BMW Motorrad Boxer Cup Spa preview

After a dramatic race last weekend at the historic Assen circuit in Holland, the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 heads for another spectacular circuit this weekend with the seventh round of the series heading for the hills of Spa-Francorchamps in ...

After a dramatic race last weekend at the historic Assen circuit in Holland, the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 heads for another spectacular circuit this weekend with the seventh round of the series heading for the hills of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Local rider Sebastian Legrelle can't wait to get out on the track he knows so well after taking his first 2003 BoxerCup victory at Assen last weekend in a rain interrupted race. Switzerland's Andy Hoffman leads the championship by just 4 points due to his consistency of only finishing once off the podium after six races. This weekend's race is a supporting event to the 24 hours of Liege.

Once more the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 has shown to be ultra competitive with five different winners coming from six rounds so far this year. Sebastian Legrelle, Roberto Panichi (I), Thomas Hintereiter (O), Alessandro Tomassoni (I) and Richard Cooper (GB) have each taken wins but only Panichi has had the pleasure of taking two victories. The Italian and his Dream Car team have had an unlucky streak over the past two rounds at Barcelona and Assen. The reigning champion fell when leading in Spain and then had a brake disc complication as his wheels were changed from dry to wet tyres under raining skies in Holland to leave him with his last score being back in Mugello. However, the smooth riding Italian knows how to handle the pressure and will be squeezing every last gram of power from his BMW R1100S this weekend in order to get his championship back on course.

The Spa Francorchamps circuit is one of the great tracks that is talked about with legendary status. Conceived in 1921 for the Belgian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the majestic 12 kms road course was both respected and feared by all who rode on it. The Ardennes hill track was then redeveloped in 1983 with a shorter circuit reducing its length to 6.96 kms, but for all purists and fans the world over it thankfully kept much of its character and charm. Public roads are still utilised through the Stavelot, Blanchimont, La Source and Eau Rouge corners.

Last year's race was held in typically Spa Francorchamps conditions with rain making the track treacherous, but not enough for Team Great Britain's Richard Cooper to take his debut victory in the class. This year has already seen wet races at Le Mans and Assen with Tomassoni winning in France and Fernando Cristobal (E) taking the short 3 lap dash to the flag in the aggregate Dutch round. This makes them hot favourites for the win alongside the championship leaders.

The VIP riders this weekend are to be Graeme Wilshaw (AUS), Wolfgang Zeyen (D) and José Barresi (VEN), Greg White (USA).

The Spa Francorchamps circuit is well known to not only the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup, but also to many of their M3 series cars that have won the Spa 24 hour race at the track. With three races remaining in this year's BoxerCup, the winner of a brand new M3 is too close to call.

The race takes place on Saturday 5th July at 12.45 over 10 laps.

-bmw-

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Series Other bike
Drivers Richard Cooper , Greg White