Trucks look glorious come race morning, but at the end of the night, it is a completely different story. We take a look at what happened to the OTSFF/Motul Spec 6100 truck who raced the 2020 Mint 400 in the Baja Truck Class.
“The Mint 400 is known for being one of the most difficult courses around,” OTSFF/Motul crew chief, Adam Fitza explained. “Jean, Nevada is always rough. This year with four laps, one more than previous years, by the last lap the course was blown out.”
Whether you were at one of the spectator locations or watching the live stream you could tell each lap was beating every truck up. This was no different for the OTSFF/Motul team.
“Our race started great and Andre Laurin made up time in the first two laps all the way to the top 5,” FItza continued. “Coming into Primm on the third lap the alternator decided to give up. We stopped at the Main Pit to replace it and noticed the tensioner and driveline were damaged, so we changed that too.”
For Laurin, the downtime, waiting for repairs, took him out of the groove and left him feeling exhausted. He knew he had lost his edge and wouldn’t be able to just get back into the truck and pick up where he had left off.
“I got in to finish the last lap where we cruised into an 11th place finish,” Fitza said. “It is a bummer we lost time but stuff happens, it’s racing, We finished, that’s huge!”
To finish first, you first have to finish, the famous quote by four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears. It says it all, if you can’t finish a race, you’ll never finish first. Finishing an off-road race, especially one like The Mint 400 is a victory in itself.
Looking Closer Post Race
We had the chance to check out the truck after the Mint 400 to see up close at the damage that a race can do to a truck. Upon first inspection, the truck was covered in dirt, an expectation from any time spent in the dirt.
While one side of the truck appeared just as before the race but walking around to the other side the visual appearance was different. Torn fiberglass was just the start of what could be seen.
“The track was vicious, rougher than anything I’ve seen in a long time,” Fitza explained. “It’s no surprise that some fifty percent of all the combined entries DNFd.”
“There were spare tires, alternators, fire extinguishers, driveshafts, pieces of this and pieces of that lying all over the place,” Fitza continued. “It actually looked like a junkyard by the end of the day. The truck took a serious beating and so did Andre and Kerry.”
Having parts fail during an off-road race is nothing new, but is frustrating when you are in such a competitive race like the Mint 400. Things happen and all that you can do is dust yourself off and get ready for the next race.
Up next for the OTSFF/Motul team is the Best in the Desert Silver State 300 April 30th to May 3rd. What do you think made this race so brutal? Tell us in the comments below!