November 17, 2009 -- Venice, CA -- The Baja 1000 is the biggest off-road motor sports event on the planet -- drawing over 200,000 spectators from around the globe to watch over 350 trucks, buggies and bikes from 40 countries. These bold souls contend with flash floods, dust storms and the all around rowdiness of the Baja peninsula for, get this, no prize money. Instead, these enthusiasts race for the pleasure and honor of the race alone.
This year five-time winter X-game gold medalist Tara Dakides is teaming up with three legends from their respective fields -- Glenn Plake, considered the father of extreme sports; P.J. Jones, Nascar racer and son of famed Parnelli Jones; and Boris Said, the Nascar driver and overall motorsport enthusiast -- to take on the infamous Baja 1000.
Founded in 1973 by the mythic Mickey Thompson, the “one thousand,” as the racers and support teams call it, is quite simply the most dangerous, exciting, pure motor sport in the world. This year’s Baja 1000 travels a loop through barren and technical desert starting in Ensenada and winding back to the start. Like past years, the race will have various types of vehicle classes such as small and large bore motorcycles, stock VWs, production vehicles, buggies, trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles.
The 2009 team was set up by Baja WideOpen (bajawideopen.com), the final word on everything Baja. Their interests and talents encompass extreme tours and motor sport specialties. To get the game rolling, Dakides and her team have been outfitted with a 1300 class buggy aptly named “Ménage à trois” to tackle the treacherous run through Baja.
This year marks Dakides’ third year racing the “one thousand.” She holds notoriety as part of the first all-women’s team to finish the off-road challenge from tip to tail. This year is especially amazing because the team of guys she gets to run with – all legends. She’ll be a driver and co-pilot with Plake, Jones and Said.
What’s not automatically apparent to industry insiders is that Tara has been working with well-respected driving coach Peat Hidalgo for the last 7 years and getting behind the wheel to race off road in SCORE and CORE "Champion of off road racing" last summer. She has also put time into road racing, her most recent in September 2009 at the AMG race school with Skip Barber at Lime Rock Raceway. In October she finished 3rd in her class at the Powder Puff off road race in Barstow where there were over 250 Driver entries. To Tara, the “one thousand” represents an opportunity to challenge herself and her fellow drivers. The honor of racing with this team in particular marks 2009 as a milestone in Dakides’ Baja career.
Dakides – “I feel ready mentally and physically to take it to the 1000 especially coming off our 3rd place finish in Barstow. You cannot ever get enough seat time as a driver and in every corner there is something new to learn, to improve your skills.”
You can track Tara Dakides and her team at www.taradakidesdoesthebaja1000.com
For more information about the Baja 1000 visit www.score-international.com
Or to find out about Wide Open go to www.wideopenbaja.com/
For more information about footage or photos contact Shanti Sosienski: Shanti@sos-communications.com