In less than a month 250 competitors will line up at LA’s legendary Hollywood and Vine intersection to participate in the 4700 kilometer off-road rally, the Baja 4000. “Many Baja enthusiasts couldn’t believe, when they first heard of the Baja 4000”, said Andrew G. Szabo creator of the event. Szabo is no stranger to marathon off-road events. He’s the founder of the world’s largest amateur rally, the Budapest-Bamako.
The 10 day long event is not a timed race. It’s a minimal assistance navigational and endurance challenge where teams have to complete daily stages and find navigational points. It’s a point race without rescue helicopters, mechanics, sweeping trucks or catered camp sites. Participants have to rely on their own wits and resources to complete the demanding daily stages.
The Baja 4000 will start from Los Angeles with a warm up day through Southern California. Actual racing will begin south of the border, at Mexico’s Guadalupe Canyon the following morning in Baja’s famous salt flats, Laguna Salada. The rally will continue to Bahia De Los Angeles, the mountains of Sierra De San Francisco and dash through the dirt tracks of the Sea Of Cortez to Cabo San Lucas. From Cabo teams are expected to return north, completing the 2971 mile loop through Guerrero Negro, Catavina, Ensenada and Tijuana.
“We created the track in a way that participants can see a wide variety of difficult terrain in Baja from lightening fast salt flats to silt beds, from tire ripping rocky roads to soft sandy beaches”, explained Gabor Leitner, member of the rally’s recon team.
Unlike the Baja 1000, the Baja 4000 is an eco rally, where organizers have also set two half days aside for teams to go whale and nature watching in the UN World Heritage sites of Bahia De Los Angeles and Guerrero Negro. On some of the days teams can collect points for picking up garbage and cleaning up Baja wilderness. “We are excited that organizers have given us time to see seals and mobula rays in the Sea Of Cortez”, told Robert Turcsanyi, a Slovakian participant.
Over 120 cars, trucks, motorcycles from 20 different countries have entered the rally. In addition to the North American teams participants are expected from Hungary, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, England, Israel, Slovakia and Germany.
The 10 day marathon rally will reach its finish line at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard on January 22, 2017 at 2PM. Both start and finish line ceremonies are open to the public.