Armin Schwarz newsletter 2007-09-25

Sam Osman: Artist with the welder and GPS Sam doesn't talk a lot, he just gets on with it! He came to AGM three years ago from the aerospace industry. And man, he fits in: fantastic skills, great knowledge and tons of enthusiasm for the ...

Sam Osman: Artist with the welder and GPS

Sam doesn't talk a lot, he just gets on with it! He came to AGM three years ago from the aerospace industry. And man, he fits in: fantastic skills, great knowledge and tons of enthusiasm for the sport.

Sam always gets into action when something really tricky and difficult has to be fabricated. He is the master of the welding gun.

Aside from his artistic ability with the welding gun, Sam is hard to beat with the GPS. He has competed alongside Martin as navigator several times. And Martinfinds it important that his team members are familiar with the Global Positioning System, because he reckons then at least they can find him in the desert. Up until now, Sam has always found him.

New power transmission shines at Primm - Preparations for Baja 1000 full steam ahead

Looking back at the Primm 300, where we finished fourth in Class 1 with our All German Motorsports Buggy and tenth overall, I'm quite sure I'll never forget this race. The fans alone! Thousands and thousands came out to the track 35 miles south-east of Las Vegas. I think in the pit area alone we had about 15,000 fans having a good look at the vehicles. I have no idea how many were there along the 72 mile lap. They had organized spectator areas because the race was held in what they call "protected land". For all the fans who didn't make it to the race, TV stations ESPN and ABC covered the action - and of course we have the video on my website.

The track itself is definitely one of the finest in the world - if you have the plan to destroy your vehicle more or less artfully. The town of Primm is at an altitude of around 2,100 feet which costs us about 15% of power. But don't worry, we've still got enough to be really fast.

The race ran over four laps or around 290 miles. Around 15% of each lap was sandy strewn with very sharp rocks - a merciless tyre killer. For around 25% of the distance the terrain had big, big crests, like big surf. When I say "big" I mean crests the height of a car and dips between them in which our Buggy dived in and disappeared for a second.

For about a third of the lap it was flat out at 190 kph over good, quite smooth gravel like as we know it from the world championship rallies in Greece or in Portugal. And then there was another 30% of bumpy fast tracks through very deep sand and dust, where overtaking was very risky or even impossible because visibility was zero.

Our pit crew again delivered clockwork precision. I did the start and the first two laps. Then the crew refuelled about 180 litres, checked every crucial thing and after 1:50 minutes Matthias was on his way. Incredible but true: We didn't have to change our BF Goodrich tyres! This special rubber has a lot of grip and seems to take every punishment without any problem. A big thank you to BF Goodrich!

Full success: New Xtrac and ZFSachs transmission

Tried, tested and proven: that's our new power transmission after the Primm 300, where the Xtrac six-speed sequential gear box and the ZFSachs Race Engineering clutch and torque limiter worked absolutely perfectly in transferring our 600+ horsepower to the rear axle. The new components prove to be a big progression for us wh en it comes to speed and reliability.

Xtrac has optimised the gear steps especially in the first three gears. So we have thrust almost without interruption. Shifting travel is very short, gear shifting easy and safe. The gear change takes 40 milli-seconds. That's not ultra fast, but considering the kind of terrain we drive through and the torque of our mighty motor that's not first priority. It is more important for us that the gear shifting is safe and the gears stay in. The system works fully mechanically, so we are not running the risk of losing oil out of an hydraulic system, like we often see at the very rough tracks.

Our new 25 percent locking differential provides much better traction. At the Baja 1000 we have very twisty and bumpy passages over many miles, where thanks to the locking diff we'll have permanent propulsion power on both rear wheels.

With their carbon-fibre dry clutch and torque limiter ZFSachs Race Engineering have realised the first fully "protective" power transmission system for us. Only the vast experience and the technical resources of an enterprise like ZFSachs have made the realization of this project possible in the short time we had. In contrast to Formula One, where ZF Sachs Race Engineering are also engaged, we don't need an ultra small and light clutch. For our purpose a little inertia weight can't hurt in order to transmit torque. The clutch is positioned behind the gearbox and can be changed within ten minutes.

The torque limiter protects our transmission whenever there are heavy load cycles, for example when the car hits the ground after big jumps.

Full steam ahead: Baja 1000 is waiting!

As Martin Christensen said: Preparations for the Tecate Baja 1000 run throughout the entire year. Getting ready for this monster of a race is a never-ending job when it comes to technical preparation, to new developments on the cars, to logistics and all the stuff that is connected to this major campaign.

The entire team met immediately after the Primm 300, to prepare the pre-running, which commences on 13 October. Already four weeks later on 12 November is the contingency and technical inspection in Ensenada. And on 13 November in the late morning the big race is on! The route of the 40th Baja 1000 leads from Ensenada over the entire Baja California, down to Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip. It's around 1,300 miles, and the organisers allow for a maximum time of 53 hours ... oh boy, this is going to be really tough for some of us!

We at All German Motorsports work flat-out and wholeheartedly. Let's see, maybe it's a Class 1 win this time!

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-credit: Armin Schwarz

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