(Agua Dulce, Calif.,) With the automotive and motorsports worlds now preparing for the all-important Fall show season and final planning for next year, the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) today announced a new date and some major changes to its marque event – the 2014 General Tire NORRA Mexican1000 rally.
Working in association with local and state Mexican officials, the fifth annual competition, known as the “Happiest Race on Earth,” is now scheduled to take place two weeks later than in previous years,beginning on Saturday, May 10th and ending on Wednesday, May 14th. In addition, for the first time in its recent history, NORRA will begin its four-day event in the historic town of Ensenada, Baja, Mexicowhile finishing in the Mexican 1000’s popular seaside destination resort city of San Jose Del Cabo at Baja’s land’s end.
Sponsored by General Tire, the unique Mexican 1000 is a one-of-a-kind gathering of vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars and a limited number of modern pre-runners and bikes. The original NORRA organization established the first running of the Mexican 1000 off-road rally inNovember of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s.
While NORRA originally hosted many events in Ensenada, the group only recently returned to this popular city at the newly created NORRA Mexican 500 “La Carrera Del Norte.”
“We are very pleased to share this exciting news with NORRA’s rapidly growing group of racers, our wonderful sponsors and to the rest of the automotive world,” shared NORRA President Mike Pearlman. “Off-road racing fans in Ensenada will get to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 in a major way in 2014, and our participants can count on some fun and challenging new Special Stages. Best of all, the new dates allow us to relieve scheduling conflicts we have faced in previous years.”
In 2014, NORRA will also introduce a revised rally format and schedule to enhance safety and ease logistical issues caused by the Mexican 1000’s surging popularity. This year’s rally boasted a record number of entries, and many more teams and vehicles are expected to participate next May.
New for 2014, motorcycle participants will be separated throughout the rally. While final details are still pending, motorcycle racers will undergo Tech in Ensenada in the early morning hours of Saturday,May 10 for a late morning start from Ensenada to an overnight stop in El Rosario. A new route the next day would take them to as second stop in picturesque San Ignacio.
Cars would Tech Saturday afternoon for a Sunday morning start (May 11) from Ensenada to Bahia De Los Angeles. Both groups would then meet via different routes in Loreto for a big hospitality event before the final two days to La Paz and then San Jose Del Cabo, in which the two groups will be separated by at least three hours.
“The new format with split dates is something we have thought about for years,” added Pearlman. “NORRA is all about great competition and hospitality, and we want all of our guests to enjoy the Mexican 1000 in as safe a way as possible. We feel this format accomplishes that in a very creative way. It also allows the motorcycle teams to enjoy a less crowded overnight experience in El Rosario and San Ignacio, which also helps the four-wheel group as well.”
With the dates now solidified, NORRA will open online registration to all participants for the 2014 General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 on its now traditional time of 12:00pm (noon, PST) on New Year’s Day, January 1st. As is the case every year, early entrants are guaranteed "first in, first out" starting positions within their category on Day 1 and "first come, first served" room reservation guarantees from NORRA at the Day 1 overnight stop in Bay of Los Angeles.
Despite official entries not being officially open until January 1, it is expected that many of the rally’s most distinguished racers – a list that includes Walker Evans, Bob Gordon, Mark McMillin, Curt LeDuc, John Clark Gable, Mark Stahl, Brian Collins, Bud and Buddy Feldkamp, Frank “Butch” Arciero, Ryan Arciero, the Herbst family, Mark Post, Michael Gaughan, Jim Riley, Gay Smith and many others will return for the 2014 rally.
In addition to General Tire, NORRA is also supported by General Tire, American Racing Wheel, Azunia Tequila, South Point Hotel and Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Bilstein Shocks, KC HiLites and MasterCraft Safety.