February 24, 2015

Innovative Three-Route Format To Ensure Fun and Safety at the NORRA 2015 General Tire Mexican 1000 Rally
-- NORRA Also Outlines Additional Racer Support Programs --

(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Having executed a successful “proof of concept” in 2014, the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) today confirmed it will incorporate a three-route rally format for its upcoming General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000. The announcement bolsters NORRA’s reputation for hosting “The Happiest Race On Earth,” as the format not only adds a great measure of safety, but also allows race organizers to tailor 1,300-plus miles of rally routes and terrain to better accommodate the wide variety of vehicles expected for this year’s event.

In essence, NORRA will coordinate a complex set of logistics in creating a trio of special routes and staggered formatting for competitors in the Vintage, Evolution and Motorcycle categories. This step is being taken to allow for vehicle separation, a wide variety of machinery and driver experience, as well as reducing dust for all its racers.

The historic streets of Ensenada, Baja, Mexico will come alive once again on April 25, 2015 as the official starting location for the General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000. Both NORRA's Vintage and Evolution categories will undergo pre-rally inspection at the Bilstein Tech Area (above), while the Motorcycle classes will get the green flag that morning.

Scheduled for April 25-29, the 6th annual NORRA Mexican 1000 will once again start in the northern port city of Ensenada, Baja, Mexico and wind its way down to the very tip of the legendary peninsula in the world-class resort area of San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas. While the exact route is held in secrecy until just before the rally begins, NORRA’s announcement lays out specific dates, overnight stops and a general sense of where the three routes will take their Mexican 1000 guests.

The various motorcycle classes will take center stage on Saturday, April 25, as the first rider to take the green flag will be waved off at high noon right in the midst of the event’s highly popular General Tire Vintage “Round-Up” and the Bilstein Technical Inspection for the four-wheel classes. From there, the riders will wind down the Pacific Ocean side of Baja before completing Day 1 in El Rosario. Day 2 will see another great day of fun and adventure capped off by an overnight stay in the desert oasis of San Ignacio. Like last year, Day 3 will end in Loreto, with the motorcycle crowd reuniting with their four-wheel counterparts for the first time in the rally. Staggered starts and different routes in Day 4 and Day 5 will ensure maximum rider safety in getting to the finish lines.

NORRA's two-wheel competitors will once again enjoy the safety of motorcycle-only rally days and separate routes as they compete in the 2015 Mexican 1000. NORRA first instituted this formal in 2014 -- a concept that was met with overall praise and appreciation from by rally organizers.

For NORRA’s trademark Vintage categories, for the first time in rally history an entirely separate route on Day 1 will separate them from the modern Evolution/Rally categories. Taking an early start out of Ensenada, the vintage cars, trucks and buggies will head east, then south on smoother dirt roads through San Felipe and on to Bahia de Los Angeles for their first overnight. Day 2, 3 and 4 will be similar to last year’s course to Loreto, La Paz and Cabo, but with course adjustments to avoid silt-beds and overly rough terrain.

NORRA’s modern Evolution and Rally Raid-style vehicles also take the green flag on Sunday, April 26, but will head in a southern direction toward Bahia de Los Angeles via San Quintin. It was a similar route used in 2014, but NORRA will use a shorter last Special Stage to insure competitors enjoy the late afternoon finish line festivities along with the Vintage crowd. The following days will use much of the same route as the Vintage classes, but will also feature separate variations over tougher terrain.

While desert off-road racing is always a challenge, for 2015 NORRA is adding additional resources to create three separate routes that better suit their Vintage, Evolution and Motorcycle classes.

Race organizers have also announced the return of the NORRA “Radio Relay” communications plane and aircrew to assist racers contact their chase crews if needed. The NORRA chase plane extends radio reach by slowly circling down the course and using its elevation to relay messages between competitor and their teams. First used in 2014, the NORRA “Radio Relay” was a popular addition to the rally that adds yet another layer of safety and proactive assistance for Mexican 1000 crews and drivers.

NORRA is also finalizing a significantly bolstered and comprehensive “sweep” program that will offer racers with mechanical issues a much higher level of on-course service and support. Additional information regarding this “sweep” program will be released shortly.

“In our first five years, the NORRA staff has worked hard to make our Mexican 1000 experience as exceptional as possible,” shared organization President Mike Pearlman. “While these upgrades add to our overall logistical challenge, that will always take a back seat to our priority of constantly increasing ease of participation, overall safety and the overall fun factor!”

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/Impact Safety.

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Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars, a limited group of modern desert racecars and classes for prerunner trucks and buggies.

Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s.

The General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by General Tire, American Racing Wheel, South Point Hotel Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Azunia Tequila, KC HiLites, Bilstein Shock Absorbers and Mastercraft/Impact Safety.