Sonora Rally © 2015-2019 All rights reserved


Rallye Raid style race in Mexico

A truly unique race in

North America

March 17-22, 2019

Sonora, Mexico



Presented by

About the Sonora Rally logo

La Danza del Venado - Deer Dance


The Sonora Rally logo honors the Yaqui and Mayo (Yoreme) Deer Dance, or La Danza del Venado. It is a native dance from Sonora. Dancers reenact a dramatic deer hunt to honor the natural world and the white tail deer, both who provide for most all their needs. The Deer Dance is one of the most popular dances in Mexico today. Because the Yaqui and Mayo people fought valiantly to preserve their land and culture during the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the Deer Dance has no European influence and has changed very little over the centuries. This native Mexican dance is highly respected for its inherent ritual, primal, and spiritual qualities. It is powerful symbol of Sonoran pride that we wanted to share.


Video 1 of La Danza del Venado

Video 2 of La Danza del Venado


Thanks to Cesars for the inspiration, artwork and lasting great hospitality!

Why a secret course?

- Conquering the unknown gives a great sense of accomplishment and adventure

- Helps level the playing field between those with local knowledge and newcomers

- Minimizes the impact to the environment by minimizing the repeated use of the roads traveled



Why no GPS tracks?

- A core concept in cross-country rally is navigating by roadbook

- GPS tracks take away the challenge in navigation, also taking away much of the fun


When it comes to navigation, the sport of cross-country rally has retained the concept of using a roadbook to find your way as opposed to more recent developments such as GPS tracks. It's an essential and unique component that sets rally apart from all other forms of motor racing. It forces you to THINK about where you're going, while at the same time trying to go as fast as you can.

Rally also puts a premium on "reading the terrain", since you probably have never been in that place before. When you don't know what's around the next corner, or over the next hill, you have to drive or ride a bit differently. You have to drive smart to be successful.

Rally navigation also provides opportunities for savvy competitors to out-wit their competition by picking a different path in certain parts of the course. In traditional North American desert racing, the same savvy "creative line" selection is possible (though less and less with the introduction of trackers), but that planning is generally done well before the race, in pre-running. In rally, the competitor has to do it "on-the-fly", in unknown terrain, which adds an extra level of challenge and an extra level of opportunity.

In rally, it's not supposed to be pushbutton easy to find your way from one place to another. Using GPS tracks to navigate a true cross country rally would be like paving the whole Baja 1000 course. Sure it makes it easier, but you cut part of the heart out of what the event is all about. It becomes a different race all together. If you look at navigation the same way you look at dirt, bumps, heat, dust, rocks, spectators, and all the other things you hate but love, then you can better appreciate the added challenge of navigating an unknown course in unknown terrain without GPS tracks. Navigation by roadbook presents a unique mental challenge that GPS tracks takes away.

When the navigation is tough, which we believe it should be, people make mistakes, get confused and lost, miss turns, and more. For people who love a good challenge, tough navigation makes it all the better. Ask anyone who has raced Dakar or any other overseas rally, and they will tell you they love that added challenge. Rally is more of a "thinking man's" sport. Test your brains as well as your balls!

What kind of GPS is needed?



See the GPS page for an indepth discussion of GPS issues.


Moto Rally Kit from RMS

Where to get rally equipment?

Get the goods


Most moto related items such are roadbook reader, rally odometer, and mounting brackets are available at Rally Moto Shop (RMS). Talk to Dave at RMS if you have questions about this equipment. He'll be at the Sonora Rally, so you'll get great support if such a need arises!

The ICO Rallye Max-G is the best rally odometer on the market, and can be used on both motos and cars. Since it has its own tiny attached GPS for measuring distance traveled and providing compass headings, there is no need to wire up a wheel or drive shaft sensor and no need for an additional heading repeater. Super convenient!


Other than single-seaters, cars don't need the roadbook reader/holder because the navigator can hold the roadbook while reading it. Cars may find adding a second digital compass heading repeater/display for the driver is helpful.


For car specific equipment questions, Darren can answer your questions.