How to Drive the Baja 500 in One Easy Lesson

Chris Cantle goes from the tarmac to the second-most grueling off-road race in the world. Will he survive?

The Baja 500 off-road race may only be half as grueling as the infamous Baja 1000, but it still takes skill, endurance, a MacGyver-like taste for mechanical triage under pressure…and the ability to survive while breathing nothing but Mexico’s baby-powder-like sand for 24 straight hours.

Motorsports legends like Parnelli Jones, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart and Robby Gordon have all conquered the “short” Baja race. Now, The Drive‘s human crash-test dummy, Chris Cantle—who’s got a history of putting himself in harm’s way for a challenge—is climbing off the bench to take his turn. Will the 500-mile desert race, which starts and ends in Ensenada, Mexico, finally cure him of his hubris?

In this special premiere episode of DRIVE/TRAIN, our hero goes to the Vegas Off Road Experience in Boulder City, Nevada to learn a few key off-roading skills. He’ll need every bit of knowledge he can pick up—because in just a couple of days, he’ll be driving in the amateur-punishing Baja 500 (with a little help from his new friends).

Wish him luck. He’ll need it.