Pistol Pete is Drained Early - Ends His Day at Mile 160
Ensenada, BC, MX - Pistol Pete Sohren was ready to tackle the 42nd edition of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, but lady lucky just wasn't on his side. The wiley Trophy Truck veteran drew the number one starting spot, and had put together his strongest Baja effort to date. Longtime sponsors KC Hilites and Maxxis Tire were on board, as well as Slime - the world's #1 tire sealant, and 4-Wheel Specialties as the yellow #2 Pfaff Engines powered Ford F-150 looked to conquer the 673 mile journey.
After two long weekends of prerunning the loop style course that wound its way through northern Baja, Pete was very confident of a strong showing in the most prestigious off-road race in the world.
Two days before the race, Pete and his crew took the #2 Slime KC Hilites 4- Wheel Specialties Baja Racing Adventures Maxxis Tire Ford F-150 for a shake down run. After 100 miles of final testing, the King Shock suspension was dialed in, and the rest of the truck was ready for the start line.
The morning of the race, Sohren decided as a precaution, to replace one of the electric fuel pumps on the 800 horsepower Pfaff engine. Other than the quick fuel pump fix, the team was well prepared and confident of a strong finish for the Arizona native.
At 10:30am Pistol Pete Sohren took the green flag as the first 4-wheel competitor leaving Ensenada to head on down the course. Behind the Maxxis Tire Ford were some of the best off-road racers in the world, and every one of them wanted to run down the yellow #2 Slime KC Hilites trophy truck.
The first seventy miles were uneventful as the truck was running at full song. Then the oil pressure began to drop and by mile 90, the engine was running out of oil. In an effort to get to the team's first pit at mile marker 107, Pete quickly found a friendly competitor's support truck to borrow some oil. When the team stopped at their scheduled pit, the fuel cell was refilled, and the oil leak was located. It looked like the oil was getting past the engine's rear main seal. The ever optimistic Pete Sohren came up with a plan to keep the Trophy Truck in the race and with a little luck, finish the 673 mile trek back to Ensenada.
The plan was simple enough, carry enough engine oil to keep refilling the engine every fifty miles and continue to make stops at various pit areas to restock the truck and refill the engine.
About twenty minutes later Pistol Pete continued on the quest to conquer the Baja 1000.
Unfortunately, the engine was losing oil faster than anticipated, after two stops to restock the truck with oil, the engine finally loses power near race mile 160, ending the race for "Pistol" Pete Sohren.
Back in Ensenada Pete talked about the race.
"I really thought this would be the year to challenge the big guns for the win." What happened today with our motor is a one in a million occurrence. The rear main seal was defective and failed. The same seal is in most our competitors' motors and it just wasn't my lucky day. It's nothing any engine builder could have prevented. This Geiser built truck was really awesome, the King Shocks were valved to perfection, and our Maxxis Tires really put all our Pfaff horsepower to the ground. I was really looking forward to the second half of the race, where it really got rough and we could put our KC Hilites HID lighting to good use. The first half is a drag race, and the second half was full of rough twisty trails where I think we could have really made things interesting for the big names. Thanks again to Slime for coming on board, without their support we couldn't have put the time in prerunning that we did. I also want to thank everyone that helped us out on the course, Leon Patton with Riviera Racing, Vildosola Racing, and the Baja Pits, we needed oil and they treated us like we were on their team, that's one of the many things that makes racing in Baja so cool. It's too bad we couldn't show everyone what our team is capable of accomplishing."