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First timer's guide to participating in the Baja 1000

Slippery P

Well-Known Member
^^^^This, V2R would be great for you & your team from prep, to teamwork, & logistics.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Your Dodge is legal for Jeepspeed Mopar Outlaws Class 3700 or 3750. Come run a couple of Best in the Desert races with us in 2016 to gain experience with your new toy. Mint 400 or Vegas to Reno would be good. Go to www.jeepspeed.com for details. Good luck to you and your team.
Thanks for that information, I will definitely look into it. I was curious about it's legality in those classes.

We are going to race full series in Texas with TDRA and TORRA (I wont be driving in TORRA as conflict of interest keeps me out of the race truck) since those are local and also would like to do a Vegas area race like the Mint or V2R. We are thinking V2R to give us a taste of chase style pits (granted its probably not near as strenuous as Baja).
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
^^^^This, V2R would be great for you & your team from prep, to teamwork, & logistics.
Agreed, we have previously discussed this race in particular for those reasons.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
I'm going to make a few posts that might not make sense or won't have much information in them until questions are answered or experiences are had. These posts will be about different things that should be researched, thought about, prepared for, etc and not just directly involved with the race but with the overall experience it self.

As I mentioned before I'm working to set this up as a guide for future newbie racers for years to come.

I'll be sure to add user names to information that is added under each topic.

Thanks for all the help and info thus far!
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
The trip:

Border Crossing (What is needed to cross as smoothly as possible)

DON'T: Have firearms, ammunition, weapons, drugs, bulk fuel, among any of your things trying to cross

DO: Carry copies of titles / proof of ownership of every vehicle, prerunner, race vehicle, and trailer.

Is TJ the only/best crossing?

Back when I was a kid we would get our visas when we crossed or a day before, is this still the case? Are passports the only accepted form of identification?

Vehicle searches, are they random?

Haul using open trailers rather than enclosed to prevent break ins and DO NOT leave anything unattended.

Lodging:

Houses for Rent
Look for places with security and gated communities.
How far in advance do these need to be booked?
For a point to point race do teams rent two (one at each end)?

Race Day Lodging
Rough it.

Food and Drink:
BOTTLED WATER (Can it be brought across? Is it easily available in bulk once in Mexico?)
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos! (Where are the must visit places?)
Race Day diet: Keeping energy up with out having to make an unplanned squat stop.

Military, Federales, Bandidos:

I read previously (I apologize for not writing down the user name): If/When stopped exit the vehicle with cash and phones in your pockets on your person.

Bribes: How often do they happen and how much do they cost.
Use common sense.
(My personal experiences with Federales and the military were plesant however they were almost 20 years ago and not in Baja)

Fueling Options:
Big thanks to Deenracing for sharing their Pit Book with me which included a chart of fuel station types, locations, and fuels carried.
Is diesel difficult to find?
Our race truck runs on pump gas, what octanes are available at PEMEX and is it of decent quality?


I'll update this post with any information added as it comes up.
 

pwerwagn

Well-Known Member
That's a cool truck! I debated buying it myself. I think it's a solid platform to have some reliable racing in. I believe it was also associated with hrt as well?

Good luck, I'll be following this. We might see you at a tdra/torra race this year.
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
The trip:

Border Crossing (What is needed to cross as smoothly as possible)

DON'T: Have firearms, ammunition, weapons, drugs, bulk fuel, among any of your things trying to cross

DO: Carry copies of titles / proof of ownership of every vehicle, prerunner, race vehicle, and trailer.

Is TJ the only/best crossing?

Back when I was a kid we would get our visas when we crossed or a day before, is this still the case? Are passports the only accepted form of identification?

Vehicle searches, are they random?

Haul using open trailers rather than enclosed to prevent break ins and DO NOT leave anything unattended.

Lodging:

Houses for Rent
Look for places with security and gated communities.
How far in advance do these need to be booked?
For a point to point race do teams rent two (one at each end)?

Race Day Lodging
Rough it.

Food and Drink:
BOTTLED WATER (Can it be brought across? Is it easily available in bulk once in Mexico?)
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos! (Where are the must visit places?)
Race Day diet: Keeping energy up with out having to make an unplanned squat stop.

Military, Federales, Bandidos:

I read previously (I apologize for not writing down the user name): If/When stopped exit the vehicle with cash and phones in your pockets on your person.

Bribes: How often do they happen and how much do they cost.
Use common sense.
(My personal experiences with Federales and the military were plesant however they were almost 20 years ago and not in Baja)

Fueling Options:
Big thanks to Deenracing for sharing their Pit Book with me which included a chart of fuel station types, locations, and fuels carried.
Is diesel difficult to find?
Our race truck runs on pump gas, what octanes are available at PEMEX and is it of decent quality?


I'll update this post with any information added as it comes up.
Estero Beach is a great place to stay in Ensenada and it seems to be pretty secure there. A lot of top teams stay there while prerunning and through race day and travel back home using it as a base camp with at least 1 room the entire time so that it can be used for secure storage and such while you are prerunning, racing or heading back northward.

There is a nice Costco, Walmart and Home Depot there in Ensenada so you should be able to pick up just about anything you need or forget while you are in town.

I remember you from CompD and all your effort with the Thailand team and the NHRDA. I wish your truck had a Cummins in it, I would cover the effort in Diesel World or Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide magazines. If you need a couple extra crew members let me know as Kyle and I might be available to help. I would like to have my Duramax truck done by then to race it, but I can't count on that being done as funds are very tight for us... Even if it is done, we can work together and help each other out!

We covered a TDRA race at Texana Ranch years ago and really liked it. We are figuring that one of those races will be our first race with our truck once we get it finished!

Take care,
CT
 

racer_dude

Back2Back TL Champ!
Border Crossing (What is needed to cross as smoothly as possible)

DON'T: Have firearms, ammunition, weapons, drugs, bulk fuel, among any of your things trying to cross

DO: Carry copies of titles / proof of ownership of every vehicle, prerunner, race vehicle, and trailer.

Is TJ the only/best crossing? Not the only crossing - Tecate might be an option for you as well. Much smaller, but more on the way for you. This was the crossing we used coming from Phoenix / Tucson

Back when I was a kid we would get our visas when we crossed or a day before, is this still the case? Are passports the only accepted form of identification? Passports are your best bet to have a smooth transaction heading back north into the USA. Visa's are a good idea if the race is heading south to La Paz and you are passing the state line into Baja Sur. There was a scare before the Baja 1000 last month about having to have them for all trips now, but that was not the case (just yet). We went twice in two weeks leading up to the race with no issues, nor checks for them.

Vehicle searches, are they random? Yes, and if you have race stuff or a trailer your odds are nearly 90% to get stopped for a brief look through of your papers and things. Do not fret, this is just their responsibility at the border to check your paperwork etc.

Haul using open trailers rather than enclosed to prevent break ins and DO NOT leave anything unattended. Open trailers are fine, but I don't agree about the comparison you used against the enclosed. We always try to have the race car in the enclosed, along with our more important gear that we don't want "walking away". The key is to have a good locking system on the enclosed, for the rear door/ ramp and the side door and tongue if you plan to detach. The key is to NOT leave your gear or valuables IN the trailer once you get to your destination. All gear, and small items that can't be locked need to find their way into the hotel room. Otherwise the enclosed is the safer option all around. The flatbed comes in handy during race day if you need extraction, or plan on towing it for pit supplies and spares etc....

Lodging:

Houses for Rent
Look for places with security and gated communities.
How far in advance do these need to be booked?
For a point to point race do teams rent two (one at each end)?

Race Day Lodging
Rough it.

Food and Drink:
BOTTLED WATER (Can it be brought across? Is it easily available in bulk once in Mexico?) Bring as much as you want. We stock up at Costco before we leave with 10-12 flats (or more) depending on how many people are coming down for the race to help. There are places to get it in Mexico too, such as Costco, Walmart and OXXO marts.
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos! (Where are the must visit places?)
Race Day diet: Keeping energy up with out having to make an unplanned squat stop.

Military, Federales, Bandidos:

I read previously (I apologize for not writing down the user name): If/When stopped exit the vehicle with cash and phones in your pockets on your person. Yes. Just be smart and keep an eye on your stuff, you don't have to walk away from the vehicle while they inspect so just stand next to your door.

Bribes: How often do they happen and how much do they cost. Not that often. The military checks are typically more proper than the police. Most of the time a "greased palm" is a couple race stickers to just cheer the guys up. The police pull you over for speeding most of the time, or something silly. This can be anywhere from a t-shirt to $60/80 unless you really screwed up.
Use common sense.
(My personal experiences with Federales and the military were plesant however they were almost 20 years ago and not in Baja) For the past 20 years that we have been attending Baja races we have never had a Federale issue. Only flak I have ever caught was for having guys riding "on" the bedside of a chase truck from tech to the hotel. Cost me $20 and a team poster.

Fueling Options:
Big thanks to Deenracing for sharing their Pit Book with me which included a chart of fuel station types, locations, and fuels carried.
Is diesel difficult to find? No, but not every PEMEX has it. Our typical rule of thumb is to never pass a station if you are under 1/2 tank. Some stations might be out, or closed (not everything is 24 hour down there). Don't take a chance and you will be fine.
Our race truck runs on pump gas, what octanes are available at PEMEX and is it of decent quality? 87 is green (verde) and "91" is red (rojo). Quality depends on how long it has been sitting in the tanks and if there has been rain. Diesel is black (negro). Not all stations have red and black


I'll update this post with any information added as it comes up.
 

3 Amigos Racing

Well-Known Member
SCORE had set up crossing at Otay Mesa CA and sent out an email about it..We used it and had zero issues. I was asked is the car legal.. I said yep and we were in..I had copies of all registrations and Mexican insurance on all.. With a 20 ft enclosed. May fuel cans and 10 mounted spares on the floor.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Great information everyone, Thanks!

It appears that I'm unable to edit my previous posts at the moment so if you do have a lot of responses like racer_dude please reply as he did. That's great.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Estero Beach is a great place to stay in Ensenada and it seems to be pretty secure there. A lot of top teams stay there while prerunning and through race day and travel back home using it as a base camp with at least 1 room the entire time so that it can be used for secure storage and such while you are prerunning, racing or heading back northward.

There is a nice Costco, Walmart and Home Depot there in Ensenada so you should be able to pick up just about anything you need or forget while you are in town.

I remember you from CompD and all your effort with the Thailand team and the NHRDA. I wish your truck had a Cummins in it, I would cover the effort in Diesel World or Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide magazines. If you need a couple extra crew members let me know as Kyle and I might be available to help. I would like to have my Duramax truck done by then to race it, but I can't count on that being done as funds are very tight for us... Even if it is done, we can work together and help each other out!

We covered a TDRA race at Texana Ranch years ago and really liked it. We are figuring that one of those races will be our first race with our truck once we get it finished!

Take care,
CT
Thanks for the info.

The Thai guys are still at it clicking off sub 8 second passes out of their 3.0L 4 cyl. They are wanting to return to the US to race but are still experimenting with a 5.0L Triple Turbo setup!!

I would have liked a Cummins due to my experience with them however the weight and silt could prove to be a big issue, especially if the race will be 2000 miles.

I sure would like to get the truck and some of our chase vehicles featured in 8-Lug magazine since the race truck isn't diesel.

Why'd you have to go and dangle that other goal of being featured in front of me! :rolleyes:

(Insert shameless plug here) Come race with TORRA. Our series will have fantastic racing in Texas and the surrounding area.

I appreciate the offer for support, we will need it!
 

DirtKingDodge

Well-Known Member
Awesome write up. I've been following you on Instagram and can't wait to see what comes next! Once my 1500 is done I'll try to swing by and check out the truck on my way back to Dallas from Cali!

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

green787

Well-Known Member
It used to be that Sal Fish would have TWO competing DJ stages (huge) facing each other.... So when it got exciting, when Phlueger was inbound in the wash, both stages would light up and boompa boompa the go go dancers started dancing.... This made is so you did not stand a chance of hearing the interviews.... So ear plugs might be recommended...
 

steve0we

Well-Known Member
Get with Pat Sims, buy him a steak dinner (make sure the ice tea is all you can drink or he will break ya) and he will gladly give your a couple of years worth of experience racing Baja. Maybe chase for him as he is working with a great crew of people that have LOTS of Baja experience.

Are you going to race the truck at the 1st TDRA race in January? Hope to see it out there, dress warm!
 

El Mamito USMC

Well-Known Member
Border Crossing (What is needed to cross as smoothly as possible)

DON'T: Have firearms, ammunition, weapons, drugs, bulk fuel, among any of your things trying to cross

DO: Carry copies of titles / proof of ownership of every vehicle, prerunner, race vehicle, and trailer.

Is TJ the only/best crossing? Not the only crossing - Tecate might be an option for you as well. Much smaller, but more on the way for you. This was the crossing we used coming from Phoenix / Tucson

Back when I was a kid we would get our visas when we crossed or a day before, is this still the case? Are passports the only accepted form of identification? Passports are your best bet to have a smooth transaction heading back north into the USA. Visa's are a good idea if the race is heading south to La Paz and you are passing the state line into Baja Sur. There was a scare before the Baja 1000 last month about having to have them for all trips now, but that was not the case (just yet). We went twice in two weeks leading up to the race with no issues, nor checks for them.

Vehicle searches, are they random? Yes, and if you have race stuff or a trailer your odds are nearly 90% to get stopped for a brief look through of your papers and things. Do not fret, this is just their responsibility at the border to check your paperwork etc.

Haul using open trailers rather than enclosed to prevent break ins and DO NOT leave anything unattended. Open trailers are fine, but I don't agree about the comparison you used against the enclosed. We always try to have the race car in the enclosed, along with our more important gear that we don't want "walking away". The key is to have a good locking system on the enclosed, for the rear door/ ramp and the side door and tongue if you plan to detach. The key is to NOT leave your gear or valuables IN the trailer once you get to your destination. All gear, and small items that can't be locked need to find their way into the hotel room. Otherwise the enclosed is the safer option all around. The flatbed comes in handy during race day if you need extraction, or plan on towing it for pit supplies and spares etc....

Lodging:

Houses for Rent
Look for places with security and gated communities.
How far in advance do these need to be booked?
For a point to point race do teams rent two (one at each end)?

Race Day Lodging
Rough it.

Food and Drink:
BOTTLED WATER (Can it be brought across? Is it easily available in bulk once in Mexico?) Bring as much as you want. We stock up at Costco before we leave with 10-12 flats (or more) depending on how many people are coming down for the race to help. There are places to get it in Mexico too, such as Costco, Walmart and OXXO marts.
Tacos, Tacos, Tacos! (Where are the must visit places?)
Race Day diet: Keeping energy up with out having to make an unplanned squat stop.

Military, Federales, Bandidos:

I read previously (I apologize for not writing down the user name): If/When stopped exit the vehicle with cash and phones in your pockets on your person. Yes. Just be smart and keep an eye on your stuff, you don't have to walk away from the vehicle while they inspect so just stand next to your door.

Bribes: How often do they happen and how much do they cost. Not that often. The military checks are typically more proper than the police. Most of the time a "greased palm" is a couple race stickers to just cheer the guys up. The police pull you over for speeding most of the time, or something silly. This can be anywhere from a t-shirt to $60/80 unless you really screwed up.
Use common sense.
(My personal experiences with Federales and the military were plesant however they were almost 20 years ago and not in Baja) For the past 20 years that we have been attending Baja races we have never had a Federale issue. Only flak I have ever caught was for having guys riding "on" the bedside of a chase truck from tech to the hotel. Cost me $20 and a team poster.

Fueling Options:
Big thanks to Deenracing for sharing their Pit Book with me which included a chart of fuel station types, locations, and fuels carried.
Is diesel difficult to find? No, but not every PEMEX has it. Our typical rule of thumb is to never pass a station if you are under 1/2 tank. Some stations might be out, or closed (not everything is 24 hour down there). Don't take a chance and you will be fine.
Our race truck runs on pump gas, what octanes are available at PEMEX and is it of decent quality? 87 is green (verde) and "91" is red (rojo). Quality depends on how long it has been sitting in the tanks and if there has been rain. Diesel is black (negro). Not all stations have red and black


I'll update this post with any information added as it comes up.
this pretty much sums it up..


We are going to race full series in Texas with TDRA and TORRA (I wont be driving in TORRA as conflict of interest keeps me out of the race truck) since those are local and also would like to do a Vegas area race like the Mint or V2R. We are thinking V2R to give us a taste of chase style pits (granted its probably not near as strenuous as Baja).
great... ill be doing the Vaquero 400 and the Doc Holliday 200, my friends will be racing their utv and ill be racing ironman my quad (123A).. look for me and we can bs a lil and Ill try to answer any questions you might have..

whats your instagram name?
 

_TimS

Well-Known Member
We will be heading down for the Baja Sur this year. Tell me more about visas, please. Where and how do you get them? Do you get them ahead of time or through customs? We will be flying into Cabo. Thanks.

Also, is it a good idea to have american money, mexican money, or some of both. Thanks.
 

3 Amigos Racing

Well-Known Member
Before this 1000 I had considered going all Delorme Sat texters as I already have one..I was going to buy 3 more or $1k.. before the race I got a SAT phone deal and went for Sat phones instead on a rental... after the 1k I decided going forward to go all Del Orme for race and chase.. I realized now the Delorme's would have given us chase units tracker locations on our map and way better visibility of chase and race units on a map screen versus our SAT to SAT calls. ( well I did know it would do that..but I cheaped out before the race and went rental)
 

D-rek

Well-Known Member
We will be heading down for the Baja Sur this year. Tell me more about visas, please. Where and how do you get them? Do you get them ahead of time or through customs? We will be flying into Cabo. Thanks.

Also, is it a good idea to have american money, mexican money, or some of both. Thanks.
You should be fine with American money just watch the exchange rate. Most likely you will get pesos for change. Also talk to your credit card company prior and let them know you will be traveling. I found this out the hard way last year at the 500 paying in trying to pay for dinner for the crew.
 

morgan HSD

Well-Known Member
We always get a rough estimate of how much fuel we will need for the trip then convert dollars to pesos just for that reason. it will save you money especially when you go through a lot of fuel. As far as hotels go, make sure to get them well in advance especially in the middle of the peninsula as those ones are limited and go fast. It's also a good idea to pre enter and get your wrist bands early for the 2nd and 3rd drivers if needed since they will most likely not be headed back to Ensenada after prerunning just to turn back around to do another long drive back to where they are getting in the race vehicle. For us it's better to post up and relax in a hotel closer to where we are getting in rather than wasting a lot of time driving back and forth. One more thing, we used Text anywhere at the last Baja 1000 and it worked great.
 
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