With just under two months to go before the green flag drops on its second vintage-flavored rally of 2013, the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) today released additional event details for its newly created 2013 NORRA Mexican 500, also known as the “La Carrera del Norte” (Race of the North). Today's announcement includes a complete event schedule (see below) for the upcoming NORRA Mexican 500, as well as additional course and hospitality information. Scheduled for Sept. 27-30, the new four-day event is the second NORRA vintage-flavored off-road rally of 2013, and incorporates many of the unique elements of its sister rally -- the highly popular General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000, which takes place in the spring at the end of April.
Bill Hernquest will be making a second trip to Baja in 2013 for the inaugural NORRA Mexican 500.
His General Tire VW Baja Bug will be one of the front-runners in NORRA Vintage divisions.
As previously announced, NORRA management has joined forces with Mexico’s well-established CODE sanctioning body to help organize the new Mexican 500 rally in conjunction with CODE's popular "Mexicana Logistics 300. Both organizations have announced they will share several pre-race festivities and also the Ensenada start and Mexicali finish lines on Saturday, September 28. There will also be some overlapping of course sections on Day 1 of the NORRA rally with CODE's event, but both groups are insuring that their individual race day logistics offers as much separation as possible to insure the highest safety and enjoyment for all.
On Friday, September 27th NORRA racers can take advantage of a late Tech Inspection starting time to aid competitors wishing to arrive in Ensenada Friday morning. Both NORRA and CODE teams will combine vehicles in the traditional Tech and Contingency line, which will be held in downtown Ensenada (on Avenida Lopez Mateos) for the first time in more than a decade. NORRA will have it own separate Technical Inspection lane at the end of the line, followed immediately by a mandatory "Show N' Shine in the parking lot of the historic Riviera Convention Center. This is the location of the famous "rock wall" that served as a photo backdrop for each and every team in the original NORRA events held in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A NORRA"Welcome Fiesta and Driver's Meeting will commence at 6:30 PM in the Grand Ballroom of NIco Saad's San Nicolas Hotel.
The following morning day NORRA motorcycle teams will head directly to Ojos Negros for a 6:30 AM start. Three hours later, NORRA four-wheel entries will enjoy crowds of local fans expected for the combined start at Ensenada's Main Street Bridge. While CODE racers head east toward Ojos Negros, the NORRA vehicles will head south for the start of Transit 1. All CODE and NORRA racers will share a finish line at Mexicali's famous Bull Ring on Saturday night.
While the CODE race will be completed in Mexicali, on Sunday, September 29th NORRA competitors will enjoy a fun and challenging Day 2 run from Mexicali to the picturesque seaside village of San Felipe, all culminating in a huge afternoon Fiesta for drivers and teams on the Sea of Cortez.
The NORRA Mexican 500’s last day will take place on Monday, September 30th with a dash west to the Pacific Ocean and an afternoon return to Ensenada before a first-class awards ceremony later that evening.
Just a 90-minute drive from the California border, Ensenada has warmly welcomed off-road racers since NORRA inaugural Mexican 1000 in 1967. The growing port city will serve as the host city for the start and finish of the NORRA Mexican 500 and CODE Mexicana Logistics 300.
As always, NORRA will not allow any pre-running for this event, and as a result will release chase maps to competitors one month before the competition. GPS course maps will be available to all competitors and chase teams on Thursday, September 26th, and it will feature additional markings for dangerous areas of the rally routes.
In addition, NORRA is instituting a new starting procedure for all of its rally events beginning with the Mexican 500. All motorcycle classes will start a full three-hours ahead of their four-wheel counterparts to offer riders and additional measure of safety. NORRA is also expecting to unveil additional safety and communications upgrades over the course of the coming weeks.
2013 MEXICAN 500 RALLY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS TECH/DRIVERS MEETING FRIDAY, SEPT. 27 (ENSENADA) 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Driver/Vehicle Registration San Nicolas Hotel Pool 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Tech Inspection Main Street Bridge 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM “Round -Up” Official Vehicle Display Main Street Bridge 4:00 - 6:00 PM Rally Clinics (Navigation Training) San Nicolas Hotel 6:30 PM Mandatory Driver’s Meeting San Nicolas Grand Ballroom RALLY DAY 1 SATURDAY, SEPT. 28 ENSENADA ~ MEXICALI 6:00 AM Bikes line-up for Rally Start Hwy 3, KM39 Ojos Negros 6:30 AM Bikes Start Special Stage 1 Hwy 3, KM39 Ojos Negros 9:00 AM Cars line-up for Rally Start Main Street Bridge 9:30 AM Cars Start Rally Day 1 Liaison Stage 1 Main Street Bridge RALLY DAY 2 SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 MEXICALI ~ SAN FELIPE 6:00 AM Bikes Line-up for Rally Start Laguna Salada Dry Lake 6:30 AM Bikes Start Special Stage 1 Laguna Salada Dry Lake 9:00 AM Cars Line-up for Rally Start Mexicali Bull Ring 9:30 AM Cars Start Rally Day 2 Liaison Stage 1 Mexicali Bull Ring Evening: Baja Social Club Hospitality Party Hotel El Cortez RALLY DAY 3 MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 SAN FELIPE ~ ENSENADA 6:00 AM Bikes Line-up for Rally Start Hotel El Cortez 6:30 AM Bikes Start Special Stage 1 Hotel El Cortez 9:00 AM Cars Line-up for Rally Start Hotel El Cortez 9:30 AM Cars Start Rally Day 3 Special Stage 1 Hotel El Cortez Evening: Awards Presentation T.B.A.
Racers in the NORRA Mexican 500 can expect the same level of hospitality and the other personal touches that have made the General Tire Mexican 1000 so popular. Here 2013 Rally Category winners Darren Skilton (left center) and Pedro De Uriarte receive their coveted brass trophies from NORRA's Betsy Anderson (far left) and Lisa Durbin Charbonneau.
Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. Dubbed the “Happiest Race on Earth,” the unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars, a limited group of modern desert racecars and classes for prerunner trucks and buggies. Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s. In 2013 NORRA added a second event to its calendar -- the new NORRA Mexican 500.
The NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by General Tire, American Racing Wheel, South Point Hotel Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Azunia Tequila, KC HiLites, Bilstein Shock Absorbers and Mastercraft/Impact Safety. For more information visit: WWW.NORRA.COM
CODE was formed in 1999 by Joaquin Rodriguez (Administrative Director) and Alfonso Lacarra (Race Director) -- both with years of off-road experience as event organizers, promoters, drivers, co-drivers and love of the sport. Based out of Mexicali, Baja, California Mexico CODE held its first race on February 2000 and has since been promoting a car, truck and bike desert and Gran Prix-style format Championship series in Baja California and Sonora Mexico in cities like Mexicali, San Felipe, Tecate, Ensenada and San Luis Rio Colorado. CODE focuses on affordable, safe, well-regulated fun and very accessible courses for its participants and is very exited on this new venue co-promoting a race of this magnitude with NORRA. Now in it’s 11th year, the annual CODE “Mexicana Logisics 300” is a race born in 2003 as part of the Mexicali’s Centennial celebration.