Baja 500: Deep water, zero viz - and another podium result! The clay was as hard as concrete, there was lots of dust and zero viz, the thermometer climbed to 35 degrees Celsius, and already after 25 miles we found ourselves in deep, murky water.
Baja 500: Deep water, zero viz - and another podium result!
The clay was as hard as concrete, there was lots of dust and zero viz, the thermometer climbed to 35 degrees Celsius, and already after 25 miles we found ourselves in deep, murky water. In other words, it was a fantastic Baja 500, and after 441.15 miles we finished third, scoring another podium at the finish in Ensenada!
For me, the Baja 500 was a true adventure and a driving feast. I started and drove the first stint, about 270 miles. Ten days prior to the race there had been heavy rain. The water had washed away all the dust and sand from the underlying clay. Then the sun baked the clay until it was as hard as concrete - a true test for our suspension and chassis. After 25 miles we came to a deep waterhole, where a competitor was stranded in the middle and blocked our way. After a few minutes Bryan and I made up our minds to try the track where the motorcycles went, only to get stuck behind a big log that we hadn't seen in the murky water. It took us a good twenty minutes to climb over the trunk with our 640hp monster.
But then we were back in the race. On the highspeed stretches our new anti rollbar from ZFSachs Race Engineering turned out to be a real blessing. For the rough stretches we can simply switch it off. So from the handling side everything wen t really well. But the cooling turned out to be a little sensitive with engine temperatures rising when we went fast. It's a real challenge to get enough air to the coolers without a body or airducts. So we had to take it a little bit easy.
For the twisty and technical parts of the Baja 500 we had written detailed pace notes in World Rally Championship style. They turned out to be quite helpful for some stretches. But in many others the dust was so dense that we didn't see a thing. So we just made sure we went roughly in the right direction and didn't hit anything big and solid ...
After six hours we handed the buggy over to Martin, second in class. And Martin once again delivered an immaculate, unbelievable job. He is simply unstoppable. Out on the track they lost a rear wheel - and replaced it in record time. Then a stone punctured a brake pipe. But Martin just went on without rear brakes to bring the AGM Buggy home third in class - another podium for AGM! So we'll have earned a good bunch of points again. End of this week the new championship standings will be published. I can't wait to see them!
Armin Kremer and Adam Pfankuch finished their first race for AGM eleventh in class. For the first 40 miles or so Armin put in a very good pace, til the engine stalled. He couldn't get it going, but luckily one of our service crews was nearby and helped. Seven miles before the pit stop Armin lost the road and the Buggy tumbled down a 70 yard slope. But even this ca n't stop a buggy. After two hours of repairs Armin was racing again, handed the car to Adam who managed to bring it home eleventh in class.
Like I always say: incredible things happen in desert racing, it's simply great!
Back here in two weeks,