Armin Schwarz and All German Motorsports take off into their
first SCORE season with the Trophy Truck: Season-opening
at the Laughlin Desert Challenge in Nevada
Laughlin/Nevada (USA), 8 January 2012. The new year has only just begun, and already things get serious for Armin Schwarz and the All German Motorsports squad. The Laughlin Desert Challenge (13 to 15 January 2012) in the Nevada desert kicks off the 2012 US Score Championship. It marks the first season where Schwarz and his teammates compete with the brand new AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck. Last November, All German Motorsports put the 725 hp desert monster through its paces at the Baja 1000. Now, the preparations are done – it’s time to go for victory and the title.
“We will be going for the championship title, but our main focus is on the Baja 1000 this year. Our objective of this season is to win there,” says Schwarz. The legendary Baja 1000 is run for the 45th time in November, an anniversary that will be hugely celebrated. Four races in total make up the SCORE season: the Laughlin Desert Challenge, the San Felipe 250 (9 to 11 March), the Baja 500 (1 to 3 June) and the Baja 1000 (14 to 17 November).
The season-opener promises to be a true test of grit. At the Laughlin Desert Challenge, ten laps are turned on a sandy seven mile circuit. “Because all classes drive in this sandpit, the circuit becomes extremely rough. Towards the end you get these massive bumps that are so deep your car virtually disappears into them. On top of that there are differences in altitude of up to 250 metres. That’s often underestimated and it’s why the retirement rate is so high,” explains Schwarz.
To prepare for this, Schwarz and the AGM crew are testing with the Trophy Truck in Mexico prior to the race weekend. These tests include working on the suspension set-up. The Baja 1000 in November showed that the more lightweight AGM Truck performed better than its heavier opponents on the twisty passages but not on the long straights.
One of the special characteristics of the Laughlin Desert Challenge it that there is the usual draw for starting positions, but this only applies for the qualifying. This qualifying determines the start positions for the actual race. Moreover, at the Laughlin, two cars start alongside each other. “So it’s important that you get a good starting place and you get away at the start cleanly. Otherwise you end up driving in the dust of the guy in front and afterwards it looks as if you’ve been playing in the sandpit,” states Schwarz.
The Laughlin Desert Challenge motto: Many enemies, much honour. In addition to the usual championship points, extra so-called start and finish points are awarded. Each participant receives further points for each vehicle in his class that starts, and even more points for the vehicles that reach the finish line. This means, the more competition you have in your class, the more points there are to be earned.
And what is the goal of Schwarz and AGM at the season-opener? “The time for testing is over, now it counts,” says Schwarz. “We don’t necessarily have to win in Laughlin, but we’d like to earn as many points as possible towards the championship.”
One thing is already certain: The AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck has again made headlines in the US scene. The press are champing at the bit to see the car up close – and are even more eager to get a ride in this innovative vehicle. For this reason, in the lead up to the race, the team runs a special day for the media on Thursday (12 January) close to Las Vegas.