RT Pro Best in the Desert Race Report
While the final results may not show it, RT Pro (formerly Racer Tech) driver Logan Gastel overcame serious setbacks to finish ninth in the Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno UTV Turbo race.
Gastel, who had moved from a 23rd-place start to fifth in the field on day one, hit a hole on day two and broke a bolt in his upper suspension, losing hours doing repairs. In the end, and using his inner MacGyver, Gastel rebounded to finish ninth in class and just 2.5 hours behind the overall winner in the two-day race.
“Each race we seem to be getting closer, but we’ve had some bad luck,” said Gastel. “I thought this was going to be our first win, but we pushed hard and the desert pushed back harder. Day two was actually great up until mile 500 when he hit a G-out a little harder than we should have and broke a bolt in the front upper control arm.”
When others might have just given up, Gastel and his co-driver set about to repair the car, despite losing many of the front-end components in the crash. Midway through the repair, his jack broke, so he improvised and used boulders to hold the car up.
“We ended up taking the whole car apart to get it repaired,” said Gastel. “When that bolt broke, we lost most of the essential hardware we needed to put the front end together. We bolted the upper spindle onto the A-arm with a half-inch bolt, a bunch of washers and some baling wire. We kept pushing forward, got some fresh parts, and kept moving. We were dead last in all the UTVs and ended up ninth. I didn’t want to give up and we made it back to the finish line before dark.”
Gastel said the combination of his RT Pro suspension components, Fox’s new internal bypass shocks and ITP tires gave him the ground clearance he needed to clear the course’s many ruts and deep silt beds.
“The RT Pro stuff has worked for us all season long,” said Gastel. “It’s crucial in these type of races to have that ground clearance. We got into some really deep ruts and silt beds, and the RT Pro suspension components kept us off the belly pan. We also switched to the new 31-inch tires from ITP. The total package is beginning to work.
“This is our third race on the new Fox internal bypass shocks and every race I get more impressed,” added Gastel. “They eat up everything we throw at them. They don’t have quit. The faster you go, they seem to handle better.”
Gastel will return to action during the Bluewater Desert Challenge in Parker, AZ on October 6-9 where is hungry for that first victory.