Passing a competitor in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Turn2TV Productions.
It was a promising start for Sven Ellstrom in Ellstrom/Oberto Racing's Pro Turbo SUV at the Mint 400 outside of Las Vegas - the 21st team to leave the pit area at 6:25am.
With everything working well, the 20 year old driver and co-driver Chazz Arenibas set out to move up through the field and were doing just that. But trouble came early. All too soon it became obvious something was wrong. A quick check by Arenibas found a problem with a line connecting to the turbo. It would mean limping 12 to 15 miles back to the pit area at the start line for repairs.
By the time that process was completed and the team restarted, 30 more Pro Turbo racers were on the course as well as the entire class that followed. 41 minutes had been lost. Sven and Chazz had a lot of passing to do and they probably set a record in that category. 41 minutes became a significant number as the Ellstrom/Oberto team finished in 17th place in 7 hours and 15 minutes - 40 minutes behind eventual winner Mitch Guthrie. A one minute deficit would have produced a podium finish.
Next up for Ellstrom/Oberto Racing -The Polaris RZR UTV World Championship April 5 - 7 in Laughlin, Nevada.