Part two of Road Racing News, new series reflecting on the first ten years of the IRRC (International Road Racing Championship), focuses upon the new pure road racing heroes created via the now highly acclaimed and prestigious series.
The 2012 IRRC season saw Didier Grams grip on the series briefly conclude, as next generation Dutch roads star Branko Srdanov took the Superbike series crown.
The same season saw the introduction of IRRC affiliated Supersport competition. It was Belgium’s Laurent Hoffmann who claimed the inaugural Supersport championship crown, following series of high calibre, faultless displays.
Hoffmann would prove peerless again in 2013, wrapping up in expert fashion a second successive Supersport title after holding off tenacious, gritty challenges from Thomas Kreutz and Marcel Zuurbier.
Alongside Hoffmann’s successful retention of the Supersport championship, Didier Grams returned to Superbike championship winning ways, as the amiable, affable German showed again why he is regarded amongst his nations greatest closed roads exponents of the modern era.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Although the 2014 season saw Grams continue his IRRC Superbike supremacy, there was no doubt that the biggest story for many from 2014 was the inclusion of top level championship wildcards at Frohburg, which included Canada’s Dan Kruger and none other than 18 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.
Dunlop’s presence at Frohburg courtesy of the Penz 13 BMW squad, without a doubt increased the publicity of the IRRC in particular in the UK. Prior to the Ballymoney racer’s presence at Frohburg it’s fair to say the IRRC wasn’t taken to seriously on UK shores.
Dunlop went onto secure a trio of rostrum finishes at Frohburger Dreieck, including a hard earned victory within the second Open Superbike race.
Outside of Dunlop’s magic, Grams fourth series title, 2014 also yielded a new series champion in the form of Performance Racing Achterhoek’s Joey Den Besten who took the Supersport title spoils.
As we approached 2015, it was clear that the IRRC was steadily starting to hit the big time. With more teams, racers keen to enter allied to an increase of high profile event wildcards, the good times were booming for the plucky series.
Words by Stevie Rial