Baja 1000 2018: Dates, Route, Course Map, Race Classes and Full Schedule

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

Mike Leslie drives third in Class 3 at the Score Baja 1000.
Mike Powell/Getty Images

The 2018 Baja 1000 gets under way on Thursday, as the competitors gear up for one of the world's most famous off-road races.

This year will be the 51st edition of the event, which will take place over four days between November 14 and 18. The race will start and finish in Ensenada, Mexico, with the competitors having to complete 807 miles over various terrains in what's set to be punishing heat.

For experienced competitors there will be familiar sections to the race, although the organisers have opted to include some fresh facets to give everyone something new to take on.


Date: Wednesday, November 14 - Saturday, November 18

Race Start: Friday, November 16

Route: The route and map can be viewed in full on the Score International website.

Classes: The full list of entrants and their various categories can also be found via the Score International website. The two standout classes are typically the Cars & Trucks and the Motorcycle.


2018 Race Preview

On what was the 50th anniversary of the event in 2017, this clip reflects on some of the biggest moments from the previous race and offered an insight into what those involved have to deal with again this year:

While the untamed and unpredictable nature of this event is what attracts so many fans to spectate the action, the Score International Twitter account reminded those in attendance not to get too close to the driving:

Score International @SCOREintl

Very IMPORTANT message from the Racers of Baja to the fans, reminding them the rules of Spectator Safety! See you at the 51st SCORE Baja 1000! #spectatorsafety https://t.co/aX0YQxCj9R

The big winner 12 months ago was Carlos Apdaly Lopez in the truck category. Having finished as the runner-up to Rob MacCachren the previous year, Lopez was able to break the 20-hour barrier to seize one of the biggest wins of his career.

The 2017 race was a perfect example of what can go wrong for the drivers. That was because even someone as experienced as MacCachren was unable to prevent a mechanical problem and saw his race curtailed early.

Posting on Instagram ahead of the defence of his title, Lopez said he's hoping to finish what's been a challenging season on a high.

"We know how to play, and we're very excited for the upcoming Baja 1000," said the 23-year-old. "The competition is on top and that's very challenging for the team. Hope we can end our bad luck at Score season and end up with the win."

If he is to win, Lopez will need to best MacCachren again, while two-time winner BJ Baldwin will also be in the field.

In the motorcycle field the 2017 champion Francisco Arredondo isn't back this year, although Shane Esponsito, who was part of the winning Honda team 12 months ago, will link up with Ian Young and two-time winner Colton Udall in an attempt to win the title.

If Honda were to triumph in the motorcycle class it would continue their remarkable record in the Baja 1000, having won 20 of the last 21 editions.