|SCORE Baja 500: The "German Armins" and the torture of the Mexican desert.|
The "All German Motorsports" team celebrated a premiere: For the first time, the Germans Armin Schwarz and Armin Kremer shared driving duties in the 640 hp Class 1 Buggy. The setting was round three of the U.S. SCORE Championship, the "Baja 500" around Ensenada in Mexico’s Baja California. "Armin & Armin" had much to contend with over the 500 miles of pure desert torture on harsh gravel and deep sandy tracts.
"Our start was unfortunately not the greatest," describes Schwarz, who drove the first stint of the desert classic. "Over the first 45 miles the fan-belt slipped off three times. It stayed on after that, but we’d already lost a lot of time. We had to stop every time to fix the problem and that’s not good right at the start because the field is tight. That means that all the Class 1 Buggys flew past me while I stood at the side of the track."
Once he rejoined the action behind the rest of the field, Schwarz suffered another problem on the extremely uneven ground. "After 55 miles a damper in the suspension gave up the ghost. We’ve never experienced that before," he reports. However, while many competitors paid the toll for the tough conditions with a high number of retirements, Schwarz brought the AGM Buggy back to the hand-over point at mile 235. There, Kremer took over the cockpit.
"At the change-over we refitted the damper," said Schwarz. "On the first section that Armin Kremer had to overcome it posed no great problem as the sandy tracks were similar to those in rallying. But over the last 60 miles things became very bumpy again. But Armin made it through." Despite the difficulties, the duo finished in eighth place in the Class 1 for Buggys.
That "Armin & Armin" shared a Buggy at the BAJA 500 had a good reason. Schwarz's regular partner, AGM team boss, Martin Christensen, forwent his seat this time. He dedicated himself to assembling the brand new AGM Trophy Truck. The 800 hp desert monster is scheduled to give its race premiere at the next SCORE Championship round, the PRIMM 300 near Las Vegas (26 to 28 August). Schwarz conducted the first tests in his future work machine directly after the BAJA 500. In six weeks at the latest, the first rollout should be concluded.
In the future, Schwarz and Christensen will compete with the Trophy Truck, and the excitement is huge. "Again this time, it was simply unbelievable at the BAJA 500 to see how these trucks fly over the extremely uneven surfaces. They seem to literally eat up such obstacles," says Schwarz enthusiastically. Kremer will continue to man the Class 1 Buggy for AGM. "Then we’ll be strongly represented in both classes," he added.
2011/06/07 | 14:53 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/WEDDIGE