Technology in 52nd Baja 1000

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The Baja 1000 has been running for 52 years and has started in Ensenada Mexico 45 times!  Technology has advanced incredibly during these years.  The first Baja 1000 had 1 participant and was covered by 2 journalists who used an airplane and telegraph to watch and communicate the story!  In today’s races, hundreds of participants and journalists participate. 

Leading up to the race:

This year rain came down so hard it destroyed the course only days before the start.  In fact, the damage was so intense that the race had to be delayed by a day to give race officials time to repair and ensure safety on the course.  Luckily, with the delay, the new day of the race was a beautiful start under perfectly sunny skies.

However, the racers still had to deal with fresh mud and exposed rock that wasn’t there prior to the storms.  It was almost a brand-new course for the drivers.

There were 3 outlying checkpoints for vehicles to stop.

Coverage Technology:

Coverage includes High definition cameras filming and photographing amazing shots throughout the race.  It is streamed over the internet and published in hundreds of magazines and online publications.

Race Technology:

Trophy Trucks are a specialized off-road racing vehicle that resembles a pickup truck. It is an offshoot of the original dune/off-road buggies used in the US Southwest and Baja Mexico, and shares many characteristics with them.  This is the best way trucks can qualify for the category and still make best times in the Baja 1000.

They generally include a tube frame chassis with a very powerful engine and incredible suspension built to absorbed large bumps, dips, and jumps at high speed.

Technology includes weight distribution at 50/50, and suspension that can handle the difficult terrain.  From Tires, to wheels, to springs and shock absorbers, everything needs to be in sync in order to provide the vehicle with maximized tire contact with the terrain.  Geometry and algebra required!

Along with suspension, aerodynamics plays a large role and safety.  The technology and computers required to design this are on par with top video gaming PCs and would put top secret super computers from the 1960s (when the race first started) to shame.

Other Race Information:

Main Sponsor: 4 Wheel Parts

Date: Nov. 23-24, 2019—800.5 miles–Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

TOTAL STARTERS: 264, TOTAL FINISHERS: 145 (54.92 percent)

Participating Countries: 39 U.S. States, host Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Spain.

Classes

Pro Cars & Trucks Description
SCORE Trophy Truck Unlimited custom Trucks
SCORE TT Legend Drivers over 50, Unlimited custom Truck
Class 1 Unlimited single or two-seat open-wheel race car
Trophy Truck Spec custom trucks/SUV, stock, sealed V-8 engines, 2WD
Class 2 Unrestricted cars/trucks including turbo and superchargers
Hammer Truck Unlimited unlimited, custom 4-wheel drive Rock Crawler
Hammer Truck Limited limited, production type, 4-Wheel Drive Rock Crawler
Class 10 Limited, sealed 2.2L-2.4L engine, 1 or 2-seat open-wheel race cars
Class 7 Unlimited, six-cylinder production appearing trucks or SUVs
Heavy Metal Open Trucks, SUVs, stock appearing body, V8 engines
Class 5 Unlimited Baja Bugs any manufacturer, VW concept engines allowed
Pro UTV FI two/four-seat Forced Induction OEM engine UTVs
SCORE Lites Limited single-1776cc-or two-seaters-1835cc VW engines
Pro UTV NA two/four-seat Normally Aspirated OEM engine UTVs
Class 1/2-1600 single or two-seat desert race cars to 1600cc VW engines
Pro UTV Unlimited one/two-seat Unlimited UTV NA or FI
Pro UTV Stock Stock Production UTVs, NA or FI
Protruck Spec Production Trucks. V8 engines
Class 8 Full-size two-wheel drive truck or SUV. No limit on displacement
Class 3 Short wheelbase 4X4 based on production vehicles
Class 3000 unlimited car/truck, 2.2/2.4-Liter Ecotec engine
Baja Challenge Spec Subaru-powered two-seat open wheel race cars
Stock Full Stock full-sized 2 or 4-wheel drive trucks, SUVs
Class 5-1600 1600cc VW Baja Bugs
Baja-e single or two-seat electric powered unlimited 4-wheel vehicles
Class 7F Stock frame, engine, body, 2 or 4-WD mini or mid-size trucks
Class 7SX 2 or 4-WD production-based mini or mid-sized trucks
Class 3700 Jeepspeed Outlaw-including Class 4700
Class 1700 Jeepspeed Challenge
Class 2700 Jeepspeed Intermediate
Vintage Trailblazer 1982 and earlier cars/trucks
Vintage Innovator 1983-1992 cars/trucks
Class 9 Short wheelbase, 1585cc VW-powered single or two-seaters, max 1585cc
Class 11 Stock VW Sedans 1600cc VW-powered Type 1, safety modifications
Sportsman Cars/Trucks/UTVs
Sportsman Unlimited Truck trucks/SUVs, NA, production appearing full body
Sportsman UTV Unlimited unlimited UTV
Sportsman UTV Stock showroom Stock UTVs, safety mods, FI or NA
Sportsman Limited Truck full frame, leaf springs only full-bodied NA Trucks/SUVs
Sportsman Open-Wheel unlimited single or two-seat open-wheel cars
Pro Motorcycles
Pro Moto Unlimited 400cc or more
Pro Moto Limited 200cc to 400cc
Pro Moto 40 Riders over 40 years old, Open cc
Pro Moto 30 Riders over 30 years old, Open cc
Pro Moto Ironman Solo riders, Open cc
Pro Moto 50 Riders over 50 years old, Open cc
Pro Moto 60 Riders over 60 years old, Open cc
Pro Quads
Pro Quads open motorcycle engine displacement
Sportsman Quads/Motorcycles
Sportsman Quads open Motorcycle engine displacement
Sportsman M/C open motorcycle engine displacement

Resources:

https://www.fourwheeler.com/news/history-made-52nd-score-baja-1000/

https://www.toyotires.com/races-and-places/wins/alan-ampudia-wins-2019-baja-1000

https://utvactionmag.com/polaris-wins-big-at-the-52nd-score-baja-1000/

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