Photo Courtesy - TurnTwo TV Productions
Frustration is the word that best describes Erick Ellstrom’s mood on a Saturday morning, following a Friday that began with a lot of optimism at the start of the grueling Las Vegas to Reno off-road race.
The Ellstrom/Oberto team’s Turbo UTV had undergone a major rebuild with upgrades in every area possible and expectations were high for driver Sven Ellstrom and co-driver Chazz Arenibas.
Early results were promising, with Sven and Chazz moving up through the field and running in the top five before a visit from an old nemesis spoiled the day. The first of several clutch belt failures put a stop to the run to the front and killed any chance of another podium finish.
Erick Ellstrom explained, “We opened up the clutch housing and the belt was totally shredded. We replaced it and got back on the road, but it happened again. We went through our complete inventory of clutch belts.”
The team would eventually call it a day and load up for the trip back to Seattle at the 385 mile mark of the 500 mile race.
There was one bright spot in the day as the team’s switch to BF Goodrich tires solved one of the issues which had cost the team high finishes in previous races.
“The BF Goodrich tires made a huge difference,” commented Ellstrom. “Sven said he gave them a good pounding and they performed beautifully.”
After some time in the shop and a realignment that should solve the clutch belt issue, Ellstrom /Oberto Racing will head South again for the Laughlin Desert Classic October 11th – 14th.