Newsletter Armin Schwarz 2008-05-15 Hi Folks, today's newsletter is packed with interesting views of interesting people. My friend Michael Heimrich - editor-in-chief in the German publication rallye-magazin.de - contributes a foreword. And ...
Newsletter Armin Schwarz 2008-05-15
today's newsletter is packed with interesting views of interesting people. My friend Michael Heimrich - editor-in-chief in the German publication rallye-magazin.de - contributes a foreword. And you'll find interviews with our two new team members at AGM, America's desert racing ace and SCORE points leader, Adam Pfankuch, and Germany's Armin Kremer, the ex European and Asia Pacific Rally Champion. Adam and Armin are going to share the driving duties in our second AGM Buggy from now on. So we built another great American-European crew!
Michael Heimrich: Thanks, Armin!
The spectacle was always the same. Whenever the crowds along the rally tracks of the World Championship expected Armin Schwarz's car, expectations were mounting high. And there he came: Where other drivers carefully tiptoed their vehicles around the corner, Armin would tackle it with speed and aggression, totally sideways. Those were the moments that made rallying unforgettable for all of us! Even if at the end of his career in the World Championship the very big successes eluded him, the memories of this incredibly spectacular driver remain. Until today, reminiscing on Armin's drives ist the favourate topic, whenever rally fans sit together.
So we were more than delighted to hear that his retirement from driving actually only lasted for two years. And that he had found a new passion: Baja. The Baja? This kind of racing was quite unknown in Germany at the time, but it got very quickly clear t hat Armin found a new passion. The American way of Off-Road racing suits him: Clear rules, no politics, but heeps of fun. And those who are lucky enough to experience this racing live can't get enough of it. "Not a sport for softies", that's what Armin called the wild rides in the monster buggies, which could even frighten a lion with their roar, and which can overcome any obstacle out there in the desert.
Armin quickly found his way around in America, and in Martin Christensen's All German Motorsports Team he soon found a home and perfect partner to bring his his wealth of experience. After a first testing year Armin's expectations are high - especially when it comes to his own performance. He has long gained his competitors' respect, and he has clinched his first win with cleverness and a very sensitive throttle foot. I keep my fingers crossed that more successes follow!
All the best, Armin!
Adam Pfankuch: Welcome to a Champion
We are very pleased and honoured to welcome Adam Pfankuch to AGM. Adam, 26 years old and a resident of Carlsbad, CA, is the current overall points' leader in the SCORE Championship, and his list of successes in desert racing is truly impressive. At just 21 years of age Adam clinched the SCORE 2003 Class 1600 Points Championship and was second overall. The following year he was crowned the SCORE International Overall Points Champion!
Unbelievable but true, Adam tackled his first race at 14 and at the same time started working with desert race cars. Today he is not only considered a great racer, but an expert in race pit strategy with gr eat practical abilities like welding, fabrication, shock tuning, race car preparation. As the co-owner of Powerbox Transaxles he has vast experience in building and servicing off-road and racing transmissions.
I am very much looking forward to meeting Adam. Everybody says he's a great guy. As a driver I can only say that I am looking forward to learning from his experience. And at the same time, I know it's
going to be a great challenge to have him with us. Adam's navigator is Tyler Irwin, a member of our crew who has proven more than once that he has what it takes. And apart from navigating he's a top technician, which comes in very handy when you want to win desert races ...
Here's a short interview that Adam gave us via telephone:
Adam Pfankuch: "My Wife, my Buggy and 20,000 Gallons of Gas ..."
What success sticks to your memory most?
That's without doubt my first SCORE championship in 2004. It was my first major one, people started recognising me as a driver.
What's the greatest memory you have from your sporting career?
I really can't say, I am in the middle of it! What comes to my mind first when I think about the really good moments of racing is that I am so lucky to compete against all those fantastic drivers and teams.
What's the toughest race on the SCORE calendar?
They're all tough in their own way. But the hardest of them all is without doubt the Baja 1000. It is much more than just a race. I think of it more as an adventure. You never know what is going to happen.
The motorsports personality you admire most?
Hey, there's bunches of excellent drivers here in the U.S.! But seriously, it would be Rob MacCachren. He has an incredible feeling for the car, he can drive it just the way you want him to. He is really fast, and he never makes mistakes. Apart from that Rob is a well rounde d person, he is simply good to talk to.
What kind of motorsport would you like to try?
I'd love to try rallying like in the WRC. The cars seem very sophisticated from the technical side, the whole thing is more like a sprint, it's more aggressive ...
If you were not a racer, what would be your profession?
Not a racer? Well, hard to think of that one ... I think I'd put together big motorsport events.
Best thing that happened to you in the last 365 days?
Getting married on December 27, 2007!
What do you do when you're not racing?
I love being together with the family. We would all hang out together in the desert, take the pre-runners and drive, have fun! And I like fishing or shooting to relax.
Honestly: what would you take if you were to stay on a remote island?
Honestly: my wife, my buggy and 20,000 gallons of gas!
Concerning your new driver colleague: did you ever hear of Armin Kremer?
I looked him up on the net. Very impressive: European and Asia Pacific Rally Champion, three times German Rally Champion. I'm itching to meet him and see him drive. It's going to be great!
Armin Kremer: "640hp - now that's a word!"
Armin Kremer is one of Germany's most successful rally drivers. He won the Asia Pacific Championship in 2003, one year before he had clinched the European Rally Championship. Armin was the German Rally Champion in 1996, 1998, and 1999. Today Armin runs a family business together with his brother. He is married, has one daughter. Armin's hobbies: "Everything with an engine, preferably on the water, and s kiing.
Armin, you visited the Baja 1000 and you saw the pre-running for the San
Felipe 250. Which impressions did you bring home from the desert?
SCORE desert racing, that's pure fascination. The cars are incredibly spectacular. The regulations are clear and liberal, the organisations don't overregulate the whole thing. The fans are always close by, and really everybody wants to have a great time with a breathtaking show.
You tried the pre-runner and later the race car. How do they feel?
In the USA I drove the pre-runner and was in the navigator's seat in the race car. Later I sampled the race car here in Germany. I have to say: 640hp - now that's a word! This cars have a mighty punch. And with those suspensions they can take almost everything. You simply keep your foot on the throttle and iron that crest or ditch out. You couldn't do that with any other race vehicle I know. Still, if you're crazy you can even destroy such a fantastic car. You've got to be fast and sensible - that adds to the thrill.
You won three national German rally championship titles, you were
European and Asia Pacific Champion. Then you retired - why are you now
going to the desert?
Once a driver - always a driver! No, seriously: Two years ago I retired from motorsport in order to fully concentrate on our family business. Since 1990 my father and I built up a good business with breeding turkey, processing and selling the meat. My brother joined in later. We all put a lot of effort and passion into our business. I love this family enterprise. On the other hand I was always keen to return to the sport. Now my chance has come with a totally new challenge, with totally different dimensions. And I don't have to put too much time in.
You are a rookie in desert racing. And you will share the AGM cockpit
with the current points leader. Any stage fright?
No, I am very much looking forward to it! It's great that Adam and I can form another American-German crew besides Martin and Armin. I know that Sam Osman is a brilliant navigator, who knows his business like only very few. I know that I've got the speed and that I am able to adopt very quickly to new situations and challenges. I am absolutely looking forward to racing with Adam.
A short look back in history: who's your all time motorsport hero?
No doubt, that's four time rally world champion Juha Kankkunen. Until today I find his speed, his Finnish coolness and his self confidence extremely remarkable. But you know, we all had to find our own way in motorsport.
Which race car would you like to try?
For me the greatest challenge is to get everything out of a World Rally Car on a special stage. To convert high tech into sheer speed and reliability: that's the highest art and the biggest fun. And directly after this comes to drive one of this old Group B monsters like the Audi quattro S1. But this is just another different world.
And apart from motorsport: what are your interests?
First and foremost my wife and daughter, than comes our family business.
The last question: What would you take to the famous remote island?
My wife, my daughter. A jet ski and lots of turkey meat. Try it! It's really yummy!
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