SCORE Journal Issue 11 - 2015

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 58 of 79

C lass 7 Open has long been one of the SCORE-International desert racing series' stalwart race classes. It's a class where many of today's top drivers have worked up to from the buggy classes, where they learned to read the desert terrain and take care of their machine long enough to finish the race. The number of race entries ebb and flow from season to season, but Class 7 is one that allows a team to build vehicles like a factory stock Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, or any mid-sized truck/SUV, with the ability to race while keeping costs low. To this end, most Class 7 teams can build, prep, and compete in desert races, drawing on their own mechanical and fabrication skills to learn and improve as they go. Today, Class 7 mini and mid-sized trucks and SUV's have transitioned into a race class that allows for more power, better suspensions, and fewer limitations. Current rules for Class 7 trucks are limited to V6 engines. But the V6 can range up to about 550 horsepower. However, horsepower is not necessarily the key to winning in this Class. We spoke with several SCORE Class 7 racers including the 48th Bud Light SCORE Baja 1000 winner, Dan Chamlee, and second place finisher, Paige Sohren, about their recent experiences at the Baja 1000. Out of a field of six entries, only Chamlee and Sohren survived to the finish line. "A win is a win, but we had a tough race with lots of major break downs, including rebuilding the transmission at one of the BFG pits," said Chamlee. "We are still working on trying to get a stronger reverse gear. Our starter went bad. It got full of silt, and the clutch also packed with silt and wouldn't disengage for over 1/2 the race. Then a broken steering pitman arm and more. We chased checkpoints, but did it. Some days that is all you need, is just to beat the desert." Paige Sohren on the other hand, had her own challenges on the race course, backed up 059 SCORE JOURNAL CLASS 7 VEHICLES ARE BASED ON FACTORY STOCK TRUCKS, BUT ARE TAKEN TO THE EXTREME.

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