Author: Ian

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