Mexico’s Baja Peninsula might as well be a racetrack hundreds of miles long: it’s wide open, sparsely populated and perfect for off-road dirtbike and buggy racing. The SCORE Baja 1000 stages a point-to-point race each November, often covering over 1000 miles. The grueling race, which dates back to 1967, lasts about 30 dusty, bumpy hours, as racers kick up dust between Ensenada to La Paz.
But Baja 1000 racers get more than dust and exhaust: booby traps are commonly placed along the course by saboteurs working with a competitor. Drivers must learn to try to spot these traps—any group of people clustered along the sideline is a good hint, they say. The saboteurs are often just spectators who want to create more of a spectacle than the race already offers. To up the drama, they have been known to create ad hoc jumps and other obstacles that become dangerous when not strong enough to sustain the force of a fast-moving vehicle. In the SCORE Baja 1000, it’s all a part of the race.