Going off-road in Mexico’s Baja 1000

Journalism , Mexico , Travel Jul 11, 2015 No Comments

It’s probably the first time the waiter in Ensenada has heard these two words, but he takes them in his stride: “Ta, cobber.” In turn, Chris Western takes to the largest steak on the menu—he double-checked to make sure—with gusto.

The 40-year-old Gold Coast resident is in Ensenada, in Mexico’s Baja California state, to take on the SCORE International Baja 1000, the crowning event of off-road racing’s international calendar. It’s a massive affair, about 1820 kilometres point-to-point, Ensenada to La Paz, with few opportunities for drivers such as Chris, who will be behind the wheel the whole way—“ironman-ing” it—to catch any shut-eye.

It’s also hugely popular. The population of Ensenada, an hour south of Tijuana and the US–Mexico border, has exploded in the lead-up. The bars and restaurants are overflowing with Americans, Mexicans, Europeans and Japanese in heavily branded T-shirts, and local children accost them at every turn for handfuls of team stickers. Chris’s Off-Road Rush Mickey Thompson Race Team—friends and family, including his parents, his wife and three kids—runs out of theirs before the race has even begun.

Read the full article in The Saturday Paper.

Matthew Clayfield

Matthew Clayfield is a journalist, critic and screenwriter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *