The fast, flowing iconic roads of Frohburg brings the curtain down this weekend, on what’s been a truly compelling year of IRRC competition.
Already crowned Superbike champion, Tunbridge Wells Danny Webb starts strong favourite for big bike success on Saturday and Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Stefan Kuehn
Webb who has proved unbeatable at times this season, season resume is of the highest quality comprising of six race wins, plus four second place finishes.
Aiming to conclude his quite prodigious first full IRRC tenure in style, he’s quietly confident of repeating his form from 12 months ago at Frohburg, which saw him surpass Michael Dunlop’s long-standing lap record.
Speaking recently the amiable Englishman stated:
”By taking full points every single round so far and claiming that championship with another double win in Horice as the first British rider, was the cherry on the cake as it was the team sponsor’s home race.
With the championship in my pocket the team now allows me to run again on the Stingl Motorsport Yamaha in the Supersport class, and I hope we can put on a good show as I will race against my own team mate Matthieu Lagrive, who surely doesn’t simply want to hand over the prize money and trophies.
In the Superbike races I expect the biggest challenge from Grams, Sheils and probably Todd and Kostamo. I am really looking forward to Frohburg and hopefully can award some more trophies to the team. They’ve simply given me an incredible year of racing and I would like to pay it all back at their home race.”
As the UK’s first IRRC champion states above, expect the likes of Didier Grams, Erno Kostamo and Derek Sheils, Joey Dunlop open runner up from 2017, to provide strong challenges.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Same applies to another of the Wepol Racing by Penz 13.com fold, Czech roads legend Marek Cerveny, whilst a lot is expected as well from high profile event debutant Davey Todd.
Second quickest newcomer in TT history, he’s consistently impressed this year aboard the Cookstown BE Racing Suzuki/Honda/Kawasaki machines, recording top draw results, top draw results and more top draw results.
Looking forward to his first taste of competition at Frohburger Dreieck, he stated:
“I heard a lot about Frohburg when Rutter, the Dunlop brothers and all the others raced there. I am pleased to take this opportunity with the WEPOL team to make my debut in Europe at such an historical race track.
There is a lot to learn, not only the track but also the bike with its unique suspension as well as working with the Germans. With Coward, Sheils and especially Webb I have team mates around that can help a lot to get to grip with the bike as fast as possible.”
Alongside running Todd, Cerveny, Sheils, Webb, Daley Mathison, Rico Penzkofer’s Penz 13.com outfit will also be working this weekend with improving IRRC exponent Jamie Coward.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Speaking recently about his maiden Frohburg tenure, Hebden Bridge’s Coward who presently holds sixth within the IRRC Superbike series championship standings, candidly stated:
”My first IRRC season had its ups and downs. I was aware that I will have some difficulties to adjust to the fast and flowing road circuits in Europe. In the UK and Ireland, they are much narrower.
Maybe some people expected more from me but I am quite happy with my performances, as I learned were I have to improve. Unfortunately, the crash at the Southern 100 didn’t help much and I had to sit out the round in Chimay. I was even considering hanging up my leathers and helmets.
But the team invited my whole family to come back to Horice and simply giving it a try in the most comfortable surroundings.
They put a great effort in this whole operation and I have to admit I love this bunch of people. Going to Frohburg will be the final race for me this year as my partner is pregnant again and we are expecting the child around mid-November.
So, it’s no Macau GP for me this year, but 2018 was still an incredible journey and I am looking forward to return to the IRRC next year, eyeing my first couple of podiums.”
Outside of the respective Wepol Racing, Puraglobe Racing Oil, Penz 13.com backed racers, further depth to the 1000cc entry is provided by rising IRRC stars such as David Datzer, Ales Nechvatal, Nico Muller, Tomas Borovka, Lukas Maurer plus meeting wildcard Dean Osborne heading Performance Racing Achterhoek’s Superbike challenge.
Looking towards the ten lap IRRC Supersport races, expect a battle royal between class champion Matthieu Lagrive and making a one-off return to 600 machinery, Superbike series champion Danny Webb.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Despite focusing in recent times on Superstock, Superbike machinery, ex Moto 3 World Championship racer Webb as showcased with his form last year at Frohburg, is not to be underestimated when it comes to middleweight steeds.
Alongside YZF R6 Yamaha mounted Webb, Wepol Racing team mate Lagrive, you can’t discount as well seasoned class front runners such as Laurent Hoffmann, Thomas Walther and Pierre Yves Bian from banking race wins.
Meeting wildcards capable of springing a surprise or two include Czech roads front runner Michal Vecko, MV Agusta mounted Stefan Wauter, Robert Rohde, Stefan Hofer and Italy’s quickest Manx GP racer Francesco Curinga.
Overall the entry for the IRRC Supersport, Superbike races at Frohburger Dreieck is of quite exceptional quality.
First class racing is a guarantee on Saturday and Sunday at Germany’s most famous roads course, which has been a part of the IRRC calendar since the championship’s inception in 2010.
Words by Stevie Rial