Oulton Park launches European BoxerCup campaign. After a thrilling and exotic jubilee opening round last march at the mythic Daytona Bike Week (Florida, USA), the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 is back to business in Europe for the second of its ...
Oulton Park launches European BoxerCup campaign.
After a thrilling and exotic jubilee opening round last march at the mythic Daytona Bike Week (Florida, USA), the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 is back to business in Europe for the second of its nine-round championship. Following a warm welcome from British racing fans last year in Donington Park, the 34 permanent BoxerCup riders will again compete alongside the British Superbike championship this coming weekend, but this time a little further up-country in Oulton Park, Cheshire. Unfortunate despite setting pole position in Daytona, Richard Cooper is determined to set the books right in front of his home crowd, and allow the BMW Motorrad Great Britain colours to shine again. Meanwhile, ex- Superbike star Roberto Panichi (I) leads the series from BoxerCup rookie Brian Parriot (USA) and Markus Barth (D).
Another UK circuit set in pastoral parkland surroundings, Oulton Park, like Cadwell and Brands, has a special ambience that only a British track could possibly generate. Oulton's character is established by its peaks and crests and challenging layout. Indeed it is probably one of the trickier UK circuits to learn but a rewarding one to get right. Most of the corners are followed by a good long straight so it is important to get them right and so carry your speed. The Knickerbrook chicane has slowed things down a bit but this is still a circuit of high average speeds.
As well as being unusually long, Oulton is complex, diverse and every one of its turns is notable for some reason or other, making it a real 'rider's circuit' and rewarding of practice and smooth skills. British riders such as Richard Cooper, Barry Burrell, and indeed guest rider David Jefferies - Isle of Man's TT lap record holder, no less ! - could therefore have a conclusive advantage over the rest of the field.
With seven rounds in 2001, eight in 2002, the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup extends to nine races in 2003, during which BMW Motorrad will celebrate its 80th anniversary. And the sporty R 1100 S BoxerCup model can proudly look back to 1923, when the legendary R 32 model was already powered by a flat-twin engine.
Besides providing security and shuttle vehicles at motorcycling's state-of-the-art MotoGP championship, BMW has this season increased its BoxerCup presence at the Grand Prix World championships to six races. Mugello (June 7th), Barcelona (June 14th), Assen (June 28th) and Sachsenring (July 26th) are confirmed venues from last year, while Le Mans (May 24th) and Brno (August 17th) have been added to the racing calendar.
The BMW Motorrad BoxerCup 2003 will also attend the Master of Endurance championship (Spa- Francorchamps, July 5th) and the British Superbike championship in Oulton Park this coming weekend. Note that exceptionally the races in Oulton Park will be held on Monday 5th May, on the 2.775 miles (4.47 km) International racetrack.