TPC Racing Heads To Desert For BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400 Debut In Great American Off-Road RaceReece White
LAS VEGAS (December 3, 2021) – TPC Racing, with assistance from sister company DSC Sport, is making its official off-road racing debut this weekend at the BFGoodrich Tires Mint 400. Drivers Scott Schmidt, Pedro Torres, Harris Levitas and David Smith will co-drive the race in the Unlimited Truck SPEC class, with the event beginning at 10 a.m. PST from the Primm, Nevada start/finish line behind Buffalo Bill’s Hotel and Casino.
Schmidt, Torres, Smith and Levitas will drive the No. 299 Brenthel Trophy Truck in the 400-mile event that runs four laps of the 100-mile loop that extends from the California-Nevada state line in Primm to the Southern edge of Las Vegas in Jean, Nevada and is considered the most grueling and challenging off-road racecourse in the United States.
The Unlimited Truck SPEC class features purpose-built trophy trucks, but with a sealed motor to contain costs.
Besides a one-day test on a practice course in California last week, only Schmidt brings any off-road racing experience to the event. Schmidt and Lamborghini Super Trofeo co-driver Trevor Andrusko competed in a UTV-based class in the race a year ago – much different than the full-size trophy truck of this year’s competition, as well as the Lamborghini Huracan that Schmidt road races. Levitas, the Director of Race Operations for TPC Racing, is filling the role as “super sub” for the team after a non-racing injury forced Andrusko out of the race.
“This is going to be so much fun,” Levitas said. “We did a quick test in the desert with Brenthel last week. I rode shotgun for a lap and then drove a lap and it’s wild. It’s completely backward from what you’d do in a car on asphalt. You have to look way ahead and start to steer early and use the power. Once you get used to that it’s a ton of fun, and we’re all just looking forward to something completely different.”
Like Schmidt, Torres is also a sports car racer under the TPC Racing umbrella. Torres competed this season in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Scott did this last year and said he had a blast,” Torres said. “It’s going to be a big undertaking, especially in a trophy truck. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s 400 miles of really rough terrain against huge competition. We know we won’t have the speed or the experience of the top guys, so we want to be smart and keep it clean which should provide us with a good position at the end.”
Though it’s the first foray into off-road racing for TPC Racing, the company does have some experience in the off-road market. While TPC Racing is primarily known for aftermarket tuning and upgrades for Porsches, sister company DSC Sport and its electronic active suspension line includes controllers for the Ford Raptor.
“While we can’t use the DSC Sport suspension controller on our trophy truck, we’re hoping that some of the knowledge we have as a company will carry over to our effort in the Mint 400,” Levitas said. “But no matter what, we’re going to enjoy each other, have a lot of fun, and try something new just to see what happens. That’s what we’re all about here.”
The race event got underway with the Mint 400 Off-road Festival on Thursday, December 2, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Las Vegas’ Fremont Street East. Each of the three hundred and sixty-plus teams paraded in front of twenty-five thousand off-road fans daily, on their way to technical inspection at the end of the festival.
Qualifying takes place between noon and 3 p.m. PST on Friday, with the start of the 400 miles coming at 10 a.m. PST on Saturday, December 4. Qualifying and the race stream, as well as results, live timing and GPS tracking, can be found at TheMint400.com.