Following on from its successful return to World Championship motorcycle racing last year, BMW Motorrad Motorsport will once again be taking part in at least three World Endurance Championship races in 2008, but will also be taking on a new challenge this season - the prestigious Daytona 200 race.
The team will be taking part in the Formula Extreme class with four riders - German Rico Penzkofer, Briton Richard Cooper and Americans Brian Parriott and Nate Kern. Richard replaces Austrian Thomas Hinterreiter, who sustained a broken hand in practice, but he is no stranger to the bike as he rode it in last year’s World Endurance Championship. All four riders will compete on BMW HP2 Sports and are looking forward to 200 mile (322 kilometres) race at the world famous Daytona Speedway.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team Manager):
Four bikes are a lot of work, but we’re all looking forward to this kind of challenge. Our combination of riders mixes local knowledge, together with speed and experience and, with this kind of combination, I think we can achieve a good result.
The Daytona 200 is a race like no other, but we have some experience of pit-stops from the World Endurance Championship races we did last year, so this aspect does not worry us. It’s going to be a very, long, hard race and we’re competing against the best racers in USA - most of whom have heaps and heaps of experience of this race.
We have some useful data from the tyre tests at the track last December and Nate and Brian know the circuit well, so we hope we can get the bikes dialled in and set up more or less straightaway.
Because Daytona is such a high-speed track, we know we are going to suffer in that area, but the HP2 is good on the brakes and accelerating out of the turns, so I think we’ll give the others a real run for the money in the infield section for sure.
A lot of the track is about slipstreaming and our riders have to use this well in order to stay with the fast guys, but what we’re looking for are good performances and finishes by all four riders. We have a big following of fans in USA and we hope to give them all something to cheer about on Saturday.