|SCORE 2014: Engine defect robs AGM podium placing at Imperial Valley 250|
Their strong performance went unrewarded: Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports were within striking distance of a much sought-after podium result at the SCORE Imperial Valley, only to have a technical defect in the final third of the race rob the team of all hopes.
The SCORE Imperial Valley 250, round two of this season’s Score Championship consisting of three loops through the desert surrounding Plaster City in California, is not for the fainthearted. After clinching a top ten placing at the season-opening San Felipe 250 (MEX), Armin Schwarz and AGM headed to the Imperial Valley 250 feeling justifiably confident. The AGM-Jimco X6 Trophy Truck was fitted with a new engine and underwent improvements in many areas. The final tests ran smoothly, hence the goal for the race was clear: Go for the podium.
For this race, Armin Schwarz was joined in the cockpit by navigator Tyler Irvin. "My regular co-pilot Bryan Little stayed at home this time – for good reason. On Friday he became a father for the first time. Congratulations to Bryan and his wife and a warm welcome to his baby son," says Armin Schwarz.
Taking up the challenge from fifth, Schwarz manoeuvred his way into fourth before launching his attack for a podium spot. "For several days we experienced a bad sand storm and this made the sand really soft and scattered on a route that was treacherous anyway. And the sand storm didn’t stop on race day either. In addition to the soft surface this made the visibility extremely poor because of the churned-up dust," Armin Schwarz says. "Many top teams had to contend with the problem of fuel consumption being higher than they had calculated and were sidelined with empty tanks."
At the wheel of the Trophy Truck, Armin Schwarz pushed on mile after mile with the podium within grasp. But then gremlins stuck – and threw a spanner in the works after his strong performance. "Suddenly after about 130 miles the engine died. We tried to restart it, but nothing happened," Armin Schwarz explains. The reason: the timing chain in the engine was torn.
"This was of course bitterly disappointing," admits Armin Schwarz. "Up until then everything was running according to plan. To retire with such a defect makes it all the more annoying. We don’t yet know why the timing chain broke. That’s something we’ll have to now carefully analyse and verify. But one thing is now certain: that was the last engine we’ll use from this engine supplier. For the last four races we had to trust that the development time needed for such a special engine would soon be over. But it is now no longer acceptable for us to be sidelined by engine problems."
"The performance of our Trophy Truck was great and that’s promising for the next race," Armin Schwarz says. "The fact that the timing chain broke is unacceptable and this will have consequences for our engine partner. We now need to do everything possible to finish a race without problems. All in all, our performance here underlined that we can fight with the front-runners – if everything runs according to plan. We’ll launch a renewed attack at the Baja 500!" The Baja 500 in Mexico, round three of the 2014 Score Championship, takes off in six weeks from 5-7 June.
2014/05/03 | 18:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/AGM