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First timer's guide to participating in the Baja 1000

Michael Smith

New Member
Thanks, all great information & tips! I can only plan for traffic, if the uncontrollable's like the border getting shut down or something oh well that is out of my control. I plan on getting up like 330-4AM and immediately start checking traffic and crossing times.

There are a lot of flights back that day, coming from Philadelphia and it is the week before Thanksgiving so hoping it's the calm before the storm at the airports. There is just nothing in that mid day range as far as flights out. I have had similar issues at LAX & SFO, sometimes right through other times exact opposite. I actually found a 12:51PM flight back on Monday. It was more expensive so If I am earlier I can move to the cheaper flight but anything later was hours away and put me in Philly the next morning.

Have you ever crossed in Tecate on the way back? Border crossing smaller, more packed? Adds 30-40 mins of a drive but worth it if wait is shorter.

Thanks again for all your help, I am looking forward to a great time but just trying to be prepared.
 

ToyotaPro

Member
Hey Everybody, hoping someone can toss up some useful information as I am traveling to the Baja 1000 for the first time.

I have been keeping an eye on the border crossing times. Rule of thumb says not to drive while dark but planning to leave at 4-5AM on November 21st, race ends 20th. I am trying to figure out how long I would be at the border as I am sure the event will increase traffic. I currently have an 11:20AM flight out of San Diego. If I roll from Ensenada at 5AM, chances are hoping worst case in San Diego by 920? Two hours early for a domestic flight? That would suggest I am at the border at 645AM ish, for about 2 hours and 15 minutes, is that in the ballpark?


I just do not want to make a decision based on watching the current crossing times at 6-7AM only to have that double because of the event.


Any information helps! Thanks!
Saw this thread and wanted to give you my departure time.

EDIT: For Sunday times...

For both previous Baja 1000s I have left Ensenada at 6am. Made it to the border by 7:30ish am. BOTH times the line was maybe 20 cars long, so my wait time was 15min! Across the border and in SD by 8am.
Last year being a loop I expected more cars leaving at that time but there was no difference.
 
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ToyotaPro

Member
Crap I misread your post about leaving MONDAY! o_O
No both times Sunday morning, I have to work on Monday back in Norcal so its a 12hr drive home. I leave at 6am and I'm home by 6pm almost on the dot last year haha
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
So......




oops...


This is a screen grab from the video so it's not very good quality. That landing will add some to our Baja prep.

At least it was after my team brought home another 1st place finish to close out our 8 race, 2 series season here in Texas!
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Up date!!

We are setting up vehicle insurance for the chase trucks and trailers through Baja Bound which will include liability only on the race vehicles when they are "in tow".

Mexican Auto, Truck, SUV and Van Insurance - Baja Bound Mexican Insurance Services

I plan to also set up insurance on the race vehicles for the transit sections if possible. The more protection and paperwork I can set up the better, at least in my mind.

Our visas will be arranged through Baja Voyager.

Hotels / Houses / Campgrounds have been booked and reserved all the way down. We wont have a roof in Loreto so I hope the weather is as beautiful as it was last year. I have a sweet new cot and/or hammock to test out! All of our end of day stops are gated.

Note: If you have a large group going (we have 4 race vehicles and 5 chase) don't be afraid to book rental houses on the way down. We found that they were easy to book, spacious, and very affordable.

We will most likely be utilizing Baja Tracking's communication setup for communication between chase and race. Will probably not bother with Sat phones, between the texting capabilities, "live tracking", radio and cell phone usage when in or near the towns I think we will have a decent line of communication.

BajaTracking | Home

Prepping the truck continues slowly, I am constantly ordering parts and itching to get back to the shop to put them on. My work and "other job" are extremely time intensive away from home and it's not looking like that will improve much with everyone acting like there's $100 bbl oil floating around. I do appreciate the increase in funds though. Right now the next biggest hurdle aside from welding the new body on is finding a good deal on 4 new wheels and tires.

We are planning a contingency for fuel should the blockades and shortages that have hit Baja the last couple months continue and hinder our original plan of filling the dump cans at ever Pemex, and race truck in town after the day's stage if possible. I've been in contact with a fuel supplier who can deliver everything we need (pump gas) to Ensenada. The trick there is hauling around over 400 gallons of gasoline!

Pit logistics and mapping will happen as soon as NORRA releases the route.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Picture time!

Here is about how the truck sits now:



We added "door bars" for additional safety, found, repaired, and gusseted a couple of cage issues, and stripped out the entire interior for a bit of a redesign.

We are also building an entirely new dash out of aluminum:


And we found a sweet design for our wrap from an old Dodge model truck. We contacted the company that manufactures the model and received their permission to use the design. Since we are attending a vintage race we wanted to look as appropriate as possible in our late model trucks.





This is the first proof, there will me more cool features added to the wrap along with our correct number for NORRA #1836.


And the cherry on top:



How cool is this!

If that doesn't tickle your inner child you are a cold cold person!
 

CrazyAlaskan

New Member
Greetings! Just posting up to say that I found your thread as I hunted around for any information regarding the Baja 1000. Same boat, first timer with plenty of automotive experience but nothing desert related. Hooked on the idea of running the 2017 Baja in the UTV class. Working on purchasing a race proven rig, but now concerned with working out logistics of a peninsula run. Working with another Alaskan team which at least has some experience with previous Baja 1000s.

Information has been hard to find so this thread is refreshing.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Greetings! Just posting up to say that I found your thread as I hunted around for any information regarding the Baja 1000. Same boat, first timer with plenty of automotive experience but nothing desert related. Hooked on the idea of running the 2017 Baja in the UTV class. Working on purchasing a race proven rig, but now concerned with working out logistics of a peninsula run. Working with another Alaskan team which at least has some experience with previous Baja 1000s.

Information has been hard to find so this thread is refreshing.
I have a buddy with an excellent car (Former LSR Company Race Car) that you might work a deal with.

Shoot him an email:

[email protected]
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Don't skimp on safety gear!

And make sure to always wear it and always inspect it!



I'll be needing a new helmet now...
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member

I have not entered the gymnastics yet, still trying to stick the landing!
Whoa!!! That was a huge flight for a big heavy truck... too bad the landing didn't go so well. How bad was the truck damaged, and what the heck did you hit your head on???
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Whoa!!! That was a huge flight for a big heavy truck... too bad the landing didn't go so well. How bad was the truck damaged, and what the heck did you hit your head on???
The entire body was trashed and we bent the track bar. Aside from that we ended up finding broken roll cage tubes after tearing it down. The tubes appeared to have been broken for a while and not due to my roll.

I'm not sure what I hit with my head as I sit well low enough to not contact any of the cage. The crack doesn't feel too bad, isn't deep, and doesn't go through but I figured I had better not risk it.

Here are a few pictures of how the truck sits now:





 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
Absolutely replace the helmet!!! No doubt about that!!!

I'd also check the belts to make sure they are not stretched/worn or improperly mounted that you were able to move that much to contact your head.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Absolutely replace the helmet!!! No doubt about that!!!

I'd also check the belts to make sure they are not stretched/worn or improperly mounted that you were able to move that much to contact your head.
Helmet and Belts have already been replaced since the roll over. We were planning for new belts anyway to get rid of the pads.
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Starting on my logistics mapping. Unfortunately NORRA doesn't release their maps until closer to the race date so I'll have to do a little preliminary guessing on pit locations until I can overlay both maps.

 

AZ7000'

Well-Known Member
Help me just a bit, you started this as a B1000 1st timers thread but now appearing to reference the NORRA. For clarity, Crazy Alaskin is interested in the B1000 and I'm sure others.... What are you a first timer shooting for??

Thanks
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Help me just a bit, you started this as a B1000 1st timers thread but now appearing to reference the NORRA. For clarity, Crazy Alaskin is interested in the B1000 and I'm sure others.... What are you a first timer shooting for??

Thanks
As stated in earlier posts after attending last year's NORRA I changed my plan to attend the 2017 NORRA 1000 instead of the 2017 SCORE 1000.

Most of the information here still applies as both races are in Baja for extended periods of time. So it's more of a First Timer Racing in Baja Guide. Unfortunately I cannot go back and edit the thread title (I tried when we made the decision to race NORRA).
 

Taquache

Well-Known Member
Chase Truck Fuel (Diesel)

Here is a good read I found in another thread on here.

Diesel Fuel in Mexico

This discusses the differences in diesel fuel you might come across while traveling the peninsula. Information like this is critical to consider with 09+ diesel trucks still equipped with factory emissions systems. DPFs can clog faster and not regen (clean) well enough and DEF can be consumed at a much higher rate. Going to Baja was the deciding time factor on "fixing" my chase truck to not have fuel related issues. I had enough warning lights and close calls here in the states. I was not going to risk shutting the whole program down in the middle of nowhere due to higher sulfur content fuel.
 
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