Baja 1000: Monster test with perfect result

Twelfth in the Trophy Truck category, twentieth overall. That’s a great result of the first outing of our new AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck last weekend. We choose nothing else but the grueling Baja 1000 for our first extensive test run under competition conditions. The Baja 1000 is a killer in its own right. But this one was even worse, because a week before the start heavy storms moved in over the Baja California and the torrential rains flooded everything. Martin Christensen had to abort his prerun, and the rains made bad tracks even worse. So the conditions were tough. Here are my impressions.

The start of this Baja 1000 showed again that motorsport can be uncomplicated if you want it to be. A stranded lorry blocked the race route about two miles into the course. So we waited an hour. But then Sal Fish, the president and the mayor of Ensenada just moved to the point were the lorry was and declared that this was now the official starting point. This is how motorsport is concentrated on competition and fun, and not on formalities. Thanks for this, guys!

We had expected to be very competitive on the twisty and narrow bits, and in fact we were faster than the competition. But on the really rough and tough stuff we were too slow, slower than the classical Trophy Trucks. The reason was easy to diagnose: our suspension was still too soft. But we should be able to sort this out in a short time. Our feeling was that we could have gone faster. We did maybe 70 percent of what seemed possible. But we just didn’t want to take any risks. 900 miles of tests under competition conditions are too important and good to have.

There were almost no defects. Ok, we lost air from two tyres because the rims were bent. And while I was on my way during the first 400 miles I heard a noise from the gearbox that started at race mile 250. It became louder and I heard it through all gears. But after 60 miles it was gone. After Martin had taken the wheel for the second stint he heard the noise again. And again, after 70 miles it disappeared. Still, our AGM-team made up their minds to change the gearbox before the race route went up the mountains over to the Pacific side. They had to travel into the desert and change in pitch-black night – for the first time. The change took almost three hours. After the change our AGM-Jimco X6 run like clockwork. No teething troubles, no leaking pipes, no electric gremlins, nothing.

When you read this newsletter Martin and I will very likely be out in the desert with our AGM-Jimco X6 to work on the set-up with our partners from Fox and Eibach.

I can only say a big and heartfelt Thank you to all our partners. All technical components in our Trophy Truck just worked perfect right from the word go. And a special thanks to Remus Exhaust who designed and built a new exhaust for us in record time over there in Germany. Now we don’t have to shout at each other in the cockpit any more!

Well, I’m sitting here in the sunshine state of California and it’s raining while I hear about the fantastic autumn weather in Bavaria, Germany. But that’s all right with me. The weather can’t be bad enough for testing. So let’s go for it!




About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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