The desert may be warm this time of year, but the desire to prepare still runs through a racer’s body. The MORE Racing Sierra LED 250 brought out some local Trophy Truck teams prepping for the Best In The Desert (BITD) Vegas To Reno race August 18th.
One of those racers was Christian Sourapas and his co-driver John Tondro in the no. 6 Corona Extra Trophy Truck. Christian will be joining the Terrible Herbst team for the Vegas to Reno race next month and the Sierra LED 250 was practice. “This was a warm-up for Vegas to Reno where Christian Sourapas will be driving the Terrible Herbst,” Tondro said.
Teams head out to Barstow to test and tune all the time, but in those environments, they are the only ones in the desert. They can make multiple passes, tune, and go back out for more thrashing, but in a race like this things can be different.
“Conditions were good and we had no issues during the race other than fighting the dust from lap traffic,” Tondro explained. “The track was pretty smooth compared to other tracks besides some big ditches and G-outs, but was pretty technical at the same time.”
Practice makes perfect, but a plan makes sense. “Our strategy was patience, we pushed through the dust really good, but were cautious at the same time trying not to take any chances,” Tondro said. “We would hang back if the dust was too much until the course turned and the wind helped us.”
“We found a few spots where we could make some clean passes and never had to bump anyone,” Tondro continued. “Most of the slower cars were pretty good about moving over when we caught them.
Find a place to practice that resembles is the key. If you are a short-course driver you are not going to test in the desert. For desert racers finding similar conditions makes it easier come race day and during a race that goes from one end of Nevada to another, everything is better than nothing.
“There were some off camber turns, silt, ditches, high speed turns as well as some slower tight and twisty stuff,” Tondro said. “I felt like it was a really good warm up for Vegas to Reno because a lot of the track conditions will be similar.”
The dust has settled in the desert for now, but will be kicking off again shortly. The next MORE Racing is the Powder Puff Race Towards A Cure August 26th, at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California. Festivities for the BITD Vegas to Reno race kick off August 16th.