|SCORE 2014: Armin Schwarz and AGM aim for podium at Imperial Valley 250|
Following on from the season-opener in Mexico, Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports now step on the gas in the USA. Plaster City in California hosts the second round of the 2014 US-"SCORE Championship", the "SCORE Imperial Valley 250", on 26 April.
The race is run over three laps each approximately 75 miles long. Armin Schwarz and AGM know the terrain well. It lies just two hours from San Diego and is therefore a popular testing ground for the SCORE teams. And the AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck in the distinctive yellow and green Schaeffler Racing design, dubbed the "Desert Lizard", is also taken through its paces there.
Armin Schwarz knows the challenges that await him and his teammate Martin Christensen. "There are pretty big, hard-packed bumps. The surface differs from Mexico in that it’s harder and rockier. You could describe it as stony-sand. And then with loops you always have the problem of dust. Because we’re doing three laps you generally find that the route deteriorates, the tracks become deeper and the sides get harder – it’s brutal terrain."
There is one challenge for which the AGM squad are excellently prepared. Over the past weeks, the AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck has received several tweaks. "We fitted new wheel bearings, new hubs, new wheels, and the shocks underwent a complete overhaul," says Armin Schwarz.
He added: "Our partner Eibach supplied us with longer springs that allow us to use the remaining two centimetres of wheel travel. And we’ve added an oil cooler for the power steering plus we’ve optimised the air cooling for the power steering, shock absorbers and engine. In addition, Martin and our engine partner Danzio have done a thorough analysis on the test bench to find out why we experienced problems with the engine temperature in Mexico. They discovered the cause and fixed it."
The cockpit of the "Desert Lizard" also features innovations. "We’re contesting the Imperial Valley with new Recaro seats with head protection for the first time," states Armin Schwarz.
"Up to now we’ve raced without it and are now the first to compete in the USA offroad scene with head protectors. With their form and head sculpting, these seats are designed to be perfectly compatible with the HANS system. So now we’re nicely sorted with regard to safety. Because of the shape of the new seats, the air supply in the helmet has changed. The air no longer enters from the side but now comes in above the head, hence Stand21 have supplied us with new helmets that are even lighter than before."
On April 22, AGM conducts another test day, followed by the pre-run and then it’s the "green light" for a race day that promises to be a real extravaganza for fans. “The loop circuit includes an infield with megajumps,” says Armin Schwarz. "That’s fantastic for the fans. Every two minutes a vehicle comes flying past – it’ll be a really cool show!"
At the season-opening round at the San Felipe 250 in Mexico, Armin Schwarz and Martin Christensen scored a strong top ten placing. Now for the Imperial Valley 250, AGM’s goal is clear: "We are going for the podium. If we can avoid any mishaps and everything runs smoothly then we should be right up there!"
2014/04/20 | 19:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/AGM