The Baja Rally: Special Stage 2 Is the Longest Route Yet

With over 400 kilometers under their tires, Baja Rally racers battled far more than their road books on Special Stage 2. Increasing heat, a rapidly evolving landscape, and sheer distance burdened every rotation of their tires. Even the Media team had it rough in the morning – overcoming a flat tire with the valiant assistance of Baja Pits and the Safety Team (always to the rescue). But luckily, Mama Espinoza’s amazing lobster tacos came to the rescue and kept the mood and everyone’s spirit lively. From the starting line, racers struggled through thick silt, and raced along a ridge-line with steep drops on either side. This created some of the most beautiful – and treacherous – scenery, while the sun crested the horizon. The marine layer drew a line across the coast separating the earth and the sky, shaded by the dust and whirlwind stirred up by rubber and fuel.

At the restart in El Rosario, medics scrambled (again) to irrigate and fix up rider #18 Santiago Creel, from Mexico City, and he was up and running lickety-split to make up time on the course. He then endured rutted, rocky ever-changing terrain leading him to beach sand miles below an ultimate altitude of 5,000 feet. Wheels were swallowed by the silt, practically digging for clams. Piney cacti for breakfast, sand for lunch and boulders for an early dinner. Anthony Bernardi of Start and Finish said it best, “This day whooped you’re ass. And changed your life.”