OAKLAND, CA NOVEMBER 29, 2011 Torchmate Racing Shaffer-Motorsports team car #401 finished second in class at the 2011 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 after completing 705 miles with an official time of 24 hours and 40 minutes through the most grueling terrain in Baja. With only 10 minutes separating them from the leader, the third leg driver Daniel Aeberli said, “We gave it everything. It was a great race at the end and the Torchmate car really gave us what we needed to finish.”
Mike Shaffer took the green flag start around 1:40pm on Friday afternoon after the first ever restart in SCORE Baja history. “I have usually always done the start of the race and know the course well, but this year they changed a lot of it, and I mean a lot, so it wasn’t as much as an advantage as it has been in the past,” said Shaffer. They had a solid 10 hour effort to the driver change at BFGoodrich Checkpoint 2 where Shawn Twitchell would take the car down into the San Felipe loop. One of the few issues with the car was the main power shut off switch had been kicked during the driver change and had pulled all the power from the alternator causing it to fail around 6:10am on Saturday morning at RM427. A new alternator and a couple of stuck in the silt moments and the race was back on. “It was intense. The alternator issue caused us some down time and the course was just so rough…we got stuck in this one silt bed that was so deep we had to call to have the chase crew come and pull us out!” recalls Twitchell. Twitchell brought the car back to BFGoodrich Checkpoint 4 at the top of the San Felipe loop and by 8am Daniel Aeberli was on the throttle. He made up good time and had no issues. Their competitor #402 had been in sight and had some issues, but now it was time to win or take second. Aeberli pushed the cars limits and drove with the expertise that he had learned at Rally school in Switzerland with success as they closed in on the #402. The original strategy was to have Mike Shaffer get back in the car at Ojos Negros when they did their final fuel splash if they were within striking distance of the car in front of them. They were, but they were so close, that it would have taken too much time to switch drivers. Aeberli would have to take it home! When the checker flag fell, Torchmate Racing Shaffer-Motorsports team came in 2nd at an official time of 24 hours and 40 minutes, just 10 minutes behind the winner.
The team is currently headed to the final Best in the Desert Race where Class 1000 #1066 is in points contention for the lead. The TransWest Ford Henderson 250 will take place on Saturday December 3rd. Team updates will be posted at www.facebook.com/shaffermotorsports.
Special thanks to all the sponsors that helped with the Shaffer-Motorsports 2011 Season including Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems, BFGoodrich Tires, Transfer Case Express, Rigid Industries, PSC Steering, RuffStuff Specialties, Weddle Industries, Yukon Gear & Axle, Shaffers Offroad and Pirate4x4.com.
2011 Baja 1000 Video Library:
Shaffer-Motorsports #401 In-Car Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VNu8VWdgGM
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Shaffer-Motorsports #401 Pre-Race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxxG8liSiOc
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Shaffer-Motorsports #401 After Leg 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMe61CUHxTY
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Shaffer-Motorsports #401 After Leg 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmV3vYoyIUA
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Shaffer-Motorsports #401 At Finish Line: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijC_mxiKWR8
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Shaffer-Motorsports Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/shaffermotorsports
More about Mike Shaffer: Mike Shaffer is the owner of Shaffer’s Offroad that helps customers build the vehicle of their choice, from bolt on accessories to custom one off vehicles. Shaffer has been racing for 27 years, starting with BMX and then age 16 in drag racing and his first desert race was fourteen years ago. Shaffer was driver of record for 3 Baja 1000 wins, 3 SCORE Championships and one BITD Championship in Class 1700, along with rock crawling National Championship and ARCA Championship.
More about Shawn Twitchell: Shawn Twitchell started desert racing motorcycles in 1972, went to drag racing in the 1980’s, circle track in the 1990’s and is now back in the desert driving with Shaffer Motorsports. He has been a member of Shaffer Motorsports team since 2008 helping win three SCORE 1700 Championships. Twitchell is the Business Unit Manager for FMC Technologies’ Technisys Group and has been married for 30 years to Vickie. Desert racing is in their family encompassing four generations including his son Ian, who will co-drive for Shawn. Two of seven grandkids are already earning their stripes in the pits and at the shop.
More about Daniel Aeberli: Daniel Aeberli is the CTO of Meditron, a Swiss medical distribution company that he co-founded 20 years ago in Switzerland. He raced with the Shaffer Motorsport team in 2010 helping them win SCORE Primm in Class 1700. Aeberli drove the first section of the 2010 SCORE Baja 1000 and is looking forward to coming back to the United States to race in BITD including Vegas to Reno and SCORE Baja 1000. Active in many sports, he especially enjoys skiing and hangliding in Switzerland.
Sponsors: Torchmate, BFGoodrich, Rigid Industries, PSC Steering, RuffStuff Specialties, Transfer Case Express, Weddle Industries, Yukon Gear & Axle, Shaffers Offroad, Pirate4x4.com