Off-road racing is a format of racing where various classes of specially modified vehicles (including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and buggies) compete in races through Off-road environments.
Off-road racing began in the early 20th century. An early racing sanctioning body in North America was the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA). The body was formed in 1967 by Ed Pearlman. The first event was a race across the Mexican desert. The event was first called the Mexican 1000, and it later became known as the Baja 1000. The event is now sanctioned by SCORE International.
In North America there are several other formats. There are races on a circuit of less than five miles (such as Crandon International Off-Road Raceway), which are sanctioned by CORR (or its predecessor SODA (series)), and by World Series of Off Road Racing (WSORR). The races held by CORR and WSORR take place on short (1 1/2 mile or less) tracks incorporating left and right turns of various radaii, and jumps and sometimes washboard runs and gravel pits. Another format made popular by the Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group was called stadium racing, where offroad racing vehicles were used in a temporary offroad racetrack was constructed inside a Stadium. The general idea of "offroad racing" can also extend to include Hillclimbing or any other form of racing that does not occur on a specified, paved track. A simpler, shorter track format is popular at many county fairs, and is called Tough (or Tuff) Truck competition. These tracks are ordinarily much shorter, and usually, competitors make individual, timed runs.
In Europe, "off-road" refers to events such as Autocross or Rallycross, while desert races and Rally-raids such as the Paris-Dakar, Master Rallye or European "bajas" are called Cross-Country Rallies.