Andretti Autosport IndyCar star Alexander Rossi is set to become the latest Indy 500 champ to hit the dirt in the “Granddaddy of All Desert Races” when he competes in the 61st SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico next month.
Rossi, 27, who took runner-up honors in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season with three wins, will share driving duties in this year’s Baja 1000 with Jeff Proctor in the No. 709 Honda Ridgeline. Proctor, 39, won his class in the Baja 1000 in both 2015 and 2016 with the factory-supported race truck.
Rossi will be the sixth Indy 500 winner to take part in the Baja 1000, joining Parnelli Jones (who won the event in 1971 and 1972), Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Buddy Rice and Ryan Hunter-Reay. IndyCar season champions who have raced in the Baja 1000 include Mears, Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy.
SCORE races have classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. Class 7 is the division for Unlimited, six-cylinder production appearing trucks or SUVs.
The oldest, most prestigious and longest continuously held desert race, this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 on Nov. 16-17 will be a loop race of 806.76 miles in the northern state of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. It will start for the 44th time and finish for the 25th time in Ensenada. The race is annually the finale of the four-race SCORE World Desert Championship, which has been held exclusively for the past three years in Baja California. The start/finish line compound will once again be adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center.
With a total time limit of 36 hours in the elapsed-time race, the motorcycle and quad classes will start at 4 a.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 16 and the car, truck and UTV classes will follow with their start on at 10:30 a.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 16. The fastest finishers are expected to complete the race in approximately 13 hours.