BITD: Team Hummer Parker preview

Team Hummer® Opens 2005 Season With a New Look Reno, NV - January 31, 2005: The Blue Water Resort & Casino `Parker 425', opening race of Best in the Desert Racing Association's Silver State Series, is scheduled for February 3-6 in...

Team Hummer® Opens 2005 Season With a New Look

Reno, NV - January 31, 2005: The Blue Water Resort & Casino `Parker 425', opening race of Best in the Desert Racing Association's Silver State Series, is scheduled for February 3-6 in Parker, Arizona and Team HUM- MER is kicking off the 2005 season with bold new paint schemes on both trucks. The crew spent much of the past two months since the final event of 2004, improving and repainting both vehicles for an assault on the 2005 Silver State points championship in classes 4100 (SUV) and 8100 (pickup). The `Parker 425' is a unique blend of tough, technical terrain and long high speed sections where you have to push the race vehicle as fast as it will go over long distances. This sort of varied landscape is very demanding on drivers, crews and vehicles alike and it's not uncom- mon to see the course littered with cars and trucks whose drivers have simply run out of luck (or talent). The race will cover three loops over a tough 135 mile course that will finish in the shadow of the Blue Water Resort, on the banks of the historic Colorado River. Although the course is very similar to the 2004 event it will be run in the opposite direction, making it difficult to draw on previous experience to anticipate course hazards.

In addition to a complete rebuild and new paint schemes, both Team HUMMER trucks have undergone several upgrades to improve their overall performance. In an ongoing effort to get the most out of the suspension, H1 chief mechanic, Brad Falin, added adjustable, external bypass tubes to the rear shocks. Previously, when we hit a deep rut at speed, the rear shocks would bottom out prematurely because the oil did not have a sufficient escape route through the internal bypass and would pool up at the bottom of the shock. With the external bypass valves, excess oil can be redirected at the proper rate, eliminating the hydrostatic lock and allowing the shock to obtain maximum travel under extreme conditions. In simpler terms, this will enable the #8102 Team HUMMER pickup to move faster over rough terrain without the rear end bouncing around.

Coming off three consecutive Class 4100 victories, the #4103 H2 SUV would seem to have most of it's major issues sorted out. Chief mechanic, Sam Cothrun has been busy rebuilding the truck for the 2005 season and fabricat- ing a new custom stainless steel exhaust system, designed to allow for the level of engine movement which only occurs in an off-road race vehicle. The H2 required a substantial amount of body work prior to the application of the new paint scheme so it spent the last few weeks of January in the skillful hands of Tim Bodden at "The Body Shop", in Reno.

Josh Hall will drive the #4103 Team HUMMER H2 SUV with GM's Thad Stump in the second seat. Going the distance in the #8102 Team HUMMER H1 pickup will be Chad Hall and his veteran co-rider, Dr. Cort Stoskoph. Team owner, Rod Hall, who has raced with considerable success in Parker since 1970 has nothing but good things to say about the Team HUMMER crew, "Both of these trucks are more competitive and reliable than they have ever been, thanks to the efforts of our crew. Parker is a long race over some of the toughest desert in the world. Winning at this race is all about setting your own pace and being there at the finish. I think Parker is going to be a good race for us."

- grt -

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Series OFFROAD