Taking place in the pristine Sonora desert of Mexico, the Sonora Rally is a five-day “Dakar” style navigation rally and has become the premier cross-country rally event in North America. Racers are challenged to an intense test of navigation and off-road racing skills whilst being surrounded by the beautiful and unique Sonoran landscape and culture. The Sonora Rally logos pays homage to the Yaqui and Mayo (Yoreme) Deer Dance, or La Danza del Venado and is a powerful symbolic of Sonoran pride.
Racers can expect more than just dunes and will face rocky mountains, washes, kilometers of flat-out beaches. Just as you’d find in the Dakar, the Sonora Rally utilizes a unique roadbook for navigating the racecourse. Classes include motorcycle, UTV’s, Cars (2WD and 4WD) and the non-racing Adventure Raid Class is open to street-legal four-wheel drive vehicles such as Jeeps, Ford Raptors and Toyota Tacomas.
According to the Sonora Rally cars will start after the bikes go and may have some split stages toward the end. The car course could well possibly be longer than the bike course as well. They also have bivouacs at the Sonora Rally and is the only place where the crew can give support to competitors.
The Road to Dakar challenge is also making a comeback and will sift out future contenders in the Moto class. The winner of the subevent will be granted a free entry into the 2022 Dakar Rally. The race will go from May 9th to the 14th.
Photos by: Westx1000
Videos by: DVL Film House
May 14th: Day Six
May 13th: Day Five
May 12: Day Four
Sonora’s Caborca district opened its arms, and country gates, to the event so participants could witness, firsthand, the diversity of the landscapes. But it wasn’t all fun and games. A particularly ferocious sun beamed down by early morning. Winding sandy two track, tight twisty tunnels of desert flora, a dry lakebed and a bottomless, loose, quarter mile sandbox. For so much of the stage, the feeling was joy, but all that evaporated as the competitors struggled the keep their bikes cool in the disfigured dunes section which steadily grew more strenuous the higher the sun ascending into the sky.
May 11: Day Three
May 10: Day Two
Being flexible in a rally raid can come in handy. Fluidity was the name of the game in day two of the 2021 Sonora Rally as racers dealt with unwelcomed surprises. What happens when the digital bits don’t match with the analog? It’s raw talent, experience and a little bit of luck to make it all work. An issue with roadbooks created several problems and resulted having the organizers cut down the stage to determine fair and proper rankings for the special.
May 09: Tech
The first challenge competitors must go through is a maze of paperwork, vinyl stickers and headshots. It’s the few things that stand in their way of the 2,000 kilometers they’re about to face in the northern Mexican state. Sonora Rally Race Director Daren Skilton says, “We’re really excited to be able to host this event, given everything that has occurred in the last year.”
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