AHRMA wraps up competition. Udo Gietl returns to Daytona by way of the BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 4, 2003) - Udo Gietl's fame has grown in the 16 years since he was involved with racing at Daytona. Gietl, ...
AHRMA wraps up competition.
Udo Gietl returns to Daytona by way of the BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 4, 2003) - Udo Gietl's fame has grown in the 16 years since he was involved with racing at Daytona. Gietl, a 62-year-old native of Germany, who now makes Oxnard, Calif., his home, is perhaps the best-known team manager from the early days of AMA Superbike racing.
Gietl managed BMW's and later Honda's Superbike racing teams in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a Gietl-built BMW ridden by Steve McLaughlin that won the very first AMA Superbike Series race at Daytona in 1976.
Gietl's legend has grown along with the popularity of the series, in spite of the fact that Gietl last managed a Superbike racing team in 1987. He is back at the Speedway this March leading the technical staff of the BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup - an international racing series competing in the United States for the first time.
"For the last four years I've been campaigning a racing sailboat," Gietl said. "I guess BMW felt I needed to come out retirement and get back into motorcycle racing. I'll be involved in the entire series."
Superbike fans best remember Gietl for his days of taking BMW R90S touring bikes and converting them into the state-of-the-art AMA Superbike of the mid-1970s. It seemed that everything that Gietl touched turned to gold.
After BMW left the AMA Superbike Series, Honda hired him to head up its new team and it promptly became the dominant team in the championship. After he left motorcycle racing he spent nine years in auto racing before turning his attention to boats. A 56-foot sailboat Gietl spent three years building is the one to beat in Southern California waters.
Gietl's 1970s era BMW Superbikes where way ahead of their time. Only today are the production models meeting the performance his bikes obtain nearly 30 years ago.
"It's funny," Gietl smiles. "I'm seeing many things that we were doing then on the bikes of today. I ran the dyno the last couple of weeks even those numbers were the same. It's feels like déjà vu."
The growth of AMA Superbike racing comes as no surprise to Gietl.
"We knew sooner or later, even back then, that Superbike would become the premier event," Gietl claims. "A lot of people do not realize the influences of the Frances. They helped build up Superbikes because they felt it was so close to NASCAR style racing."
Gietl now comes full circle in his association with the BMW BoxerCup.
"I'm back with BMW and it's something near and dear to my heart," Gietl says. "Working with these Boxer Twins is something I've always enjoyed. I have found memories of the early Superbike days so it's nice to get back to this."
The BMW Motorrad International BoxerCup will compete on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
AHRMA Wraps Up: American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association completed its two-day event.
In one of the feature events on Tuesday, three-time AMA Grand National champion Jay Springsteen, riding a 1972 Harley-Davidson, captured the Formula Vintage. Springsteen battled with 1967 Daytona 200 winner Gary Nixon for most of the race before Nixon's 1970 Honda had some electrical problems.
"It got a bunch of water in there (carbs)," Nixon said. "We had a good race going there and then (my bike) went off on three and then two (cylinders). It was still a bunch of fun."
Next up: On tap for Wednesday at the Speedway is practice sessions for Supersport, Superstock, MBNA Grand Prix, BMW BoxerCup and Superbike (Daytona 200).
Tickets for any of the upcoming events at the Speedway are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.