In 1967 the first vehicle rolled out of Ensenada in a race down the Baja penisula for what would turn into the start of the legendary Baja 1000. Fifty years later, the race is still going strong. The Baja atmosphere is much like a Mexican holiday. Schools are closed. Hundreds of spectators crowd race teams from all over. Some are lucky enough to get a t-shirt, hat or autograph and photo from their favorite driver.
All of the legends have returned to celebrate the 50th running of the Baja 1000. Motorcycle racer Malcolm Smith is here along with Bruce Meyers who built and raced the first Meyers Manx. Sal Fish helped launch and run racing for years in Baja and has returned to see his accomplishment. Of all the legends, one man’s story stand out in particular—Rod Hall. Hall has started every single Baja 1000, and this year is no exception. He will be in the driver seat once again—and for the last time—completing 50 years of history.
It is every driver’s dream to win the Baja 1000. A special walk of fame was unveiled this week for every single driver who has overall’d the Baja race. Over 400 teams are going for class wins, but it’s the Trophy Trucks and top bike class that usually take the overall honors these days. Robby Gordon has had mechanical issues the last few years and is hungry for the title. Rob MacCachren has taken that title several times already and wants nothing more to to continue that streak with a 50th anniversary win. Jessi Combs is looking for the first Ironwoman title, driving 1,134.40 miles to the finish line in La Paz.
Endurance—more than speed—is key to winning the Baja 1000. Anything can happen. Stay tuned to see who comes out on top!