On September 16, about 40 vehicles raced on a dirt strip at Rosarito Beach.
The venue, Plaza San Fernando, is right off of Federal Highway 1 close to the touristy hotels and across the street from the go-kart tracks.
“The La Playa Sand Drags competition was serious,” said Infonort Rosarito reporter Diego Knight, “racers drove in from Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe, Tecate, Mexicali, El Centro — and Chula Vista.”
“I took my truck to track test because I did some changes,” said Chula Vistan Oscar Ortiz.
Ortiz trailered in his 1989 Chevy K5 Blazer. It’s painted candy-tangerine and black and he’s got two air filters sticking out of the hoodline “so that my big-block Chevy 511 cubic inch engine (with 300 hp shot of nitrous) can breathe better.”
“Here, there were mostly older (1970s-1990s) pickup trucks, a few jeeps and two motorcycles,” Knight said as he showed me video footage captured by his DJI Mavic Pro drone.
The racers launched by a race tree light on the eastside of the venue by Federal Highway 1. Then they accelerated to almost an 1/8th of a mile and as the track transitions to a section before the beachfront: the racers let off on their accelerator and hit the brakes.
“It looks like you're going into the water,” Ortiz said, “but it’s plenty of track so you can stop safely.”
Knight was able to capture Ortiz’s truck named “La Malosa” smoking a black jeep by a few car lengths which propelled him into the finals.
“I took first place on both brackets; bracket one with nitrous and bracket two without nitrous — just engine power,” he said. “I won the trophies, and if there’s more drivers in the same bracket we make a pot and whoever wins the bracket takes it all.”
Ortiz paid about 1000 pesos (about $50 USD) to race in both brackets and general entrance was 80 pesos (about $4). The next race event at this waterfront locale is on October 14.