Running a full time machine shop is quite a handful as it is. Now throw customers and race teams in the mix, Not to mention your own race team? Thats a lot of stuff to manage on a day-to-day basis! Lucas Oil Offroad Racing Pro 4 contender Doug Fortin is a master in that position. We had the chance to sit down with Doug and ask a few questions on his background and what goes on in the shop.
Method: Where did Fortin Racing start? and Why?
Doug: The business started with my dad building transmissions for race cars in our garage in the early 1970's. And being involved with racing and wanting to keep it in the family, I took it into a shop in El Cajon, CA. That was about 1999, when we decided to make cars go faster.
Method: What separates your shop from others?
Doug: Well its a full machine shop, we have 3 CNC machines, 3 horizontal mills, and 3 vertical mills. The shop is divided up into four sections: a transmission department, customer services, new product development and race truck prep. We are not your typical race team. We build everything on the truck, and everything is in house, while our motors are built back east.
Method: What are your shop's specialties?
Doug: We put power from the engine to the ground. Building drivetrains, transmissions and developing new products and a day-to-day basis really keeps us moving forward.
Method: How long does it take to prep your Pro 4?
Doug: Really depends on how time were handed. Average is 2 weeks from completely dropping the drivetrain to cleaning everything and swapping shocks, and making sure everything is ok. When you throw a test session in the mix it just decreases your time limit, and that is when the 10-12 hr days come into play.
Method: Do you have any work outside the off-road Industry?
Doug: Yes we build drivetrains for rally cars and some teams will use our products for big endurance races such as the 24 hr of Daytona.
Method: How do you keep everything from being overly stressful in the work area?
Doug: A big thing is being light hearted & easy going. Having a good chemistry in the shop really attracts good and talented people. Just look at it as one big family based company and it works for the best.
Method: Whats your music playlist in the shop?
Doug: Really depends on who turns the radio. We listen to everything from Pop to Hip Hop to Old School Rap to Country, Especially Vanilla Ice. We also have an annual Cinco De Mayo party, which brings out the true shower singers.
Method: Whats the relationship like with Method Race Wheels?
Doug: It's been awesome. Colbey let me run the first short course wheels in the Pro 2 class at Crandon in 2009 and they were so good we ran them for the rest of the season. We stayed in contact throughout the season and we knew we wanted to run Methods when we started the Pro 4 program. The wheels were significantly lighter, about 14 lbs, so it's been an awesome bond with Method and hope to continue the relationship.
Thanks again for letting us check out your shop and good luck the rest of the season!
For more info visit Fortin Off-Road!
Enjoy Some Photos!