Shaffer Motorsports Competes in Class 10 for 2011 Race Season

PRE- Shaffer Motorsports Paint & Graphics

OAKLAND, CA   FEBRUARY 1, 2011  -  Shaffer-Motorsports racing team will join Class 10 for the Best In The Desert series, the SNORE Mint 400 and the SCORE Baja 1000 in 2011.  Torchmate number 1066 Driver of Record Mike Shaffer boasts 3 Baja 1000 wins, 3 SCORE Championships and one BITD Championship in Class 1700.  “We are really excited to move into Class 10 this year and be competitive.  This car is really fast, and it will be fun to race,” said Mike Shaffer.

“BFGoodrich was actually a huge supporter of us moving to Class 10,” said Shaffer who will run 33×10.5 Baja TA tires.  We are also excited to have Rigid Industries on the team with solid and continued support from Torchmate, PSC Steering, RuffStuff Specialties, Shaffer’s Offroad and Pirate4x4.  The team will be composed of Mike Shaffer of Shaffer Offroad with co-driver Orlando “Bondo” Giannecchini of Any Seven Offroad.  Driver Shawn Twitchell and son Ian Twitchell co-driving will split most race efforts.  On the bigger races, including BITD Vegas to Reno and the SCORE Baja 1000, Daniel Aeberli will fly in from Switzerland to be a third driver with co-driver Berne Strom. Continue reading

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2010 Baja 1000

Pirate4x4′s video resume of the Baja 1000 of 2010

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2010 Baja 1000 From Daniel’s Seat In The 1700 Jeepspeed

I landed in San Diego after having been up for over 24 hours, to find out Charlene, Lil Rich and Mustard Dog will be picking me up, Shaffer’s working on a missing 2nd gear.

The next morning, after a fair warning of recurring political incorrectness during this trip, we head off to Mexico. There I rediscovered Mexico time, it’s been a long time since I was in Baja, and should not have been a surprise that everything took way more time than planed.

Pre-running amounted to two sections maybe a little over a third of what I had to drive. In hind sight, it did not matter so much. To keep track of 300 miles of course is impossible, unless you spend a month at it (n’est-ce pas, Lance). In addition, pre-running with anything but a specially prepped pre-runner gives a false impression of greater course difficulty. It did give me a very good appreciation of what kind of terrain we would be racing on.

The adrenaline started pumping even before we drove up to the staging area, it took my all to keep calm. Once the line started moving, it moved, we almost found ourselves scrambling to be ready. As desertfabmotorsports posted [on pirate4x4]” The start and the first 11 miles were crazy, people everywhere… “ I had a tough time keeping focused with the suicidal photographers bolting out for a last second (of their life) picture… . I finally started relaxing once we hit the dirt, As I did so, I started remembering a lot of the course from Torchmate 2009 Baja clips (thanks Torchmate and YouTube!), and more important I started listening to Berne calling out the course. Berne was instrumental in getting my head back into racing, mostly by yelling “ get-it… get-it!…” . Continue reading

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2010 Baja 1000 From Mike Shaffer

For me, this years 1000 started with a phone call from Lance and Camo @ Pirate4x4.com. They were calling for inform me that we would be racing Dave Cole’s 4454 car in Class 1. I was VERY excited for the opportunity to drive in C1. Driving Dave’s car in C1 wasn’t going to be enough. I wanted to make sure that the Torchmate JeepSpeed would be ready and racing also. Between Dave’s car catching fire in Parker and the time that had to be spent to get the Torchmate JS ready – our team had alot of work on it’s hands to get ready for the race this year.

The day we were supposed to be leaving for the 1000 we pulled the Torchmate JS out of the shop, ran it around the block before loading it on the trailer to find that our transmission (that we just installed) had some issues. So, we decided to put off our departure time for a day so we could address the problems. We made it to Mexico on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we pre-ran the areas that we felt were most cricital. Our reality was that we weren’t going to pre-run our entire section, we just didnt have enough time for that. The next few days we had tech and contingincy and registration to deal with, as well as final touches on both cars.

Morning of the race we staged the #118 car and Daniel and Bernie staged the #1700 car. Once we staged I tried to sit in the #118 car and relax. I tried to keep my mind off of all the fast cars that would be starting behind us. Before I knew it… we were sitting one car behind the start of the 1000!! Our original plan was the run the car in 2WD drive on the asphault and switch into 4WD once we hit the dirt, but this had me very nervous. I didn’t want to spin the car out in one of the first couple turns, so I decided to start the car out in 4WD. Once the green flag dropped I laid the hammer down and the Pacific Fab LS motor came to life instantly spinning all 4 tires! Continue reading

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2010 Mint 400

The 2010 Mint400 Torchmate/SOR Jeepspeed Race, from the Passenger’s seat.

After having the fire alarm go off in the hotel from 11:30 until just past midnight, the night before the race, We were all a little tired and irritated about the disruption in what was all planned out to be a good night’s sleep before the race. The 4:30am alarm came as a hit, like the what felt to be 2 million cross grain G-Outs we’d experience in the race.

Lance Clifford and I were going to race the first 2 lap’s, handing the car over to Owner, and Driver of Record Mike Shaffer. As we staged we learned then, it was side by side starts. We were lined up next to Chris Nissley, who for some reason stayed about 10ft back from the starting line, and as the starter began the 5, 4, 3, 2 count down, I heard Nissley’s motor almost bouncing off the rev limiter, as Lance began to power brake our 4wd Jeep.

And we’re off! We pulled the 1719 to the first corner on a course I can only describe as a cookie dough like silt, it was powdery, but didn’t make alot of dust, and it was thick, which kept us from accelerating like we wanted. The infield jumps were interesting, we learned quickly they had no backsides to them! Ooops!

We headed out across the desert quickly passing 2 Jeepspeed’s and what seemed like 20 other class car’s all stopped, either fixing flat’s already, or just broken. We fell into a line of Cars, the 1736, then a 1450 truck, the 1708, 1730, then us. 1736 wouldn’t yield the 1450, and no one was yielding us as we were all a car length apart like a train through the rock garden, which we’d later come to learn was the SMOOTH part of the course! after the 1736 got a flat, we were able to pick the pace up, still all in a line, but gained 10mph! Thanks Coan! Continue reading

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2009 Baja 1000

We’ve won three Baja 1000’s in a row and we were going for our fourth. We spent countless hours on logistics and preparing the car for this race. We thought everything was 100% ready as we headed South for Ensenada, Mexico the Saturday before the race (Boy were we wrong). Our schedule was, for myself and Steve, to pre-run our section on Sunday and Monday in the Shaffer’s offroad JK. Monday night we all met up for the Pirate party at Mike’s Sky Ranch. Then Lance used the JK to pre-run what he hadn’t ran in his dodge.
Wednesday we had to get our annual cage inspection. Once that was out of the way we deiced to try and play with the ignition timing a little bit. The car had a really bad flat spot off idle and we were hoping to get rid of it. So we advanced the timing and ran the car up the wash to see if it ran better. We immediately noticed that the transfer case was making a strange noise. We brought the car back to our hotel and after diagnosing it we decided that we needed to install a new transfer case. The spare transfer case we had was by no means in good shape. Jeff Knoll made a few phone calls and found that Dustin Webster had the exact t-case we needed and it would be brought to us in the morning. In the mean time, we pulled the transfer case out the vehicle and tore down the spare case and built 1 good unit out of the 2. We finished about 3am Thursday morning. Dallas showed up with the spare from Dustin. We ran the car through tech and contingency, and passed with flying colors. After tech was over we wanted to run the car to make sure the transfer case was good to go, and that we weren’t getting any pinging from advancing the timing. Everything seemed to be great!

Race day rolls around and we get the car lined up for our approximate 12p start time, we were to start second out of a class of three. Typically the first 30 miles is very very dusty, so our plan was simple; run at a safe pace and take NO risks. The last thing we need to do is crash the car in the first 20-30 miles. At 12:06p we leave the starting line and I immediately notice the car seemed to be running really good. At RM3 we make a right hand turn onto a long high speed concrete road. The jeep quickly climbs to about 70mph, Continue reading

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