Shaffer-Baja-500-5-30-13Ensenada, Baja California – The Shaffer Motorsports team heads south to the Baja Peninsula for the 45th annual Tecate SCORE Baja 500 May 31-June 2. The team will rely on strategy as opposed to pure speed as the draw for starting order has placed them 19th off the line out of 22 cars.

Starting in the back takes a few options off the table but for the Shaffer Motorsports team, it plays into their championship plans. The team is currently in the number two spot for the World Championship of Desert Racing in their Transfer Case Express class 10. Their emphasis all season has been to get to the finish and build consistent points towards the championship. If they find themselves racing for the win they will take it but their plan is to go as hard as they can without using up the car. When it comes to championships, consistency is vital.

The 45th annual SCORE, Tecate Baja 1000 was an epic undertaking. The race traveled an amazing 1,121.55 miles down the Baja Peninsula. Shaffer Motorsports used teamwork, ingenuity and true grit to complete the entire course in 33 hours and 17 minutes; taking second place and a possible championship. At the time of this writing, the final championship points tally is still underway.

It didn’t look promising for Mike Shaffer before the race. He would drive the first leg and had been ill for days. “I felt good on raceday, at least in the beginning,” Said Mike, “We started behind the 1600 cars and they kick up a lot of mud. We were getting roosted bad as we caught and passed many of them.

OAKLAND, CA – Shaffer-Motorsports car #401 won the San Felipe 250 in Class 4 last weekend in Baja, Mexico.  After a long week of prerunning and a 24 hour turn around to the US for a rebuilt transaxle, the team made the mad dash to the finish line with only 12 minutes separating them from second.  “It was quite a race.  From being down at the half way point, then making a great pass at RM194 for the lead, then watching Daniel put some time on them, we just focused on keeping the sprint up,” said Mike Shaffer, driver of record and owner of Shaffer’s Offroad.

The race didn’t come without consequences, as with most desert races.  They wound up with three flat tires and four wheels that need some serious attention.  But the tolls of the course didn’t stop the drivers Mike Shaffer, Shawn Twitchell and Daniel Aeberli from pushing the Transfer Case Express car to its max and finishing.  “All of the drivers and co-drivers are working really well together and you can see the difference at each race as they meld together,” said Shaffer.

Prerunning may have been more of an endurance experience than the race itself.  During the shock tuning session on Thursday the transaxle gave way.  Ron Weddle, from Weddle Industries, invited them to the shop in Southern California to get it fixed.  “He showed up at 2:45am in the morning when the guys got there to work and had them back on the road to Baja by 7:30am,” said Shaffer.  Within 24 hours the Shaffer-Motorsports crew had diagnosed and fixed the problem, and had the car through tech and ready for the green flag Friday morning!

Read more of the Transfer Case Express driver reports on the Shaffer-Motorsports website: http://www.shaffer-motorsports.com.

The next race for the Red, White and Black Transfer Case Express car will be the Baja 500 June 1, 2012.

RENO, NV - Roger Norman decided to compete in another discipline of racing this year: Rock Crawling.  In his rookie appearance at the W.E. Rock West Tucson, AZ event he challenged himself and finished on the podium in his Torchmate Racing Pro Mod #8 rock crawler.  “Rock crawling is tougher than it looks,” exclaimed successful Trophy Truck racer Roger Norman. “There is actually a ton of strategy and teamwork involved.”

The whole experience was different than anything Norman had participated in before.  The spotter was outside the car giving directions via Bluetooth headsets.  There are many controls not found in a trophy truck including a transfer case for controlling front wheel and rear wheel drive, front and rear air lockers and  cutting brakes.  The front and rear winches are not for pulling you out of a bad situation, but rather connected to axle housings used for sucking in the suspension to account for different angles.  The BFGoodrich Krawlers had amazing traction, strength and stability on the man made course.

Competitors complete four courses on Saturday and four on Sunday, and then enter a shootout on Sunday afternoon that can change the entire outcome of the event.  With each course timed, Norman only completed one of the four courses on Saturday.  Come Sunday, he successfully turned that ratio around to completing three out of the four courses, with one tied for the best score of the day.