Armin Schwarz newsletter 2007-12-17

AGM Our Team: Rob Mallory Nobody at AGM can teach Rob Mallory new things about motorsport. Rob has been in this field for no less than 24 years! He looks after photography and videos for AGM, and you can rest assured, that he knows the...

AGM Our Team: Rob Mallory

Nobody at AGM can teach Rob Mallory new things about motorsport. Rob has been in this field for no less than 24 years! He looks after photography and videos for AGM, and you can rest assured, that he knows the best spots and the most spectacular lighting to present our car and team perfectly. Rob's profession is in information technology.

The year in retrospect, Part 1: Trusted partners, new adventures

It was a great year for which I'm very grateful. Most importantly my family is doing we ll. When they do well, I do well.

With Martin Christensen and his All German Motorsports Team (AGM) as well as the SCORE Offroad Series I have found a new home in motorsport where I feel extremely happy - perhaps you have noticed this in my reports. My long-standing and trusted partners like Eibach springs, Remus and Tricon are also on-board and contribute my the success. It's not to be taken for granted that market leaders like these enterprises support an adventurer like me on the other side of the Atlantic.

Thanks to my role as comm entator to RTL Rallye Magazin and our Red Bull Junior team I haven't lost touch with the WRC and my opponents, colleagues most of whom are friends from the old days. Felix Gorner as commentator and Norman Adelhutte, who is responsible for the images and commentary, constantly impress me. Even as total professionals in their field each with a huge amount of experience, Felix and Norman have still retained their incredible enthusiasm.

The WRC offered exciting sport to the final round. Sebastien managed to become champion for the fourth time in a row. He is a brilliant and exceptional driver. So is Marcus Gronholm who only narrowly missed out on the title after a thrilling season. All in all it was a gripping year of sport but it was overshadowed by the death of my friend Colin McRae. The first Baja 500: Driver shaken - everyone stirred!

Whilst the development work with AGM continued throughout the year, things heated up in the cockpit of our Buggy during first tests in Nevada and Mexico late April and start of May. First on the schedule were high-speed tests, followed by checks of components and drive-train - all in a cosy outside temperature of 38 degree Celsius. The most important result of our work was perhaps to get rid of the Buggy's kicking rear which can be really tricky at high-speed.

Then the first weekend in June brought my first ever Baja 500. Of the ca. 700 kilometres of this torturous route starting in Ensenada, Mexico, I drove the first five hours, or around 430 kilometres with my navigator Bryan Lyttle. Matthias Kahle took over the second stint.

Afterwards my neck felt rock hard, my bones were well shaken, and we were all thoroughly stirred. We had achieved fifth place in the Class 1 Buggies. A super result for which the AGM team had worked so hard. Apart from that I learnt about the Baja overtaking etiquette at express speed: You have to "knock" on the rear of the car in front - just pulling alongside gets you zero brownie points. Even driving in thick dust doesn't deter the "hard-knock artists". In fact it's essential in dust because you often don't even see the guy in front. In fact as little as we can see the front of our own Buggy! The tracks we found you can only really compare with the Safari Rally, and only the worst sections of this East African legend. We experienced no problems with our Buggy apart from a puncture and the fact that Matthias lost lubricant from the drive shaft joints. Had this not happened, mayb e third place would have been possible.

The rest of June was just as exciting. I flew to the WRC round in Greece for RTL and then, at the invitation of Toyota, headed off to the Goodwood Festival of Speed with my Catalunya Rally winning Celica. I also tested the ca. 400 hp Cayenne S Transsyberia for Porsche with which I would contest the Transsyberia Rally in August - an 8000 kilometre adventure from Moscow to Ulaan Bataar, the capital of Mongolia.

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Armin Schwarz

-credit: asm

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Series SCORE