Sonora Rally Brings New Levels of Rally Raid to North America… Again
New Routes, Road to Dakar, UTV Challenge Maroc and more!
A new year, a new decade, a new stage in Rally Raid… And just in time for the “Roaring Twenties” Round deux. Recognizing the positive impact the Yokohama Sonora Rally, presented by Method Race Wheels, has had on the Mexican state of Sonora, the tourism office of Visit Sonora and the rally organization are working together to help make this year’s event extraordinary. Visit Sonora’s desire to promote the region’s tourism destinations has allowed organizers to plan routes which were previously inaccessible. Along with the new start location, in the capital city of Hermosillo, the rally will add two new host towns, Banamichi and Caborca, as the race passes through historic Rio Sonora. The route of the 2020 competition will have stunningly beautiful mountain passes, river crossings and colorful colonial towns finishing with two intense days crossing the famous dunes of the Altar Desert. The adventure this route creates completes the vision rally director Darren Skilton has had to encompass all that Sonora has to offer. With unparalleled cultural experiences, local artisanal food, spectacular vistas and new challenges in terms of stage length and navigation, North America’s premier rally raid continues to push off-road racing here to World Class standards.
Having supported the event for several years in San Luis Rio Colorado, Araiza Hotels have signed-on as the official Hotel of the Yokohama Sonora Rally and will be the host hotel in both Hermosillo and San Luis. With last year’s start and finish exchanging places, Hotel Araiza Hermosillo will host the rally’s departure for the first time. To further ease the arrival of racers to the Hermosillo, Sonora Rally is offering a caravan from Nogales, AZ border crossing Saturday, March 14th, concluding with early registration and a “Welcome” party at the Hotel Araiza.
The host of last year’s finish and epic awards celebration, the hip, industrial Parque La Ruina will be the location of technical inspections on Sunday March 15th and start line on March 16th. Two new restaurants and a gourmet coffee shop will be open during the Rally festivities along with the world class outdoor bar, making the “Parque”, once again, the social hub of the 2020 Yokohama Sonora Rally. The five-stage, six-day rally raid will culminate in Sonora Rally’s sentimental home, San Luis Rio Colorado. A fixture on every edition of Sonora Rally, the dunes of San Luis are rapidly becoming North America’s “Dakar” training ground.
Road to Dakar
In recognition of Yokohama Sonora Rally’s continued efforts to promote rally racing in North America, ASO has again selected it as the first round of the 2020 Road to Dakar. To encourage new racers to attempt the famed rally, the Road to Dakar is open to motorcycle racers who have never raced the Dakar Rally. Eligible participants will have the chance to win a free entry and the coveted title of the first official competitor of the 2021 Dakar Rally.
“As the world watches Sonora Rally alumni Skyler Howes, Garrett Poucher, Andrew Short, Ricky Brabec, Petr Vleck and Kellon Walch, compete in the upcoming 2020 Dakar, we are reminded how valuable the Yokohama Sonora Rally, the Road to Dakar and our rally schools have become as key training ground for North Americans.” – Sonora Rally Race Director Darren Skilton.
Sonora Rally Schools
December’s school saw veterans Ricky Brabec, Skyler Howes, Scott Bright and Garrett Poucher along with first timers like Alan Roach. The same school routes were also used in private training for Robbie Pierce and Bobby Patton plus AJ Jones and Kellon Walch before they head out to their first Dakar Rally. Some space is still available for the second school session taking place Feb 15th & 16th in San Luis Rio Colorado. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and vehicle type. Special thanks to Mike Johnson from Rally Comp for the support and use of your incredible units at the schools and training. To learn more about the schools or register to race the 2020 Yokohama Sonora Rally, visit www.sonorarally.com.
UTV Challenge Maroc
Designed to give North American UTV racers the opportunity to race against the world’s best and tackle one of the greatest rallies in the world championship, Challenge Maroc will award a free UTV entry to the 2020 Rallye du Maroc. Open to UTV racers at the 2020 Yokohama Sonora Rally, the winner of the UTV category will have the chance to race a big international race that follows some of the original tracks of the African Dakar rallies. Sonora Rally will also help with logistics and partner support to make this a truly attainable and epic adventure.