What is off-road racing?

Off-road races are a type of car races that take place in off-road areas such as mud, riverbeds, sands, snow and other natural areas. Various types of vehicles are used in this type of race, such as cars, trucks, motorbikes and buggies. One of the most popular off-road races is the Baja 1000, which takes place in Mexico.

Off-road racing

Various off-road racing formats

Off-road races have different types or formats depending on the specific country. There are two main terrain racing formats in North America: desert racing and short distance racing.

Desert racing


The association responsible for desert races is the National Off-Road Racing Association or NORRA. It was founded by Ed Pearlman and Don Francisco in 1967. At that time it was the first body sanctioning races, dedicated exclusively to off-road races. The first desert races ever took place in 1967, i.e. in Mexico, 1000. They started in Tijuana by Ensenada and ended in La Paz. NORRA led this race for about a decade. The first event laid the foundations for the vehicle class and the principles that shaped off-road racing in Baja for the next 40 years.

Desert races take place mainly in recreational government areas. These lands usually have routes that run from 25 to 1000 miles. Different vehicle classes overcome a different number of laps. This may depend on the engine size or suspension configuration.

There are smaller desert racing organizations that are growing rapidly, and one of the most popular is the Best in the Desert series. He is known for the Vegas to Reno race, which is the longest off-road race in the United States, measuring 1,000 miles.

Another popular desert race is the Mojave off-road racing enthusiast series, which began in 1997 as a series of small family races. This racing series has attracted many competitors.

Short track racing

Short course off-road races are a type of car races that involve modified vehicle races. The race takes place on a closed road of small length, tens of kilometers or miles. It has two forms, one for racing vehicles in an open field, and the other for racing in stadiums where vehicles race in an arena with a much shorter track.

The World Short Circuit Championships take place at the Crandon International Off-Road Raceway. Some examples of short off-road racing series are the Off-Road Championship and the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series. They are also two large organizations promoting short field races in the United States since 2014. Both series consist of professional off-road drivers and racing teams.

In many countries, the simpler and shorter track format is popular at trade fairs and is called Tough or Tuff Truck Competition. Songs in this type of competition are much shorter and usually competitors perform individual, scheduled runs.

There are also bottom-up organizations that organize short-distance races, and one of the longest-living is the Mid-America Off-Road Association. Promotes short terrain races in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.