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The Mint 400 is the oldest active off-road desert race in America, and is held annually near Las Vegas, Nevada. It began in 1967, and is considered to be one of the most challenging and prestigious automobile races in the world. The race features an average of 350 competitors spread across 20 classes of vehicles, from million dollar unlimited “Trophy” or “Trick” trucks – to virtually stock VW Bugs often referred to as “Class 11” cars. The Mint 400 racecourse is made up of 100-miles of the most challenging desert terrain in North America. It features jagged rock; deep silt, cactus, highs-speed dry lakebeds, tight Joshua tree forests, and a custom built short-course style off-road park built specifically to allow spectators a bird’s eye view of the race. Because the course is so difficult, some classes are only required to complete two or three laps, while the unlimited classes including the overall champion must complete all four laps or 400 miles total. Typically, less than half of those who start the race ever finish.
Hunter S. Thompson enshrined the Mint 400 in the American mainstream consciousness when he wrote about it for his article “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, for Rolling Stone magazine in 1972. For nearly five decades the “Great American Off Road Race”, has attracted top racers, movie stars and celebrities from around the world.