This year's Baja 1000 plan for the class 1 (car #104) was for Dale Dondel and Andy Peterson to start the race, do the San Felipe loop, and then hand the car over to Dan Martin and Joe Lombardo at race mile 450. Dan and Joe would then drive to the finish.
Our crew set up at race mile 90 for the first fuel pit. This was our first race using the Ion Earth tracking system which allowed us to track the race cars from out chase trucks-- It worked awesome! Dale started fourth in class and despite a well publicized spin in the wash at the start, he was the first class 1 car to race mile 90. We fueled and looked the car over and sent him out of the pit first on the road in his class. From there we broke down the pit and headed to the Borrego pit at race mile 204 where we were going to fuel the car again. Tracking the race car when we were on the highway we saw that it was stopped at race mile 155. Soon we got a sat phone call from crew chief Joe Taylor stating that car 104 had lost a power steering pump. This car, without power steering is almost impossible to drive. We rounded up the necessary parts to fix the car, planning on heading out to it, when we saw Dale moving again slowly towards us on the tracker. Dale managed to drive the car all the way to the Borrego pit without power steering (sore arms!). We replaced the power steering pump and found a bunch of metal in the system (from the failed pump). We cleaned the regulator and lines but decided for safety, knowing that we could not completely remove all the debris from the system. It could be catastrophic if the debris caused the steering servo to fail at high speed. So, our class 1 race was over at Borrego.
The class 1 crew then turned our attention to the remaining cars and helped get a 2nd and 3rd place finish in class 12 and 10.