Despite a near-suspension from federal authorities, the prestigious Baja 1000 – one of the most popular off-road races in the country – will go on as planned next month on the Baja California Peninsula.
According to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, vehicles from the 2017 event destroyed cacti in the protected wildlife area of Valle de los Cirios in Baja California, Mexico. This damage led to a hefty $27,000 fine for the race’s sanctioning body, SCORE International.
Although the agency’s intention was to provisionally suspend this event due to the environmental damage that the powerful off-road vehicles can cause, Amador Arteaga Sahagún, chief of Ensenada tourism promotion agency Proturismo, said that Score International is already arranging to pay the fine so that this race will go on as planned on November 14-18th.
“There is a fine against the company Score; it was just notified last week that it breached the environmental impact statement for the 2017 Baja event because its request to include Valle de los Cirios in the race route was not presented in a timely manner,” said Arteaga. “This fine is just an administrative procedure and after we spoke to the federal delegate recently, we have come up with a plan to quickly resolve this issue.”
Although this protected area is once again included in the 2018 event route, Score has already acquired all the necessary permissions and is ready to roll once the past fine is paid.
“This historic race cannot and will not be stopped, especially due to an administrative offense that can easily be fixed,” said Arteaga. “Companies like Score have to adhere to Mexican regulations and that is just what they are doing.”
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