July 13, 2014

9/27: Baja tests and media days: Dust, big moments and sore muscles

We rocked the desert with our AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck from 24 to 27 September. Or to be a little more precise, we were in the San Felipe region of Mexico which has some of the toughest stretches that the Baja 1000 has to offer. To make things perfect we invited media representatives and three driver colleagues to join in the fun. The trip in temperatures around 110 Fahrenheit was an eye opener for all of us. Simply great days with great results.

On the technical side, the Schaeffler Group, as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of bearings and specialists for everything the moves, analyzed each and every detail  of stresses and loads on our drive train – from the wheel bearings to the deepest depths of the gearbox. We are so lucky to have the knowledge and competence of these specialists supporting us, with their 76,000 employees in over 50 countries. Schaeffler developed a torque converter for us which just kept on impressing us over hundreds of test miles. Jeff Hemphill – Vice President of Schaeffler USA – came to visit our tests and witnessed in the cockpit what a drive at the limit on those bone breaking tracks means for man and machine. For us it’s all dust, big moments and sore muscles. For the car it’s non-stop action and unrelenting stress on all parts.

Peter Baumann, the head of marketing at Liqui Moly, met us in the desert and experienced first hand what Liqui Moly’s lubricants have to withstand in our car. His reaction: he was amazed and proud with good reason. Because thanks to Liqui Moly the life span of our components is considerably longer, and the performance is measurably better.

I just want to say thank you to Schaeffler and Liqui Moly for their tremendous support.

Talking lubrication with Peter Baumann of Liqui Moly

Peter Baumann brought another very welcome guest with him from Sears Point: touring car ace Franz Engstler. Former World Rally ace Alex Fiorio (the great Cesare’s son) and our rallying colleague Andi Mancin also gave us the joy and honor of witnessing what we were up to in the Mexican desert. All three drivers were super keen to get into our car. And all three simply couldn’t believe the brutal force of our BMW engine, the enormous acceleration on loose ground and above all they couldn’t get around their heads (and throttle foot) around the speed we travel over the enormous bumps in the desert. Yeah guys, now that’s what we call wheel travel!

Desert trio: Armin Schwarz, Franz Engstler & Martin Christensen (left- right)

Sheer amazement – that’s what the professional drivers had in common with the representatives of the special media, whom Schaeffler press officer Jorg Walz had invited. From TV crews to major European magazines like ‘auto motor und sport’ to the US giant ‘Car & Driver’, represented by Mike Sutton, they all came and they all had their big moments when we attacked the massive jumps and crests with our All German Motorsports racer. The verdict was unanimous: There is very likely nothing tougher in the motorsport world than the tracks of the Baja 1000.

Fast visitors: Alex Fiorio, Armin Schwarz & Andi Mancin (left-right)

Now that’s what we call wheel travel!

And while we were busy sweating it out in the desert, our show car traveled through half of Europe on the rear of a truck, from France to the city of Kirchheim Teck close to Stuttgart, where it now can be seen at the premises of RECARO. It’s always worth having a look at what our partner and specialist in race seating systems has to show. And our show car looks 1:1 just like the real monster. So if you should be around Stuttgart just pop in and be fascinated.

Our show car looks spectacular, even at a standstill!

Talking torque: Martin and Jeff Hemphill of Schaeffler USA

I’ll be back here as soon as I’ve got more news.

Until then,

Armin Schwarz