Las Vegas Off-Road Tour Company Takes First & Second Place in 2017 NORRA Mexican 1000 Evolution Stock UTV Class
Zero1 co-founder and former off-road racer, Earl Desiderio, and co-driver, Dave Berkenfield, won the five-day Mexican race in a 2017 Polaris RZR® XP 1000
May 8, 2017
San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico
Eight teams represented the tour company’s arrive-and-drive race program, Zero1 Racing, in the Evolution Stock UTV class. Desiderio and Berkenfield crossed the finish line in San Jose Del Cabo with a final time of 21 hours, 27 minutes and 13 seconds, finishing 59th in the overall race. The winning duo experienced their fair share of challenges in the first few days:
“We broke four belts in the first two days but we maintained a steady pace. Day three was plagued with errors: we broke a belt 40 miles into the section, rolled the car 77 miles in, got two more flat tires and then lost our spare – all with 30 miles left in the segment,” Desiderio recalled. “We had to work hard to get out of the day. We knew better – we pushed against Baja and she pushed back!”
Fortunately, two other Zero1 teams stopped with tools and spares for the #27 car, allowing them to finish the segment without a time penalty. And despite the set-backs, it all came together in the last two days.
“Days four and five were flawless. We settled down and just drove our race. Enjoyed each other’s company and the beautiful Baja Peninsula.”
Capturing the Evolution Stock UTV class’ second place spot was driver John Kovatch IV and his co-driver and father, John Kovatch III. Participating as part of the arrive-and-drive program, the father-son duo finished the race with a final time of 21 hours, 45 minutes and 35 seconds, finishing 67th in the overall race.
The NORRA Mexican 1000 attracts off-road racers of all skill-levels and vehicle types. The race kicks off in Ensada, Mexico with stops in Santo Domingo, La Paz and Los Barriles, finishing five days later in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. According to the NORRA website, “Competitors run the gamut from off-road racing icons and current stars, to adventure seeking average Joes and well-travelled lovers of Baja.”
Zero1’s off-road racing program is a testament to the race’s diverse participation. Zero1 Racing empowers off-road thrill-seekers at all skill levels with full-service racing experiences, complete with top-of-the-line off-road UTV, staff and accommodations. Past races include the Best in the Desert’s “Vegas to Reno” and the Mint 400.
Since 2008, Zero1 delivers unforgettable off-road driving experiences for distinguishing thrill-seekers. Headquartered in Las Vegas, NV and operating throughout the Mojave Desert, Zero1 is an industry-leader through its commitment to excellence in safety, operational performance and customer satisfaction. In addition to Zero1 Racing, the company offers half- and full-day RZR tours, multi-day Oddyssey tours, custom group & corporate events and more. Visit www.zero1.vegas to learn more about Zero1.
About NORRA Mexican 1000
Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, four-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, as well as modern desert Rally Raid cars, pre-runner trucks, buggies and motorcycles.
Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970’s. Learn more at www.norra.com.