The BlueWater Desert Challenge, held annually by the Best In The Desert racing association each Fall in Parker, will be moving to Cal City for 2021. The other two races in the season in Parker will not be affected.
Best In The Desert announced the change Wednesday after the Colorado River Indian Tribes said they would not allow the event to run as planned, citing increased levels of COVID-19 in their community.
The Parker 250 and Parker 425 races will run in Parker as usual in January, since they do not operate on CRIT land. Best In The Desert changed the route of the race course last January after a similar decision by CRIT prompted a permanent change to the course map, with both the start and finish lines of the race on federal land.
A spokesperson for Best In The Desert told Parker Live there will probably not be a replacement race for the Desert Challenge in future years, but that the racing association is committed to the two big races in Parker as season openers. The races will always run on land operated by the Bureau of Land Management instead of on tribal land, according to the spokesperson.
The new location of the race for this year is Cal City, situated between Bakersfield and Barstow in eastern Kern County. It will be held November 4-7 and will be the season closer for the year.
“Despite the extremely disappointing news, Best In The Desert is very excited about the move to Cal City,” the organization said in a press release. “Not only is the entire community behind the relocation of the event but Best In The Desert has access to over 80 acres of prime real estate to host an off-road race of epic proportions thanks to Lou Peralta and the Peralta Ranch.”
“While we’ve certainly had to deal with some challenges getting to this point, the end result could not have been better,” said Best In The Desert CMO Bryan Folks. “I have to start by thanking Lou Peralta for all his help and support in making this happen. The racecourse being built will be very challenging and a true Best In the Desert type race. We also look forward to being welcomed by Cal City. Altogether, we feel we have an event venue that will more than live up to the expectations of all our racers.”
See the race schedule and information at BITD.com.