be no small task. After all, this is Baja we’re talking about.  Day two ran from Bahia de Los Angeles to San Ignacio down the coast through San Juanico, La Purisima, then toward the Sea of Cortez via El Crucerito and finally south to Loreto. After a long tough day of racing, many of the racers came in well after dark, requiring many repairs for the following morning (7 a.m.) start.

The Hog Wild racing team of Scott Whitney and Kevin Anderson did the full pull on their Harley Davidson V-Rod Sidecar!

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The race course had both on- and off-road sections as it snaked down the Baja Peninsula. Mark McMillin had engine trouble at the end of day 1 in his 79 Chenowth Porsche.

By the day three start in Loreto, the racers had thinned out, the support crews were dead tired and they still had many miles to go. This section ran roughly 290 miles crisscrossing the coast from Loreto over the mountains to Santo Domingo, Ciudad Insurgentes, down to Santa Rita then skirting the coast to Punta Conejo, Punta Marquez and finally East to La Paz where it shared a finish line with a local race, The Dos Mares 500, that was running the same day. It was evident at the finish line that all that made it, and even those who didn’t complete all the mileage, were happy to have taken place in something bigger that just a race but a part of history – The Mexican 1000.

Jonathon Swift near Santa Rita on Day 3. NORRA looks to run a simliar event in the near future.

“NORRA pulled off one of the most historical events of a lifetime, bringing back off-roading’s greatest legends to race the NORRA Mexican 1000 once
Again,” said Rick L. Johnson. “Who would ever thought that it would be possible to race against them one more time in Baja's biggest playground? Great job, NORRA!”

NORRA put together a great race and have vowed to do it again. And for those of you who don’t think it will happen, it just might be sooner than you think. So get out those old racecars that where the pride of yesterday and bring them out for a run down Baja. You won’t regret it! 

Jeff McCullough and Gary Dixon brought their AMC Hornet in to the finish at La Paz a little beat up.

Veh #

Ctgy

Team

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

TOTAL
MINUTES

85

4

BOB GORDON

177:01

295:34

251:58

664.33

47

10

TOM HARRIS

193:35

309:50

276:00

779.25

53

2

BEN ABATTI JR

201:36

321:39

277:31

800.46

69

8A

TIM MORTON

204:48

331:00

266:38

804.26

49

11

ROGER NORMAN

157:06

411:43

246:10

814.59

80

4

ANDY MCMILLIN

207:10

324:10

289:30

820.50

81

2

SCOTT MCMILLIN

211:30

337:16

287:49

836.35

60

8A

RUBEN HALE

219:02

344:23

292:22

855.47

76

2

DAVID SYKES

197:35

407:26

274:47

879.48

52

2

WALKER EVANS

217:09

353:08

311:15

881.32

5

4

JONATHAN SWIFT

230:16

350:00

333:50

914.06

63

3

MIKE SHATYNSKI

234:51

358:53

328:40

922.24

55

2

MICHAEL GAUGHAN

249:10

373:35

308:40

931.25

7

3

JOHN SWIFT

261:31

361:25

326:42

949.38

77

11

SCOTT STEINBERGER

200:31

296:23

474:05

970.59

58

5B

GREG ADLER

300:34

346:28

336:11

983.13

9

3

MALCOLM SMITH

209:37

469:39

305:20

984.36

84

2

BRIAN COLLINS

224:03

386:00

383:32

993.35

32

5C

CHRIS WILSON

259:04

418:30

332:39

1010.13

71

9

PANCHO BIO

269:18

393:30

364:25

1027.13

73

5E

MARK HABER

241:16

391:59

399:44

1032.59

78

5D

CHRIS RAFFO

235:00

462:15

336:39

1033.54

23

7A

JOE DESROSIERS

261:58

455:18

334:40

1051.56

66

2

DEAN WAYMAN

330:29

374:40

389:30

1094.39

6

1

RAY SWIFT

262:03

411:32

442:18

1115.53

20

10

RODD FRANTELLI

307:01

374:06

445:37

1126.54

16

1

JEFF MCCULLOUGH

276:10

372:36

493:29

1142.15

68

5A

JOSE JULIO SANTIBAÑEZ

257:34

479:19

415:10

1152.03

34

6

STEVE KRIEGER III

209:46

335:26

613:00

1158.12

14

2

DAVE WESTHEM

205:23

349:07

613:00

1167.30

22

11

SCOTT WHITNEY

241:04

448:20

480:30

1169.54

45

5C

CHAD NIERNBERG

334:01

464:05

402:42

1200.48

4

10

CHARLES HENDRICKSON

270:17

502:19

471:32

1244.08

62

5D

KEN LEAVITT

289:30

477:12

483:10

1249.52

18

10

DOUG MENDEZ

438:24

430:05

384:59

1253.28

86

11

CLYDE STACY

281:19

492:00

482:35

1255.54

87

8A

MARCOS HERNANDEZ

325:58

541:55

420:31

1288.24

30

1

CLYDE STACY

339:10

479:30

486:07

1304.47

51

9

LORENZO PEARSON

255:47

414:57

636:00

1306.44

15

4

JAMES KIRBY

374:59

591:30

348:34

1315.03

67

12

KLAUS RASH

267:56

693:00

357:14

1318.10

25

12

MARTY FIOLKA

402:55

478:02

454:23

1335.20

83

8A

ALEX MELERO

572:00

418:26

411:40

1402.06

38

5B

ROBERT LAND

588:36

417:20

413:32

1419.18

64

8

GEORGE PENNINGTON

720:00

394:48

316:05

1430.53

88

4

ROBERT LAUGHLIN

333:17

594:35

505:00

1432.52

29

3

SKIP KAWELL

334:33

467:34

636:00

1438.07

8

4

STEVE HECKERT

383:55

683:17

384:05

1451.17

72

9

ARTURO HERNANDEZ

611:50

449:06

424:02

1484.58

46

9

GLENN KIRBY

371:35

814:00

345:45

1531.20

61

5C

TITO TINOCO

459:13

580:04

522:30

1561.47

40

4

RON LANDAKER

237:12

1009:00

366:20

1612.32

26

5C

BOYD JAMES

641:11

913:00

455:40

2009.51

1

2

PARNELLI JONES

709:23

665:00

649:00

2023.23

2

4

RICHARD BROWN

426:32

883:00

720:00

2029.32

74

4

TIM GEORGE

444:26

882:00

720:00

2046.26

75

2

THOMAS HALIBURDA JR

395:22

623:15

DNF

DNF

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