SPEED TECHNOLOGIES COMPLETES 40TH TECATE SCORE BAJA 500 AND FINISHES IN THE TOP TEN -The HMS Avenger & Driver of Record Chuck Dempsey and Mark Levrett completed the grueling race with no mechanical problems- Ensenada, Baja (June 4th, 2008)...
SPEED TECHNOLOGIES COMPLETES 40TH TECATE SCORE BAJA 500 AND FINISHES IN THE TOP TEN
-The HMS Avenger & Driver of Record Chuck Dempsey and Mark Levrett completed the grueling race with no mechanical problems-
Ensenada, Baja (June 4th, 2008) The 40th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 that took place May 29th --June 1st in Ensenada was a tough race for Speed Technologies -- not because of their car, which completed the race without any mechanical problems, but because of Mother Nature. The team arrived in Baja a week before the event so that they could spend enough time understanding the course and getting to know the terrain.
"We spent a week down in Baja pre-running the course," said crew chief Phil Johnson. "Our guys spent hundreds of hours both on and off the race course. It's such a team effort to make something like this happen."
Driver Mark Levertt started out the race with no problems, but at mile marker 18 the road was covered in dust and the drivers couldn't see two feet in front of them. A curve threw the team, as well as about 10 other drivers, off a 100 foot embankment and into a canyon full of boulders and rocks. After surveying the car Levrett thought the race was over for Speed Technologies, but after walking a mile backwards on the course he encountered some locals willing to drive to a nearby ranch and inquire about borrowing their tractor. By the time Levertt got back the Speed Technologies chase crew were already on the scene helping to pull out fellow drivers and cars. After pulling out five different race vehicles the team realized that the HMS Avenger was buried too deep for a 4-wheel drive to pull out.
"I was starting to get frustrated," said driver Mark Levrett. "But I hate giving up and I'm always determined to find a way out of any situation."
Right at that moment Levrett looked up and saw a huge tractor coming down the path. The local rancher, happy to help out the Speed Technologies crew, put down his blade and cut a brand new road all the way to the car and then hooked a tow rope to the back and successfully freed the vehicle from Mother Nature's trap. The Speed Technologies crew were back on the course and completed the first part of the race with no other problems.
The driver change went smoothly and Driver of Record Chuck Dempsey took control of the car, the Speed Technologies pit crew changed all the tires and the team was back on track. But--Mother Nature still wasn't finished. At mile marker 375 Dempsey encountered a line of cars that had gotten stuck in the silt -- the backup lasted for over an hour while the Speed crew, along with other drivers, worked tirelessly to help other cars get out and waited their turn. The crew went on to capture a 9th place finish -- rounding out the top ten drivers to complete this grueling off-road challenge.
"Our car ran perfectly -- not one single little issue or problem," said Driver of Record Chuck Dempsey. "This is off-road racing -- you can a great day mechanically, but the challenges of Baja can sometimes try to bring you down. We refused to go down and I'm happy with our finish time."