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March 5, 2015

NORRA Resets Course Format for 2015 General Tire Mexican 1000 Rally
-- Vintage and Evolution Classes to Share Majority of Rally Route --

(Agua Dulce, Calif.): Despite investing considerable time and financial resources to provide its Vintage categories an entirely separate rally route on Day 1 of the 2015 General Tire Mexican 1000, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) today announced it will return to its tradition of running all two, three and four-wheel competitors down the Pacific side of northern Baja for this year’s event.

The announcement comes after lengthy discussions between NORRA and its racers. The Vintage course first announced by rally organizers was intended to provide a separate route from the Day 1's Ensenada starting line to the Mexican 1000’s first overnight stop in Bahia de Los Angeles (Bay of Los Angeles). Originally scheduled to take NORRA’s unique Vintage category competitors east and then south along the Sea of Cortez. All Vintage racers will again join their Evolution-class four-wheel counterparts for a good portion of 2015's Day 1 race course.

“In last year’s rally the Day 1 route incorporated some mileage a bit too rough for our Vintage class cars with limited suspension,” shared NORRA President Mike Pearlman. “First and foremost, the Mexican 1000 is about having fun and enjoying the competition; not getting stuck in silt beds or rolling into the overnight stop in the pitch dark. We listened carefully to our guest’s concerns, and, to borrow a racing term, ‘overcorrected’ a bit to compensate. Finding a happy medium for all our racers isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to accommodate such a wide variety of machinery and levels of experience.”

An important key to the General Tire Mexican 1000's growth has been NORRA's steadfast focus on very personal customer service and creatively enhancing its hospitality and overall guest experience. For 2015, those objectives will be taken to an even higher level.

The list of famous off-road vehicles expected at the 2015 Mint 400 “Show N’ Shine” is expected to include many one-of-a-kind iconic desert racing vehicles – many that competed in the Mint 400 during their heyday.

NORRA will continue to provide Motorcycle categories with separate starting times and overnight locations on Day 1 and Day 2 to offer a far greater measure of safety and enjoyment for an event known as “The Happiest Race on Earth.” NORRA pioneered the concept of using a multiple route, multiple day, rally-style format for long-distance desert events, executing a successful “proof of concept” in 2014 with separation of their two and four-wheel entrants.

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 provides chase crews the opportunity to finalize their pre-rally race and fueling strategies.

Taken on Day 1 of the 2014 NORRA Mexican 1000, this beautifully restored 1969 Stroppe Ford Bronco of Andrew Norton created a perfect composition for photographer Chris Collard. The Bronco, Norton and Collard will return to Baja in April for more NORRA-style adventure.

For NORRA’s trademark Vintage categories, Day 1 will take the same route south to Bahia de Los Angeles, but with different course adjustments to separate them from the modern Evolution/Rally categories on the day’s final on-dirt stage. Day 2, 3 and 4 will be similar to last year’s course to Loreto, La Paz and Cabo, but with more adjustments to avoid silt beds and overly rough terrain.

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. 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.

“We apologize in advance if this format change has caused any undue hardship for our teams,” added Pearlman. “When your primary focus is on your guests having a great time, it’s easy to forget a minor adjustment here and there can be better than a major overhaul. NORRA looks forward to seeing everyone In Ensenada come April.”

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ABOUT NORRA

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.