Rally raid racing is expanding in Baja California, with three races making up the 2021 Baja Rally Championship Series. The 2021 Baja Rally schedule covers three seasons—winter, spring, and fall—with the possibility of distinctively different weather challenges for the rally racers.Baja Rally founder Scotty “Breauxman” Bloom describes the series as having “championship-level” rally raid stages. According to a Baja Rally spokesman, the series has “innovative protocols for communications and safety, including moto-medics, Rally Comp Tracking, and satellite WiFi, and communications.”
(December 17 update: The Cataviña Rally has been rescheduled for December 3-6, 2021) The opening round is the Cataviña Rally, a three-day event starting on January 29. The Cataviña Rally runs nearly 400 miles and will be using new rally stages.The first day of the event runs from El Rosario, on the central west coast of Baja California, and runs to Cataviña, in the state’s center. The second day is a loop beginning and ending in Cataviña. Hotel Mision Cataviña is the official hotel for two nights. The Cataviña Rally ends the next day with a stage back to El Rosario. Registration is now open for this event.
SAN QUINTIN RALLY
Like the Cataviña Rally, the San Quintin Rally will run between El Rosario and Cataviña, with a mid-rally on-day loop based in Cataviña. The rally begins on May 21, and will travel south to Valle de Los Cirios on Saturday. Registration for the San Quintin Rally starts on February 1, 2021.
The final round is the big one. It is a six-day affair, based in Ensenada, starting on September 26 and finishing on October 2, 2021. A marathon stage takes the riders to Bahía de los Ángeles, on the Gulf of California in southern Baja California. There are also stops in San Felipe, at the top of the Gulf of California, and Cataviña. New Year’s Day 2021 is when you can start registering for this flagship rally raid.“We’ve ramped up for the post-COVID era because we have the assets and resources to provide a safer racing platform that is sustainable,” Bloom says. “There is a pent-up demand after this anomaly of a year, and for rally-raid as a racing alternative. We’re seeing more interest stemming from Ricky Brabec and Casey Currie’s Dakar Rally wins. We’re getting generous support from our three main sponsors. The bottom line is we’ve had a lot of practice and learned a lot these first eight years, so we have the capacity to scale it out to a three-race series with the longest rally in North America.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.