BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Red Star Raceway, South Africa, 24/02/2016, South African Motorcycle Road Racing Championship
The international BMW Motorrad Motorsport family kicked off the 2016 season with the opening race in the South African SuperGP Champions Trophy (RSA SBK) at the Red Star Raceway. The result was a first podium of the year for the BMW S 1000 RR: Daryn Upton finished third in the first of the two races that made up the opening round.
This year, more BMW racers than ever will start in South Africa. BMW Motorrad South Africa is offering them comprehensive support with an extensive customer racing package.
“The interest in motorsport is very big in South Africa. As such, we started to position the RR in a racing environment last year,” explained Alexander Baraka, General Manager BMW Motorrad South Africa. “We are now extending this, with the goal being to attract more privateer teams to BMW and to further raise awareness of the innovative and unique concept of the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy in South Africa.”
This approach has proven to be successful: ten BMW riders competed in the various classes at the season-opener at the Red Star Raceway. They will be joined by even more in the coming races, taking the total number of BMW S 1000 RRs on this season’s grid as high as 15 or 16.
“Our concept has been very well received,” said Baraka. “For us it is all about supporting customer racing teams. That is the fundamental global philosophy, which BMW Motorrad Motorsport is pursuing around the world. We have seen that there are an awful lot of committed motorcycle racers here in South Africa, who have never received the acknowledgement they actually deserve. The BMW Motorrad Motorsport programme and the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy give them that acknowledgement. Here they are part of a global racing family and receive the local support they need on-site. This idea is warmly received by the riders, who are thrilled with the support we are able to offer them.”
The comprehensive package offered by BMW Motorrad South Africa is full of benefits for privateer BMW racers. For example, they receive the BMW S 1000 RR at a discounted price. However, they are also taught how to exhaust the full potential of the RR out on the racetrack – by the experts at BMW Motorrad Motorsport. “The technology behind the bike, and the possibilities it opens, are becoming ever more sophisticated. We help our riders to understand it,” Baraka explained.
One such training course took place in the days immediately after the start of the season at the Red Star Raceway. A BMW Motorrad Motorsport engineer from Munich was on-site to ensure that the riders and teams are familiar with the details of the RR and HP Race Parts, and also offered them set-up training. The expert from Munich was also on-site to assist the teams during the opening races of the season, offering advice on any questions regarding the latest technology.
Furthermore, BMW Motorrad South Africa also offers financial support to customer racing teams in the RSA SBK. “We pay their start fees and provide each rider with one set of tyres per race. Each rider also receives financial support for parts – in the form of a parts fund, amounting to 15,000 Rand, which he can use at his respective dealer,” said Baraka.
The South African BMW Motorrad community tasted its first success of the season at the opening round at the Red Star Raceway – the first podium of the year for the RR. This came courtesy of Daryn Upton, who was the most successful BMW rider on the first race weekend of the RSA SBK in the highest category, the SuperGP class. The SuperGP class is the category rated for the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. Upton finished third in the first of the two races. He then crossed the finish line in fourth place in race two.
Lance Isaacs came home seventh and fifth on his LIR BMW S 1000 RR. The third-best BMW rider was Nicolas Grobler, who finished eighth twice. Nicholas Kershaw crossed the line in tenth and ninth respectively on his RR. Ronald Slamet failed to finish race one and claimed 12th in race two.
Round two of the 2016 RSA SBK takes place on 12th March at the Phakisa Freeway.