Monday, July 27, 2009

HP motor racing, Neiden-Torgau, D

It could hardly have been more extreme. The 24-hour race of the BABOONS Endurance-Days in Torgau near Leipzig turned out to be torturous for both man and machine alike. Shortly before the start on the eve of Whitsunday at 5 p.m. all the heavens opened up - and didn´t close again until the next morning. Hence, the almost 10-kilometre long circuit turned into one big "mud pack".

extreme HP motor racing

Despite these adverse conditions the atmosphere at the track and among the participants was great, even among the BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil that went to take up their starting positions in a prominent, international array with the BMW HP2 Enduro. Simo Kirssi (Finland), Jimmy Lewis, Jonah Street (both USA) and Markus Theobald (Germany) fought for every metre in the Prestige Class. In this class, four motorcyclists ride the same motorcycle alternately.

BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil

Notable at the start: Kirssi got into the lead at the start with no trouble at all and remained in the very top group for a long time at first. In the subsequent course of the race, the HP2 were always between fourth and sixth place during the evening and throughout the whole night.

BMW HP2 Enduro. Simo Kirssi

In the box, there was a great deal to do. Heavy mud had to be cleared as much as possible from the motorcycle time and again and small repairs had to be carried out. The team worked intensively round the clock. At about 7 a.m. the bad news then broke: power loss on the left cylinder. The thick mud had resulted in cooling problems. Thus, after exactly 14 hours and 46 laps, the team was prematurely out of the race. At this moment, the HP2 Enduro was in fourth position close behind third place.

Markus Theobald Neiden-Torgau, D

Under these conditions, the track proved to be materially murderous. Almost 50 percent of the teams competing in the Prestige Class met the same fate as the BMW Motorrad Enduro Team Feil.

BMW Motorrad Berti Hauser

In spite of the breakdown, the BMW camp was not low in spirits. According to BMW Motorrad sports manager Berti Hauser: "The mood at the track was terrific. We will also be competing here again in 2006." The BMW participation was regarded as a success because the HP2 has shown once again that it can keep up in the leading group of sports motorcycles.

HP2 Enduro Simo Kirssi

Even Jimmy Lewis (several times a competitor in the Paris-Dakar) was bowled over: "It was really great. I never imagined it would be so difficult. I´d love to come again." And Simo Kirssi: "It was too bad that we couldn´t ride till the end. I was really dying to show what the HP2 Enduro was made of."

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