December 20, 2011: After months of careful planning and cooperative efforts with Mexican officials and several potential corporate partners, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) today announced the official dates for the 2012 Mexican 1000 Rally as April 28 – May 2, 2012. The new time slot not only reflects a change in the event’s overall formatting, but were necessitated by NORRA’s desire to avoid a conflict with another off-road race promoter over the Rally’s original May 5 – May 9, 2012 date.
Dubbed the “Happiest Race on Earth,” the unique off-road rally was created by promoter Mike Pearlman in 2010. The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, rally cars, a limited number 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.
Unlike the first two Mexican 1000s, the rally will be held starting on a weekend instead of mid-week to allow more spectator interaction and to provide participants the chance to enjoy the rally within one full calendar week. The 2012 proceedings will begin with a technical inspection/car show at the historic bull ring in downtown Mexicali on Saturday, April 28. The first stage of the rally itself will depart Mexicali on Sunday, April 29 and is planned to end in San Jose del Cabo on May 2, 2012.
With the dates now solidified, NORRA will open online registration to all participants for the 2012 Mexican 1000 on Sunday, January 1. In addition, an updated Mexican 1000 Website will be unveiled on New Year’s Day as well.
We are very pleased to have the 2012 dates finally secured and our event soon open for registration,” explained Pearlman. “Unfortunately, our original dates needed modification to help accommodate Casey Folks and his Best-InThe-Desert (BITD) organization’s new sanctioning of next year’s General Tire Mint 400. While our two events are very different, we not only have competitors that wish to compete in both, but we want to continue our positive relationship with Best In The Desert.”
Registration will be open to all automobiles and motorcycles that meet basic safety standards as outlined the new NORRA rulebook (currently available at the website). Although the spotlight will remain squarely on vintage machinery, NORRA has added several new categories for modern and vintage rally cars as well as some for modern desert racing machinery, 4x4s, dune buggies, and ATVs and motorcycles of all types and ages. Each day of the rally consists of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway).
While still a competitively timed event, all entries will enjoy the same course, beautiful Baja scenery and group festivities. In addition, the NORRA organization is working to greatly enhance one of the Mexican 1000’s most distinguishing elements – the rally’s camaraderie, hospitality and fun.
Despite official entries not being officially open until January 1, it is expected that many of the rally’s most distinguished racers – a list that includes Bob Gordon, Walker Evans, Parnelli Jones, Malcolm Smith, Bud Feldkamp, Frank “Butch” Arciero, Larry Roeseler, Michael Gaughan and others will return for the 2012 rally.

About the Author

Mike Lasher is a true Off Road enthusiast down to the core, Growing up in the back seat of a jeep exploring the deserts of Arizona and Nevada, as a kid, as so many of us did. Today Mike spends his free time on the trails with his family and friends in his Kawasaki Teryx or Jeep Wrangler. He also regularly competes in the Best in the Desert series and was second in points in 2009. For more information on mike you can visit

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