|SCORE 2014: Schwarz and AGM score a top ten placing at the San Felipe 250.|
Success at the season-opener: Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports took off into the 2014 SCORE Championship with a good result at the San Felipe 250, bringing the AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck in its distinctive yellow and green Schaeffler Racing Design over the finish line amongst the front-runners.
Armin Schwarz and team boss Martin Christensen finished tenth in the Trophy Truck class after a difficult race. All in all, 202 vehicles contested the season-opening round in the Mexican desert, but the extremely tough conditions took their toll: Around half of the entries stranded in the desert and failed to make it to the finish.
“We’re pleased that it went really well,” said Armin Schwarz. “It was important for us to finish the race and kick off the season with a good result. And this is what we did. Given that 50 percent of the competitors didn’t even reach the flag and that we finished so well is another great confirmation of the work we’ve done over the last months.”
The San Felipe 250 is a true classic. In 2010, Armin Schwarz and AGM celebrated overall victory, that time at the wheel of a Class One Buggy. But for 2014, SCORE organiser Roger Norman had initiated many changes, most notably on the routing.
This year the field was sent off in the opposite direction over the desert and stone tracks, with several new sections added. For this reason, Armin Schwarz and Martin Christensen also swapped roles: deviating from the usual procedure, Christensen drove the first stint, with Schwarz climbing into the cockpit of their “desert lizard” for the second half of the race. In this way, both competed on terrain that was familiar.
Unusual for this time of the year was the weather at the San Felipe 250. Dark clouds hung over the normally sun-drenched Baja California, with heavy rain falling at times, making some sections impassable. “Even before the race started, the situation was turbulent with the weather playing havoc,” reports Armin Schwarz.
“The SCORE guys responded quickly and rerouted the race. Martin couldn’t drive all of his stint and my section was shortened from 120 to 68 miles. At times Martin had to drive in heavy rain and the track became really muddy, but it had dried up by the time I did my stint," he added.
The adverse conditions, however, did not hamper the AGM pilots in their hunt for front positions. “The car ran well, the torque converter, suspension, springs, the new larger tyres – everything went smoothly,” outlined Armin Schwarz.
“We only experienced a problem with the engine temperature towards the end. It rose just after we’d driven a section of highway with the speed-limiter and then returned to the track and accelerated. We had this problem previously at the Baja 1000 but not at all during the 500+ miles of testing and set-up preparation for the San Felipe 250. Now it’s popped up again in the race. We now have to look at what might be causing this.”
On the whole, Armin Schwarz is satisfied with the first result of the season: “To reach the finish well without any major problems is great – we achieved what we were aiming for at the San Felipe 250. And it can continue like this, or even better. Bring on the next race!”
The next round of the SCORE Championship is the SCORE Imperial Valley 250 on 27 April in Plaster City, California. This year’s SCORE Series includes six races, with three in Mexico and three in the USA. The highlight of the season is the legendary Baja 1000 in November.
2014/03/08 | 09:42 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/WEDDIGE