BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Le Mans, France, 13/04/2016,
The FIM Sidecar World Championship kick started its 2016 season on the same bill as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The sidecars held their race on Saturday morning – in extremely miserable weather conditions. Torrential rain started to fall shortly before the start of the race, which took place in bitterly cold temperatures.
The water was so deep out on the track and the spray made visibility so poor that the race had to be suspended after just two laps. After the re-start, the race was reduced to 12 laps, but the conditions were not much better.
While there were a lot of spins and crashes, the Finnish BMW duo of Pekka Päivärinta and Kirsi Kainulainen (44-Racing) mastered the conditions superbly. The pair that finished third in last year’s world championship finished runners-up to start the season with a podium. Kainulainen was so cold after the race that he required assistance to remove his gloves. Even on the way to the podium he was still absolutely frozen and shaking like a leaf.
Fellow BMW riders Mike Roscher and Anna Burkard (Roscher-Burkard Penz13 Racing) returned to the garage on lap three after the re-start. Roscher felt the conditions were too dangerous, with a risk of aquaplaning and extremely poor vision, and opted not to continue.
The next event in the SWC takes place in Rijeka, Croatia, on 18th and 19th June.