Tony Wille with friend and co-driver Steve Spear from CA came down to race the Ex- Class 10 JIMCO buggy in Class 15, after having had a pretty adventurous pre-run in one of No Limits Bronco pre-runners, and also had to join in doing some first aid for a Quad racer driver who missed on the big aforementioned ruts along the fast straightway, and went over the handlebars, with one of the handlebars going into to his quadriceps and ripping a big piece open. It is always sad to see any driver / rider getting hurt, and is a solid reminder that we always have to prepare for an injury, even during pre-running and not only during racing.
The 18th of June was race day, and the starting line up by Km36 on Highway 1 north of La Paz was a long affair, especially in the searing heat.
Sandy had had a very lucky draw, finally… Drawing 1st truck off the line, Sandy & Roberto were all set for finally claiming some dust free air in this race and bolted out of the start, quickly hitting speeds of over 100 MPH. Due to some confusion with races notes, Roberto missed the rut where we mentioned the quad accident, and they approached it quickly, at close to 100MPH. Thankfully, they were able to keep a cool head and the Trophy Truck was able to absorb the hit, and make it through, losing some fiberglass as a battle scar, but driver and co-driver didn’t miss a beat and kept moving on strong. However just before Check point 1, the engine started to loose oil pressure and they were forced to pull over. Roberto took a quick look under the hood and made the conclusion that the engine had leaked oil and the pump was also unable to maintain the pressure.
As Andrea came up to them in the Dominator, with Pio in the co-driver seat, they quickly made the decision for Pio to check the truck over, and for Sandy to jump into the co-driver seat in the #130. Already getting passed by Rody Amaya as they were stopped for Sandy to get in, Andrea took off whilst Sandy was trying to get strapped in but the belts had run under the cushion, so it was pretty funny seeing the footage of Sandy with his butt up in the air, trying to get belts unraveled, signaling to Andrea to keep going, as they are getting close to 100MPH… The Dominator had a great pace until before Todos Santos the ghostly TPS started to play up again, affecting their power, and they decided to pull into the pit and sacrifice the time to change it. In such a tight race, with a lot of dust, it was very tough for them to take off again amidst the Class 2 buggies, and perhaps chasing in the dust led Andrea to drive a little harder, with a couple of moments definitely leaving an imprint on driver and co-driver.
They made it to the finish, however the tight race and the long pit stopped dropped them to 6th place, however still maintain a good position in the Championship.
Tony Wille & Steve Spear had a great session testing the JIMCO buggy without any problems, and both had a great approach for their first race. They suffered quite a lot in the heat as they had to wait almost 90 minutes at the start line for the turn to come up as they race in Class 15, and in the first 15 minutes of the race, they had already overtaken one car in their class and were on the tail on the next one. However, the race gremlins once again reared their ugly head, and caused an electrical short that was cutting out ignition to the car. Tony & Steve got out, track the wiring and finally discovered the short, and by this time Pio was with them also, and they were ready to head out again. However, starting at the back of the line, they were starting to see more and more support and chase cars run through the course, as well as civilians, so they decided that for safety’s sake, to call it a day and get ready to tackle the desert in one of the next races.