BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Munich, 11/03/2015, BMW Road Race Challenge
They look back on a long history and enjoy ever-increasing popularity – the greatest road races. Hardly surprising that BMW Motorrad created the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge, a dedicated category within the Race Trophy 2015, to ensure that road racers also have a clear shot at winning the title of best BMW privateer rider.
The BMW Combined Road Race Challenge includes the legendary Isle of Man TT, the North West 200, the Ulster Grand Prix and the Macau Grand Prix. BMW Motorrad Race Trophy participants in any class can score points in eleven races, whereby the worst race result is evaluated as ‘dropped score’.
The highlight of the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge is without doubt the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy), which is held annually in June on the island of the same name. Venue of this, the world’s oldest motorbike race, is the Snaefell Mountain Course. Contrary to what the name suggests, it is not a permanent track, but in fact a host of normal roads closed to the public during the event.
The track is over 60 kilometres long and makes demands of man and machine like no other race. Remembering every corner and braking point is almost impossible. Dense fog in the mountains is not uncommon. Furthermore, the racers blast closely past houses, stonewalls and earth banks. Under these conditions, the intrepid racers reach average speeds of up to 209 kilometers per hour on their rapid machines. In comparison, during a Grand Prix on a permanent race track, an average of only 160 kilometres per hour is often measured. The current top speed reached at the TT is 332 km/h.
Heroes are born at the Tourist Trophy (TT). The first hero on a BMW was Schorsch Meier, who became the first foreigner on his Type 255 Compressor to win the Senior TT in 1939. Exactly 75 years later, Michael Dunlop – son of legendary road racer Robert Dunlop – won the next title for BMW on his S 1000 RR. He did not just win the Senior TT, but also the Superbike and Superstock races and, in doing so, claimed a lasting place in BMW Motorrad history.
A whole 335 kilometres per hour – just three more km/h than at the TT – is the highest top speed achieved to date in the North West 200. As a result, it is one of the world’s fastest road races and is held on public roads through the towns of Portstewart, Coleraine and Portrush in Northern Ireland.
Riders on the BMW RR took victories in the Superbike and Superstock classes in 2014.
The region around Belfast, also in Northern Ireland, is home to the Ulster Grand Prix. Between 1935 and 1948, an European championship title was awarded here, and from 1949 to 1971 the Grand Prix was part of the motorcycle world championship.
The Dundrod Circuit, on which the Ulster Grand Prix is staged, is almost 12 kilometres long, and is, of course, comprised of public roads. Above all, BMW made a name for itself at the Ulster Grand Prix with the sidecars. BMW teams claimed victory in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In 2014, the RR was unbeatable in qualifying for the Superstock race.
At the Macau Grand Prix, daring riders blast around the narrow streets of the Chinese special administrative zone Macau. Every year in November, hundreds of motorbike and car racers compete in different categories for honour and glory.
The motorbike race has been a part of the Grand Prix weekend since 1967. The Macau Grand Prix has a reputation of producing future Formula 1, MotoGP and Superbike World Championship talents. The winners’ list for the motorbike race leaves no doubts about this. Legends like Kevin Schwantz, Carl Fogarty, Ron Haslam and Michael Rutter are multiple winners. In 2014, Briton Martin Jessop clinched an excellent third place on a BMW S 1000 RR.
Numerous privateer BMW Motorrad riders will accept the challenge of the popular road races in 2015. Especially Tyco BMW team rider Guy Martin. With last year’s winning machine, the BMW S 1000 RR, his aim is to finally mount the top step of the podium at the Isle of Man TT. The list also includes the riders from the Penz13.com team around former racer Rico Penzkofer, who is already committed to competing in the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix. And not forgetting British racer Maria Costello, who aims to break her own personal lap records this year on a BMW S 1000 RR at the TT, Ulster Grand Prix and North West 200.
Udo Mark, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Marketing Director, is pleased: “With the BMW Combined Road Race Challenge, we have created a category in which the road racers can score points regularly throughout the year for the BMW Motorrad Race Trophy. Our goal is to create a level playground for riders not contesting a typical racing series, but who compete in road races and who fly the flag for BMW Motorrad at the same time. We look forward to many exciting results at these spectacular events and venues.”