Armin Schwarz newsletter 2009-03-31
Armin Schwarz Newsletter 31 March: Not for the faint-hearted: dust Dear friends, partners, sponsors, While we are working very hard turning an exciting idea into reality, which I will tell you about in several weeks, I want to take you now on ...
Armin Schwarz Newsletter 31 March: Not for the faint-hearted: dust
Dear friends, partners, sponsors,
While we are working very hard turning an exciting idea into reality, which I will tell you about in several weeks, I want to take you now on a short trip into the desert. There is not a lot to see, but it's really very adventurous - particularly in the cockpit. Here we go ... We are zooming through the desert at about 160 kph. 200 metres in front of us is a rival, a long cloud of dust behind him. When the wind blows the dust flies out to the side and we can catch up without a problem. But at 50 to 60 metres away the dust thickens. And then it's a case of flying blind at full speed. So here we are belting along with zero viz behind the guy in front and poke the nose of our Buggy out to the left or right. Can we get past? And all this at a hellish pace. We pray the guy in front doesn't do anything stupid. And hopefully there isn't a big rock waiting for our suspension in the sand ... at the next chance I must make a snap decision: Get out of the dust and get past.
Dust at speed: no problem for the visibility
Dust is not only a challenge at high speed but also when we have to plough our way through knee-deep desert sand, when we drive as if in slow motion, when all temperatures soar and the 640hp Buggy slowly becomes feverish. Unlike going at high speed, the air around us turns into impenetrable yellow, red, brown, grey and black - that's how the dust looks now. In the cockpit it is as if we've had a volcanic eruption: everything disappears under a layer of dust.
My helmet with the pipe for fresh air The navigator tries to see the GPS data on the screen - almost impossible. I do all the tricks in the book to get us out this bone-dry mess. But our engine and we breath perfectly clean and dust free air. This is thanks to K&N Engineering, a specialist company based in Riverside, California, that manufactures high performance air and oil filters. The filters are made out of cotton gauze and they are reusable after cleaning; wash it, oil it and use it again!
Bread crumbed navigator: Bryan's helmet visor had a crack Our V8 breaths through two of these filters in truck dimensions. They are situated behind our seats in the floor space. Under the seats are the air inlets for our helmet ventilation with filters from K&N. A fan forces fresh air into our helmets where there is a slight over-pressure. That keeps the dust out and the air flow keeps the inside of our helmets cool so that we don't sweat too much. Looks dusty from the outside, is safe and comfortable from the inside - a big "THANKS" from here to our friends at K&N!
While I'm dictating this newsletter on the telephone, I'm busy packing my bag to get to the airport and catch a plane to Portugal. From there I'll be reporting the WRC round for Europe's largest private TV station, RTL TV.
More from me in two weeks. I'm already looking forward to it!