Post image for 2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Race Report

2011 BITD Vegas to Reno Race Report

by chaosfab on August 26, 2011

The Fuel “Gremlins” Strike!

 

The Longest Off-Road Race in the United States,” as stated by Casey Folks at the 2011 Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno drivers meeting “is an adventure.” The race course started in Beatty, Nevada and wound its way across the state to finish in Dayton. It covered some of the most majestic trails and mountain ranges in Nevada. For team TOTAL CHAOS Racing and their 2 Toyota entries in class 7200, it became apparent early on it would be a 549 mile off road adventure plagued with fuel pick up problems. Both TC Toyota trucks are equipped with factory Toyota 4.0 stock power plants and bolt on TOTAL CHAOS suspension systems. Lining up against a group of Ford’s that are regular BITD elite contenders running twice the horse power and very custom equipment was not intimidating. Prior to starting the race both teams had one goal in mind, they were determined to finish the race to prove that Toyota bolt on suspension systems can finish every mile of the longest off road race in America.
While at contingency, truck #7235 first discovered their freak fuel issue while they blocked the main intersection in Vegas with a dead race truck deprived of fuel. After contingency, the team and TC crew immediately began to diagnosis the problem. After a complete fuel cell disassembly, they discovered a piece of drilled plastic debris that had clogged the fuel pick up line in the cell. While the TC crew helped to resolve this issue prior to the race on truck #7235, no one knew truck #7216 would also experience some of the same freak internal fuel cell pick up issues on race day. One cell was new and the other had over a season of races on it. Neither truck had prior fuel cell issues.On race day, remote team IRC online trackers were the first to warn the chase crews of intermittent vehicle issues with both trucks being tracked at 0MPH. After starting 4th off the line and running in clean air, truck #7216 starting experiencing sputtering problems shortly after the first scheduled fuel stop at mile 99. “I blocked the race course when the vehicle totally shut down at mile 130,” stated Matt Vaughan, “my navigator Jeremy Bonds swapped the truck to the back up fuel filter & fuel pump system and we thought we were fixed.” Truck #7235 began to have more issues and determined it to be the fuel filter and the problem was quickly resolved. The TC Tacoma #7216 was not so lucky, the truck lost all power 4 different times between miles 130 and 289. They pulled the cell to check the hose, ruled out the fuel line ground after running a new wire at the Miller’s pit and then finally pulled in at dusk knowing it had to be the internal hose in the cell. At Pit 8 the team got assistance from Locos Mocos member Tim Schrader to completely resolve the problem. “I’ve had this issue in a race before. An inadequate internal fuel pick up line cost them major positions and lots of down time.”With both vehicle’s troublesome fuel issues finally resolved half way through the race, #7216’s driver Matt Vaughan and #7235’s Mike Koenig charged to their scheduled driver changes to hand off the trucks running mid pack in the race. Troy Robinson took the wheel and drove truck #7235 to the finish line with no more race day gremlins. The team had zero flats on their GoodYear tires and took home a solid 7th place finish despite the down time with the fuel filter.

Nicole Vaughan and navigator Mike Allen settled into their groove after pit 10 and drove truck #7216 to the finish. After the race Nicole stated, “By the time I got in we knew we just had to finish. You don’t make up 2.5 hours of lost time. The only pressure on me was not to get stuck in the deep silt beds and not to get any flats with our production GoodYear MTR tires. And we accomplished both!” Earning a respectable 10th and finishing their first ever Vegas to Reno race Team TOTAL CHAOS could not predict the day would be plagued with the fuel issues.

In desert racing there are thousands of elements that have an impact on race day. You have mechanical, physical and mental aspects in racing that all are controlled by the terrain and race course. 549 miles is not a walk in the park. Its brutal on your equipment and man power. Both trucks completed the adventure proving that bolt on TOTAL CHAOS Toyota equipment can finish the longest off road race in America.

#7216 Team TOTAL CHAOS Sponsors:
GOODYEAR Tires – Fox Shox – Toyota T-Ten – MasterCraft Safety – Off Road Warehouse K&N – Oakley – Culhane Transmissions – Inland Empire Driveline – Currie LIFT Safety – Baja Designs – Doug Thorley Headers – Method

 

 

#7235 Koenig Racing Sponsors:
TOTAL CHAOS – GOODYEAR – King Shocks –Drift Innovations – Currie MasterCraft Safety – Off Road Warehouse – Doug Thorley Headers