This year’s Baja 1000 promises to be a cracker, with 381 entries processed to date for what is surely the grandpappy of all desert races.
While SCORE qualifying on Halloween in Vegas determined the starting order for the hairy-chested Trophy Truck division, the start draws for starting positions in all the other classes were held separately this week in conjunction with the SEMA SCORE Baja 1000 Experience that was part of the week-long SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Right now, 381 entries are on board with racers coming from 42 U.S. States, two U.S. Territories, and 25 different countries.
Racers continue pre-running this week, sorting out part of their route on their quest over the rugged 1134-mile race course. For the 50th running, the race stretches all the way down Mexico’s majestically magnificent Baja California Peninsula. The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, held exclusively for the past two years in Baja California.
Bike and quad classes will start at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 while the car, truck, and UTV classes will begin their journey in the elapsed-time race 10 hours later at 10 a.m. (PT) on Thursday, Nov. 16. While the fastest vehicles are expected to complete the course in approximately 19 hours, all vehicles will have 48 hours from the time each starts to complete the course and become an official finisher of the 50th-anniversary race.
Former NASCAR Cup team owner/driver and Baja racing legend Robby Gordon earned the first starting position in the Trophy Truck division by besting all competitors in Vegas qualifying last week. The qualifying course was three laps over the 0.6 mile LVMS Off-Road Track. Gordon was quickest among the 29 trucks out of the 41 entered in the race that elected to participate in the optional qualifying event, finishing about half a second ahead of Vegas hometown boy Rob MacCachren.
Baja’s start and finish points often change from year to year. The 2017 race will start for the 43rd time in Ensenada, Baja California and finish for the 21st time in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The start line will be in the heart of Ensenada with the first several spectator-friendly miles running up the Ensenada Arroyo. The course will finish just off of Highway 1 in the outskirts of La Paz, adjacent to official race HQ in the Grand Plaza Hotel.
The race will be broadcast to American televisions on the El Rey Network and shown internationally in syndication. Be sure to catch all the coverage here on the off-road.com website and our social media outlets.