Romero Offroad Racing SF 250 Race Report

ssb4

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Feb 13, 2015
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30th SCORE San Felipe 250 Race Report:
Romero Offroad Racing has officially and successfully completed the 2016 SCORE San Felipe 250 finishing 4th overall, narrowly missing a podium finish, in the PRO UTV 1900 class. It did not look as if a finish was at all possible after just 4 short miles into the race, the rough Baja terrain once again was looking to devour its next victim but our #1903 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 was not going down without a fight.

The car almost suffered a catastrophic failure at race mile 4 where rough terrain combined with high speeds caused a complete failure to the passenger side rear wheel and suspension assembly. The wheel/tire combo flew out of the car causing it to land solely on the suspension components resulting in serious damage. Quickly, co-pilot Juan Romero contacted the chase crew consisting of Jaime Romero (father, manager, mechanic, co-pilot), Rosa Romero (mother, photographer, motivator), Jessica Hughes (wife, chase navigator, pit safety), Eva Romero (wife, pit safety), Jose Romero (technology, communications, co-pilot), Jesus Romero (mechanic, co-pilot).

The chase crew efficiently assessed the damaged and determined a complete suspension swap was needed to have the best chance at a finish. After 2.5 hours of work, the #1903 Wildcat was once again on its feet and pushing for the team’s best finish to date. Driver, Jaime Romero, and co-pilot successfully pushed the car to the first official pit at race mile 84 where additional problems were encountered. We discovered our primary GPS was no longer operational but we had our back up files on an iPad to give us a general idea of our heading. A busted CV boot was also discovered to the rear passenger side drive axle requiring replacement. Axle replacements are pretty routine and can typically be completed in about 5 minutes, but once again Baja had other ideas.

Due to the sandy surface the car slipped off the jack, so now we are left with the rear passenger side completely sunk into the sand and in no way can the jack be replaced under the car. The co-pilot Juan Romero instinctively gets under the spare tire carrier and “Hulked” the car off the ground, lifting it enough so the jack could once again be placed under the car. Instead of having a short refueling pit we ended up losing another 20-30 minutes, so at this point we know Baja is trying its best to keep us from reaching that coveted finish.

#1903 was once again off and running, this time heading to scheduled pit #2 at race mile 175 just before the race course turns back towards the mountains. This particular pit went smooth, to the surprise of everyone, only requiring fuel and a quick inspection. #1903 takes off once again as the chase crew observantly stands still until the lights fade away in the cool desert night, only to quickly switch gears packing all the tools and fuel cans in preparation to head back to the finish line in hopes of seeing that #1903 Arctic Cat Wildcat cross what at one point seemed impossible.

But typical Baja, it would once again pull out its sharp claws. Race mile 222 with less than 30 miles to go in completing the 30th SCORE San Felipe 250, we would end up breaking the driver side rear drive axle and because of the particular spot the break occurred on the axle, it caused the wheel to completely come off the car for the second time. This time the suspension did not require repairs but the brakes were damaged requiring the last 30 miles be driven without the means to stop. Our friends and fellow competitors #1949 pilot Alonso Lopez and co-pilot Francisco Rodriguez caught up to us and provided the necessary assistance to successfully replace the axle and get us back up and running. The last 30 miles were completed at a slow steady pace just looking to get to the finish line without additional mechanical issues.

So to recap on the 2016 SCORE San Felipe 250, the #1903 UTV and only Arctic Cat Wildcat to compete, completed all 250 miles to start off this new season on a strong note. The Romero Offroad Racing crew never showed signs of giving up even though from the beginning the odds were stacked against us. We would like to thank all those that made this possible: Arctic Cat - ATVs for making the best UTV in the market, GMZ Race Products Inc. for their awesome Kahuna 30” tires not one single flat, Tire Blocks for providing that additional safety net of tire puncture performance, IMS Products for their dry break system making refueling quicker and safer, Slick Products off-road wash always getting the muck off after each race, and lastly a big shout out to Jason at Walker Evans Racing for working with us in such short notice but still delivering the best shocks we have ever ran. The car was fast, steady and controlled throughout the entire race, we just can’t thank them enough for all their hard work. Where other shock companies said no, Jason and Walker Evans Racing said yes and that is the winning attitude that allowed us to finish in such an epic fashion.

https://www.facebook.com/SSB4RT1903/


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