Tecate Score San Felipe 250: Tip-toeing at 190 kph to climb the podium Third place at the second round of the SCORE Offroad Championship is reason enough to pop the cork! Oh well, I don't want to moan, but to be honest I would have preferred a...
Tecate Score San Felipe 250: Tip-toeing at 190 kph to climb the podium
Third place at the second round of the SCORE Offroad Championship is reason enough to pop the cork! Oh well, I don't want to moan, but to be honest I would have preferred a repeat result from last year when we won our class.
Start on San Felipe's Pacific beach
I reckon I've never driven our 640 hp Buggy so carefully. I knew after our practice that the torque limiter, which protects our drive train from hefty knocks, wasn't working - like at the first race of the year. And that's why my team mate Martin Christensen and I reined back the horses and concentrated on getting home. Over the first 15 kilometres I had to let four of my rivals pass me. For someone like me that's not easy.
It was a long night before the start in the service tent ... ... and it was clear for Martin (r) and me: we had to conserve the car
But at the finish our caution proved to be right. These 232 miles or 370 kilometres of the 23rd San Felipe 250 were the worst that I've seen in a long time. I drove the first 80 kms over a washboard track - but you've got to imagine the corrugations were half a metre high. I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco at a rodeo and was completely hammered afterwards. For a change we then followed a river bed filled with rough, deep gravel - here you needed endless power, torque and momentum not to get stuck.
But then came a dry salt lake, normally a scorching oven, but today cool. Twenty minutes of full throttle, that's over 190 kph. It was fantastic: Our eight-cylinder roared, the wind whipped around my helmet, and we sucked up those salty miles - awesome! The following dunes with powder-like sand and endless possibilities to get stuck quickly dragged us back into reality.
Fast but cautious: our drive at this year's San Felipe 250
Driver change after 122 miles. I felt a mixture of joy to have handed the car in good condition over to Martin, pumped with adrenalin but incredibly frustrated to be reined in. After all, I compete to win. Martin had a tough job ahead of him. Down in the southern part of the loop (satellite photos are on SCORE-International.com) he was faced with huge dunes, mountains and a canyon which is an ultra tough and very difficult "trial" section. If Martin knows one thing, it's to stay calm and drive through fast and clean. Hat off and thanks for the great team work!
Hat off to Armin Kremer as well: Armin drove the entire 232 miles alone. At the finish Armin was sure of one thing: He had never had such a tough experience in a competition car. But he brought our second Buggy home eleventh in our class and rounded off our team result perfectly.
Sunset over the Pacific: who could stay mad for too long?
Now we have a two and a half month until round three, the Tecate SCORE Baja 500. Still, over the next weeks we have a couple of extremely exciting and wonderful things to report. I'll tell you more in 14 days. See you back here.
best wishes, !_Armin Schwarz