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.