Pre-Running for the Baja 1000 Begins This Weekend, Alexander Rossi Signs up for Iconic Desert Race

The 51st running of the Baja 1000 is quickly approaching and some big names in racing have already signed on for the event, including previous Indy 500 winner, Alexander Rossi. 

Rossi will become the fifth winner of the Indy 500 to compete in the Baja 1000, and pre-running for the race opens this weekend. Rossi joins Rick Mears, Parnelli Jones, Danny Sullivan and Buddy Rice on the list of winning Indy drivers who came down to Baja to try the 1000. In total, nearly 30 Indy car racers have tackled the Baja 1000.

Starting at 8am on Saturday, Oct.20, teams will be able to begin pre-running the course. The section from the start line to Ojos Negros is off limits during pre-running, so teams can start their testing at race mile 38.40. Pre-running ends at race mile 767.26.

So far, SCORE has received over 300 entires into the race from 35 different US States and 20 different countries.

This year’s course will be a loop, starting and stopping in Ensenada, and is a total of 806.76 miles. A time limit has been placed at 36 hours to complete the course. The motorcycle and quad classes will head out at 4am on Friday, Nov.16, while the car, truck UTV classes will start hours later at 10:30am on Friday, Nov.16.

“Desert racing is far more demanding than people realize,” said Rick Mears. “It taught me so much. You can’t memorize a 100-mile lap or a 1,000-mile course down the Baja peninsula, and you have to adapt to surfaces in the desert that vary from asphalt to sand to dirt to mud, rocks and even snow. After that, Indy racing seemed so easy: nice smooth surface, no ruts or holes, and just four hours, when I’d been used to 10 or 12 without a break in the desert.”

The 2018 Baja 1000 will go on November 16. Come back to TFLOffroad for coverage of the big race.