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History

The mystery of Dakar desert and Baja California left their mark within the sports men and adventurers who were willing to fulfil their spare time with challenging experiences.
At the beginning of the eighties, when the mythic Paris-Dakar was already consolidated as one of the most important raids events, a French-Spanish group lead by François Vincent and Carlos Gracia, who was at that moment president of the Aragonesa – Riojana Automobile Federation, decided to import the idea of these two events to Spain.
Searching for the best possible route, they found in Aragon a beautiful semi-deserted area called Monegros, an unique place to enjoy, surrounded by amazing landscapes, which offered an ideal framework for the competition and with a perfect terrain for a 1.000 km non stop race.
This was the beginning for BAJA SPAIN. At first it was called Montesblancos as the starting point was just besides the Montesblancos Casino.
The big difficulties of the event, as the high temperatures and the dense dust, have been since the very first moment the most remarkable characteristics of a competition which has become a “classic” within the World Cup as well as one of the most appreciated in the International Calendar.
After the first three editions, new solicitors took charge of the organization, among them the current managing company Pro-Motor which now, years later, is once again involved with the race. Back on that time, the rules gained importance, this fitting with the International Regulations. Its compromise lasted for years, and after the cancellation of the event in 1992, due to the coincidence with the Olympic Games in Barcelona, it turned to be organized by the Spanish Federation. Such a charismatic race as BAJA could not disappear, and not only because of its crucial importance within the motor sports competition, but also for being an unique way of promoting Spain and Aragon thorough Europe.
In 1993 the Spanish Federation had to face the challenge of organizing an event which would be a vital round for the brand new World Cup.
From that moment onwards, the presence of official teams such as Citroën, Mitsubishi, among others, would be usual. In the winner list of the competition we find world class drivers who have provided the BAJA ESPAÑA ARAGÓN with enormous prestigious: Ari Vatanen, Pierre Lartigue, Jacky Icks, Timo Salonen, Jean Louis Schlesser… and more contemporaneous Nani Roma, Nasser Al Attiyah or Stéphane Peterhansel in cars; or riders such as Bacou, Arcarons, Mas, Gallardo, Steuri, Roma, Esteve, Coma and Barreda, among others, in bikes.
Year 1999 set an historic precedent: for the first time, a Spanish driver, Jose Manuel Serviá, clinched victory in cars with other two country men, Miguel Prieto and Manuel Plaza, completing the final podium.
In the car’s list of winners and also in the overall of the event, Spanish Nani Roma is the most successful driver, with nine victories to his tenure, five in cars and four in motorbikes.
In motorbikes, Isidre Esteve is the most laureate one, with six victories, followed by Gerard Farrés, with five.
Regarding the manufacturers, Mitsubishi stands in the first position, with seven victories, followed by Schlesser buggy and BMW, with five.
Trucks category appeared in scene in 2005, when Selga and Torra clinched victory. David Oliveras, Macik and Kolomy share the honor of being the ones with the most victories, two each. After an absence in 2010, the trucks category came back in 2011 to give the event the spectacularity they usually get in the tracks.
In 2005, the competition entered a new phase also with the arrival to the organization committee of the marketing company OCTAGON ESEDOS. Octagon, as an organizer for BAJA ESPAÑA, has the commitment of improving the level of former editions, with a special interest in including the participation of top class personalities together with the best riders and drivers in the event, and also willing to enhance the media coverage of the race.
Since 2013, Baja Aragón is based in Teruel, which institutions, inhabitants and territory are absolutely focused and invested in the event.
Combining the dust, the heat, and the rocky and stony clay, this terrain brings out the best of man and machine in an impressive test of skill under the tricky conditions of a fierce environment, and it celebrated in 2008 its 25th anniversary, 30th in 2013 and 35th in 2018, something that consolidates it as one of the longest-lasting races in the world and the most in Spain.