2023 Southern Baja Summer SPECIAL - The Ongoing Series
By Jose Salas II, Publisher
Detailed reports on fun-runs and pre-running this years Baja 1000 from May through December.
This desert, off-road motorsports event scheduled for November, will run from La Paz, the "Capital of Off-Road", north to the goal of Ensenada, in Baja California, the northern state of the Baja peninsula, of Mexico.
For the first time in the history of the gringo-mil, the race is running from south to north!
Yes, most of the state is various types of desert. The rain exposed rocky spine of the mountains and granitic skeleton of the southern peninsula reveal that Southern Baja Mexico has often been called a 'Land of Rock'.
Because of the disparate differences of Baja North and Southern Baja, like landscapes, vegetation and geologic structure, many racers are often turned around and confused when making their way south of Catavina. The racing gringos have hardly ever spent any time or raced out of the Southern Baja state.
The glory-boy himself, BFGoodrich Tires sponsored Rob MacCachren, claimed to be the greatest of all time off-road racing gringo, while leading the race, blew (missed) a turn at the SCORE Baja Sur racing event and failed to podium because of his mistake.
Not enough sponsor dollars? Not enough planning & pre-running? Turned around?
The racing event ultimately ended up being a total disaster, with the owner of SCORE being called out in public, by a state official, knowledeable with the facts, in the daily La Paz newspaper as, "A Liar", for contending it was the fault of the government of Baja Sur the racing event didn't come back.
As Roger promised, by contract with the state.
The state said it was Rogers fault.
Also, Roger Norman claimed, he designed the 'BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja Sur' race course, when in actuality, he simply copied the routing of the event from state racing officials!
Sea, Land and Air
The first part of knowing the conditions of setting plans to operate vehicles and people in Southern Baja during Summer and into Fall this year, is getting used to the greatest forces over this part of Mexico.
First, the sea and atmosphere are crucial to understanding what driving conditions are on the ground.
Because Southern Baja is a land between two very different bodies of water, its atmosphere is hyper-dynamic.
Extremes of temperature, rainfall and winds can occur here.
From May through December, tropical systems can stop any travel through Southern Baja.
Current forecast models are reflecting moderate driving conditions during the first two months of this period.
Some cooler than normal air temperatures and low chance of rainfall make this period the best time to get to know the race course, before the oppressive Summer conditions set in.
Once the course has been made 'public' in October, most of the storms have already hit and racers may not be able to accomplish a full schedule of running and viewing the proposed race course. Do it now.
Tropical system forecasts are showing a moderately active storm regime. The worst month for tropical systems in Southern Baja is September.
We'll keep you updated, RIGHT HERE.
Last year was very bad for the state of Baja Sur-
In the early days of resort life in Mexico, September was the month many resorts just closed down completely as a matter of course.
That way, with no customers on resort properties, there were no issues with taking care of customers forced to hunker down on the property or cancelled airport plans because of the weather.
The locals working at the resorts would much rather, take care of their own families.
Today, the Pacific Ocean sea surface water temperatures are cooler than normal by roughly 2 to 3 degrees. The Sea of Cortez temperatures are also slightly cooler.
These factors, among others, will be important to watch over the Summer season, because they'll partially determine the amount of rain during tropical storms over the state and the duration of heavy weather that can stop travel in its tracks for off-road activities.
Water courses in Southern Baja, or 'vados' as they are known locally, are mostly bone dry the duration of the year.
However, during May through December, a water course can be completely closed to wheeled traffic, with thunderous torrents of downstream torrential deluge rainfall making its way downstream!
The official weather record of total rainfall in one day in Southern Baja, is over 21 inches of continuous rain!
The soils here are mostly sand/granitic granulated silts and get washed away easily, exposing mostly basement rock.
Pictured: Southern Baja Mexico - Current Sea Surface Water Temperatures