Road Racing News

Famous TT Marques: BMW

Next to feature in Road Racing News Famous TT Marques series is Germany’s most acclaimed two wheel manufacturer, BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke).

The Munich based company first officially launched in 1916, with brand creators credited as being Camillo Castiglioni, Franz Josef Popp and Karl Rapp.

Mountain Course racing wise, BMW’s first major TT triumph was in 1939 when Georg Meier led a BM 1-2 within the seven lap showpiece, blue riband Senior race.

Moving forward to the 1950’s and it was the start of a truly golden era in terms of three wheeling competition.

Great names to take Sidecar TT honours with BMW powered outfits included Walter Schneider/Hans Strauss, Fritz Hillebrand/Manfred Grunwald, Max Deubel/Emil Hoener and Florian Camathias.

Continuous wins, podium finishes followed during the 60’s as the likes of Fritz Scheidegger/John Robinson, Klaus Enders/Ralf Engelhardt and Georg Auerbacher/Hermann Hahn took centre stage.

Arguably though BMW’s most famous Sidecar exponent during this era was Siegfried Schauzu.

Six times German Road Race Champion Schauzu claimed all of his 9 TT victories with BMW power, with his first TT success arising in 1967.

Whilst Sidecar success felt like a virtual guarantee at times during the 60’s to mid 70’s, prominent solo class results were tougher to gain.

It wasn’t until the most recent era of TT Races competition that BMW re-established itself as Mountain Course winning pedigree with the iconic S1000RR model.

First launched in 2008, the S1000RR performed impressively at the TT’s of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the likes of Rico Penzkofer, Steve Mercer, Stephen Thompson and Keith Amor all claiming creditable results.

For 2014 though BMW’s International Road Racing presence would move onto another level, as Michael Dunlop took the controls of a factory supported S1000RR.

Feature North West 200 Superbike race victors, Dunlop and suitors Hawk Racing following TT expedition proved nothing short of incredible.

Dominant Superbike/Senior race winners, the Dainese Superbike race saw Ballymoney’s Dunlop lap from a standing start at 131.730 mph, which prior to Bruce Anstey’s heroics on lap six was an official new outright Mountain Course lap record.

Since 2014, BMW’s record on Manx shores has been impeccable. At a glance just some of the tumultuous feats are as follows:

2016 – Michael Dunlop regains the Superbike and Senior race crowns, regains the outright TT lap record lapping at 133.962 mph.

Ian Hutchinson takes in record breaking fashion the Superstock class crown, gives TAS Racing their first TT victory in eight years.

2017 – Ian Hutchinson claims Superbike, Superstock race titles, Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman takes the runner-up spot behind Bingley’s Hutchinson.

2018 – Smiths Racing’s Hickman goes to the next level in 2018, securing his first TT triumph within a thrilling Royal London 360 Superstock race, then going onto claim International road racing’s biggest prize, the Pokerstars Senior TT.

On route to adding the Senior TT to his racing CV, Hickman sets a quite unbelievable new outright lap record of 135.452 mph!

2019 – Hickman and Smiths Racing continue to excel, taking the Superbike, Superstock titles whilst technical misfortune thwarts the chance to retain the Senior class crown.

With 13 victories, 22 rostrum finishes since 2014, it’s easy to see why many regard BMW as the current marque to beat at the TT Races.

More premier class victories, other worldly lap speeds look a more than distinct possibility in the future for a company which has a truly rich motorsport, TT Races history.

Words by Stevie Rial

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