BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Donington, Great Britain, 21/09/2016,
The BMW Motorrad Motorsport community can celebrate an historic world championship title: at the season finale in Donington, Finnish duo Pekka Päivärinta/Kirsi Kainulainen were crowned the 2016 FIM Sidecar World Champions. Kainulainen is the first ever woman to win a world title in road racing. Their 44-Racing sidecar is powered by a BMW S 1000 RR engine, and the BMW Motorrad Motorsport experts supported Päivärinta/Kainulainen in setting up the components. Together with the team, the specialists modified and set up the powerful BMW engine in order to perfectly match the special requirements in a modern sidecar.
Over the course of the season, the “Flying Finns” have been the most consistent team. They finished all nine races on the podium, including their historic win at the end of June at Pannonia-Ring, when Kainulainen was the first ever woman to win a world championship race in road racing.
They arrived at the final weekend at Donington with an advantage of 23 points over their closest rivals. As such, they just had to collect three further points in the last race of the season to secure the title. However, Päivärinta/Kainulainen once more showed a brilliant performance and raced to second place on the podium. In the final standings, they ended the season with 177 points to their name and an advantage of 18 points.
“This is unbelievable, I am a World Champion,” said an emotional Kainulainen after the race. “I have to thank everybody who has made this possible, all our sponsors, and fans. And I have to thank Pekka too; he has helped me so much.”
“This has not really sunk in right now, but I am so happy,” added Päivärinta, now a five-time world Champion. “Unbelievable! Big, big thanks to Kirsi, she is great, what a passenger, I am so pleased for her being champion now. I have to thank all the sponsors who have stuck with us over the years and a big thank you to all our fans who have travelled all over the world to support us, a massive thank you to you all.”
It was the first world championship title in sidecar racing for BMW since 1974, when Klaus Enders and Ralf Engelhardt finished the season as world champions. The German brand had dominated sidecar racing from the 1950ies to the 1970ies, winning a total of 21 world championship titles between 1954 and 1974.
“What a great success! Congratulations to Pekka and Kirsi, the 2016 Sidecar World Champions,” said Uwe Geyer, Head of BMW Motorrad Motorsport Marketing. “BMW has a long and successful history in sidecar racing. It is amazing that Pekka and Kirsi continued this tradition and claimed this historic world championship title with BMW power. We as BMW Motorrad Motorsport are very proud of having contributed to this success.”