Baja 1000 Race Summary - Desert Dingo Racing
Felton, California, November 29, 2009 - Desert Dingo Racing completed 182.5 miles of the 675 mile Baja 1000 this year before being knocked out of the race when they lost their second transmission.
This was the farthest the team had gone in the three years it has competed in the race and none of the five Class 11s that entered made it to the finish line.
"This was, without question, the toughest of the Baja 1000 courses we've ever run," said team co-founder Jim Graham. "We lost our first transmission 10 miles into the race after apparently landing pretty hard on a rock. It literally cracked the tranny case."
Graham used the in-car EMS Sky Connect Rugged Text and Track (RTT) communications and tracking system to send messages to the team's California headquarters that they needed a chase truck sent in and that the transmission needed to be replaced. of course. A chase truck was on the scene within 30 minutes, the transmission was swapped out and No. 1104 continued the race.
"The frustrating part was that now it was dark and we were driving sections of the course that other teams had driven during daylight," Graham said. "We were making good time and had gotten word that two other Class 11s had broken down in front of us."
Bad luck struck again at RM 40 when the car got stuck on a steep incline and Graham broke his leg getting out of the car.
"Thankfully, it only felt like a sprain, so while driver Bob Russell enlisted some spectators to help get the car unstuck, I hiked up the road to a level spot where I could get back in," Graham said. "I used the RTT system to let the chase teams know that I needed a replacement at the next pit stop 20 miles down the road."
Crew Chief Richard Palasik took over driving duties and he and Russell took the '67 VW Beetle to the next driver changeout at RM 120. From there, Scott Anderson and Seth Schrenzel took 1104 the rest of the way until the second transmission gave out after 10 miles of silt and eight miles of sand.
"We also benefitted from illuminated number panels, pit signs and safety vests provided to us by TrailGlow," Graham said. "When you're pulling into a pit at night, it's basically bright lights and campfires and it's really tough to find your people. I spotted our TrailGlow pit sign more than 100 yards out and team members were easy to spot in the illuminated safety vests."
Desert Dingo Racing is third in class and 24th overall in the Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts (SNORE) series with one race remaining in December. The team formed in early 2007 and this is their first full year of racing.
About Desert Dingo Racing