01 – Welcome to performance
We have another great Performance Magazine full of diverse stories for you this time. The motorsport year is in full swing so of course we’ve taken a look around some of the many championships where our products are used…
On four wheels the Nürburgring 24 hours was once again exciting and Audi took a great victory with their new Audi R8 GT3. Looking at two wheels, at the pinnacle we have MotoGP where a rejuvenated Valentino Rossi is back in the championship fight. At the time of writing he’s leading the title race and we have seen some great on track battles between Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez. We’ve also seen important results in many national championships, and summarised some of the motorsport success so far this year in this issue.
This edition also contains an insider view of the technologically advanced Yamaha YZF-R1M from its World launch in Australia, an unbelievable Supercar from Canada and a look at the fast, frantic and frozen world of ice racing.
We also take a look at the new product line from Öhlins aimed at Harley-Davidson riders, the Öhlins Blackline range.
As well as current racing successes we look back at some of the Champions who have made Öhlins ‘famous’ – in our Hall of Fame.
During the spring we also redesigned our website and have included a new easy to use product database, which is just one of many additions to the new www.ohlins.com.
Enjoy the read and as always we welcome your feedback on what you want to see and read!
Marketing Manager – Öhlins Racing AB
02 – Ice, ice, racing…
The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is probably never truer than with the above picture of 2008 Individual Ice Racing European Champion Frank Zorn. Cranked over at an almost impossible angle, his handlebar just centimetres from the ground and ice spraying up behind him… he somehow makes Marc Marquez’s gravity defying feats in MotoGP look almost tame…
The chances are though that unless you are based in some of the colder regions of Europe or America, you might never have heard of Frank, or Ice Speedway… so just what is this unique sport?
Naturally, as its name dictates it is very similar to regular Speedway, with the ice version typically filling the off-season gap left by the shale based version and running between the months of December and March. With various World, European and National Championships, Ice Racing is held across various countries but is most prevalent in Russia, Sweden, Finland and America alongside major events being held in the Netherlands and Germany.
With their winter months regularly starting as early as October, it is the Russians who are most dominant in the sport, having won all but one of the Ice Racing World Championships since 1996! Following the format of regular Speedway meetings, each race sees four riders line up either representing as individuals or as part of a club. They then go head to head over four laps of the ice oval, which is typically between 260-425 metres in length. The winner of each race receives three points, the runner up two points and the final podium rider receiving one.
Whilst the machines appear very similar to their shale racing counterparts, the 500cc single-cylinder powered motorcycles do have some stark differences.
Alongside a slightly longer wheelbase and a more rigid frame, the biggest difference is in the form of the studded tyres, which comprises of metal spikes, of up to 28mm in length, which are screwed into each tyre. The front tyre can consist of up to 120 individual spikes, while the rear has somewhere between 180 and 200. The addition of these spikes adds yet another dangerous element to the sport and necessitates that each machine has special protective guards, similar to mudguards, placed over the tyres in an attempt to try and reduce the possibility of major injury during a collision or fall.
Thanks to the immense grip provided by these special tyres, it means that Ice Speedway riders have an incredibly different style of riding. Rather than the traditional broadsiding that people are used to from shale-based riders, Ice Speedway sees riders able to throw their machines into the ice at incredible lean angles. The other most important aspect of an Ice Racing motorcycle that differs from traditional is the suspension. With an average race speed of 100kph, it plays a vital role in enabling the rider to smoothly get the power to the ice. Unlike ‘normal’ Speedway, where there is no rear shock, Ice Speedway also requires full front and rear suspension.
Last season, Öhlins featured on ten machines in the World Championship, with each rider using the universal FG324 Road and Track front forks for their motorcycle, as with no brakes they are easy to fit. At the rear of the machine, riders use the S46PR1C1 Shock absorber whilst Öhlins Steering Dampers are also very well appreciated by the riders in rutted conditions.
An enthusiast of the sport, Wim Peters is also Business Development and Export Manager of Öhlins DTC, “Ice Speedway is top-level racing” he says, “Even though it might not have the same level of popularity as regular Speedway. More than anything, suspension plays a vital role in the race and is incredibly important as the circuit gets heavily rutted throughout the event.”
Naturally, with the nature of the sport needing vast quantities of ice, the circuits themselves are very unique. Most events are held on either of two types of course; either on artificial (or refrigerated) circuits such as long-track speed skating arenas or fully natural courses such as frozen lakes. Whilst the lack of available venues in most countries means that there is a limit to where the World Championship can visit, Ice Speedway still enjoys a global appeal thanks to TV channels such as Motors TV broadcasting an extensive highlights package the week after each round.
With the majority of rounds held across Russia, Germany, Sweden and Finland one of the highlights of the year – just as it is in the world of road racing – is Assen in the Netherlands. Held in the iconic speed skating and ice hockey De Bonte Wever Stadium, the race sees a crowd of 8,000 pack the arena each night of the event. Each rider’s pit box is ‘open’, so unlike some series’ the machines and activities are well known to each other and there is good, friendly rivalry.
The action might be held on sub-zero courses, but the action is red hot as Wim explains, “Ice Racing is an incredibly exciting sport. Just like Speedway it sees four guys go head to head for four laps of the course, all of it on the gas and at breath-taking speeds. Because each heat is short, typically only one minute long, the racing is unbelievably intense and can get very aggressive. Each rider knows that just one small mistake will cost them the race and push them out of the points – and with only a maximum of 21 points available per day, they have to have pin point accuracy, which makes it a very exciting sport to watch!”
03 – Öhlins: Yamaha YZF-R1M
“Yamaha and Öhlins have always enjoyed a very close relationship and for many years Yamaha actually owned the company, so working together on the Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) project felt completely natural. Three years ago, when Yamaha first approached us about developing the ERS, we were very excited about the prospect of bringing an Öhlins semi-active suspension system to the market on a production bike. For a small company like Öhlins it was a very big step, obviously we don’t manufacture motorcycles and so working with Yamaha from the very start of a project as important as the new YZF-R1M was a great opportunity…
“Nowadays production motorcycles are such high specification that everyone is looking for a new way to get a bit more performance, but where do you get it from? Do you add 20bhp? If so where is the grip coming from? The chassis technology is only moving forward in very small steps and ABS is now thoroughly developed. The only area that manufacturers have yet to properly exploit is suspension, luckily Öhlins knows quite a lot about this field of motorcycle development.
“We actually developed our first electronic suspension system with Yamaha back in 2008 when we were in World Superbikes. Nori Haga won at Vallelunga using an electronic suspension system on his YZF-R1 and it was very similar to the system used on the new YZF-R1M. The main difference between the two systems is that the WSB one reacted to pre-set GPS co-ordinates while the latest ERS is stand alone and reacts to data supplied by the motorcycle’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). Why has it taken eight years to make a system for a road bike? Sadly the FIM banned its use in racing at the end of 2008, which slowed development. Also, we realised that we could not use a GPS-based system on a production bike as we would have to map every track in the world to make the system effective, which simply wasn’t possible. The only future for electronic suspension was for it to be semi-active and able to respond to inputs from sensors on the motorcycle. We had to wait until motorcycles were built that contained the required sensors to run such a system, thanks to the IMU on the new YZF-R1M we have been able to build such a system.
“Developing a semi-active suspension system is not easy and that’s why it was important to be involved at the very start of the new YZF-R1M project. While we do have an aftermarket system for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R that gives it a semi-active shock absorber, it isn’t as advanced as the one on the YZF-R1M, which uses data from the IMU.
“The ERS on the YZF-R1M uses its own ECU, which we call the Suspension Control Unit (SCU). The IMU on the R1 feeds its data into the SCU and this data is then combined with information from all of the bike’s other sensors to allow the SCU to make a decision about what is happening with the bike at that precise moment in time and what is likely to happen in the future. The SCU calculates this data at 100 times a second and then sends a command to the stepper motors on the suspension. The semi-active suspension units are very similar to standard Öhlins suspension units, the forks are 43mm NIX units while the shock is a TTX36, but the compression and rebound damping adjustors have stepper motors controlling them. The stepper motor is basically an electronic screwdriver turning the adjustor.
“Although we could make many changes a second, we aim to keep the suspension feeling constant as this won’t upset the bike’s handling. If you continually alter the damping throughout a corner the bike would feel on the move, so we try to limit the suspension’s movement to keep it feeling smooth and give the rider confidence in the corner. Although the ERS is capable of operating over the full range of damping adjustment, effectively it is more of a fine-tuning system that continually monitors and tweaks the damping to make the bike feel perfect.
“Creating the ERS was a very hard project and really tested Öhlins’ technological knowledge as it was so reliant of software and programming. Much of the ERS was developed in an office using computers and test beds as you have to be 100% confident it won’t do anything odd before you even consider testing it on a bike. When your computer’s software crashes it is annoying, imagine what would happen if the SCU failed or did something unexpected while the rider was on track! Fitting the system to a bike was the simple part and by the time Yamaha’s test riders trialed it we knew it was very good. I remember one test rider wasn’t totally convinced about the system, but when he tried it he couldn’t believe how good the semi-active suspension was.
“Semi-active suspension is certain to be the future of motorcycle suspension systems. If you think about it, the ERS is basically a very small man from Öhlins sitting on your pillion seat continually monitoring and adjusting your suspension for you using all of our company’s knowledge gained from years of dominating race series such as MotoGP and WSB. That’s an amazingly powerful tool to have at your disposal.”
What does it feel like to ride?
“Having spent a day at Eastern Creek riding the new Yamaha YZF-R1 I didn’t think the bike could get any better, but then we were allowed out on the YZF-R1M with its Öhlins semi-active suspension…
“The R1M was absolutely mind-blowing, probably the best bike I have ever ridden on track. The Öhlins semi-active suspension sharpens the whole R1 package even further, stiffening the front end under braking and allowing the shock to squat and drive the rear tyre into the ground under acceleration. At points where the conventional suspension on the R1 felt a little soft, the R1M was precise, firm and noticeably more composed while also dealing with fast ripples in the track’s surface without feeling harsh. It’s an incredibly impressive set-up and I can’t wait to test it under normal road conditions.”
Jon Urry, freelance motorcycle journalist
04 – The Hall of Fame
Lawson, Rainey, Fogarty, Bayliss, Biaggi, Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Dunlop, Marquez. Mansell, Rydell, Zanardi, Makinen, Montoya, Loeb, Kristensen. Just some of many motorsport legends, all with one thing in common- their choice of suspension!…
Starting off in the world of motocross, Öhlins moved over to tarmac and in 1984 achieved success in the blue riband of motorcycle racing; taking the 500cc World title with Eddie Lawson.
Developing four wheel products meant the Swedish brand then started bringing home silverware in Rally, Touring Cars, open wheel racing, CART and the jewel in the crown; multiple wins in the prestigious Le Mans 24hr.
Take a look at our new Hall of Fame and see how many of them you recognise at… www.ohlins.com/about/hall-of-fame/
And if you want to know what Öhlins products are available for your motorcycle or car, you can check out our new Product database… www.ohlins.com/products/database/
05 – Blackline – Shock treatment for Harley-Davidson
Here at Öhlins, we think every type of rider, on every type of bike, deserves top quality suspension. With our passion for bikes we spend a lot of time perfecting our shocks and forks for the bikes make suspension for, and our new ‘Blackline’ range of shocks for Harley Davidson is no exception. Öhlins principles of super-high quality components, improved ride and ultimate damping performance apply to every bike Öhlins make suspension for. And with the new ‘Blackline’ range, there’s an even greater focus on the Harley-Davidson family…
Öhlins has built suspension units for Harley-Davidson bikes before. But the Blackline shocks are part of an all-new range of suspension, specifically designed for Harley – the bikes, the owners, the lifestyle.
The first job was to identify what’s important to Harley owners. So Öhlins spoke to Harley riders, builders and dealers in the US and worldwide when planning the new range.
Then the R&D began in earnest. Rather than just ‘re-badge’ an existing product line with new aesthetics and logos, Öhlins started from a blank page, redesigning suspension cylinder heads, all-new setting baselines.
In terms of performance, the emphasis for the engineers was clear: providing a smooth ride and great comfort, together with the ability to handle the loads normally encountered. And all that, while giving great handling, consistent high performance, and superb touring abilities, in all conditions. The ultimate aim – improve the Harley-Davidson riding experience even further, complementing the looks and styling of Harley, while retaining the striking detailing Öhlins is famous for.
The Blackline range is based around two main designs: the classic ‘divided-piston’ STX36D, model and the STX36P piggyback version. There are also various adjustability options, with ride height and damping adjustable options across the range. Want shocks with a wide range of customisation? You got it. Want a set of simple, classic, top-quality shocks? We can do that too. All shocks are also available with a wide range of spring rates, so you can tailor-fit the shocks exactly to your needs; rider weight, pillion, luggage, additional accessories.
There’s also a wide range of fitment options for all the main Harley models – the Touring, Dyna and Sportster range, as well as the V-Rod. Öhlins is currently also developing products for the Softail, and has plans for expansion into the Hinckley Triumph Classic range: Bonneville, Scrambler and Thruxton.
It’s not just rear suspension where Öhlins can help though. Replacement fork damping cartridges can transform the performance on FLH/FLT Harley models, and Öhlins also offer a range of replacement fork springs for a huge range of applications.
Robert Brinkmark is the product manager for motorcycles at Öhlins. He told us about the Blackline development process.
“Developing Öhlins shocks for the Harley Davidson market has been an important focus for us and we are proud to launch the Blackline shocks, the first of many products for Harley-Davidson. Our focus has been on riding comfort and high quality for these shocks to further improve the ride feeling. The new striking design is also a result of our increased focus for the custom market.”
“I’ve worked in the aftermarket industry, taking a special interest in Harley-Davidson, for more than fifteen years now. So it’s a great personal pleasure to expand the Öhlins presence in this vital market, allowing Harley riders the chance to experience Öhlins’ top performance, high quality, classy design, and superb aftersales service!” (box end)
Charlie Stockwell is the in-house design guru at legendary Harley dealership, Warr’s of London. He’s played a big part in the thinking behind the new Blackline shocks, and he used a prototype Blackline set on his Urban Racer Sportster build, which won the Harley-Davidson King competition earlier this year.
So how did a dyed-in-the-wool custom Harley-Davidson designer come to be working with Öhlins?
“It goes back a few years actually. I started with Öhlins because of my love for MotoGP, and H-D customisation. I first caught the attention of the guys in Sweden when I built a Softail with a pair of FGR800 full superbike-spec forks on the front. Öhlins got in touch, and said, basically, ‘we think you’re an idiot – but we think this is really pretty cool at the same time! We’d like to do some more work with you…’
“In the past, I’d use HD143 or 141 piggyback shocks on my Sportsters and other H-D builds, but I’d have to strip them down completely, and have everything redone in black. I’d take the shocks apart, make sure the travel, ride height etc were all right, and if those needed adjustments, Öhlins could do that. Then we’d send all the components off to be powder-coated, or anodised black. So during the development of Blackline, that was part of the inspiration.
“Now, with the Blacklines, I don’t have to go through all that process of custom-making each set, I can just get them off the shelf. It’s nice to have been associated with the design process behind it all too.”
Urban Racer – Warr’s bike The Harley-Davidson ‘Battle of the Kings’ competition ran in January this year, and each Harley dealer in the UK was asked to enter a bike.
The biggest hurdle was the budget – there was a strict limit on what could be spent, meaning designers and builders had to be very smart with their choices. Charlie Stockwell’s Urban Racer won the competition, and Charlie made sure he made room in the super-tight budget for some Öhlins Blackline shocks.
“We had to be really clever with what we had on the bike. Fifty per cent of the parts budget had to be spent on original HD parts. The rest we could spend on what we wanted. I try to use Öhlins on everything, so had to use those, even though it used up quite a lot of the budget…
“The thinking centered round Warr’s tradition of racing Harleys. One of our popular designs is the Urban Racer, which is like a café racer, with the 2-1 exhaust, seat unit, but still using forward controls, so it’s comfortable. I spoke to Öhlins about the Blackline’s – I knew they hadn’t been launched, but I asked if I could have some to fit. So we got some prototype units to fit, and they’re a brilliant-looking shock.”
06 – A weapon from Magnum
The SEMA Car show is the premier aftermarket car show in the US. Every fall (or Autumn for the rest of the World!), in Las Vegas, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association puts on an incredible display of the very best that American engine tuners, racecar builders and chassis wizards can come up with…
So you’d probably expect the stars of the show to come from the US. Big-bhp muscle cars, dripping in Detroit heritage? Maybe a super-luxurious SUV, rolling on 24-inch chrome wheels? Well, on the Öhlins stand, the star attraction was something a little bit different…
For a start, it wasn’t so much an American car, as a North American car. And instead of running a huge V8 motor, the Öhlins feature car was powered by a highly-tuned, 11k-redlined motorcycle engine. Because the machine was the incredible Magnum MK5 – a Canadian-built road-legal two-seater, that’s perhaps the closest thing you can get to a race car on the road.
The MK5 is based around a super high-tech carbon fibre/steel tube chassis, housing a tuned Suzuki Hayabusa powerplant. The result is an incredibly lightweight car, with excellent power-to-weight characteristics – the MK5 weighs just over half a tonne, and its 250bhp output provides 460bhp/tonne. That means the 0-60mph dash takes just 3.2 seconds: truly supercar performance.
But it’s not just about acceleration. Magnum’s track heritage means it cares more about carving corners than slaying straights, so the MK5 chassis uses the very best in racing design and components. The wheels are super-wide light alloys, with Toyo R888 road-legal race tyres, and the brakes use radial-mount four-piston calipers all round.
But it’s the suspension that really marks the MK5 out as a racetrack refugee. Rather than using a modified road car arrangement, Magnum has gone for a full track setup, with inboard-mounted, fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shocks, operated by pushrods, and unequal-length double A-arms front and rear. This is the same suspension design philosophy that’s used in ultimate car racing series worldwide – having the shocks mounted inboard reduces unsprung mass in the suspension, and allows improved aerodynamic performance.
Aerodynamics are also key to the MK5 design. Unusually for a road-legal car, the carbon fibre bodywork actually incorporates functional aerodynamics. That’s to say, the internal front wing, front splitter, flat underbody and rear diffuser all help ‘stick’ the MK5 to the asphalt at speed. In the same way as open-wheel ‘Formula’ race cars, the MK5 uses the airflow over its chassis to ‘push’ the car into the deck, improving grip, and giving more secure cornering.
Inside the futuristic bodywork is a super-strong safety cell, with dual carbon fibre race seats, and six-point race harnesses. Under the hood is a small practical touch too – luggage space for two helmets, and a briefcase…
We spoke to company owner Bruno St-Jacques, and asked him about what inspired the MK5.
“Our racing background dictated the philosophy behind the MK5,” he told us. “We agreed that the newest Magnum had to be exciting in every sense. Our main objective has been to achieve an experience that is pure and as close to driving a true racecar, in a simple to use and easy to drive platform.”
Why did Magnum choose Öhlins as its suspension partner?
“We are driven by excellence and believe it is of the utmost importance to offer our customers a product that does not compromise on quality and performance. We pride ourselves on offering a high-end product that surpasses expectations. We only work with the best people in the business and we source only the best components.”
Choosing Öhlins, which is a premium supplier of shocks within the motorsport world, was natural as they are a perfect fit for Magnum. Their fully-adjustable TTX36 shocks are high-tech and very responsive. Working with Öhlins Suspension on the development of the MK5 handling has been great. It has proved to be a very successful collaboration.”
How has building the first new Magnum in nearly thirty years made you feel? “Seeing the Magnum MK5 drawing so much attention has been simply amazing. We have been overwhelmed by the positive attention the MK5 has received. People have shown huge interest during showcasing events such as the SEMA Show and the Montreal International Auto Show.”
The Magnum MK5 costs $139,000: for more information, visit www.magnummk5.com
You’ve maybe not heard of Magnum – but the Quebec-based firm has been turning out top-spec race cars for almost fifty years. Set up by race car enthusiast Jean-Pierre St-Jacques in 1968, Magnum began by producing the Magnum Mk1 Formula Ford car, the first of a series of hand-built racers. Just five years later, Magnum was collaborating with an up-and-coming Formula Ford driver called Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve won the 1973 Quebec Formula Ford championship in his Magnum MKIII, kicking off a legendary career in competition.
Magnum built about a dozen race cars over the following two decades, culminating in the Magnum MKIV of 1988, before Jean-Pierre moved onto race car preparation and parts production for the whole range of auto racing disciplines. Meanwhile, the St-Jacques dynasty rolled on, with Jean-Pierre’s son Bruno absorbing the family passion for motorsport.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the father-son team has returned to bespoke car building with a bang, in the shape of the Öhlins-equipped, road-legal MK5, starting the next chapter for this amazing firm.
– Power-to-weight: 460bhp/tonne
– 0-100 KM/H (0-62mph): 3.2s
– Maximum speed: 240 km/h (149mph)
– Handling: Up to 2G lateral force at the racetrack
Engine & Transmission
– Type: Inline-four, 1,340cc DOHC 16-valve – Peak power: 250bhp – Redline: 11,000rpm – Configuration: Rear mid-mounted, rear wheel drive – Transmission: six-speed sequential gearbox, with reverse – Differential: Limited-slip
– Bodywork: Carbon-fiber composite. Easily removable front and rear sections.
– Functional aerodynamics: Internal front wing, front splitter, flat underbody, rear diffuser
– Cargo area: Fits two helmets and a briefcase
– Fuel tank capacity: 35 liters
– Fuel filler: Lockable billet aluminum
– Length: 3,914 mm (154.1 in)
– Width: 1,884 mm (74.2 in)
– Height: 1,069 mm (42.1 in)
– Ride Height: 90 mm (3.5 in) Track | 110 mm (4.3 in) Street. Can be set at factory per your
preference, or can be interchanged by user.
– Dry Weight: 1,200 lbs (545 kg)
– Type: Adjustable pushrod activated, double unequal length a-arms, front & rear
– Dampers: Inboard, fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 shocks front & rear
– Anti-roll bars: Adjustable, front & rear
Wheels & Brakes
– Tyres: Extreme performance, road-legal competition tires, 225/40R18 front & 265/35R18 rear
– Wheels: 18″, ultra-light alloy, front & rear
– Brake calipers: Four-piston calipers, radial mount, front & rear
– Brake discs: Ventilated discs, with CNC-machined aluminum hubs, front & rear
– Brake bias: Cockpit adjustable
– Pedal box: Custom CNC-machined, manually adjustable
– Gauges: Steering wheel mounted backlit digital dash-display, with integrated laptimer and data
– Steering wheel: 310mm, weather resistant suede, with quick release
– Seats: Carbon fiber composites
– Harness: Six-point, racing-type
– Accessories: Rear-view monitor & camera
07 – Motorsport round-up – Motorcycle
MotoGP – The Doctor dominates
There can be no denying that the start to the 2015 MotoGP season has been sensational. Reigning champion Marc Márquez has struggled to replicate his blistering pace of the last two years, taking only two wins so far on the once dominate Repsol Honda. It has been Yamaha who have shone brightest, and to the delight of his millions of loyal fans around the globe it is MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi who leads the way, having yet to finish off the podium…
Chasing the Italian star however is Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo. The two time MotoGP Champion had somewhat of a slow start by his standards, but four back to back victories has seen him close the gap to Rossi with the battle looking set to go down to the wire.
World Superbikes – Turkish delight
Although factory Kawasaki star Jonathan Rea has dominated the series, the Öhlins equipped machines of Leon Haslam and Chas Davies have not made it easy for him. Red Devils Aprilia rider Haslam is enjoying his most successful season in a number of years having already taken one victory and a further six podiums. Putting Ducati back into contention, Davies is equally enjoying his best season, taking one victory and a further nine podiums.
In the lower capacity World Supersport Championship, Öhlins rider Kenan Sofuoglu leads the way having taken four victories so far this season aboard his Kawasaki ZX-6R. Fellow Turk Toprak Razgatlioglu has dominated the European Superstock 600 series, wrapping the title up at Misano.
Around the World…
It has been a fantastic start to the World’s major domestic motorcycle series’ for Öhlins, particularly in the newly established MotoAmerica Championship where the Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes have won every race so far this season aboard the all-new YZF-R1.
In the prestigious MCE British Superbike Championship, James Ellison on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki has enjoyed his strongest ever start to a season having taken three wins on the ZX-10R. Milwaukee Yamaha rider Josh Brookes also took an impressive double win last time out at Brands Hatch as his team continue to get to grips with the new YZF-R1.
Öhlins equipped machines are dominating the IDM series in Germany, with the BMW of Markus Reiterberger proving almost unbeatable so far this season whilst the 3C Ducati’s of Xavi Forés and Lorenzo Lanzi sit in second and third place in the standings.
Elsewhere, Öhlins is enjoying success with Gregory LeBlanc in the French Superbike series, with the SRC Kawasaki rider leading the way, and Massimo Roccoli leading the Supersport 600 Championship in Italy.
On the dirt, Öhlins has taken victory on the world stage with Max Anstie and the Monster Energy Kawasaki Dixon Racing Team, with the young rider also leading the British MX2 series. The Bid Racing team in France has taken victory in their home series in the MX1, MX2 and 85cc categories whilst Öhlins has also secured the MX championship in Portugal.
08 – Motorsport round-up – Automotive
World Endurance and Le Mans 14 hours – so close to a 16th straight win at Le Mans
The World Endurance Championship, WEC, for sportscar protoypes and GTE-cars is arguably having one of its greatest periods in the history of sportscar racing. Mostly known for the classic Le Mans 24 hours, the WEC is gaining in strength and Le Mans is just one of eight races in the championship, the rest being six hour long races…
Toyota won the championship last year but after three races this year it is the Audi triple of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréuleyer and Marcel Fässler who heads the championship.
At Le Mans Öhlins hopes were of course on Audi and Toyota to claim a 16th straight win for an Öhlins equipped car. The race was a thrilling battle between Audi and Porsche, with Toyota not quite having the pace to muster a challenge for the win. In the end it was Porsche who took the win but a strong second place for Lotterer, Tréluyer and Fässler was still a great result. Trust Audi and Toyota to come back strong and hungry for revenge in less than 12 months. Meanwhile the next race up in the WEC is the 6 hours of Nürburgring.
Speaking of endurance 24 hour success…
There were great results at the Nürburgring 24 hour at the mythical Nordschleife for Öhlins equipped cars. Audi brought out their new GT3-car Audi R8 LMS, equipped with Öhlins TTX, for the event in the hands of several teams. The 24 hour race at Nürburgring was as always an intense affair and once again this was a sprint race over 24 hours.
In the end it was the Audi Sport Team WRT that emerged as winners with Christopher Mies, Edward Sandström, Nico Müller and Laurens Vanthoor driving the new Audi R8. They were chased over the line by Marc VDS and their BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook, making it a 1-2 on the podium for Öhlins equipped cars. Another 5 Öhlins cars from BMW, Bentley, Audi and Nissan finished in the top 10 at this legendary race.
While at Nürburgring – WTCC debut
For the first time in the history of the World Touring Car Championship, the series visited Nürburgring to race two races at Nordschleife before the 24-hour event. Citroën has dominated WTCC so far and Nürburgring was no exception. Reigning champion and championship leader José María López won the first race with Yvan Muller, second in the championship, winning the second race.
Continuing with touring car racing, the JAS Honda Civic run by WestCoast Racing is winning races and fighting for the title in the TCR International Series.
Gianni Morbidelli is currently third in the championship that is running in its inaugural season, ahead of several national championships adopting these regulations in 2016 and beyond.
Success on the dirt also…
In the FIA European Rally Championship Peugeot Rally Academy drivers Craig Breen and co-driver Scott Martin have won three rallies in a row in their Peugeot 208 T16.
And in FIA World Rallycross Davy Jeanney took Peugeot Hansen Motorsport first win of the season when the championship went to Germany in June.