BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Oschersleben, 24/08/2014, FIM Endurance World Championship
At the German round of the FIM Endurance World Championship at Oschersleben, the Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team clinched a historical victory on the BMW S 1000 RR. Riders Pedro Vallcaneras, Bastien Mackels and Markus Reiterberger started the weekend with the first overall pole position for a Superstock bike in the world championship before going on to take class victory. In the 8-hour race they finished fourth in the overall ranking.
German Markus Reiterberger started the race first on the RR and set a good pace. Afterwards, his Belgian team mate Bastien Mackels went to the limit and the team around Team Boss Rico Penzkofer the lead in the Superstock classification and, at the same time, a sensational second place overall.
However, during the second pit stop there was a small problem. Both wheels and tyres had to be changed, which cost the team about one and a half laps and dropped them down to tenth overall and third place in the Superstock category. However, Reiterberger, Mackels and Vallcaneras never gave up. After a brief rain shower, which fortunately started just as the team had planned to make a pit stop anyway, Mackels was able to retake the lead in the Superstock class.
The safety car was deployed for 45 minutes two hours before the end of the race, because oil had run onto the wet track. The track had dried at the end of the safety car phase. Mackels pulled into the pits directly to have a new set of intermediate tyres fitted and return to the track immediately. At this time, the Belgian had already sat on the RR for 2 hours and 23 minutes without interruption. There were still another 30 minutes before the end of the race. As a result, he handed over the bike to Reiterberger who brought the Superstock victory home.
“That was a fabulous race,” said Reiterberger. “My first two stints went well, but then we had a small problem in the pits that cost us time. In my second outing I could make up 30 seconds. Afterwards it started to rain and I was on slicks. Bastian took over and could catch up easily. He opened up a good advantage for us. I was running on intermediates during my last stint and tried to just manage the gap to our closest rivals. This was a wonderful first Endurance World Championship race for me, and it was a great honour for me to ride for such an excellent team.“
Bastien Mackels, who also celebrated his birthday during the race weekend, was of the same opinion: “My team gave me the best present possible. It was fantastic to take the pole and then to follow this up with the victory. It was anything but easy. We had to fight hard for it – in the pits just the same as on the track. However, he achieved what we wanted to achieve. It was a perfect weekend for us, so a big thank you to the team, my team mates Markus and Pedro and to all the people who believed in us from the very beginning.“
This victory propelled the Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team up to second overall in the Superstock class in the Endurance World Championship and only nine points behind the leaders from Junior Team LMS Suzuki. This means that the championship will only be decided in the final round at Le Mans on 20-21 September where 60 points are up for grabs. As a result, everything is still to play for – much to the delight of Team Boss Rico Penzkofer: “In the end everything went well for us, however, I was very stressed at the beginning. Last year we had a problem with the rear brake, this year it was changing the front wheel. If this hadn’t happened we could have approached it a bit more calmly and not made life so difficult for ourselves. We could also have finished on the podium in the overall classification. Whatever – we won our home race and this is just fantastic!“