The Shaffer Motorsports team heads to Baja with momentum on their side. After their win at the San Felipe, 250 the Transfer Case Express Class 4 race car has pulled within 6 points of the lead in the season long points chase. The victory helped to bolster their confidence but the challenges they have overcome along the way has made it that much sweeter. San Felipe was a huge test for the team; they had to return to the states for an all-night transmission fix just before the race. Thanks to some incredible customer service from Weddle Industries they were more than ready when it was time to race and the results showed it.
Driving talent pays off on raceday but winning championships is a team affair, everyone has to dig deep when the going gets tough. To be a contender it takes a huge amount of planning, preparation and hard work. The prerunner suffered a broken rear axle housing which took the spool with it after San Felipe so the team has been putting in long hours getting both the prerunner and the Transfercase Express, Torchmate racer in top shape for 500 miles of Baja terrain.
The driving assignments have been split three ways. Mike Shaffer will drive with Bryan Crofts at the start, Shawn Twitchel will be doing the middle section with son Ian sitting next to him and Daniel Abereli and co-driver Bernie Strom will bring it home. By splitting up the course into three sections each driving pair will be able to learn the most intimate details of their section. If you are going to push it in the dust or darkness, you have to know what’s around the next bend. One thing is certain, the team will be going all out to back up their San Felipe win with another victory on this super challenging Baja 500 course.
Photography By Brian Binkert
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About Shaffer Motorsports
Mike Shaffer / Driver & Crew Chief
Mike Shaffer has been racing for 28 years, starting with BMX and then age 16 in drag racing and his first desert race was fifteen years ago. Shaffer was driver of record for the 2011 SCORE Tecate BAJA 1000, finishing 2nd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 4. Shaffer was also driver of record for 2011 BITD Championship, finishing 3rd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 10. Shaffer was also driver of record for 3 Baja 1000 wins, 3 SCORE Championships and one BITD Championship in Class 1700, along with rock crawling National Championship and ARCA Championship. Mike Shaffer is the owner of Shaffer’s Offroad that helps customers build the vehicle of their choice, from bolt on accessories to custom one off vehicles.
Shawn Twitchell / Driver & Team Manager
Shawn Twitchell started desert racing motorcycles in 1972, went to drag racing in the 1980′s, circle track in the 1990′s and is now back in the desert driving with Shaffer-Motorsports. Twitchell was a driver in the 2011 SCORE Tecate BAJA 1000, finishing 2nd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 4. Twirchell was also driver for 2011 BITD Championship, finishing 3rd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 10. He has been a member of Shaffer-motorsports team since 2008 helping win three SCORE 1700 Championships. Twitchell is the Business Unit Manager for FMC Technologies’ Technisys Group. Desert racing is in their family encompassing four generations including his son Ian, who will co-drive for Shawn. Two of seven grand-kids are already earning their stripes in the pits and at the shop.
Daniel Aeberli / Driver
Daniel Aeberli has raced with the Shaffer-motorsport team since 2010. He was a driver in the 2011 SCORE Tecate BAJA 1000, finishing 2nd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 4. Aeberli was also driver for 2011 BITD Championship finishing, 3rd in class for the team’s first participation in Class 10. He also drove the first section of the 2010 SCORE Baja 1000. Aeberli was with the team in 2010, helping them win SCORE Primm and Class championship in Class 1700. Daniel Aeberli is the CTO of MediTron S.A. a Swiss medical distribution company that he co-founded over 20 years ago in Switzerland and President of M.D. Visuals a medical consulting company in Stateline, Nevada.
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