Best In The Desert’s Bilek Silver State 300 proved to be a good test for the improvements made by the Shaffer-Motorsports crew to the Torchmate 1066 car. Starting in the last class 10 position on Saturday, by the end of the race 1066 finished a very respectable third in class. From the start, driver Daniel Aeberli picked his way through the carnage that was the first half of the race. “Race cars and trucks were broken and crashed all through the technical sections” said co-driver Berne Strom. Aeberli maintained a solid pace picking up fourth position by pit 4 at race mile 161.2. “With all the setup changes we made before the race it took a little while to settle in and get comfortable,” said Aeberli. “Once we got in the groove, the car did everything we asked it to,” he added.
At pit 4 Aeberli and Strom bailed out and driver Shawn Twitchell with his son Ian Twitchell as co-driver climbed in. Between pit 4 and pit 6 the 1066 car moved into 3rd position and was gaining on the first and second place cars. “We just ran out of miles and time to move up any further,” stated Twitchell senior. “For once in my life I talked to my dad for 3 hours without him interrupting me,” laughed Ian, “Dad’s helmet mike quit working right after we got in the car and his head was ready to explode at the end of the race from not being able to tell me what to do.”
Reaching nearly 100mph on several sections, the Torchmate 1066 car’s Turnkey tuned Ecotec motor screamed through the eastern Nevada desert. “It’s amazing how that stock, little 4 cylinder takes off like a rocket once you get in the power band,” noted Strom. “The suspension setup is waaaaay better than what we started with at Parker” added Shawn. “ You can push and toss this car a lot now.”
With the ongoing help of FOX shox, the Shaffer-Motorsports crew will continue making those subtle adjustments that make a good car great. “We’re starting to understand how this car reacts to setup changes,” commented Mike Shaffer, “we’re working with Todd at FOX to bring the car to its Full Potential which just also happens to be the name of the car’s original builder.”
The Torchmate 1066’s BFG tires proved as tough as ever. “Not a single flat even though there were some nasty rocks hidden in the ruts and berms on the course,” observed Aeberli. “In addition to the hidden ones there were also many in plain sight,” added Twitchell senior. “Flats are so rare with the BFG tires our chase and pit teams have probably forgotten how to change them,” laughed Shaffer, “but seriously, all of our support team members are volunteers and they do an outstanding job!”
“How did you like the course?” asked Casey Folks of Best In The Desert when the Torchmate 1066 crossed the finish line. “One of the best courses in the U.S.” replied Twitchell senior, “a solid mix of technical, fast, rough and rocky, just the way it should be.”
Watch for Shaffer-Motorsports to continue climbing the podium steps with the Torchmate 1066 car through the rest of the 2011 desert racing season. Up next for the team is BITD’s Vegas to Reno race in August.
Shaffer-Motorsports would like to thank its sponsors: Torchmate CNC Systems, BFGoodrich, FOX Racing Shox, Shaffers Offroad, Ruffstuff and PSC. If you need race proven products of the highest quality contact these fine companies.