A Starter Guide to Racing in San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

As we prepare to go back racing at The Metal Cloak Stampede and then to The US Gear Tear Down in Tennessee at AOP, we'd like to share some information regarding our May 18th race in San Felipe. We have been working hard with the Federal, State, and Local governmental officials in Mexico to make this an amazing experience for you and your teams. We will share some basic information in this opening email and will follow up with more in the coming weeks. As always, if you have any you question, give Dave a call.

The Race:

The race will be on a 22-mile circuit with high-speed desert sections, infamous San Felipe whoops (only a mile or two so you know what real whoops are like!), rock washes and ridges, a little short course at the Start/Finish line, and perhaps the single coolest rock trail we have ever raced. It is a flat and incredibly wide river bed full of house-sized boulders. Very little elevation change and over a mile long. To give you reference, Sledge Hammer is barely a ¼ mile.

We will follow our normal schedule and qualify on Friday afternoon and race all classes on Saturday. Mileage/Lap counts TBD.

The Event:

On Friday night after qualifying, we will do a parade down to the historic Malecon (Beach-front street with bars and shops). It is not mandatory, but you will not want to miss the experience! We are also arranging for a pre-race party for the early evening on Friday.

On Saturday, an hour after the race, we will have awards and post-race party at our Host Hotel, El Cortez.

Accommodations:

You have three different styles of accommodations to choose from. You can rent a house, stay in a hotel, or camp. The hotels that we give you numbers for are all secure and have guaranteed extra security for the week we are there. The houses are wonderful and you can rent properties that have multi-car garages as well. We have three different camping options. There is limited beach-front space at the famous Pete's Camp. There is also limited power and water hookups at Vista Del Mar and the 3rd option is at storage facility very close to the race course that is fully locked down 24 hours/day. All camping is within 3 miles of the race course. You can drive your race car/UTV or chase vehicle from any of the accommodations to the race course. See the phone numbers below.

For Accommodations at our Host Hotel, El Cortez:

Contact: Jorge Rodriguez Jr.

Phone: (619) 864-6213

Email: Jorge@rzgrz.com

For House Rentals in the Area:

Contact: Cesar

Phone: (760) 554-3558

For Pete's Beach-Front Dry Camping:

Phone: 52-951-694-6704

 

Why are we going to San Felipe:

We are confident that once you have raced there, you won't have this question again. We first started thinking about Ultra4 Racing in Baja when we were close to losing the Hammers five years ago. 

Dave has been fortunate to have had many opportunities to visit, recreate, and race south of the border over the last decade. The people, culture, and land of Baja are among the most amazing and welcoming of anywhere we have been in the world. San Felipe, specifically, is both passionate about its racing and, to be quite blunt, in need of some tourism. The local economy has taken a significant hit in the past few years with almost a complete eradication of commercial fishing, which was the lifeblood of the region. 

The local government, business leaders, land owners, and citizens are extraordinarily excited about seeing you guys do what you do. We purposely developed a shorter course to keep you in front of the fans as well as make it easier for you to get comfortable with the area. We will be racing long-course format racing as soon as next year in San Felipe. In fact, if you have the time, Dave would like to schedule a tour of the area on the Sunday and/or Monday prior to the race to take you to the waterfalls, hot springs, and rock canyons that very few people have ever seen. Along the way we will cover 50 miles or so of next years course.

Border Crossing Logistics, Security, Concerns:

We realize this is a big deal for a lot of you. Lets address some basic questions. 

  • Yes, you need your passport. Not to get into Mexico, but to get back North. I have heard of people doing it with a Drivers License and Birth Certificate, but would not risk it. It takes a week to get a passport, you have plenty of time.

  • Border Crossing – We will be sending a tip sheet with suggestions to make your travel easy and stress free. You will need registration for your tow rigs, trailer, and UTVs. For race cars, a simple homemade Bill of Sale suffices. You can refer to your Ultra4 chassis tag for a 'VIN' if you don't have one.

  • All registered teams will receive a personal letter of invitation from the Mexican Government to race in San Felipe. This letter will alert the Border Agents as to who you are.

  • We will have organized 'Caravans' meeting in Calexico, CA and crossing at preset times. I expect we will be doing this at least three times prior to the race. We will have police escorts from the border to south of Mexicali and the Federales will be aware of your travel route and times for the 100 miles from Mexicali to San Felipe

  • We will have a representative of the Secretary of Tourism on-call 24 hours/Day if any issues develop. You will have his name and cell number.

  • The roads we will be on are some of the best in Baja. There is no issue pulling trailers to where we are going, all the way to the Start/Finish Line

  • Toterhomes and enclosed trailers are fine. I highly advise not to bring commercial tractor trailers. It is a small hassle getting south, but more importantly will add many hours to your border crossing waiting for the commercial truck lanes to clear. If you must bring a tractor trailer, call me directly and we will work through the process. Toterhomes are not an issues and go through the normal lanes.

  • Fuel: The only item of issues getting across the border is fuel. Good 91 octane fuel is available south of the border, but race fuel will need to be pre-ordered and delivered. I will advise on that procedure in the next email.

 We look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. Please enjoy yourself. Remember you are both a guest in a foreign country and also an ambassador of ours. Have a great time, enjoy everything this opportunity has to offer, and tell great stories when you get home safely.

More to come!