Chamlee earns 11th Class 7 Championship

In spite of a very challenging race season, Dan Chamlee with the Factory Racing earned their 11th Class 7 Score International points championship by winning the last race of the 2015 season, the Baja 1000.

The 2015 race season began in February in San Felipe, Mexico with a 250-mile race. The team suffered its first DNF (did not finish) after leading the race and only 60 miles to the finish when the crankshaft broke in the engine.

Back at the shop he put in a new Ford V6 eco boost engine and G-force transmission. With excitement to see how the new truck would work with 150 more horse power the team traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the augural Cabo to Loreto 500, a really beautiful race that ran from Cabo, to La Paz, up to Loreto. Even though the turbo chargers weren’t working correctly the team won Class 7.

With more time in the shop and the turbos now working correctly the team, in June, traveled to Ensenada where the team suffered its next DNF at the Baja 500 where, reverse gear broke at race mile 30. The team replaced the transmission but by the time parts were delivered to the truck and fixed, the check point at race mile 105 was closed, ending their day.

September brought another disappointment when they traveled to Imperial Valley and suffered in the unbelievable heat. The teams were only given 8 hours to complete a 300-mile race, which wasn’t enough time for most of the teams to finish. The Factory racing was devastated by its 3rd DNF of the season. Even though they crossed the finish in first place they had exceeded the time limit.

As the team went into the last race of the season, November 18-21, for the 48th annual Baja 1000, they were unsure about another championship. The current leader of the points championship, needed only to finish to take the title, the Factory Racing was in second. This year’s race was an 840-mile loop that traveled from Ensenada down the Pacific Ocean then traveled over to the sea of Cortez back into Ensenada, one of the roughest courses yet. The team had many challenges but their never quit attitude helped them finish the race and win. Some of the problems they encountered were: Air leaking into the fuel line causing loss of fuel pressure, losing reverse gear, requiring a complete rebuild of the transmission at a pit, dirt packing into the clutch so it wouldn’t disengage the last 500 miles, the starter quit working while stuck in the silt. With the finish in their sites, the steering arm broke. Fortunately, the chase team was close with all the parts they needed to make the repairs. They were able to make it to the finish line in 31:31:35. The points leader going into the race suffered an engine failure leaving the door open allowing, Chamlee and the Factory Racing to clench the race win and the season points championship.

Chamlee acknowledges his accomplishment are due to the support of his team and sponsors. BFGoodrich, Rigid Industries, King Shocks, Sunoco, Rod-End Supply.

 

46th Annual Baja 1000

Dan Chamlee and The Factory Racing conquer grueling 883 mile course of the 45th Annaul Baja 1000 in the Baja desert from Nov 14-17.  The team took first in Class 7 completing it in 35:23:27.  There were 251 teams that started and only 116 were able to finish in the allotted 36 hours, a 46% finishing rate. This year’s course started in Ensenada travel south through Ojos Negros, through San Felipe on down to Puerocitos and Coco’s Corner, then crossed to the pacific ocean up to Catavina, over Mike’s sky ranch, through Valle de Trinada, back to Ojos then down into Ensenada.

The team knew it would be a long 2 days especially when the team couldn’t hear the race truck over the radio only a few feet away at the start line.  After fiddling with it they were able to hear the race truck.  At race mile 35 the roof of the truck began to fall off which was fixed at race mile 209 where the transmission needed to be replaced.  The rumors of how bad the silt (fine powder like dirt) between race mile 370 and 390 was not over stated.  It took them 3 hours to go those 20 miles.  Trying to avoid the silt Chamlee got stuck in a ravine, after winching himself out he hit something that landed the truck on its lid.  Fortunately the roll did not damaging anything other than having to pull the spark plugs to get oil out of the upper cylinders. They also were concerned in this section they might run out of gas because of the distance from the last pit, sure enough they ran out short of the next pit.  But bleeding the air out they were able to sputter to the pit.  During the next section Dan slid off of a cliff while winching himself back up the winch cable broke.  Another competitor stopped and winched him back up.

When the team was starting to think they were going to make it to the finish line on time Dan hit a rock under the silt pushing the skid plate into some of the steering components making it impossible to steer.  He met the team at race mile 850, after cutting the skid plate and adjusting the tie rods he was able to continue on. His clutch had been getting packed with dust and dirt throughout the race and would stop working.  After blowing it out it would work again for a while but that last 30 miles wasn’t so fortunate. Dan was having problems shifting gears making it difficult to stop.  Finally he took the top of the transmission off to take it out of gear finding a throw out bearing broke but freeing it to work the rest of the race. The GPS decided to stop working and at this stage most of the course markers were taken off the course allowing him to get lost easily.  Taking much longer than expected to get to the finish but grateful to finish within the allotted time.

Sponsors: BFGoodrich, The Factory Appliance, Inc, MR Sheet Metal, Rigid Industries, Pure Power, King Shocks, Dezertwife Photograhpy,

Thanks goes to those of the team assisting: Laurie Chamlee, Amy Tate, Kurt Kimball, Tyler Kimball, Matt Tinsdell, Chris Kisendahl, Jacob Ochoa, Dave Owens, Maddy Owens, Jean Bantilan, Cory Bantilan, Rene Kranzler, Paul Kranzler, Tiffany Thomas, Martin  Anguiano, Chava Anguiano, Issac Anguiano

Chamlee takes on Rough Terrain of Baja

Chamlee takes on Rough Terrain of Baja

The Factory Racing traveled to Ensenada to compete in the 45th Baja 500 from May 31- June 2.  This year’s course was a very rough 502 mile course.  There were 276 teams from 25 countries to take on the challenge with only 162 of them being able to complete the course in the 22 hour time limit.  Dan Chamlee was one of those finishers, finishing in 20:16, and placing 2nd in Class 7.   In class 7 there were 7 starters and 3 finishers. This finish puts him back in first in the season point’s championship.

Dan and co-driver Eric Nystrom, who was the winner of the Lou Grant auction co-driver seat, were first in class off the line at 11:30 a.m. and held that lead until he lost a transmission on the dry lake bed known as Laguna Salada.  A chase crew took a transmission to race mile 162 where they replaced it in 107 degree weather and losing valuable time while waiting, losing 1 ½ hours. As the sun was setting at mile 230 the team had a co-driver change, Martin Ganguiano, of Martin Roofing took over the duties.  As they neared the coast they encountered heavy fog. This section was a little slow due to visibility and a GPS failure causing them to rely on visual course markers instead of satellite mapping.  Danny Ganguiano hopped in at race mile 359 to the finish.  They got stuck in the sand along the beach near Eredira.  Having driven through the night as dawn arrived and the fog lifted they were able to pick up the pace finishing at 7 a.m.

The support vehicles had their own issues.  The Raptor hit a rock after taking the transmission to the truck causing a flat tire.  The Super Duty also got a flat tire and its alternator went out causing the team to be creative in keeping the batteries charged.  But the whole team made it home safely with more stories to tell.

The pit support was provided by BFGoodrich volunteers and the chase team was: Laurie Chamlee, Amy Tate, Kurt Kimball, Carter Kimball, John Lund, Kevin Downs, Michael Buchmiller, Chava Ganguiano, Chris Kiesendahl, Brett Jenkins. The Factory racing partnered and combined pit support with former La Conchita  resident Scott Brady and his team which included AJ Dununzio of Cory Motors, David Owens of Owens Electric, Gino Bantilan of SB Plumbing. Thanks go to King Shocks, Rigid Lights, Sunoco Race Fuels. BF Goodrich, Rod End Supply

Factory Racing Places 3rd in 27th Mastercraft San Felipe 250

The Factory Racing traveled to San Felipe March 7-10 to compete in the 27th Annual Mastercraft San Felipe 250.  The beautiful little fishing village came alive with 255 teams there to compete on the 254 mile course.  We had a new course this year with new challenges and scenery.

Eight time Class 7 champion Dan Chamlee drove the entire race with Co-drivers Dan of Martin Roofing and Amy Tate.  Chamlee led the first 45 miles, running 3 ½ minutes ahead of 2nd.  Dan clipped a huge rock up a tight twisty canyon puncturing a tire. Chamlee got stuck in the silt while passing a class 16 car by choosing a bad line.  Because of the soft sand and deep silt the truck was getting worse gas mileage than expected running out of gas 10 miles short of the Pit at mile 148.  A fan along the course syphoned fuel from their bronco and a splash of fuel from the team near a road crossing got them to the pit.  The team had dropped to 3rd place but after the pit Dan began making up time on 2nd place.  He was within a mile of getting back in 2nd near race mile 200 when the radiator fan broke.  The chase team was an hour drive away with the spare part.  While Dan and Amy were waiting they took some epoxy and sheet metal and repaired it.   He continued on but got stuck on a sand hill that many competitors were stuck on so he radio’d the team to see how far away they were and found they were close so he decided to wait for them with the replacement fan and to get his upper light bar to finish the race now that is was dark. Dan ran the last 50 miles at a fast pace and it was a huge relief to get a finish under their belt, finishing in 3rd place in 9:11:12.

Without sponsors like The Factory Appliance, Inc, BF Goodrich, Pure Power, Rod End Supply’s, Rigid Lighting, King Shocks, Martin Roofing, Slime we couldn’t have the success we enjoy.

The Factory Racing suffers defeat in Baja

The 45th Annual Baja 1000 on November 14-17 was a huge disappointment for the Factory Racing.  The 1120 miles race from Ensenada to La Paz took months of preparation, a large support team and support vehicles to only go 18 miles before the crank shaft broke, a repair that could not be done on the course.  The team was forced to return home early and watch the race from the computer until they were sure of others in their class and to determine the season Points Championship. However the team was able to retain the season championship in spite of the poor results due to having such a large lead going into the race. There were 7 starters in Class 7 and 4 finishers.

The Factory Racing has been very busy, competing in 3 races within 4 weeks.

 

The team traveled to Lucerne Valley on May 19th to compete in the MORE California 500.  Thomas Chamlee is driver of record for the 1400 class in the Mojave Off Road Enthusiast (M.O.R.E.) series.  The team finished in 6th place putting him 3rd for the season points championship.  Thomas and Dan shared the driving duties and co-drivers where Tiffany Thomas, Brady Melin, Nick Tonelli. The truck is still in the testing phase and the team is really happy with how competitive it is. They feel that they’ve been able to work out most of the issues with the new truck. Thanks to those who helped: Heather Chamlee, Laurie Chamlee, Stephanie Chamlee, Nolan & Michael Chamlee, Valerie Chamlee, Amy Tate, Riley Finch and Team Tonelli.

 

The weekend of June 1st the team traveled to Ensenada to compete in the Baja 500, a grueling 450 mile course.  Dan Chamlee drove the entire race with John Lund and Amy Tate sharing co-driving duties.  The team led the race in class 7 until the sway bar broke at race mile 380. They limped the truck to the BF Goodrich pit at race mile 398 where they were able to fix it and get moving again. But this put them into 2nd Place.  They only needed 16:23:55 to complete the 450 mile course. This finish puts the team back in the lead for the seasons points championship.  The support team included: Laurie Chamlee, Thomas Chamlee, Scott Brady, Kurt Kimball, Carter Kimball, Matt Tindell, Chris Kiesendahl, Will Ochoa and Jacob Ochoa

 

Dan Chamlee was invited to participate in the Lucas Oil Regional, Beehive Classic short course race in Lake Elsinore on June 9th.  The Factory’s class 7 competed in an open sportsman class & was limited in horsepower compared to the other trucks competing but the trucks amazing suspension and Dan’s experience as a driver placed the team 3rd out of a field of 22.  Those supporting this race were: Laurie Chamlee, Thomas Chamlee, Heather Chamlee, Riley Finch, Matt Tindell, Robert Tindell, Chirs Kiesendahl and the entire Tonelli Team.