At approx. race mile 80, my son Chris and I found a great spot to watch this year’s Baja 500. The first ‘500’ race began in 1968 as an Ensenada to Ensenada loop through northern Baja California. 35 years later the concept remains the same, but many of the vehicles have sure changed!
First to start are the motorcycles… several classes are based on engine size or rider’s age. They began to arrive at our location before 8 am.
Next came the quads! There is a class for most any vehicle!
This year’s race was very close to a full 500 miles, over all kinds of terrain and up to 5,000′ above sea level.
When we started seeing helicopters, we knew the big bad Trophy Trucks were coming!
This one bright truck is sponsored by Off-Road.com
Right behind was the Riviera Racing Team Trophy Truck.
Next came Class 1, unlimited ‘buggies’… many were V-8 powered!
Some look like a design from NASA for exploring Mars!
Mini Pick-ups Class 7 (modified) and 7-S (stock) are popular race vehicles. Chris captured many rigs ‘catching air’ just past a short hill.
The largest class were the ‘Baja Bugs’ (naturally). Class 5 (open) and 5-1600 (restricted) have many entries from Mexico and the U.S.
Plenty of big lights for the night on this Baja Bug.
Off road racing sometimes gets close to the spectators! I think my son is too close (no telephoto, this is a disposable camera)!
Baja racing is against the clock, not other racers. Sometimes contestants will not see each other for great distances.
About the last group to start is Class 17 (Jeep Speed). Using the popular Jeep Cherokee to create an entry level, less expensive way to participate in this sport. See http://www.jeepspeed.com/ Hope you enjoyed this view from one spot along the 2003 Baja 500. More details of Baja racing can be found at http://www.score-international.com/ Until next time, adios amigos! http://vivabaja.com/