|BITD 2013: AGM-Jimco SCORE Trophy Truck to start at “Vegas to Reno”.|
While the SCORE Championship enjoys a summer break, Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports continue at full revs: Not in Mexico where the Baja races of the SCORE series are contested, but in the desert of Nevada at the wheel of the AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck.
In the coming week (15 to 17 August), they tackle the “Vegas to Reno” classic, which is regarded as the highlight of the “Best in the Desert” championship. One month later the “Desert Lizard” flies the eye-catching green-and-yellow colours of Schaeffler Racing Design again in Nevada at the “HDRA – Moapa Big Horn 300”, a new round of the HDRA Series (27 to 29 September).
“Since there are only three races in this year’s SCORE series – the Baja 250, 500, and 1000, we were looking for additional events to bridge the summer break as best we could,” explains Armin Schwarz.
“We chose the two races, the “Vegas to Reno” which is the most important event of the “Best of the Desert”, and the race in September that replaces the Laughlin Desert Challenge which we used to contest. In this way we kill two birds with one stone."
"We can contest races even during the summer break of the SCORE series, we’re driving in the USA and not just Mexico and we encounter other rivals and experience other courses. What’s more, we also have the chance to do more with our partners and sponsors. It’s great for them to organise, for example, a visit to a race in and around Las Vegas as an incentive.”
Competing in Vegas and later in Moapa at the “Big Horn” are the perfect opportunities for Armin Schwarz and AGM to test their AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck under race conditions in preparation for the Baja 1000 in November. They are also looking ahead to next year: The head of SCORE and HDRA, Roger Norman, is planning to bring the best races in the US and Mexico under one roof. If this is successful, AGM’s race activities this season will be excellent preparation.
The legendary “Vegas to Reno” race runs over 545 miles. Armin Schwarz competed in this event in 2010. Back then, he contested his first race in a Trophy Truck and scored third overall with Roger Norman. “The race is a real killer,” says Armin Schwarz.
“It’s very different from other races because you don’t get a pre-run. There is a qualifying which determines the starting positions, and then it’s off into the race. You only have rough pace notes from the organiser, plus waypoints and the organiser has put up warning signs at all the really tricky and deep washboards. All the rest is up to you – you just have to see what comes and then deal with it. So it’s an advantage if you’ve already driven here.”
Like the Baja race in Mexico, “Vegas to Reno” goes over open desert, but unlike Mexico, the routes are mandatory. “Some are really good to drive, others are really tough,” outlines Armin Schwarz. “And you have to stick to the track. In Mexico you are allowed to drive 200 or 300 metres to the left or right of the track and overtake. But you can’t do that here, most of the route is on preset tracks. This makes the qualifying and start position critical.”
Another challenge is the sweltering summer heat of the Nevada desert. In August the thermometer can quickly climb to 40 - 45 degrees Celsius, and in such temperatures it’s anything but easy to keep the men and machinery cool. Armin Schwarz and AGM are definitely up against a ‘hot race’ in the truest sense of the word.
Fittingly, they are approaching the ordeal cool headed. “We’ve had to struggle with several gremlins this season, and now the name of the game is to have a trouble-free race,” is his aim for the “Vegas to Reno”. “We’re not about to launch a blind attack just to finish in the top five. We will be paying close attention to our material and make every effort to be fast but cautious with our vehicle. The most important thing is for us to get through without hiccups.”
But this doesn’t mean that Armin Schwarz and his crew plan to be onlookers in Nevada. “Of course we want to score a good result,” he says. This would also be perfect with a view to the upcoming International Frankfurt Motorsport Show in September. There, AGM is strongly represented at partner Schaeffler’s stand, “and it would be fantastic to attend the IAA with a strong result from Nevada.”
2013/08/09 | 18:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SCHWARZ