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 THE F-WORD: Why The Mexican 1000 is the ‘Next Big Thing’ 

Iron-Rider Gabe "Mexihonkey" Williams of racesolo.com won the overall NORRA Mexican 1000 in 2011 on an '88 Honda XR600.

MEXICALI, BAJA CA, MEXICO-This coming Sunday April 29th, the GENERAL TIRE / NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally will depart here on a 4-day rally race down the Baja Peninsula to it’s the finish line in San Jose Del Cabo. This remarkable and nostalgic race is still in its infancy stage of its reincarnation but is quickly being exposed as the likely “next big thing.” The questions to ask right now might just be: How and why?


Not only is the NORRA Mexican 1000 the original Baja race, it was the very first off-road race in the world. Founder Ed Pearlman and his son Mike were the first to coin the term “off road”. In other words, the Pearlmans and their original partner, Don Francisco, had invented the sport of ‘off road’ as we know it today. History seems to get buried in the dust as the years pass by and, especially today, with average attention span and long term memory giving way to instant information flow. The facts of Baja racing’s origins are inescapable and irrefutable.

How off-road became what it is today is, of course, a different story altogether. But what remains critical to the future of the Mexican 1000 and the sport itself is how everything began. And that’s what leads us to the other meaning of the “F-WORD”

THE “F-WORD”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

“It’s all about having fun, always has been,” explains NORRA’s chief Mike Pearlman, “As we we’re putting together the original concept to reincarnate the Mexican 1000, I was with Eddy Mulder at Pikes Peak and he took a stick and started drawing in the dirt the letters F-U-N. It made sense since that’s what my dad Ed and I, had always wanted.”

Racing is like a double-edged sword of sorts, we tend to get into and go fast for the thrill and to have fun. But the other side of that sword is the nature of competition and what comes from it. Racing, it has been said, can be like a drunken ‘wet t-shirt contest’: it can bring out the worst in everyone, competitors and spectators alike.


With the goal of the Mexican 1000 to be the happiest race on earth, NORRA’s team of volunteers and organizers are constantly reminded that this event should be about EVERYONE having fun. There is an extra special aspect of this when NORRA’s applies the multi-day, rally aspect to the event. Because the competitors, crews and media all travel down the Baja Peninsula together and everyone is eating and sleeping in the same towns each night, it brings an unprecedented level of camaraderie to the BAJA racing that was absent before.

While it is very early and way too soon to predict with any certainty that the Mexican 1000 will be the greatest race in North America, the raw ingredients are right there. With FUN, being the name of the game, it creates an irresistible allure to the entire scope of the race, adding to the future draw of things to come. The nature of a course that is not designed to be the toughest Baja has to offer, but rather the fastest, also signals things to come.


Investing in the future always has its uncertainty and high level of risk, but that’s what creates the incentive to make investments in the future. This is only the third year of the ‘modern-era’ NORRA and the scope and magnitude of its flagship race is under-stated and its potential undervalued. Enter General Tire, a top innovator in off-road and a leader in marketing prowess. GT has stepped up to the plate because they obviously see the value in the F-Word and recognize the opportunity to parlay the Pearlman innovative origins into North America’s next big thing.

SPEED                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The original concept behind the reincarnation of NORRA and the Mexican 1000 was to bring the vintage bikes, trucks and buggies back to BAJA for a reunion of sorts. To protect these priceless relics, the course routes needed to be laid out in a way that would preserve these machines. Thus, the course follows mostly graded roads and smoother routes, bypassing rugged sections of whoops, silt, rocks and ruts. The unintended consequence of this is higher top speeds and overall average speeds. This all leads us back to the “F-WORD” and the added benefit of not ‘destroying’ motorsports equipment of all varieties. Taking this one step further and into the future, as newer fasters vehicles are allowed to participate, BAJA racers will likely set new world-speed-records for rally racing. It fitting that this years Grand Marshall is SPEED Channel’s Dave Despain.

MAP OF DAY 1- Stages 1-3


These, among many other unseen factors, all points to one general direction: The original “off-road” race is back in BAJA and its potential is unlimited by virtue of the reason anyone would ever turn a key on a buggy of throw a leg over a bike: to have FUN!

Full NORRA Website

Race Solo



Original: race-deZert.com

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