Many people believe the race starts when the green flag drops and that's the farthest thing from the truth. The race starts with the team, the prep, the prerunning, dialing in the car, building, and tuning before we hit the lakebed. This past 8 months has been a true test of endurance for all of us at PGR, from a complete back half and race driven vehicle it is an understatement to say it was hard work. Our team has worked day and night to get this car prepared for the KOH week.
We hit the lakebed late last week to shake down the car. We had a handful of tasks that still needed to be fixed and taken care of ahead of time before race day. This changed drastically when we ran into challenges on day 1 of the trip and qualifying was around the corner. Building a new car we knew we would run into challenges but we knew we could work through them as a team. spending most the day and nights preparing the car we were ready to qualify.
We qualified mid pack and had a shifting issue with the t-case. Many saw a few weeks ago we were working on internals for it that were damaged. We were able to power through that and be right where we wanted to be for our class. While spending the next 2 days tearing our car apart to fix issues we were fighting all week long, the dust had settled and the sun set for the last time before we took the green flag.
We were off the line and the car was running great, beautiful weather, and we were picking off cars one by one. We were running smooth till we hit a bottle neck on the sand hill. We got pushed far over on the course taking a far line to get around the dozen cars struggling in the steep climb. As we came down the hill to re-aline our position and get around the crowd, we fell off the face of the sand hill falling into a large faced rock which took out our whole rear hub, brake, axle shaft, and tire assembly in one clean stroke. We instantly went off camber and dug down into the sand knowing something was broke.
We assessed what damage we had and worked on getting the car level and safe to work on. The shaft snapped but the BFG and Method Race Wheel was intact but attached was our hub and brakes. We dug around the tire and found our broken parts and worked on running back to pit for a spare shaft. We were unfortunate in having the correct side axle and knew our options were limited. We offered help to other teams to get out of the sand while our team was in search of parts to run back to and get. We were unable to locate the parts we needed and had to make the hard decision to radio in that we would be out of the race.
A huge thank you to Poison Spyder and the 4Wheel Parts team for all of your support. We couldn't be able to race without you on our team. From parts, to the use of the facility here in banning it's a huge help to us having you on our team. Along with all of our sponsors we cannot do what we do with out you guys! Rock Kralwer Suspension, IMS metals, Currie Enterprises, First Place Power Coating, Savvy Offroad, Top Line, and so many more!
KOH is the hardest off road race in the USA. Many have tried and few have succeeded. They don't call it winning, they call it racing. We have some work to do to get the car back to race ready. The Mint400 is hot on our tail being 2
weeks away! We will be ready. We will be fast. Attached are just a few pictures from our time out at KOH. feel free to share our experience or photos.