All German Motorsports, our Team
The Meziere family: some seem never to tire
Without Mike Meziere and his two sons things would look grim for us at AGM more often than not. Mike is a real artist when it comes to machining special parts for our car, and he does this with all his skill and enthusiasm at three in the morning if necessary. Mike's son Joel has been with AGM for eight years as a mechanic, and his brother Kyle is a great fabricator and with AGM for an entire decade. The whole family simply lives for motorsport. If they have a little time off they go drag racing! Some people seem never to tire!
Jumping in the desert (aka: Those magnificent men in their flying machines)
Flying is a real work of art, especially if you attempt to do it with your car. It certainly helps to be a little crazy. But the driver should know exactly what stresses he can put on his sporting device. Let me just tell you this: Our Buggy can take the punches like a heavy weight champion, and it flies like a falcon - well, almost. Jumps over a distance of 60 metres are easily possible. We even do those short, steep jumps that you try to avoid like the pest in a World Rally Car. The secret is our long wheel-travel which cushions even the toughest and steepest landing. With a World Rally Car which is much lower and stiffer in the suspension the landing after a steep, short flight often means that your car is destroyed - and you are out.
Firstly, the take-off: You just have to make sure a few things go right. Mostly you have to think of the landing. Your speed should be exactly the speed to land at the place that you intend to touch down. For example it is not really recommended to hit the opposite slope of the little valley that you are just crossing in the air. And it is important to lift the nose of your buggy putting down the throttle pedal for a fraction of a second at the moment of take off because the engine and spare wheels with the big mass have a tendency to ascend quicker than the rest of the car. The danger is to hit the ground nose-on. Still, it happens quite often to come back to mother earth like an arrow, nose first. But again, thanks to our endless wheel-travel the Buggy survives this, too.
Being airborne: I keep the throttle pedal down half way so the rear wheels keep spinning and I avoid a heavy load cycle into the drive train when we hit the ground. It's a strange feeling: The V8 roars from the back, and I get very light in the seat and harness.
Landing: Returning from our short orbit is much smoother than you would expect. The suspension compresses and takes up all energy, the car doesn't jump and the traction is there immediately. Luckily we don't experience the jumping and bouncing that you see sometimes from the Dakar cars. Their problem is their heavy load on the rear axle combined with the short wheel travel of maybe ten inches.
Still, there's another very important thing you have to make sure for the landing: Be sure to touch down exactly straight-on, not sideways! Because if you hit the ground sideways the car will roll heavily due to the long wheel-travel and relatively soft suspension. It can kick a few times in different directions, and we have seen some very impressive sideways rolls after such landings.
Luckily, we always got it right and I wish all of us "Many happy landings",
Best wishes, Armin
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