Joe David is Gas On, for the 2017 Season
Just as soon as the 2016 race season ended, the new 2017 race season has begun. All who are involved in the off-road racing industry know there is no “off season.” Updating calendars, designing new paint schemes, upgrading parts, stocking chase vehicles and getting tires ready for the next test session is just a small sample of an off-season to-do list.
Joe David and the Sierra Auto Recycling team had huge success in preparing their Jimco Class-1’s for the 2017 season; The 115 car ran a ferrous 60.8mph average for 8-laps at the MORE Jamar Championship Series opener in Barstow; which transpired to an overall victory! David started in the second position, and by lap-6 had the unquestionable lead. The ground was damp, the wind was absent, the sky was cloudless, and the win was well earned.
Just 1-week later, Joe David climbed behind the wheel of the 1526 Jimco for the BITD season opener, the Parker 425. The Arizona course was downright obscene, testing patience, and the power to overcome, some even before qualifying! Such luck would ground the 1526 to the last starting position in the class on race day. But the Sierra Auto Recycling team remained optimistic, and with Joe David still running on adrenaline from his win the previous weekend, they swept through the deep sand all the way to a podium finish. David put that car in 3rd place in class, only about 2-minutes out of the second finishing spot.
Additional 1500 finishers of the Jimco bunch include:
5th place – Jeff Larson
8th place – Bill Wingering
9th place – Al Torres
Jimcos on the Podium at BITD’s Parker 425
The Parker 425 started off hopeful for many Jimco drivers, with three Jimco trick trucks qualifying in the top-10 in their class, and three Jimco 1500-cars qualifying in the top-5 in their class.
Second place qualifier, Justin Lofton, was only 2-seconds off the first place qualifier, and had a pit crew who placed first in the pit crew challenge. Already labeled as a contender for the race, Lofton and his crew had the physical position through lap-1. On the second lap, Lofton had a lead on the clock
“Lap-2 was going perfectly, we stopped for a quick splash of fuel at Graham Wells and then backed off the pace to preserve the truck,” Lofton said of the first half of his race. Comments around race threads and posted Instagram images read how great Lofton’s Jimco trick truck looked, and also how brutal the 2017 course was. Around rm115, that 41 truck felt the brutality to a full extent as it came to an abrupt halt with heavy front end damage. Lofton’s crew was ready to assist but the replacement parts had to be picked up from the crew, and delivered via race officials due to where Lofton was stopped. With co-rider Derek Balcunas, Lofton was able to repair the truck and finish the race in it’s entirety. “The Jimco truck’s performance made a big statement to the competition, we are faster than ever,” Lofton stated in a post-race interview.
Lofton collected his finishing points from Parker and is now focused on the next BITD race: The Mint 400.
2nd place Class-10 finisher, Shane Earn and crew, started the 5am race first off the line and had a Jimco that was described as, “amazing as always.” Their #1055 was the first physical in class to touch the podium but they missed first place on time by just 1-minute.
Also finishing in Class-10, was 6th place driver Blade Hildebrand in his #1068 Jimco buggy.
Villagomez Take Overall at Los Barriles East Cape 300
The Baja Sur series also kicked-off their 2017 season in Los Barriles. The small town located on the east side of the cape between La Paz and Cabo looks forward to the race every year. The locals pull their chairs out to the course-ways, sometimes just at the edge of their own backyard, and make a day of it. This year, they got to watch Cabo local Fransisco Villagomez Carrillo edge out the rest of the field and take the overall victory. Villagomez had a smooth race, and finished at a time of 2-hours, 37-minutes and 26-seconds.