Ensenada, Baja California
Shaffer Motorsports is putting the final touches on their Class 4 racecar before heading south to compete in the 45th annual SCORE, Tecate Baja 1000. The course changes year to year from a loop race to a full run down the peninsula. This year it will start in Ensenada and zig zag down the peninsula covering 1,121.55 miles of beautiful yet brutal terrain before it reaches the finish line in La Paz. Adding to the already challenging course, Hurricane Paul did severe damage in Baja Sur when it hit landfall only a few weeks ago. The peninsula experienced flooding, washouts and damage due to high winds that has caused some re-routing of the course.
“I just returned from prerunning up to mile 350,” said Mike Shaffer, “John Cantrell will run the middle section and Daniel Aeberli and Shawn Twitchell will bring it home. They are down prerunning the sections that were damaged right now.” The Baja 1000 is such an arduous race, most teams use multiple drivers. Keeping the drivers fresh and alert is crucial but the pit crews are equally taxed on raceday. “We will be using BFG pits for fuel, Baja Pits as a back-up and will have a total of seven chase trucks with three team members on board strategically placed to support the car during the race. “We have a great group of dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers that help us out in the shop and at the races,” said Mike, “They make it work, we couldn’t accomplish this without them.”
The team has been bitten by transmission problems in the past, it has been the weak spot on the car. In the aftermath of the Baja 500 where their hopes of a strong title run were dashed when the transmission failed, they stepped up to a Mendeola, S5 transaxle. The Mendeola is a stout, sequentially shifted, five speed transmission that should take care of any reliability issues in the future. “We didn’t get to do a thorough test on the new transmission like we had hoped,” said Mike, “But the S5 is a proven piece and the crew always does an excellent job prepping the car so we should be fine. It’s going to fast, rough and fun, just how we like it!”
Photography By Brian Binkert
Bink Designs / www.binkdesigns.com
Thank you to all our sponsors:
Mike Shaffer / Driver & Crew Chief
Shawn Twitchell / Driver & Team Manager
Daniel Aeberli / Driver
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