Rally-Raid Network official Facebook page

Q1 Pricing Extended Through June 30
RALLY COMP Hosts Rally Camp Training  
Trent Burgiss Returns To Rally Pro 
General Route & Bivouac Announcement This Saturday at Midnight


Critical data and plans for the 2019 RALLY COMP BAJA RALLY will be released to the public this Saturday at midnight June 1 revealing details for each of 3 remote bivouacs and all of the daily maps and distances of the 900 KM service route. This information is crucial for competitors, teams and media outlets to prepare logistics for an efficient expedition at the 7th running of Baja California's only rally-raid competition. Host hotels and dates will be released to the competitors ahead of public to create an orderly flow of reservations at 3 chosen bivouac locations.

1st Quarter Pricing Extended Through June
As an incentive for racers returning to BAJA RALLY and to encourage first time competitors, entry fee pricing remains at 1st quarter levels to save entrants 12-15%. Returning racers, who incidentally represent the largest portion of entrants, already know what to expect from the RALLY COMP BAJA RALLY and the ever-improving landscapes of the demanding stages now slated at 1887 KM over 5 days of competition. First time entrants who have have only yet heard of this epic adventure are now further enticed to commit to the challenge with the pricing incentives extended though the month of June as shown below.

Rally Camp by RALLY COMP- Sept 6-9 -LIMITED TO 1st 15 Riders Only
BAJA RALLY Title Sponsor RALLY COMP launched its pilot training program in February out of El Paso TX with a massive response from handfuls of prolific off road racers such as Justin Morgan and Skyler Howes. Now RALLY COMP has announced plans for an ongoing training series in Texas cleverly called Rally Camp, where pro rally racers and trainees 4 days of Rally Comp training class & navigation with plenty of challenging riding.All new routes with 3 totally different days of riding from our first class with the last day back in the Samalayuca dunes of Mexico.Class is open to everyone on a first come first serve basis limited to 15 riders. 2019 Rally Camp is scheduled for Sept 6-9 to give rally racers form all over the world a final chance to prepare and train for the 2019 RALLY COMP BAJA RALLY Sept 30- October 5 here in Ensenada. For details visit and follow RALLY CAMP Event Page

Trent Burgiss Returns for a 3rd Time
The Kiwi transplant racing out of Hood River Oregon signed for his BAJA RALLY application in May and will fly the colors of his native New Zealand this fall. In his 2015 rally debut in Rally 1 Classification, Trent Burgiss surprised the entire field by beating the rest of the class by 2 hours and narrowly missing the OA podium by 40 seconds to upset Cameron Steele.

The Promise
It's time to keep your promise to yourself and make the commitment to challenge yourself and conquer one of the most rewarding experineces you will ever have on a motorcycle or in a UTV. The mystery and intrigue of BAJA RALLY awaits but is reserved for those who demand something more than following arrows and ribbons around the Same Clapped Out Roads Everytime.

The organizers of Baja Rally - one of the very few navigation based cross-country rallies that are raced in North America, are promoting one initiative for those wishing to learn how to properly use the roadboak.  

2019 Dakar Rally showed how important are the navigation skills to not only achieve a good result, but also to keep the participants safe.  So, if you live in North America, here is your chance to learn how to find your way in Baja Rally and who knows, maybe some day at the world's hardest rally.
 

Official press release

*Prepare to Race Any Rally on The Planet
*Limited to 5 Students Per Session
*Learn RALLY COMP Compliance and Never Caught Off Guard
*Safe Training Environment on Private Property with Permits
*Go from "Zero to Hero" in 3 Days
*3rd Year of Baja Rally School Starts in 2019
*Only 2 Dates Offered 
 

All inclusive: 

*5 Stage roadbooks on custom training routes on private, locked ranch
*6 Hours of classroom coursework
*30 Page workbook binder with study and reference material
*Rally Comp Proficiency Exam
*Rally Comp Device (no cost rental includes everything)
*Hotel San Nicolas Thursday Night
*All food & meals from beginning of class to end
*No cost tent camping 2 nights at Pacific Base Camp & Training Center
*Certificate of Completion - for successful grads
*Limited edition embroidered Flexfit Cap

Not included:
Fuel, alcohol, vehicle/ motorcycle, navigation gear, participation trophy
*2 Rally Equipped rental bikes available through local third party for $750 on the April dates only
 

Roadbook

MAR 1-3 // APRIL 5-7 // MAY 3-5

You must have the minimum requirements: Proper off road bike with 80 miles of Fuel range, roadbook reader, ICO or equivalent ODO. Power source for Rally Comp cable. (can be connected directly to battery)
Not for inexperienced off road riders, not an off road training course. 
Dakar fever has infected every off-road bike and UTV fan in North America and rally navigation training is in demand. Top desert racers Skyler Howes, Colton Udall, Ray DalSoglio, and Josear Carrasco all made the transition last year and following Ricky Brabec's path into rally racing careers. But it's not just for the fast guys.
BAJA RALLY SCHOOL is now open with very space at our specialized training academy on private property in Baja CA. The entry level course offered for Spring 2019 is Immersion Into Rally Raid.


MARCH 1-3 NOW OPEN ENROLL NOW

There's a handful training programs offered by instructors in North America and they are all very good. BAJA RALLY SCHOOL's 3-day academy is the most intensive and personalized rally-raid training program in the world. 


RAMPING UP

Day 1 kicks off the 3-day course with 6-hours of classroom study on Friday with workbooks and road book marking exercises starting with the RALLY COMP practice quiz.
Day 1 ends with the first practice stage reading and navigating with road books and RALLY COMP. Trainees camp in tents on a private property bivouac in a locked-down oceanfront compound.
   

FULL IMMERSION 

Day 2 is a full day of navigating 3 unique stage routes, each getting progressively harder with each step and your trainers will work with you through your challenges. You will be challenged (and tired) by the end of Saturday, ready for dinner and rest at our secluded ranch on protected gated property. You'll be tested on Sunday and unassisted with the Final Exam Stage of 74KM so Saturday evening ends with road book marking prep. At this stage in the program trainees don't receive any tips or coaching advice to preventing the small navigation mistakes that EVERY SINGLE STUDENT has already made on the final. Here we have recreated the situations and actually simulating rally event scenarios in a controlled environment.  


PASS OR FAIL

Day 3 Starts early Sunday morning with breakfast at the remote training center and final preparations for the graded final exam stage of 74km. This stage takes 3 hours and is challenging even for more experienced navigators. There are twists and turns both on and off the stage route that will test the trainee's attention to detail, physical and mental coordination and psychological aspects of managing a successful rally stage- everything from roadbook and equipment prep to managing nutrition and recovery to theoretical strategies. This is part of the learning process instills discipline and good habits in rally racers of all levels. 


100% SUCCESS RATE- EVERY CANDIDATE HAS PASSED THE FINAL EXAM

After the successful completion of the final exam with trainees reaching the Arrival of Special Stage 5, the celebration begins with graduates' exchanging stories forging a lifetime of memories about a shared adventure and the elation of overcoming unknown obstacles and challenges along the way.
Around 2:00PM Sunday the trainees convoy from the training center back to Ensenada for the semi-formal graduation "white-cap" ceremony where grads receive their "Certificate of Completion" and limited edition official BAJA RALLY SCHOOL hat.


Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for
Media Scholarship to Baja Rally School 
    
 

Similar to BAJA RALLY’s Prologue, finish times for Special Stage One found competitors neck and neck once again, but this time, after a blissfully grueling day of racing. Cutting out a few kilometers – due to weather damage along the route – didn’t cut-out any fun (or challenge). While waypoints weren’t as much of a highlight as the diverse and complex landscapes this time, it was reportedly a hell-of-a good time! Though what had cost racers the most in the end were little mistakes.

Skyler Howes held true to his promise to nab the first seat of the first special stage. Scott Bright and Colton Udall did nothing short of impress either. With times coming in so closely, you may not have known at the finish line that they took Second and Third for the motorcycles. And UTVs stacked Pelayo again at the top of the totem pole. Joe Bolton followed right behind. A large gap divided the two from the rest of the group with only one more UTV, Enrique Furhken, completing the course for the third place in the class. The remaining three vehicles found themselves overwhelmed beyond the predicted eta and were rerouted to the bivouac before nightfall. 
 

“Special Stage One turned out to be more challenging for the racers than expected, and it may be the least of their worries this week.” – Mauricio Parra 


Despite the day’s hurdles, each rider, pilot and copilot rolled in – one way or another – to the remote town of Cataviña, if not unscathed, then fully in-tact (smiles visible). Hotel Mission Cataviña is an oasis among the aging indigenous cacti and ancient boulders, creating a scene much like you might have found in prehistoric eras. It offers those precious moments of peace for weary racers trying to focus on the trials to come. But they wouldn’t stay comfortable for too long, as Special Stage Two fast approached. Emphasis on fast. Plus, a long liaison past Coco’s Corner and Friday’s Special Stage Three will bring a whole new element to the BAJA RALLY, not yet explored... The event’s first track along Sea of Cortez.  

Special Stage Two was a far different story from the previous. Garret Poucher made up tons of lost time, concluding his ride at 5th place, bringing him to 11th overall – a huge leap from leaving the start at 13th. Number two in the starting line-up, Scott Bright, had a promising journey ahead… Until an issue with his navigation equipment forced him to operate his road book from his lap. And yes, he still managed to come in mid-way through the pack. Altogether, SS2 was fast and light, with a dry lake bed giving way to speeds up to 123mph!

Keep up with the pace on Facebook.com/BajaRally for live footage and updates. Then, scroll through @BajaRally on Instagram for some fun photos and Stories from the field.


Source Baja Rally's official press release
Ricky Brabec’s preparations for the 2020 Dakar got underway two months after the close of the 2019 edition, where the American rider had left such an excellent mark. Brabec continued to impress this week in Mexican desert.

Monster Energy Honda Team’s American rider Ricky Brabec claimed victory in the Sonora Rally after dominating the race held in the desert of north-western Mexico. This is the second time that Ricky Brabec has clinched the trophy in the five editions of the promising desert race that takes place in the border region between Mexico and the United States near the Gulf of California.

Over the five days of rallying, a total of six special stages were disputed clocking up more than 1,300 kilometres on a route from San Luís Río Colorado to Hermosillo. The race featured swathes of arid track, some of which had been broken up by the recent rain in the area, while others were stretches of more high-speed track. Furthermore, there were some 500 kilometres of dunes, fesh-fesh and camel grass to tackle. The rally offered a further opportunity to get to grips with the road-book in environments very similar to those experienced at the Dakar Rally itself.

Brabec, riding the Honda CRF450 RALLY of the Monster Energy Honda Team, was supported in the endeavour by Johnny Campbell, the staff of JCR and American Honda. Ricky set the pace of the race from the start, grabbing victories in the first three stages, which opened a significant margin of more than half an hour over rivals. The American masterfully managed the two final days of rallying, before reaching the final finish-line in the Sonora region capital with a 37’15” deficit over the nearest second place rival.

The victory in Sonora, preceded by victory in the Mint 400, sees Ricky Brabec claim two consecutive triumphs in fewer than fifteen days. But no rest for him: next date for the Monster Energy Honda Team rider will be this same weekend in Idaho in the third race of the AMA National Hare & Hound.

Ricky Brabec: "This rally was the first of the year for me so I was excited to just be able to ride the big bike again with some navigation. This desert to me is like home and very close from my home town so it makes it easy to show up with a small crew to race and as well to train. The terrain is sandy in spots with great dunes and a little more south is rocky hard pack, there’s a little of everything and for this I believe it’s proven training grounds.
Looking forward to the rest of the year racing and training; hungry for more and to top it off Dakar 2020 will be in a good way, I believe. We must stay strong in the fight."


Source Monster Energy Honda Team’s official press release
 
January Pricing Discounts Limited to First 20 Entries

ENSENADA BAJA CA, MEXICO- BAJA RALLY quietly opened entry applications for the 2019 edition in the first minute of New Year's Day. The 7th iteration of Baja CA's only rally-raid navigation event is scheduled to run for 6-days starting Monday September 30 through Saturday October 5 on the northern half of the Baja Peninsula and once again is presented by RALLY COMP 

WHAT'S NEW FOR 2019
Streamlined Application Process Now Accepting Credit Card Payments
In addition to PayPal, checks and bank wires, applicants for BAJA RALLY can "check-out" of the application process with major credit cards using a secure system through Square right from BAJA RALLY website.  
 

UNCHANGED FOR 2019

Considered among the premier navigation motorsports events in North America, BAJA RALLY continues its legacy of unparalleled competitive stages and light footprint known for unlocking previously un-raced terrain covering long distances of Baja California.
 

Return to San Felipe

Immediately following Hurricane Rosa, 2018 provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for competitors to race through completely virgin washes in San Felipe that is unlikely to be possible for another generation. But there remains a plethora or never before raced terrain that BAJA RALLY gained access to in 2018 that is on tap for 2019  
 

Malle Moto 2019

For the true "ironman", the Malle Moto Classification is the ultimate test of durability, technical prowess and toughness.
Click HERE for all the details  https://www.bajarallymoto.com/malle-moto.html
 

Worldwide Shipping Partnership 

We are proud to extend our partnership with Rock-It Cargo who are uniquely positioned to offer full service shipping, import/export paperwork and insurance services worldwide to the competitors. Rock-It handle the freight for many top level sporting events including the Dakar Rally and F1 in Mexico and the USA with dedicated logistics contacts on all continents. 
 

Federally Endorsed Environmental Impact Study (MIA) and Permits for Natural Protected Areas 

In 2018, BAJA RALLY became the first motorsport event in Mexico to complete and file an accredited "manifestación impacto ambiental" (MIA) with SEMARNAT, Mexico's equivalent of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The BAJA RALLY MIA complies with Mexico's federal environmental regulators and took more than 2 years to complete. This significant investment of time and resources ensures that BAJA RALLY navigation racing with continue to grow throughout Mexico and North America for decades to come. 
 

Pricing & Discounts- Returning BAJA RALLY Racers Receive Over    

*Pricing for entrants remains unchanged in 2019 but only the first 20 entrants in January will be offered the traditional "pre-season" discount. After the first 20 entrants or February 1 (whichever comes first) all entry fees will increase to "1st Quarter Pricing"
 

ABOUT BAJA RALLY

Now in its 7th year, BAJA RALLY Presented by RALLY COMP is the longest consecutive running rally raid in North America and remains the only navigation competition of its kind in the Mexican State of Baja CA. With its proven low impact and environmentally sustainable operations, the BAJA RALLY continues to flourish and grow in its mission to share the beauty and magic of Baja California's landscapes as well and the friendly hospitality of the people of this great state. 

Video uploaded to Youtube by: adventurespec



Source Baja Rally official press release
Motorcycles and UTVs Finish Their First Challenge at Las Cañadas Campamento!  

2018’s Prologue at Las Cañadas Campamento went off without a hitch, offering BAJA RALLY racers tight twists, a swift pace and a formidable road book. The first two bikes off the line were also the first bikes to cross the finish today, but that doesn’t mean they sat at the top of the results today. Though, it was UTV Pro, Javier Pelayo, who really impressed the crowd, leading the pack a few seconds faster than the motorcycles! 

“Rally Pro is going to be the class to watch. With just seconds separating the top three in the Prologue. But SS1 will show their true colors.” - Victor


To add to the excitement, Scott Bright, 2014 Baja Rally champion and 2015 Dakar Rally finisher, has made the long trek from his hometown in Colorado to challenge 2017 titleholder Garrett Poucher for the #1 plate in the Rally Pro class. Not to mention, JCR Honda team rider, Colton Udall, put his name in the hat to keep the BR vets on their toes. 
Big names and epic battles aside, the event is welcoming a long list of friends returning to give even more blood, sweat and tears to this race – and without whom the rally couldn’t exist. New to the roster is the Malle Moto class and the brave soul who came to challenge it. The ADV class is making another appearance to prove just how formidable big bikes are at Rally Raid.  
With two BAJA RALLY champions back at the starting line looking to claim a 1st place overall finish, as well as the addition of the Malle Moto class, an ADV presence, familiar faces and another huge turnout of UTVs, this year’s event is sure to be exhilarating to the very end! 


Source Baja Rally's official press release


Born from the passion of navigation rally-raid competitions in the spirit of off road racing in Mexico, a new championship rally racing series has emerged- and there is cash involved. 

3 Qualifying Rally Events in Mexico Selected for 2019 
Cash Prizes & Trophies for UTVs & Motorcycles 
First Points Awarded at Finish of Sonora Rally  
Brand New Series Will Add Up To 2 Additional Events in 2020


Mexicanrally.com just announced a modest seed of cash starting at $5,000 USD ($90,000MXN) that will grow into a sizable jackpot over the next 6 months and divided equally between 2 well deserved winners. Using a simple table that assigns points for overall rankings of UTV and motorcycle finishers, the highest scoring racers after 3 designated rally-raid competitions* will be named the respective champions and divide the cash evenly. 2nd and 3rd place season finishers will earn trophies and have their names engraved on the Championship Trophy Cup. In total, 9 racers will be named on the trophy, including 3 co-drivers of the top UTV’s for the season.   

Sonora Rally*, Road Runner Rally* and Baja Rally* have been selected as the only 3 qualifying rally-raid events for 2019 with the OA rankings tallied to decide the winners at the end of the season. The 2019 Mexican Rally Champions will be announced at a special awards ceremony & presentation Saturday October 5th at the San Nicolas Hotel & Casino in Ensenada immediately following the finish of the BAJA RALLY 2019.

The initial cash prize is expected to increase into a sizable jackpot with sponsorship incentives to encourage and motivate off road athletes and teams training and preparing for international rally events as the popularity of UTV and motorcycle navigation rally competition explodes. The growth of rally-raid racing as an alternative to traditional off road UTV and motorcycle racing is credited in part to the relative safety and lower-impact of these multi-day competitions.  

For dates, eligibility, rules, points table & restrictions visit www.mexicanrally.com 
For sponsorship details and partnership opportunities contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*In 2019, The Championship is open to participants of 3 rally competitions in Mexico that are deemed to follow the standards of off road “road book” navigation competitions.The Mexican Rally Championship (Campeonato de Rally Mexicano) is neither endorsed nor authorized by any sanctioning body or race organization nor itself a sanctioning body, race organization or collective of bodies or organizations.



Source Baja Rally's official press release

With the start of the Dakar Rally this coming week, Sonora Rally is excited to announce our renewed partnership with ASO’s 2019 Road to Dakar program. In 2018 the five Road to Dakar events (Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America) gave racers, whom have never competed in the Dakar Rally, the opportunity to win a free entry to the world famous event. Sonora Rally is the only North American Road to Dakar event and is also considered a Dakar qualifier for racers looking to get accepted to the Dakar in the future. 
For the 2019 Sonora Rally the “Road To Dakar” prize will be given to the winning UTV competitor. The winner will receive a free entry into the 2020 Dakar Rally worth $33,000.  With new regulations and their own division, UTV’s are becoming the fastest growing class in the Dakar and we are looking forward to adding a number of these competitors to the Sonora Rally field this year. With the likes of Casey Currie, Kellon Walch, Scott Steinberger and Dave Sykes already committed, plus a few more surprise competitors, the 2019 Sonora Rally will sure to have the strongest UTV field yet.

"We are thrilled to once again be working with Sonora Rally to help promote the Road to Dakar, and the sport of rally raid in North America. With the growth of the SxS class at the 2019 Dakar, combined with a strong group of US competitors, we are excited to see who will be the first Road to Dakar UTV winner at the 2019 Sonora Rally,”

said Xavier Gavory, Deputy General Manager, Dakar Rally.

NEW FOR 2019

Each year organizers spend countless hours searching out and designing new routes to excite their competitors. This year the stages will once again include the magical Sonora sand dunes, but also new untapped back roads and beautiful coastal trails. The registration and departure of this years Sonora Rally will take place from our original home, San Luis Rio Colorado, where racers can expect to get their traditional warm welcome. New for 2019, the entry fees will now include five full race stages, all bivouac meals and an upgraded insurance program for racers and support crew.  Also, for the first time, the Sonora Rally will finish in the state capital of Hermosillo. Located a short three-hour drive south of Nogales, Hermosillo is a dynamic modern city with a strong automotive industry. Surrounded by Sonoran desert and voted one of the five best cities to live in Mexico, Hermosillo is excited to host the 2019 Sonora rally finish line festivities at the eclectic Parque La Ruina. 
 

NEW ADVENTURE RAID CLASS!!

Adventure Raid is intended as an introduction to navigation rally without the stresses of racing the most extreme terrain. It is a guided trip, designed for street legal 4 wheel drive vehicles (Raptors, Jeeps and Overlanders) and adventure motorcycles (BMW GS, KTM 950, etc.). Participants will be running paved and dirt roads mostly parallel to the racecourse, with occasional intersections with the rally stages to provide opportunities to view the action. Navigate by following the guide and provided GPS tracks. With no running at race speeds and no scored results, the trip is designed to run at an easy pace in order to enjoy the scenery and the unique Sonora Rally experience of new adventures and nightly bivouacs. 


NAVIGATION SCHOOL KICKS OFF US DAKAR HOPEFULS 

Recently Sonora Rally held a sold out navigation training school in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico.  The school has been touted as a great training ground for racers heading to the world famous Dakar Rally, but is also a perfect introduction for anyone interested in the Sonora Rally and trying roadbook navigation for the first time.
HRC’s Ricky Brabec and Johnny Campbell came out for three days of Dakar training prior to the school and stayed to assist once the others arrived. Skyler Howes, winner of the 2018 Sonora Rally Road to Dakar prize, and teammate Garret Poucher, were on hand to hone their skills before heading to South America.  Dakar competitors Blade Hildebrand, Kellon Walch, Cole Potts and Max Eddy Jr. also attended for some last minute practice on the massive dunes of San Luis. 
Sonora Rally and its’ fans look forward to following Sonora Rally veterans in this years Dakar. Apart from those already mentioned these also include UTV racer Casey Currie, motorcycle racers Andrew Short and Angelo Vleck and Bill Conger, who will be navigating on Robby Gordon’s three-car team. Good luck to you all and see you in Sonora 2019.


ROAD TO DAKAR:  

In order to be eligible for the UTV Road to Dakar prize, the entrants must be new competitors to Dakar. Please check all the applicable regulations published on SonoraRally.com.  
For more info or to enter: www.SonoraRally.com.


Source Sonora Rally official press release / Race-Dezert

And They’ve Made Some Improvements 


The 6th installment of the BAJA RALLY arrived on October 8th, 2018 equipped with upgrades: an environmental impact study in-hand, increased international coverage, more advanced Rally Comp systems and a journey to the Sea of Cortez. 

Approved by SEMARNAT, the environmental impact study warrants the organization’s compliance with all applicable federal laws. This is the first time an investigation of this nature has occurred for any off-road events in Mexico. It was a six-month process involving Scientists, Biologists and a Specialized team to see it through to the end, concluding the BR organization and event observes all Mexican regulations put forth. 

Three key factors which brought them to their decision:
•    The organization does not “pre-run,” removing any unnecessary disturbances to the environment
•    They do not race at night, ensuring the nocturnal populations of local species remain unharmed as visibility is decreased.
•    The competition will never grow beyond motorcycles and UTVs, keeping any disruption of the environment to a minimum.

Presently, the Media has a large international presence at the event, with journalists and documentarians from the US to Mexico, Colombia to Korea. This, rally organizers hope, will expand their audience and open doors to new participants all over the world who dream of competing in North America.
This year, the organization has wiped the proverbial slate clean for the 6th edition of Baja California’s original navigation-based Rally Raid event. They’ve put their efforts into some brand-new sections of the course, so racers are in for a treat with never-before seen sites, fresh terrain and an abundance of challenges.
 

“We spent the last three months fine-tuning the road book, but, with impeccable timing, the weather washed away a lot of hard work. This is so far the most demanding BAJA RALLY ever, due to the impact of the storms. As humans, we of course cannot predict the temperament of Mother Nature, and so, we must be prepared for every unforeseen obstacle.”


Friends, family and fans can also indulge in the trials and tribulations of both the competitors and the organizers with live footage on the BR Facebook page courtesy of the Satellite Phone Store. Concerns following Hurricane Rosa’s recent rampage across North America’s southwestern regions have been put to rest as BAJA RALLY President, Scotty Bloom, spent this past week riding the entire race course noting every change caused by the torrents.

Join North America’s premier navigation rally for another epic event.

What is Baja Rally?


Source Baja Rally's official press release
 
American Monster Energy Honda Team rider Ricky Brabec, the sensation of the most recent Dakar Rally, will participate this week in the Sonora Rally, a race through the Mexico desert which the rider previously won in 2017.
The Sonora Rally will play out in the arid Mexican desert, on the border of the United States over a total of 1324 kilometres between San Luis and Hermosillo. Ricky Brabec, who triumphed in the 2017 edition, will participate aboard the Honda CRF450 RALLY thanks to the technical and logistical support from JCR (Johnny Campbell Racing) and American Honda. Tomorrow, Sunday, sees the teams undergo the technical verifications prior to race start on Monday at 09:00 hrs local time.

Ricky Brabec: "The first rally of the year has arrived and is an American one: I'll be heading to Mexico for the Sonora Rally. The rest of the team will go to Dubai over the following two weeks. I prefer to be here for this rally and the Sonora as I think it is better to train here than in a world championship race. I will join the team later for the other races. It's good to train here in the United States alongside friends and with Johnny Campbell and Jimmy Lewis; I believe that this is the key to success. I feel very good ahead of this five-day rally in the dunes and hope to be able to do my best with both the navigation and the riding skills. I appreciate that this has been a great effort on Johnny Campbell’s part, but it should be very positive for my career. I can’t wait to see what the Dakar 2020 will be like, as I was so close this year... so I have to stay calm and repeat my 2018 season to be successful and to be on top form for 2020."

Race program
17/3 - Stage 1    San Luis - Campo La Salina - 252 km
18/3 - Stage 2    Campo La Salina    Campo La Salina    - 319 km
19/3 - Stage 3    Puerto Peñasco    Puerto Libertad    - 353 km
20/3 - Stage 4    Puerto Libertad    Bahía de Kino - 238 km
21/3 - Stage 5    Bahía de Kino    Hermosillo - 162 km

Source  Monster Energy Honda Team's official press release

Battle Ensues South of the Border for 2018 BAJA RALLY Trophy


The 2018 BAJA RALLY offered riders a little bit of everything. From dust and mud, to epic sunsets on both sides of the infamous peninsula. Top competitors made themselves known immediately, but even they weren’t a match for Mama Baja. Hurricane Rosa had plowed through the race course just a couple of weeks prior, giving the Mexican state a facelift just in time for the rally. In reaction, BAJA RALLY founder Scotty Bloom scoured the tracks to ensure accuracy in the road-book. A necessary tactic which proved helpful during earlier challenges. But torrential downpours and unrelenting mist created new obstacles for racers and organizers alike, as Special Stages Two and Three had to be shortened.   

Visiting Las Cañadas Campamento for another year, the Prologue offered some fresh twists and turns for competitors to warm up with. A surprise to maybe everyone but Scotty Bloom, some competitors had difficulty finding their way to the finish, which in many ways exposed the high bar for the coming hurdles. The first official day of racing launched near Baja favorite, Mamá Espinoza’s. Racers aimed for the beach then took some 90-degree turns back to the highway. What was supposed to be a swift stage took several teams minutes, if not hours, more than expected. Yet most racers all arrived at timing and scoring singing praise for a fun, well-rounded section – albeit a bit weary from the ride/drive. Others were not so lucky, using up all of their time searching for those waypoints, ultimately being rerouted to the highway before the sun could dip down into the Pacific.  

Special Stage Two, setting off from Cataviña, and Special Stage Three, a loop edging the Sea of Cortez, asked a lot from participants whom all, despite some early DNFs, put up a good fight. 2014 Champ and podium hopeful, Scott Bright, ran into a bike malfunction midway through the challenge in Central Baja. On one of the more technical tracks of the event, he finished respectably mid-pack, despite having to navigate with his road book squeezed between his knees. A long, arduous liaison took the entire event past Coco’s infamous Corner and down a storm-struck México 5 highway leading to San Felipe for the first time in the rally’s short, but storied, history. Trials for the third stage were aggravated by rain, which ended the ride abruptly at the scheduled gas stop. Front runners held their places as adversaries no longer had the full time allotted to catch up to them. Pro rider, Colton Udall, pushed his way to the top before it was too late, while another racer new to rally, Ray Dal Soglio, snagged second. Last year’s motorcycle class victor, Garrett Poucher, sat comfortably in a well-earned third position after starting in an undesirable position. 

Special Stage Four was full of excitement and heartbreak as the fastest test of the week brought everyone back to the westside, then poolside at the San Nicolas Hotel & Casino in Ensenada for a night of celebration. The podium was still anybody’s guess, but it was rally raid newcomer, Skyler Howes, who came out triumphant. Ray Dal Soglio sat in second with Rally Comp founder, and “sleeper” fast-guy, Mike Johnson nabbing third place overall. UTV #124, led by L. Javier Pelayo, and #111, with Joe Bolton at the helm, were neck and neck much of the race. But it was an uncharacteristic misstep by Team Bolton which put Pelayo on the podium and left Bolton in a ditch, literally. Formidable drivers and navigators, Mama Baja can mix a poisonous cocktail which, if taken too fast, can leave you on your ass. 2018 BAJA RALLY Champion, Skyler Howes, eloquently summed up the race:
 

“This rally completely re-lit my love for Baja. The trails that we took on these road books down the beach, up and over mountains, through fields of giant cactus and through the towns of Baja California were amazing. The conditions couldn't have been better with wet dirt, cool temps, and beautiful scenery with the land as green as I have ever seen it. Not only did I get the win, but I had a week-long adventure with friends new and old, ripping through the desert, reading drawings on a piece of paper telling us which way to go. That right there, in my opinion, is what racing is all about. Nothing but good times.”

 – Skyler Howes, Garrett Off-Road Racing


Source Baja Rally's official press release
 
The BAJA RALLY is the first ever road-book navigation rally raid for motorcycles and UTV’s hosted by the Mexican State of Baja CA. As the fastest-growing event of its kind, the BAJA RALLY remains focused on the 3 goals of safely growing the ecologically friendly sport of navigation rally while bringing cultural and historical education to participants and stimulating return visits be eco-tourism enthusiasts. Visit OUR WEBSITE at www.bajarallymoto.com

Prologue Stage- Las Cañadas  58 KM
  • Stage 1- Cataviña- 373 KM
  • Stage 2- San Felipe 436 KM
  • Stage 3- San Felipe (loop) 286 KM
  • Stage 4- Ensenada 310 KM
 
BAJA RALLY 2018 is presented by RALLY COMP
  • 2018 Championship points combined with Coast to Coast Rally
  • Addition of Unsupported Malle Moto & Quad Pro Categories
  • 8 Categories Total;Racers competing for 22 Trophies 
  • Scholarship Credits Applied for BAJA RALLY School 
 
Bajarallymoto.com and RALLY COMP have announced plans for a sixth consecutive edition its multi-day navigation rally-raid competition in the Mexican State of Baja CA next October 8-13, 2018.  Continuing in partnership with Rally Playero Entertainment's Coast to Coast Rally 2018, BAJA RALLY LLC  and RALLY COMP also confirmed the perpetuity of the Mexican National Cross Country Championship for 2018.  
 
MALLE MOTO CATEGORY (unsupported) 
The newly updated website revealed the addition of the Malle Moto category which will be co-managed by the notable adventure tour operator Juan Carlos Pacheco and BAJA VOYAGER. Riders will not receive any mechanical support and will have 2 gear boxes and spare wheels transported to each bivouac. It's one of the best ways to make an already challenging rally even harder to complete. 

8 CATEGORIES COMPETING FOR 22 TROPHIES
*Limited to 4-stroke, 2-wheel motorbikes and 4-wheel quads with 250cc - 800cc displacement

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES
  • RALLY PRO- Open Category
  • UTV PRO- Open Category
  • ADV PRO- Invitation Only or by petition; *exemption of displacement limitQUAD PRO- Open Category

AMATEUR CATEGORIES
  • RALLY 1- Amateurs limited to criteria in Rule 1.5 Categories
  • ROOKIE- Amateurs maiden start in a sanctioned rally competition
  • SENIOR- Amateurs 55+ years of age as of start date limited to criteria in Rule 1.5 Categories
  • MALLE MOTO- Open Category; unsupported motorbikes, quads and ADV; 1 trophy awarded






Source Baja Rally


 
Big Name Racers Light Up the Roster
Dakar Rally Fighters Going All In
Early Entries Closed Down- SOLD OUT  
Normal Entries Reopen Feb 1 at Midnight

 
Over 20 racers jumped on the chance to guarantee their early entries, preferred running numbers and the lowest possible entry fees in the first 3 weeks The Rally Comp BAJA RALLY opening the entry period. The organizers have since shut it down as promised and released the names and numbers of the first 21 entrants. The 7th consecutive running of the BAJA RALLY takes place in 8 months covering the entire state of Baja CA September 30- October 5. 

Among the first top fighters in the most heavily contested rally-raid in North America are former BAJA RALLY Champions Skylar Howes and Garrett Poucher, both fresh off the plane from Peru after their maiden attempts at the Dakar Rally, the hardest race of its kind in the world.

Also returning to battle in Baja are Scott Bright & Mike Johnson, both long in rally experience and with Dakar finishes on their records. Bright was a winner at the Rally Coast to Coast in Oaxaca last spring.

It gets even better with multi-time SCORE Baja 1000 Champion Colton Udall coming back after his Baja Rally debut in 2018 where he dominated Stage 3 in San Felipe to get his first win. There's lots of heat on the entire field because Mexican National Rally points Champion Ray Dal Soglio also vying to take the win in 2019 and the points as well. 

Rounding out the elite Rally Pro category, and final 2 top guns to make it in before cutoff, 2017 SCORE Ironman Champ Josear Carraso and 2018 BITD Vegas to Reno Champ Jacob Argubright will fight for a week next fall with all these names.   

More than 80% of early entrants returning to BAJA RALLY for another try this signaling the organizer's dedication to keeping them coming back for more. And with North Americans still infected by Rally Fever, it's high time to prep for the most fierce 5 days of rally stage competition to date.

LIMITED 1st QUARTER ENTRIES TO OPEN FEB 1 AT MIDNIGHT 

"This is the first year we delayed the entry period until Jan 1", explains Race Director Victor Orellana, "We knew there would be a little pushing and shoving from competitors who raced our rally last October. They obviously want more of what we've shown them." 


To view the updated entry list, please visit this page: https://www.bajarallymoto.com/entry-list.html

Source Baja Rally official press release

SS3 & SS4 Closed Out an Epic Week in Baja California


SPECIAL STAGE THREE 

The 2018 BAJA RALLY was one turn away from the podium, and it had only gotten wilder. Torrents throughout the day threw a wrench in Special Stage Three, cutting the course down at its gas stop as a safety protocol. But what the racers did experience was wholly different from what they’ve encountered all week. Friday was the organization’s very first expedition to the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula. 

Top competitors seemed to be taking turns at victory, as Colton Udall laid it down for the rest of the riders, setting a fast pace despite the pouring rain and muddy obstacles. Ray Dal Soglio finished six minutes short of the leader during his second rally, ever, putting him at an impressive second place overall. Special mention should be made to rookie Alan Brands, as well, who then was seated at ninth overall behind, and in front, of some truly formidable athletes.   

“Today's was a huge challenge for the racers and crews with the rain showers and shortened special stage. It really showed what we are all made of and inspires sportsmanship and toughness among the field.” – BAJA RALLY President, Scotty Bloom

Garret Poucher quickly moved his way to the top, putting to rest any concerns about his performance from the third day. He ended Stage Three in third and sat comfortably at sixth place overall by Saturday morning, only one second apart from John Deykes, who sat at seventh. Poucher’s teammate, the fresh-faced Skyler Howes – also competing in his second rally raid – has really made a name for himself, concluding the penultimate phase first overall. Fan-favorite, and Rally Comp wiz, Mike Johnson is rightfully perched at the summit, his hard work so far resulting in the third overall spot.

The UTVs had been battling ruthlessly for those first three positions with a surprising turn, courtesy of veteran Joe Bolton and his super sharp pilot Dave Peckham, pushing their way five minutes past Pelayo – whom so far had dominated the cars. But anything can happen on the racecourse… And there was still one more stage. 


SPECIAL STAGE FOUR

The scene at BAJA RALLY’s infamous pool party was as vibrant as one might expect with the surprising outcome of Special Stage Four. After a long liaison from San Felipe, the competitors took off on their fastest stage yet! At rapid speed, the first finishers blasted past timing and scoring in less than 50 minutes. Disaster struck for UTV 111, as Bolton and Peckham found themselves in a ravine, despite all their efforts, and out of the running. In fact, due to an unfortunate series of events, all UTVs ended up with the dreaded DNF – except for class winner, number 124, L. Javier Pelayo.  

It's not all bad news. Two of the newest riders to rally raid came out of it all, triumphant. Skyler Howes, protégé’ of Baja legend Kurt Caselli and teammate of 2017 BAJA RALLY Champion Garrett Poucher, has nabbed his second first place trophy, at his second ever rally race. A great example of what he might bring to the coming Dakar Rally – to which he is seeking support from friends and fans. Ray Dal Sogio held onto the prestige of Special Stage Three after the final day in Baja, taking the next best accolade during his second navigation rally. As so many had hoped, Mike Johnson of Rally Comp maintained his vigor for Special Stage Four, leaving Mexico once again on the podium, taking Third Place for the second year in a row. 

This year, the group is represented by several countries, varied skill-sets and experience, yet everyone in the mix has the heart of a lion. And they’ve proven themselves worthy of the task through every unforeseen challenge. Maybe this was their first time, their tenth time or their last time racing the rally, but this year’s BAJA RALLY is one they’ll never forget.  


Source Baja Rally's official press release
BAJA RALLY 2018 offers competitors the option to enter the new “Malle Moto” category, the ultimate test for the toughest racers choosing to challenge the 5-day BAJA RALLY without any outside support or mechanical assistance. Malle Moto is also suggested for capable riders who want to challenge BAJA RALLY without the cost and logistics of bringing their own support crew or hiring a full service support company. BAJA VOYAGER is the exclusive management company of BAJA RALLY 2018 Malle Moto Category and provides these expert services as part of their daily operations.

Riders attempting a finish in the Malle Moto category will be monitored by the BAJA RALLY Organization staff separately from BAJA VOYAGER's transport and management of the MM Truck and MM Bivouacs. 

*No Service Crews; riders must perform all work and service by themselves, strictly monitored  
*No mechanical assistance from anyone (receiving advice and tools is permissible)
*Motorbikes and quads confined to MM Bivouac 
*Riders camp, work and sleep in MM Bivouac
*Riders permitted 2 boxes transported to each bivouac on the Malle Moto Truck. 
*Limited basic tools and workspace confined to MM Bivouac
*Riders permitted to bring 2 extra wheels (with or without tires) for transport on the Malle Moto Truck
*Camping tents provided and assembled for MM Racers each day.
*Riders adhere to strict schedule for loading boxes on MM Truck for departures. 

MALLE MOTO CLASSIFICATION -- +$250 Surcharge
“Manly Moto” Class New for BAJA RALLY 2018

More information about Baja Rally on the official website: https://www.bajarallymoto.com/malle-moto.html
 

Souce Baja Rally's official press release

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