|TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend|
The TORC Series' only Canadian PRO race team came across North America to begin their second season in the PRO-Light division in southern Nevada. The two truck team of Jeff Sleegers and Travis Dinsmore had a challenging weekend, nevertheless the team will use the experience as a building block for the rest of the season.
For a driver to finish on the podium in the competition in the largest and most competitive division in short-course off-road racing a team is a great accomplishment and the Sle Co race knows that its best days are ahead of them.
Before a few weeks ahead of the season, the team headed to California for an extensive test session at Glen Helen Raceway. Geraldo Iribe from King Shocks and Roger Caddell from AIM were both on hand assisting the team with suspension set-up and data capture. The time spent testing before the season not only improved the performance of the Ford Raptor race trucks, but gave everyone on the team a wealth of knowledge that will applied throughout the season.
Before Round One racing could begin there was a five lap qualifying session. Jeff's qualifying session was cut short due to a broken transmission oil line as Travis qualified tenth in the twenty-four truck field.
Saturday's race action ended four laps early for Travis Dinsmore and the #43 Ford as a broken brake line and an overheating engine resulted in seventeenth place finish. Meanwhile after starting from the back row, Jeff Sleegers guided his #99 Ford gradually moved up in the running order. A brake fade issue throughout much of the race made the run a little more challenging, but Jeff took the checkered flag in fourteenth place. Overnight crew chief Greg Dinsmore assessed the needs of both trucks and later that evening both trucks were ready for Sunday.
Sunday's race was somewhat a reversal of fortune, as both trucks started toward the back of the starting grid. Early on both racers were experiencing brake issue just after a few laps. Jeff had a broken brake caliper which caused an early retirement for the #99 Ford. The brake fade was also an issue for Travis and the engine overheating continued as well, but not as severe as the day before. Regardless the #43 Ford pressed on to finish a respectable eighth place.
"We have a few unforeseen issues to solve on both trucks," remarked team manager Greg Dinsmore. "Our testing at Glen Helen and the extra practice time here at Primm has our team positioned to have a solid TORC season. Jeff fought back from the last row in the grid to finish mid-pack and with all trucks that are in this class that's a great start to the season. It was good to see Travis also bounce back on Sunday while he managed a few in race issues to get a paycheck for finishing eighth."
"We only have a couple weekends to correct our issues, but we will be ready for Charlotte. I have to thank Andrew Caddell, former PRO-Light champ, for helping the team out all weekend." The next race on the 2014 TORC Series is the "Showdown in Charlotte" April 25-26 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
2014/04/14 | 15:47 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MIKE REUSCHE