TOP NEWS – At infamous BAJA 1000 All German Motorsports aims for the SCORE title …

BAJA 1000 – German rally aces ready for punishing tour
• Rough ride: Baja California stages ultimate offroad chase
• Make way: All German Motorsports turn loose two top-manned Buggys
• Early start: AGM teams Schwarz/Christensen and Kremer/Aigner at pre-run

12 Nov. 2009. Buckle up and hold on tight: Almost a week from now the countdown begins to the infamous BAJA 1000, the ultimate offroad chase through Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. From 19th to 22nd November, another very special challenge awaits competitors. When the flag drops on Friday morning on the 20th November in the Mexican city of Ensenada, the most punishing of all desert rallies takes off over exactly 672.85 miles (ca. 1082 km) on the most brutal gravel tracks – non-stop day and night!
And that couldn’t be better for the experienced rally professionals from All German Motorsports (AGM). Germany’s Armin Schwarz and Armin Kremer as well as their teammates, the young Austrian Andreas Aigner and AGM team owner Martin Christensen travel highly motivated to the fifth and final round of the American SCORE Series, the world’s best supported and most fiercely-contested offroad race. At the dress rehearsal on the occasion of the SCORE PRIMM 300 on the outskirts of Las Vegas, the AGM top pairing, Schwarz/Christensen, thundered home first in their ‘Class 1 Unlimited’ Buggy. Previously at the SCORE BAJA 500 in May, the German/Austrian AGM duo Kremer/Aigner gave a demonstration of their offroad prowess at their first race together, only narrowly missing out on a podium result in their ca. 640 hp prototype.
There is no wilder west: The interest in the SCORE BAJA 1000 is massive. Many television stations are back this year, including major American TV stations, to report on the world’s oldest and most famous offroad race. Entries are received until shortly before the start. Already at this stage, 325 teams from 13 countries have entered. Competing alongside the US elite, which includes Robby Gordon, B.J. Baldwin, Roger Norman and Mexico’s top pilot Gus Vildosola in their 850 hp Trophy Trucks are two teams from All German Motorsports in their “Class 1 Unlimited’ Buggys. “Behind us we have an experienced squad. We certainly don’t have to hide though,” said a confident Armin Schwarz. “We are well prepared and have a clear goal. Martin and I are fighting for the SCORE title and so we have to keep a close eye on our class rivals, Harley Letner and Randy Wilson. Behind the Trophy Trucks I’m the first ‘Class 1’ Buggy to take off. There is a chance we could clinch the overall win but having set our sights on the Class 1 title we won’t be taking any unnecessary risks.”
Meanwhile, the second AGM duo Armin Kremer and Andreas Aigner are looking for a clear run. “If that’s at all possible with a 30 second gap between starters,” said start driver Kremer, putting the situation into perspective. “But first we have to eat the dust of the Trophy Trucks, not to mention Armin’s, who starts two minutes in front of us.” His young teammate is less perturbed about the challenge: “Okay, the BAJA 1000 is tough, but I learned a lot at the 500 event, mostly how to conserve the power of man and machine. Moreover, of everyone in the team I’m the one with the most time to prepare myself physically for the extreme stresses.”
Before the two AGM Buggys take off from the Mexican harbour city of Ensenada to tackle the BAJA 1000, there is first the pre-run for competitors to familiarise themselves with the route. For the first time, the AGM crews will go their separate ways. Team boss Martin Christensen explains: “We now will come with two ‘pre-runners’. The two Armins and their navigators who do the first stint will drive their bit. Andi and I plus our navigators share the second four-seater pre-runner to check out the second 500 kilometre route.” The Californian with Danish roots secured a class win at the BAJA 1000 in the early nineties and knows what he is talking about: “I basically know the route and its worst stumbling blocks. Our main focus during practice is therefore any changes made due to weather conditions.”
Armin Schwarz knows about 70 percent of the route. That leaves the former works pilot, who has 121 WRC rounds under his belt, a good 200 unfamiliar miles – that’s the same as the entire special stages of a WRC rally. “Even if the others have roared up and down the track for days or even weeks, we’re not worried about it,” said the Bavarian. “We have top navigators who, like us Europeans, can quickly and precisely adapt the pace notes if necessary.” Armin Kremer already knows what he’s facing after his mad solo dash at the SCORE San Felipe 250 at the beginning of the year: “This time the BAJA 1000 route runs from Ensenada in the northwest over to the southeast part of the Baja California and down to San Felipe. It’s important that we pace ourselves. At the speed we go, you simply must be able to correctly judge each and every bump, hump, and crest not to mention the holes, rocks and stones, as well as the ultra-soft silt passages.” A good pre-run is the basis for success – a reliable and fast machine and you’re half way there.
For this reason, a final test will be conducted near the AGM headquarters in southern California. “Martin and his team have further developed the Buggys,” smiled Schwarz. “Thanks to a hydraulic clutch we can do without the vulnerable torque limiter and minimize the stresses on the power train and transmission in the extreme terrain. Moreover, we’ve refined the suspension with Bilstein and Eibach. All in all, it should now be softer and more agile. That takes the pressure off the chassis, the suspension and the engine and also provides better traction. I’m very curious – particularly heading to the BAJA 1000. The race is really the craziest you’ll ever encounter. Anything is possible – for us hopefully the SCORE title.”

Facts and figures
• 42nd Tecate SCORE BAJA 1000 – the race
– notoriously famous classic on the Mexican Baja California peninsula
– oldest offroad race in the world, inaugurated 1967, over 672.85 miles
– driven nonstop day and night. Service is permitted anywhere and anytime
except from the air – the clock’s ticking mercilessly
– Start and finish in Ensenada (MEX), first car starts on 26 Nov. at 09.00 hrs
• All German Motorsports (AGM) – the team
– The AGM team has its headquarters in Ensenada, near San Diego in southern California
– At the BAJA 1000 a good dozen service vehicles are on hand for the two AGM race Buggys and a total of 80 AGM team members
• A strong quartet – the AGM pilots
– sharing the #100 AGM Buggy are
Start driver Armin Schwarz (46) with navigator Bryan Lyttle (29)
followed by Martin Christensen (41) with navigator Tyler Irwin (24)
– sharing the #104 AGM Buggy are
Start driver Armin Kremer (40) with navigator Sam Osman (22)
followed by Andreas Aigner (25) with navigator Greg Grassman (39)
• AGM Buggys – the race vehicle
– “Unlimited Class-1” Buggy prototypes with RWD
– Top speed ca. 220 km/h, 0 – 100 km/h ca. 4.7 sec, weight 1750 kg
# 100 Jimco-Chassis with mid-engine BMW V8, ca. 640 hp
# 104 Jimco-Chassis with rear-engine Chevrolet V8, ca. 640 hp
Powerpack - AGM drivers Andreas Aigner - Armin Kremer - Martin Christensen - Armin Schwarz (from left)
Flat out- AGM buggy on it's way to rock the Baja California
up up and away - former German & European rally champions Armin Schwarz and Armin Kremer goes from the startline