The Baja 1000 kicks off wet, late, and with a surprising last-minute entry from Dakar Champions!
Thursday, November 21
North America’s most famous off-road race begins Saturday Nov 23 just outside of Ensenada, Mexico – a day late thanks to torrential rains that are sure to have muddied up the course. But there’s good news – we’ve got a few superstar racers pairing up to tackle the 1,287-kilometer course through Baja’s rocky roads and sandy washes.
Andy McMillin (US) and Bryce Menzies (US) have always been racing against each other – but for the 2019 Baja 1000, they’re going to be on the same team – piloting the same Mason Motorsports Trophy Truck as fast as they can during this iconic off-road race – each taking a turn (or two) at the wheel as the truck races non-stop, day and night, over 1,287 kilometers. With five Baja 1000 wins to his name, Andy knows what he’s doing – and Bryce has proven himself with three Baja 500 championships, making this duo very dangerous!
“I feel very confident going into this years’ Baja 1000. Our new AWD truck performed flawlessly at its debut race at the Baja 400 in September. We have our in a lot of time and testing into this new truck and I am extremely happy with the way it is performing.” – Andy McMillin
“I am so excited to be racing with the Andy McMillin at this year’s Baja 1000. I’ve wanted to race with Andy for years and to finally have the opportunity is so exciting for our team and our future in off-road.” – Bryce Menzies
Just as exciting is another last-minute entry from two legendary off-road racers, coming in from afar. Reigning Dakar Rally champions, Australian Toby Price (AUS) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), will also be hopping in a Trophy Truck together for the first time. While the Baja 1000’s all-day, all-night style of racing will be a change for the cross-country rally experts, their driving skills will make them a force to be reckoned with. Toby will be joined by co-driver Dustin Hellstrom, and Al-Attiyah of course by Mathieu Baumel. The pair are supported by Baja racing legend Jesse Jones.
“Baja in itself is a challenge, you have to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen in this race and you really need to stay calm and let it come to you.” – Toby Price
“I am so excited to do Baja 1000 – I’ve been dreaming of doing this race for a long time! With two Dakar champions, I think it will be really a nice feeling to race together.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah
“This race is unique by the length and the time – the crew will have to stay focused on the track. Should be less difficult on navigation as we have some recce possibility… then Nasser and I will have to find the fastest and easiest way during the race!” – Mathieu Baumel
Nasser and Toby have already agreed on one strategy – Toby will open the course on roads that he already knows, then plans on handing the truck over to superstar driver Nasser with plenty of life left in it for the race to the finish.
Pre-running – where the race teams scout the course – began in November. As of this mailing, the race start has been delayed for 24 hours following torrential rains in Northern Baja – meaning the course is sure to be wet and wild!
The Trophy Truck class updated times means racing will around 10:30 AM PST on Saturday, November 23 – and official results are expected around 5 AM PST on Monday, November 25th.
Find images and stories related to the SCORE Baja 1000 here
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“Bryce is a very talented racer, and I think we compliment each other well. He’s one of my biggest competitors when we’re not on the same team, and I think this is going to be a really good race for us. Our strategy is going to be pretty simple for this race; be smart and get the truck down the road with no issues!”
“I think it will be phenomenal to have both of our teams combined efforts to achieve our goal of winning the 1000. We have all the best equipment and people to get the race truck to the finish line of this grueling race. I think the fact that you’re up 24+ hours racing over the Baja peninsula with another 300+ teams is one of the biggest adrenaline rushes you can get in motorsports. It’s a true test of man and machine and it’s one of my favorite races of the year.”
“I have never driven a trophy truck, so we need to test the truck. It won’t be easy at the beginning, but I think we can do a good job, and we have a good strategy.”
“For sure a finish is the big success, but like I said we are racers and every racer wants to win. If we got a top 10 for our first hit out at Baja I’m sure this will be a win, but if we have a chance to shake things up we are definitely going to take it, and aim high.”
“In appearance, the trophy truck is a 4×4 like our Toyota Hilux, but the main difference is the huge travel of the shocks. Driving will be a little bit different from what we know but for that I trust Nasser 100%!”
Find all still images covering the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 here
Watch how Cyril Despres got on at the 2018 Baja 500 here
Watch Bryce Menzies tackle his record-breaking jump here
Read Andy McMillin on being part of an offroad dynasty here
Interested in offroad action – our full Dune Days VLOG playlist can be seen here
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