RACEPRO TECH HITS THE BEACH IN BAJA FOR LOORRS ROUNDS 7 & 8
Ensenada, Baja California Mexico
RacePro Tech headed south of the border to Estero Beach Resort for rounds 7 and 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series(LOORRS). It was a big weekend for the team. Justin arrived a little late as he had a TV interview in Pennsylvania. He flew down to San Diego and walked across the border into Mexico. He was celebrating a birthday so they had a little fun before taking care of business on the track. The Estero Beach Resort is on the Pacific coast just south of Ensenada, Baja Mexico. Because of the location, the track is very sandy which creates unique conditions for racing. The sand makes the track very rough and the roost coming off the tires is unlike anything the drivers undergo at other venues.
“I have never experienced that kind of roost,” said Justin Peck, “When it hits your face shield, it goes completely dark. I usually run 10 tear-offs (thin, clear, plastic sheets that attach to a drivers face shield and are ripped off one at a time to allow clear vision). At Estero I put 20 on and used every one in only ten laps. You had to use a lot of faith because most of the time you were completely blinded.”
That wasn’t the only challenge in Estero Beach; most of the teams were struggling to get the right set-up on their trucks. The track is large with a long front strait. A taller gear gives more top end speed on that front straight. However, the sand robs your power so a shorter gear would give you more torque in the deep stuff. Finding the perfect balance was not easy. Ray Griffith and his crew did several gear changes trying to find some speed. Despite having a good grasp on tuning their truck, it proved elusive. “During qualifying the speed just wasn’t there,” said Ray Griffith, “Something was just wrong. We eventually changed the torque converter and the truck really responded. That was the issue all along.”
Justin Peck had his own demons—the rhythm section. He has seen plenty of whoops during his desert racing career, both on bikes and in trucks, but these were unique. “These things were just wicked,” said Justin, “You had to totally commit. If you got it wrong and you were halfway through, you were going for a ride. I asked Ray what he thought and he said to just hit it and see what happens. (There is a stark difference between a team driver and a team owner. The team owner usually writes the checks) I followed Ray’s advice and I cleaned it, it was awesome. After some work, I figured out my line through there. I got some comments from others that the new GiveawayGarage.com Pro Lite was handling those bumps better than anyone.”
Following Ray’s advice on the rhythm section turned out well but following him on the track was almost a catastrophe. Justin was running very fast during the race on Sunday. He had found the right set-up and shaved 3.5 seconds off his lap times. The two GiveawayGarage.com Pro Lite trucks were running nose to tail on the course.
Ray was ahead with Justin hooked to his rear bumper. Ray slid out of the groove and nailed one of those huge tractor tires that they had lining the course. “Ray hit that tire and shot straight up in the air,” said Justin, “That tire didn’t budge. I locked ‘em up and almost hit it too. I slid sideways and tagged Ray a bit but I was able to keep going and make it to the finish.”
The GiveawayGarage.com team learned a lot in Baja and can’t wait to apply it when they race under the lights at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA. on July 23rd and 24th. The team will be there in full force promoting the Ultimate Off Road Package Sweepstakes, which includes a Custom Lifted F150 Truck and Polaris RZR.