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Ensenada Grand Prix Oct 2nd & 3rd - Street Circuit Racing YOU can join

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Ensenada Grand Prix Oct 2nd & 3rd - Street Circuit Racing YOU can join

Old 09-16-10, 12:28 AM
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Ensenada Grand Prix Oct 2nd & 3rd - Street Circuit Racing YOU can join

Ok, I'm going to make a shameless plug to my fellow rotary racers regarding one of my favorite racing events of all time:

After a 10 year absence the Grand Prix is returning to Ensenada, BC this October 2nd & 3rd, 2010! This is a fantastic racing event held on a coastal street circuit in Baja California just an hour drive south of the San Diego border. Have you ever dreamed of racing at Monaco or Long Beach? Well, unless you fre either very rich or extremely talented keep dreaming! However there is still hope for the rest of us because the Ensenada Grand Prix can delivers all the excitement of a beach front road race in an exotic location. You would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable road racing venue anywhere in the world. Plus, this event is more than just a race - the atmosphere is fiesta like with large crowds of cheering spectators and numerous street vendors. Most racers take advantage of the wonderful cuisine and drinks available at the resort host hotel. This race was a regular event in the 90's and some vintage footage is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BobFV4bxGJ0

I fm sure you have a lot of questions so I'll try to answer some of them now:

What do I need in order to enter this race? You fll need a race car that has been prepared with a minimum of a 6 point roll cage and racing harnesses. Any car that meets the standards of a major racing organization (SCCA, NASA, etc) will be perfectly acceptable for competition. You should also have enough racing experience to be comfortable racing on a street circuit. Street Circuits require additional level of driver discipline as any off track excursion will most likely result in damage. You will be able to purchase your racing license at the event for $75.00 and the entry fee is $225.00. So, basically, all you need is a race car and $300 bucks! If you have a car that is not race prepared the event does offer several sessions each day where you can drive your car on the circuit at a fast pace and get a taste of the action.

Where exactly is this race? The Ensenada Grand Prix will be held in the City of Ensenada located about 40 miles south of San Diego, CA. The climate is wonderful and the city has a lot of charm. Ensenada is well known for its cuisine and is a popular tourist destination. The race itself will be run on closed public roads along beautiful beaches. A track map is available here: http://www.calderapromotions.com/ima...senada2010.jpg

Is the racing safe? This race is an FIA sanctioned event and run in full accordance to FIA safety regulations. The event is fully staffed with emergency personnel and competitors do their best to run a clean race. This race is no more dangerous than any such event anywhere else in the world. However, as this is a street circuit you need to exercise extra caution as an off track excursion could be dangerous. Racers with no previous street circuit experience are encouraged to race conservatively.

Is Mexico safe? Many people are concerned by the frequent news reports of violence in Mexico these days. While this violence it almost exclusively contained to conflict with and between drug cartels we still take a number of precautions to ensure your safety. Most American racers meet in San Diego and then cross the border and drive to Ensenada as a group. Many of us are long time veterans of racing in Mexico and will be more than happy to guide you through the whole process. Once at the track security is provided and the event hotel has a secured parking lot for your cars and tow vehicles to park at overnight. Ensenada also is a relatively safe city due to the large tourist trade and upscale clientele. By taking a few basic precautions this can be a very safe place to visit.

How are the race car classes organized? Car are broken into four basic competition classes - C, B, A and Open. C Class is for relatively unmodified four cylinder cars. B Class is more extensively modified or faster four cylinder cars. A Class is for cars with more than four cylinders, rotary engines and turbo cars running the stock turbo. Open is for highly modified cars. As you can imagine this results in a wide variety of cars which only adds to the fun. We fve seen Porsches, BMWs, VWs, Hondas, Nissans, Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Classic Muscle Cars, Mazdas, Corvettes, Rally Cars and just about everything else you can name.

What is the event hotel? The host Hotel is the San Nicholas Hotel: http://www.sannicolashotel.com Secure parking for your car, trailer and truck will be provided. $70 per night if you mention the Grand Prix.

How can I get more information or details? The event has a website: http://www.calderapromotions.com with some information. You can also, e-mail me, John at [email protected] with any questions.

Ok, I want to race, what now? Go ahead and reserve a room at the host hotel. Then contact me at [email protected] and I fll give you details on when and where we are all meeting in San Diego to cross the border. You don ft have to pay for anything in advance - you pay your entry fee at the track.

I hope you fll consider joining us for this unique experience. I promise you'll enjoy it. Feel free to contact me with any questions at [email protected]

You can also post your questions in this thread. I race an RX-7 and check the forum regularly.

Thanks,

John
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Old 09-16-10, 10:37 AM
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Nice.

Are you competing in the race?
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Old 09-16-10, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
Nice.

Are you competing in the race?
I sure am. Wouldn't miss it.

I've been racing in Mexico frequently for some time - the Grand Prix still happens down there in Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali. However, this is the first time in almost ten years that the Ensenada Event (the best venue for sure) is happening.
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Old 09-16-10, 03:32 PM
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You continue to temp me John. Maybe....Hmmmm.

It would be fun

Steve Coe
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Old 09-16-10, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve35 View Post
You continue to temp me John. Maybe....Hmmmm.

It would be fun

Steve Coe
Seriously... for people like you and me in San Diego we have NO EXCUSE not to do this race! What's the closest track to San Diego? Cal Speedway - 100 miles Buttonwillow & Willow Springs - 250 miles

Ensenada - 40 miles

It's so much fun... you won't regret it. The only downside is that you'll be hooked! Because of how your RX-7 will be classed you may not be super competitive in the "A" class. However, the "A" class tends to have the safest drivers and this race isn't so much about getting some crappy Mexican trophy as it is about having a GREAT time. Lots more to this event than just racing - it's a vacation too.

Let me know if you decide to go... I can probably get you a deal on your first time race fee.
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Old 09-17-10, 10:36 AM
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I didn't realize Steve Coe was on here. I frequented your shop often when I lived in SD.

What cars will you guys race?
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Old 09-17-10, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
I didn't realize Steve Coe was on here. I frequented your shop often when I lived in SD.

What cars will you guys race?
John 's got way too many cars, I'm not sure what he's running.
I've got this old Spec 7 . It's been sitting for a bit, so I'm just going thru it now.

Steve
Attached Thumbnails Ensenada Grand Prix Oct 2nd & 3rd - Street Circuit Racing YOU can join-rx7.jpg  
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Old 09-17-10, 11:06 AM
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Good luck with the race.
It's good to hear that the border area with Mexico is safe in Baja.

There is no way that I would take any type of performance car into Mexico along the Texas border these days. You would be lucky to make it out alive and only lose the car.
Even in the small towns over a hundred miles south of the border parents are afraid to let their kids go out at night for fear they will get caught in a cross fire.
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Old 09-17-10, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Good luck with the race.
It's good to hear that the border area with Mexico is safe in Baja.

There is no way that I would take any type of performance car into Mexico along the Texas border these days. You would be lucky to make it out alive and only lose the car.
Even in the small towns over a hundred miles south of the border parents are afraid to let their kids go out at night for fear they will get caught in a cross fire.
Unfortunately I can't claim that the border area with Baja is "safe" or ever has been. However, Ensenada is pretty nice and the tourist spots are pretty worry free. That being said we've never had a problem with any of the Baja Grand Prix races in TJ, Tecate, Mexicali or Ensendada. It's a pretty public event with good security and we tend to keep in a group. As long as you don't do anything stupid or go looking for trouble you should ok.

However, Tijuana is not as bad as Juarez. I had to drive through Juarez last year to get to a race in Chihuahua... kinda scarey!
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Old 09-17-10, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gracer7-rx7 View Post
I didn't realize Steve Coe was on here. I frequented your shop often when I lived in SD.
Of course he's on here... Steve is watching... always... be on your best behavior. I'll be racing my RX-8 at Ensenada and it's possible my friend "The Great Pendejo" will be racing our Lemons Jaguar XJS V-12.
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Old 09-17-10, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by john magnuson View Post
of course he's on here... Steve is watching... Always... Be on your best behavior. I'll be racing my rx-8 at ensenada and it's possible my friend "the great pendejo" will be racing our lemons jaguar xjs v-12.

lol!
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Old 09-17-10, 04:00 PM
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Here is some additional information about questions I've been asked:

1) Races: Saturday will be practice and qualifying. Sunday will be a short morning practice followed by racing. There will be a race for each class of usually around 40 minutes (sometimes two classes may be combined depending on attendance). There is then an "Enduro" late in the day - However the "Enduro" is seldom more than an hour these days - the only difference is that during the "Enduro" all classes race together. So it's really not all that accurate to call it the "Enduro" anymore - it's more like the "Lets put EVERYONE on the track together and race a little bit longer" race. Hey... it's Mexico. Some people don't race the Enduro - I'm a racing junky so I always do.

2) Fuel: There will be a fuel vender offering high octane fuel for those who need it. If you know you'll need race gas let me know so I'll make sure the vendor brings enough. If your car will run on 91 octane I've never had a problem with Pemex. There is a gas station right next to the track.

3) Getting into Mexico: If your car does not have a registration you should try to get a "Green Sticker" from DMV that registers it as an off road only vehicle. This way you can get a registration for any car without smog etc. We can probably get you into Mexico even without a green sticker or registration - let us know ahead of time. We know the customs guys pretty well. If you have a registration or Planned non op registration for your vehicle you will have no problems. Don't bring full gasoline containers (empty containers are fine) - you're not allowed to import any fuel other than what is in your fuel tank.

4) Returning to USA: When we race in TJ we get a police escort to a short cut so we have a very short crossing. However, since Ensendada is much more distant we will have to wait at the crossing like everyone else... expect at least a two hour wait at the border if you're going to cross with us Sunday night. You really don't have anything to worry about with USA customs.

5) Departure and Return: We will probably meet very early Saturday morning near the main border crossing in San Diego. So if you're coming from very far away you might want to drive down Friday and get a hotel room near the border. The exact time and place is not yet set but of course we'll let you know the details as soon as possible. We usually return Sunday evening. Although it's possible some people may stay at the resort Sunday as well and return Monday morning. Departure time is really up to you.
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Old 09-18-10, 03:16 PM
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Update: The currently plan for American racers is too meet near the border in San Diego on FRIDAY evening around 6:30pm and then travel together to Ensenada that evening. So if you want to travel with the group you may want to make your hotel reservations for Friday Oct 1st and Saturday Oct 2nd. Some racers will be leaving Sunday night. I will probably be staying at the hotel Sunday night as well and returning early Monday morning.
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Old 09-24-10, 05:14 PM
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AZ

Originally Posted by John Magnuson View Post
Unfortunately I can't claim that the border area with Baja is "safe" or ever has been. However, Ensenada is pretty nice and the tourist spots are pretty worry free. That being said we've never had a problem with any of the Baja Grand Prix races in TJ, Tecate, Mexicali or Ensendada. It's a pretty public event with good security and we tend to keep in a group. As long as you don't do anything stupid or go looking for trouble you should ok.

However, Tijuana is not as bad as Juarez. I had to drive through Juarez last year to get to a race in Chihuahua... kinda scarey!
I have had some experience in traveling in Mex with off road racing . It can be a nightmare. SCORE had a great presence and brough t ahuge amont of business to Ensenada and racers were harrassed about taking fuel and spare tires. Vendors were required to pay a vendor tariff. Routine searches, insurance issues etc.

Get your titles and insurance for every vehicle you're taking for liability:even your race car. Mexico is a great time, but has been known to be a headache.

GD
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Old 09-24-10, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gawdodirt View Post
I have had some experience in traveling in Mex with off road racing . It can be a nightmare. SCORE had a great presence and brough t ahuge amont of business to Ensenada and racers were harrassed about taking fuel and spare tires. Vendors were required to pay a vendor tariff. Routine searches, insurance issues etc.

Get your titles and insurance for every vehicle you're taking for liability:even your race car. Mexico is a great time, but has been known to be a headache.

GD
Well... you can't take fuel into mexico (other than what's in your tanks) so you're going to possibly have problems with customs if you do that. Spare tires are not a problem unless you perhaps are taking a TON of tires across... as I'd imagine some pro teams do.

Never seen a "routine" search going down to Ensenada but the deeper you go into Mexico the more you might come to check points where they may look you over... rarely takes more than a couple of minutes.

Mexico is not without problems but if you don't bring anything illegal and have a registration or green sticker for your car(s) you should not have any issues.
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Old 10-06-10, 02:45 PM
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Had a great time at the Ensenada Grand Prix last weekend.

I've attached a picture of my RX-8 down the main straight.

The FIA intends to put on two Grand Prix races in Ensenada next year and I'll post updated information on future races as they become available for anyone that might be interested.

- John
Attached Thumbnails Ensenada Grand Prix Oct 2nd & 3rd - Street Circuit Racing YOU can join-magnusfire.jpg  
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