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Tech3 Sandcars and the 1935 Kawasaki UTV pull off a win at the first Vorra desert race of the 2011 season!! - 06/22/2011

After a good day of pre-running and marking our GPS we were all settled in for race day in the Tech3 Sandcars Kawasaki UTV #1935. Not a big UTV turnout for the first Vorra desert race of 2011 but with 4 we’ll take it. Total car count for the whole race was around 60 and that’s pretty good for Vorra. Vorra typically runs loop races to keep the cost down and this one was really fun, they had a long loop of about 57 miles and a short loop of about 37 miles, the UTV’s had to do 3 long and 2 short and the first lap had to be a long. So it was pretty fun trying to figure out a strategy to keep everyone else guessing where you stand and what position you were in, the idea was to not really know until the last lap what position you were going to be in.

Race morning came, we opened the door to the motor home around 6:30 a.m. and its snowing, are you freaking kidding me!.... whatever I’m just the crew chief and the do everything guy, Rocker and my son gotta be in the car so what the heck, the weather looks fine to me.

Off the starting line, the car sounds pretty good, 5 miles in we catch the Rhino that started first, about 10 miles out they have Dennis Jean in site in the 1959 RZR. There were some pretty open roads so by the time we caught the 1959 RZR it was wide open side by side racing. The Tech3 Kawasaki and the RZR came into the pits at exactly the same time which meant we were slightly ahead on corrected time. Our team complained of a few motor coughs and backfires near the end of the first lap but I wrote it off  to the real cold air density and maybe a bad cold air setting in the ECU, the weather was all over the map, sun, rain, snow, and hail. There was one spot in the race that it was snowing so hard it was a whiteout and they were driving at 5mph using the GPS for navigation. After they left the pit on  the second lap I could hear they were having some issues. It sounded like it was running out of fuel; however they were moving and were in the lead spot so we just pushed thru it. By the time they got around to the last lap it was getting pretty bad so I was almost sure we had a clogged filter somewhere either on the pumps in the tank or the secondary filter after the pumps. It finally died on them halfway around the final lap, after 45 minutes of taking everything apart they tried to clean the filter, checked all the wiring, swapped pumps in the tank, and it fired right up and off they were to the finish line. The car was running really well for about 20 minutes but I could hear signs of issues creeping up on us again. But not to worry, the finish line was in sight! We finished in the top spot within the allotted time and we were happy.

We were the only UTV to finish the race, a little bit of a challenging day but a win is a win no matter how ugly it gets delivered to you. The cold weather plagued a lot of teams out there.  By the last lap there was carnage all over the race course.

We’d like to give special thanks to our sponsors, especially GBC Motorsports for a great tire, not one flat in 300 miles, Tech3 sandcars, Head painting and concrete, Reid Nordin from Kawasaki for lots of help with parts here and there, Fox Shocks, Mickey at FST, Dan at Crower performance, Lance at Pantera EFI, and I am sure there are a few more.

Our next big desert race will be Vegas to Reno, see everyone there. Video to come.

More to come soon,

Gary Peterson