San Pedro Mártir Hill Climb

by Michael Satterfield

The second annual San Pedro Mártir Hill Climb took place this past week in Baja, California. Billed as the longest hill climb in the world the event attracted racers from as far away as Romania, as well as a number of entries from the USA and Mexico. The course takes racers nearly 20 miles (30.7km) through 150 turns, starting from the desert valley at 2,100 feet above sea level the finish line is over 8,200 feet at the summit of  Sierra de San Pedro Mártir.

Competitors ranged from grassroots racers with home-built machines (pictured above) to Pike's Peak champion Spencer Steele with his twin-turbo V8 hill climb car (below). From motorcycles to Mustangs the field was eclectic and the racers were all excited to tackle one of the most challenging courses in the world as we gathered at the Rancho Meling, a remote guest ranch about 150 miles south of Tijuana.   

Spencer Steele
The first day was practice and qualifying to determine the running order, it was also a day that many of the racers would use to shake down issues on their cars and motorcycles as the mountain took its toll on a number of the vehicles. But each racer made at least one practice run in preparation for Saturday's race. Well past dark many of the teams were making repairs that ranged from replacing a control arm to a full head gasket job, but by morning all the entries were ready to take on the mountain.

Drifter Alfa Ramirez
The first round was going smoothly until the number 14 Mustang driven by Eduardo Gomez lost control and rolled at around the kilometer sixty-two marker. Thankfully Eduardo was ok, however, the car was a total loss. After towing the Mustang to safety and cleaning the accident site, racing resumed. With each of the remaining racers making their runs, the best time, 15:59 set by Spencer Steele.

The only casualty of the race.
The entry fee for the San Pedro Mártir is just $700.00 U.S.D. for Cars / UTV´s and $425.00 U.S.D. for Motorbikes, Quads, and Motorcycle with Sidecars, making it one of the most affordable events in North America of its kind. This includes space for camping at the Rancho Meling which has restrooms and showers. It also includes the awards dinner, however, if camping is not your thing you can always opt to book a package that includes a room at the ranch and even a meal package.

The race is managed by the same team that created the 1,000-mile road race, The Rally Historico Transpeninsular which was launched in 2015 by veteran racer and promoter Pedro Vargas.

Enjoy more photos below and if you would like more information about racing or attending as a spectator visit

Race Directors Pedro Vargas & Luis Ángel De la Brena  
Scott Butler took 3rd in his class

Motorcycle Class Winner Ben Jones

Romania Driver Andrei Mitrasca

Starting Line

Staging Grid

Jeremy Wessels' Hayabusa Powered Hill Climb Special

Racer Ben Jones