BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Oschersleben, Germany, 31/08/2016, FIM Endurance World Championship
The Penz13.com BMW Motorrad team rounded off the 2016 season of the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) with a sensational success: At the season finale, “8 Hours EWC Oschersleben”, Kenny Foray and Lukáš Pešek claimed third place with the number 13 BMW S 1000 RR – meaning that Rico Penzkofer’s team secured a first podium in the elite class of endurance racing, in front of a home crowd in the Magdeburger Börde region.
After eight long hours of racing in hot summer temperatures, Penzkofer and the riders Foray and Pešek enjoyed the taste of champagne on the winners’ rostrum. The Penz13.com team secured the well-deserved podium finish with a faultless performance. The privateer team showed just how well it can compete with the major works teams in the EWC. 2016 is just the second year of competition for the team in the elite Superbike class EWC (EWC SBK).
They had originally planned to race with a trio of riders in the eight-hour race: Foray and Pešek were due to be joined in the saddle by Matthieu Lussiana on the number 13 RR. However, Lussiana was loaned out at short notice to sister team Völpker NRT48 by Schubert-Motors, replacing Dominik Vincon after his injury in qualifying. Foray and Pešek shared riding duties. The race had some turbulent phases, but the duo raced confidently and lapped at a good pace, while the pit crew put on a perfect performance too. Starting from sixth place, they progressed gradually through the field, moved into third on lap six and defended this position until the chequered flag. One major key to this success was the low fuel consumption of the BMW. The RR enabled the Penz13.com team to save a complete pit stop compared to the other teams!
The team celebrated exuberantly at the end of the race. “Unbelievable, I am over the moon. We moved up to the EWC about a year ago and we always intended to be successful here,” said Penzkofer. “We had a lot to learn in the first races in this class, but today we showed that we have learned from our mistakes and we had a bit of luck as well.”
The Völpker NRT48 by Schubert-Motors team arrived for the season finale in Oschersleben at the top of the standings in the Superstock class (EWC STK), the FIM Endurance World Cup. However, Ingo Nowaczyk’s team was dramatically prevented from capitalising on home advantage, having surprised everyone so far this season. After crashing in qualifying, Dominik Vincon suffered a broken femur and a broken arm. From his hospital bed in Magdeburg, he was able to watch as team-mates Bastian Mackels and Stefan Kerschbaumer continued their title chase, supported by replacement rider Matthieu Lussiana.
They were not at fault when this chase came to an abrupt end. In the second hour, a massive oil spill on the track caused a number of riders to crash - including Mackels. The Belgian racer had no chance of controlling the RR on the oily surface. The damage to the motorbike was so serious that Völpker NRT48 had to retire from the race. The team from Oschersleben claimed third place in the championship standings. “That is some consolation at least,” said Vincon of the bronze medal that his team-mates brought to the hospital for him.
A total of seven BMW S 1000 RRs competed at Oschersleben, and five of these reached the chequered flag at the end of the race. Team Lukoil BMW Motorrad CSEU recorded a strong seventh-place finish with the number 52 RR, ridden by Roland Resch, Julian Mayer and Fabrizio Lai. msd-steeldesign powered by Motorex (number 6, Onno Bitter, Udo Wilhelm-Heine, Matthias Kettner) ended the race in 18th position. Twenty-first place went to Team LRP Poland, competing with the number 90 RR and riders Bartlomiej Lewandowski, Marcin Walkowiak and Pawel Gorka. Road racer Didier Grams finished in 23rd, alongside team-mates Rico Löwe and Sascha Hommel on the GERT 56 HMT by rs speedbikes number 56 RR.
Oschersleben may have been the finale of the 2016 season, but competition continues in three weeks (17th/18th September). The famous 24-hour race “Bol d’Or” at Le Castellet in the south of France marks the start of the new FIM Endurance World Championship season, which is being held over two calendar years. The season begins in September 2016 and is scheduled to finish with the “Suzuka 8 Hours” in July 2017.