Coverage: 2011 NORRA Mexican 1000

May. 12, 2011 By Art Eugenio
The National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) carried through with its promise to bring back the Mexican 1000, and now they’ve successfully done it again for the second year of the reformed organization.

The 2011 rally ran an almost identical route this year as it did in 2010, starting in Mexicali, Baja Mexico and running the length of the peninsula through Baja’s finest places like San Felipe, Puertocitos, Coco’s Corner, Bahia de Los Angeles, El Arco, San Ignacio, San Juanico, La Purisima, Loreto, San Javier, Ciudad Insurgentes, Santa Rita and finally finishing in La Paz.

Check out the Photo Gallery for the 2011 Mexican 1000.

Any of these places are a destination in itself, but NORRA put them together for the ultimate adventure: 1000 miles off road in three days with one catch – run it in a vintage off-road racer!

Day one took the group from Mexicali to San Felipe, finishing up at Bahia de Los Angeles (BOLA); a small fishing village cut off from the high-speed day-to-day minute-to-minute life in which most of us live. No cell coverage. No Internet. Just Baja. Local town’s people happily greeted finishers with a checkered flag and a shot of tequila.

Day two of the rally started in BOLA and headed south to what many said to be the toughest of the three stages. The desert heat near the Sea of Cortez took its toll on many of the vintage rides, with many reports of fried transmissions and overheating problems. Some were able to regroup and continue; others did not have such luck, and the unforgiving Baja terrain sent them home prematurely.

Day three’s start in Loreto was held outside of the Del Borracho restaurant one hour later than the previous stages. A free breakfast was served where racers and fans hung out and talked about the previous day’s travels, wrenched cars and celebrated at the end of the day.

Starting on the pavement, the course quickly turned into a wash leading out of town toward the picturesque San Javier Mission, then onto Insurgentes and Constitución, through the silt beds near Santa Rita, and finally popping out on the pavement near Las Pocitas for the final transit into La Paz and the finish on the Malecon.

Many said that the NORRA 1000 was a one-time deal, and that guys like Walker Evans would never be back for a second run, or that no one would restore a car just for this event, or that NORRA could even pull it off again, let alone, the very next year. But in reality, NORRA did pull it off better than the previous year. Walker Evans was the first on the entry list, and guys like Rory Ward and Jeff Furrier did a ground-up rebuild of a legendary Baja race winner, specifically for this event. As the vintage off-road movement grows, so does NORRA and its ability to put on a great event in true Baja style.

“It’s better in Baja!” - Mark Naugle

NORRA 2011 Mexican 1000 Rally Results

1. Gay Smith
2. Ned Bacon
3. Oscar Fernando Legaspy
4. Joe Black
5. Kerry Riess
DNF Bud Feldkamp
DNF Scott Steinberger
DNF Scott Dunlavey

1. Bob Gordon
2. John Gable
3. Michael Gaughan
4. Brian Collins
5. Mark McMillin
6. Gabriel Williams
7. Keith Webster
8. Ron Landaker
9. Marty Fiolka
10. Oscar Hale
11. Marco Tavarez Gonzales
12. Renato Villalpando
13. Gerardo Rojas
14. Jeff Furrier
15. Dooley Vanyo

For more information on next year's evet, check out Newsletter
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