Off-road racing returns to the El Centro/Plaster City area Saturday, April 7th. The Imperial 250 event is sanctioned by High Desert Racing Association (HDRA) and is expected to draw more than 200 competitors racing in 20 different classes. Vehicle types range from the ground-shaking unlimited trucks and buggies to the ever popular stock VW Beetles.
The high-energy weekend kicks off with the start position drawing on Thursday evening, April 5th. This drawing determines the starting order for the racers and is a much anticipated part of the weekend. A good start position means less dust for the racers! Drawing will start at 7 p.m. at Puerto Nuevo Bar and Grill in El Centro and the public is invited to join in the festivities.
Technical Safety Inspection for all race vehicles and equipment vendor row will take place on Friday, April 6th, at Inland Valley Mall between noon and 7 p.m. This outdoor event is an opportunity for everyone to see the race vehicles, talk to drivers and crews and be a part of the excitement. The renowned FreestyleMX stunt team of X-Games competitors will be performing to add extra thrills to this afternoon event.
On Saturday racers will complete multiple laps on a rugged desert course measuring over 50 miles in length. The course includes sections of both Plaster City East and West. Start/Finish is located west of the gypsum plant off Evan Hewes Highway.
Race day, April 7th, features two separate off-road races. Morning race is for smaller vehicles and first vehicles leave the start line at 6:15 a.m. Two vehicles will be flagged off every 20 seconds until the entire field is underway.
Start time for the second race is 1:00 p.m. and features the really fast classes of vehicles. Some of these vehicles are capable of speeds of well over 100 miles per hour across the open desert. Again, two vehicles will leave every 20 seconds. Race start will be preceded by a fly-by of military aircraft at approximately 12:30 p.m. This will start a truly awesome afternoon of racing.
Spectators are welcome for the full day of racing excitement. Three designated spectator areas will allow everyone to view the action from different vantage points. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted by off-duty Navy Seals with proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project.