|SCORE 2012: AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck - The "washboards" await.|
The AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck revs up again: This weekend (9 to 11 March) Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports tackle round two of the US SCORE Championship at the San Felipe 250. The Mexican vacation destination of San Felipe lies directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Competitors battle for honours over the 250 miles of the San Felipe event, with the route running through many canyons between the ocean and the hinterland. Two of these canyons are new to the race this year.
Although the race is one of the shorter Baja rallies, the track shouldn´t be underestimated. "San Felipe is notorious for its washboard track," says Schwarz. "Around 100 miles are over these huge potholes and basically the entire distance is like a washboard. The dips are between 0.80 to 1.50 meters deep, one following the other, sometimes three, sometimes ten meters apart."
The secret to success when tackling such washboards, "You simply have to find the right speed to skip from one to the other," Schwarz explained. "It´s important not to ride these bumps out but essentially to drive over them. To do this, you need speed, wheel travel and a good suspension. In 2009 we did it so well that we even managed to bring home our first overall victory."
For the 2012 race, All German Motorsports has worked hard preparing the vehicle. Two weeks ago, team boss Martin Christensen put the Trophy Truck through its paces on the San Felipe washboard route. "At the season-opener in Laughlin, these washboards were a bit of a weak point," reports Schwarz. "Moreover, we had the shorter springs back then. Our partner Eibach reacted quickly and reliably to produce some new springs for us that were exactly the length we needed. Martin tested these new springs with our shock absorber partner FOX and he´s more than happy with them. This is crucial because the San Felipe is really brutal. You have to be able to drive very fast - if you can´t really attack over these 100 miles then you´ve pretty much lost the race."
In addition, All German Motorsports has adjusted the shock set-up to fit the new springs. "Our partner Fortin once again examined the gearbox. At the season-opening round in Laughlin there were some problems with the drive-shaft which resulted in us retiring from the first of the two Laughlin races. With this totally new Trophy Truck it is important for us to know precisely the service life of individual parts," says Schwarz with this in mind. Moreover, engine partner Danzio retuned the motor of the Trophy Truck. On the test bench a performance chart was compiled and the performance was further improved.
As the minimum goal for the San Felipe 250, Schwarz and All German Motorsports have stated a top ten result. "We already proved last year at the Baja 1000 that our Trophy Truck has the necessary performance. There we were even at times running in fifth. And now we´re heading into the races that actually suit us and our vehicle better. We´re aiming for the top ten, and if we bring home a top five result we´ll be very happy. We should hold an advantage in the canyons between the ocean and the interior. Our truck is lighter than all the others and therefore more agile."
All German Motorsports is also fielding a Class One Buggy at the San Felipe 250, piloted by Armin Kremer and Tony Miglini. And while Armin Schwarz enjoys a relatively comfortable ride over the bumps in his Trophy Truck - as crazy as that may sound - the two in their Buggy will be well and truly shaken up. "The Truck drives smoother than the Buggy, and it doesn´t kick up at the back as much. As far as the physical demands go, you have a greater advantage in the Truck," says Schwarz, who knows from experience after his Buggy performances of the past years. "For Armin and Tony it´s a totally different story. Their task will be to bring their Buggy through those bumps in one piece."
At the season-opener in Laughlin, Miglini competed in the Class One Buggy by himself. Now with the longer races approaching, he shares the wheel with Kremer. The San Felipe 250 is the first race that they contest together. Both drivers are highly motivated - as is the entire team - because now All German Motorsports has the chance to yield victory in both the Trophy Truck and the Buggy classes. Kremer declares, "We will try to continue on with Armin and Martin´s successful Buggy era. I´d be over the moon if we could clinch our first Class One win this year."
From the San Felipe 250 on, Armin Schwarz offers partners, fans and anyone else interested a special service: The race can be viewed in real time via Live-Ticker on his website [ ARMIN-SCHWARZ.COM ].
2012/03/10 | 14:22 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/SCHWARZ