Baja 1000: Armin Schwarz newsletter 2008-11-01

Armin Schwarz Newsletter 2008-11-01 A touching letter - and lots of action in the workshop Dear friends, partners, and sponsors, Wilfried Eibach is a successful business man. A man of reason, responsibility - and a man of visions. I feel ...

Armin Schwarz Newsletter 2008-11-01

A touching letter - and lots of action in the workshop

Dear friends, partners, and sponsors,

Wilfried Eibach is a successful business man. A man of reason, responsibility - and a man of visions. I feel privileged and I am grateful to count among his friends. My great Baja adventure began with a vision we had. And Wilfried helped with his unbelievable energy to make this dream come true. He wrote down his memories in a letter which I would like to share with you.

And after this letter we'll get very busy. I'll give you a short round-up of how much work it takes to prepare one of our Buggys for a race.

Have fun!

WILFRIED EIBACH: "SOMETIMES FAIRYTALES COME TRUE ..."

The story of two friends and their quest to conquer the Baja 1000

A very long time ago (1987 to be precise) there was a round of the German Rally Championship, the Hunsruck Rally, where two wannabe adventurers met and - without then knowing - became friends for life. From this moment, Wilfried Eibach - and his enterprise in the background - accompanied Armin through his life as a rally driver.

Well, even in fairytales the protagonists get older, and Armin ended his successful rally career in the World Championship around 2005. Which was not really bad timing, as Eibach Springs USA, which I had founded in California back in 1987, had turned from humble beginnings into a great business. Namely into the number one designer and producer of high class springs for motor sport and the Automotive Performance Market. Moreover, Wilfried had turned into a hardcore off-road and Baja fan. And Wilfried kept on bugging Armin with his enthusiastic and (obviously inspiring) stories of racing through the desert.

Finally, at the end of 2005 Armin was convinced: He wanted to take the bull named "Baja 1000" by the horns! Without hesitation Wilfried called his good friends and partners in US motor sport, especially in the Baja scene. Soon, the guys were curiously awaiting Armin's first visit to LA. And, boy, Armin let the sparks fly! "How can a German motor sport professional after two decades at the top of world rallying and media exposure be so truly charming and humorous?"

It didn't take long until we found All German Motorsports with its founder and owner Martin Christensen as our ideal partner. Moreover, Martin is a tremendously experienced and successful driver himself. He was born in Denmark but came to California a long time ago to live his passion for motor sport (ex-motocross). Martin runs his All German Auto (AGA) enterprise in Escondido, California, providing quality service of excellence in German automotive repair and a high-end dealership for the renowned European car makes.

And then the fairytale picked up pace: Armin tackled the Baja 1000 in November. As the start driver he put in a brilliant performance. At the driver change after 500 miles he lead the class and had overtaken many of the more powerful Trophy Trucks.

But the "Gods" of the Baja decided against a win for the rookie and his mates. The next driver sinks the 600hp+ Buggy in the bottomless silt. 2007 brings more experiences, again we all meet in Ensenada for the Baja 1000, Swantje Eibach joins us. And again: technical trouble throws us back in an early stage of the race. But in 2008 we are back again in full swing, and we start achieving sustained success, taking off with a win at the Primm 300!

Where and whenever possible the Eibach family of Wilfried, daughter Swantje or son Ralph or the totally enthusiastic personnel of Eibach Springs, Corona (Cal.) visit the races. In February 2008, Wilfried meets Sal Fish - the Bernie Ecclestone of SCORE - in Laughlin. Together with Yves Morizot of Stand 21 (France) the three oldies build a circle of friends who love to sit together, have a bottle of wine (too much) and let their dreams soar. So it is no surprise that they invent an alternative idea for the cancelled Dakar Marathon: The Baja Mexico! This race of all races runs over 20 legs from El Paso, Texas, down to the Maya ruins on the Yucatan peninsula! This is truly a fascinating idea - but as we all know: not all fairytales come true ... Still: You've got to have dreams, because some turn into reality!

Just like with Armin and Wilfried. One could say: the will to win and a true friendship between men is able to move mountains, even on the Baja California in Mexico.

For Armin, from Wilfried, in October 2008.

See you in Ensenada in November!

Vaya con Dios.

RACE CAR PREPARATION: IMMACULATE WORK FOR DIRTY PERFORMANCE

Everyone who prepares a race car is aware that success relies on the quality of his work. And the safety of the crew on board the vehicle. For young technicians that's sometimes not easy. Theer's a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Still, experienced engineers and technicians have learned to live with this. They do their job with calm, and they do it immaculately.

At All German Motorsports experience, professionalism and passion for our sport come together, and our partners like Eibach Springs, Xtrac, ZFSAchs, Bilstein, K&N are top addresses in motor sport. So I am in the wonderful position that I don't have to think about safety for a second when I jump into our AGM Buggy.

But before I roll to the start our team colleagues in the workshop have put in a good three weeks of intense preparation, eight to nine hours each day.

Here is a very short version of the check list they work through before every race:

-Strip down the chassis, check for fissures or cracks. Check all pipes and cables for tightness or cracks.

-Send the gearbox to Xtrac for inspection and preparation.

-Send clutch and torque limiter to ZF Sachs.

-Take axles apart, replace all Unibals.

-Send shocks to Bilstein: replace valves, fresh oil, check seals, set-up.

-Check engine: oil change, clean K&N air filters, check valve gear, cam shafts, compression test, injection, fuel filter, pumps.

-Check safety fuel tank, all fuel pipes.

-Control the power steering system, and our AGM hydraulic jack

-Check the anti roll bar and its hydraulics.

-Choose ideal springs with Eibach.

-Control all wheels and tyres for holes, cracks.

-All axle stubs are x-rayed, the drive shafts are renewned all 800 miles at the latest.

But that's by far not all of it. We check the entiry sensor system and electrics, the GPS and tripmaster, which are reset and calibrated.

After all parts and components where checked we assemble the Buggy, set-up the suspension and check the ride height again. Then we check all functions in the workshop. Afterwards Martin takes the car out for a first shake down. After we know the route of the race, Martin and I go out again and set up the car for the race. Finally we renew all our sponsor stickers. In the end: The car must look immaculate when we present it to the public and media!

And then we drivers take this spick and span race car out to the desert and do a really dirty job with it!

Shortly before the Baja 1000 (19 to 22 Nov) I'll be back here with the latest news.

Best wishes,
    Armin

-credit: armin-schwarz.com

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Drivers Armin Schwarz , Bernie Ecclestone