Competitors FAQ

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

How does refueling work?

Motorcycles are requested to have a 150km mile fuel range, Cars, UTVs, and Adventure Raid requested to have a 250km fuel range (no penalty), at least 150km is required but you may incur a time penalty.

In case a special stage is longer than 150km the organization will provide for one of the following:

  • Neutralized10 minute fuel stop:
    • Motorcylces: Upon arrival at the fuel stop motos wil check in and will be given 10 minutes to refuel. After 10 minutes the clock will restart. All motorcycle teams must supply full cans to our fuel stop crews the night before.  Our crews will then deliver your fuel to the neutralized fuel stops.
    • Cars: Cars are allowed to gas up at the 150KM moto gas stops on the following conditions. The driver and codriver must refuel themselves with no outside support. The stop will not be neutralized, meaning they must stop for a minimum of 10 minutes with the clock running in order to refuel safely. The Rally organization will not carry fuel for the cars, it must be delivered by their support crew to the refueling area.
  • Shared Route: In case where a liason section is the same as the assistance route, the assistance crews will be authorized to assist and refuel the motorcycles and cars.
  • Assistance Point: The organization may also authorize specific assistance point during the special stage to allow for refueling by competitor assistance crews. No other outside assistance during the special stage is authorized.

It will be to your advantage to have several fuel cans so you have fuel in the bivouac as well as at the fuel stops. It is not permitted for riders to carry fuel on their person. All fuel tanks must be attached to the motorcycle in permanent and safe manner. Cars can run stock tanks, properly protected, in the stock location. Additional tanks must be of an FT3 or equivalent race approved standard.

Be aware you are not allowed to bring fuel across the border into Mexico in fuel cans.  It’s better to bring them in empty and fill them in Mexico.

2020 Fuel details: There are numerous gas stations in Hermosillo, Caborca, Puerto PeƱasco and San Luis Rio Colorado.  There is only one gas station near the bivouac in Banamichi with only 87 octane Magna and Diesel. There is no 91 Octane in Banamichi, but there is 91 octane in Aconchi close to where the Stage 1 ends.  If your race vehicle requires high octane fuel, you should plan to fill up in Aconchi before proceeding on the liason to Banamichi.

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 section in NAV Equipment for an in depth discussion of GPS issues.

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).

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!

Terratrip and Coralba odometers are also used in the 4 wheel catergories.

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.