Short retrospect, BIG THANK YOU!

Dear friends, partners and sponsors,

The racing year is over - and I'm still going flat out, because now is the time to prepare and finalise everything for the 2009 season. But it's good to just go to the desk, sit down for a while and sort out my thoughts.

Before I write anything else I would like to thank you all for a fabulous 2008. I say "thank you" from my heart to all my sponsors, my partners, my fans, All German Motorsports and my family. A big "thank you" also to our navigators, who not only show us the way but play a crucial role during the preparation of our race cars.

Here's a short retrospect of 2008: We tackled five races with All German Motorsports and made it to the podium four times. In March we took the first Class 1 win from the Tecate SCORE 250 in San Felipe, beginning of September we won our class at the Primm 300 and finished third overall. Martin was third out of 72 Class 1 starters at the Desert Parker 425 on the first weekend of February. Came June and we were third in class at the Baja 500. We were in contention for the championship title right to the grand finale, the Baja 1000. Well, with a little bit of bad luck and the longest driving stint of my life - I was in the cockpit for 16 hours - we finished eighth in the race and concluded our first full SCORE Off-Road campaign third in Class 1. So all in all, we had a fabulous year at all German Motorsports. The only DNF of 2008 was at the season-opening Laughlin Desert Challenge in January with some transm ission gremlins. But we learned fast and never had that problem again. Baja fascination: sideways through the night

My compatriot Armin Kremer joined us, and together with desert ace Adam Pfankuch contested his first SCORE races. Armin proved he is fast on this terrain, too. And I am sure he has a few surprises ready for us in 2009. There is not enough room in this newsletter for me to mention and to thank everybody who contributed to our success in the SCORE. As an example let me mention RTL TV. The specialists of Europe's largest private TV station accompanied me all year. It was a great joy and fantastic work to have anchors Felix Gorner and Norman Adelhutte - who looked after all the footage and commentary - with me. And it was very rewarding work to cover the World Rally Championship together with RTL TV and those guys. RTL TV did a great deal to make the SCORE Series known and popular in Europe.

I'd just like to say "Thank you" to all the members of the media for their extensive and fair coverage of our sport. Thank you very, very much to my sponsors, technology partners and everybody in the team who contributed on the technical side to our success.

Shortly before Christmas I received some good news which I regard as an early present: young Austrian Andreas Aigner won the World Rally Championship for production cars - PWRC. Four years ago we initiated the Red Bull Rally Driver Search, and we picked Andreas out from 400 candidates and gave him the chance to prove his determination and skill. And this is exactly what he did. Klaus Wicha was his navigator. I know Klaus from many, many rallies we tackled together in the World Championship. Congratulations to both of you! Well done!

Now the only things that are left for me to say are: Merry Christmas! All the happiness to you, stay healthy! I am looking forward to 2009 with all of you.

Yours,
Armin Schwarz

-credit: armin-schwarz.com