NORRA Mexican 1000 Day 1 – Ensenada to San Felipe

2017 Race-Dezert NORRA Mexican 1000 Coverage

This year marks the biggest Mexican 1000 since the race was revived in 2010. Over 260 two-wheel and four-wheel entries signed up for the rally this year; over 100 more than last year. That increase in entries has brought some growing pains (with one minute start intervals it takes over four hours just to start) but we didn’t hear any complaints at the finish line in San Felipe.

When Mike Pearlman started holding the Mexican 1000 in 2010, the race started inland in Mexicali. This inland city served as the start line until 2014, when the race moved to Ensenada. The move brought cooler temperatures and easier logistics with regards to hotel rooms and race traffic, but also resulted in a very long first day of racing to Bahia De Los Angeles. Based on feedback from racers, Pearlman and his team added a fifth day of racing for 2017, with Day One from Ensenada to San Felipe and Day Two continuing on to Bay of LA.

Mark Post and Cameron Steele are battling it out for the overall lead early in the five-day rally. Several classes are closely contested as well, including the Challenger 4×4 Class, where Brian Hall has a slight lead over Dana Dague. The addition of San Felipe did claim a few victims on Day One, but overall the course was forgiving enough to allow most of the competitors to reach San Felipe in one piece, including the VW Synchro of Team Westafarian and the Porsche 911s of Cameron Healy and Jeff Gamroth. The most challenging part of the course was the silt beds at the far end of Laguna Diablo that cost more than one competitor a significant amount of time after getting stuck.

Day Two starts on Monday morning with the competitors continuing to Bay of LA, with the starting order based on finishing times from Day One. Expect the page to quicken and the gaps to widen as the race turns to the south.