Pro Desert Racing is sponsored in part by the State of Sonora. As part of this relationship we have been given permission to race just about anywhere in the "Free Zone" which extends from the Colorado River to Nogales then south to the port of Guaymas. Included are resort towns of San Carlos, Kino Bay, Puerto Penasco and the developing village of El Golfo de Santa Clara as well as major cities such as San Luis, Caborca, Obregon and Hermosillo.
One area that has been in "negotiation" is the internationally observed biosphere between Puerto Penasco and El Golfo known as the Pinacate. This area is one of the richest ecological areas in the world for the study of arid flora and fauna as well as the mass of sea life that lives in the estuaries and other coastline areas of the Sea of Cortez.
For many factors we have been asked not to race through this sensitive area at this time. There is a major highway under construction and the caretakers feel that the stress on the area is as much as it can take. Pro Desert Racing, of course, must honor that request.
We still feel that it is important to race in the San Luis and El Golfo area. We would like to hold a race that is more convenient to the racers from northern Baja and southern California to show them the beauty of the Sea of Cortez and introduce them to racing in Sonora. We have been allowed to race along the Sea of Cortez for several miles south of El Golfo to a little fishing village called " Tornillal ". This gives us plenty of diverse area to hold a first-class event.
The Sonora 500 will start and finish as before in an area on the south side of San Luis. This city is on the border about thirty minutes south of Yuma, Arizona. Registration, contingency and tech will be held on Friday, October 13 at the San Angel Hotel in San Luis. The San Angel is a very nice hotel with all of the amenities and secured parking. Restaurants there and nearby are exceptional. If one decides to stay in Yuma there are plenty of nice hotels as well. The border at San Luis is similar to the crossing at other smaller towns...easy "in" and about a thirty minute line to get "out". If you choose to stay in Puerto Penasco it is about a three hour drive in Mexico to San Luis so that option is very much available.
The gemstone of this race will be halfway through the loop at El Golfo de Santa Clara. We will race in and around this little fishing town. It has hotels, restaurants and good camping as well. We will make this a major pitting and checkpoint area and be sure and give yourself time to spend here when you pre-run. It is one of the most beautiful beach areas in Mexico.
The race will now have two loops in order to do the 500 kilometers that we have designated for this event. It will be fast as it treks from agricultural areas to desert roads to sandy beaches. It should be a fun event that should be kind to your equipment and a great shakedown for the "1000".
July 2, 2006 Inside Information
Inside Information is that the race is on for October without crossing to Rocky Point, it would be a San Luis to El Golfo to El Tornillal, or 2 miles from the salt flats, and back to San Luis, possibly would go back through the dry lake.
Stay tuned to Baja Racing News for more information!