Sunday, 15 May 2016
Wood BMW wins GNC2 Main in Arizona
Ron has, as I understood it, had finally retired from the motorcycle industry and has sold the rights to the famous frame business, but he was at this race (in the chair in the photo below), so I need to find out more.
I interviewed Ron for issue 3, back in 2009, not long after this bike had been built. Ron was very disappointed with the lack of support BMW gave him (none) when he built this F800-powered twin. It showed massive potential at the time, but Wood Racing was unwilling or unable to mount a full season challenge, so it would turn up at local racers with skilled journeyman riders on board, like Matt Weidman, who would jump on the unfamiliar bike and put in solid performances, showing what the bike could do. But BMW USA weren't interested. Ron converted the fuel-injected 798cc parallel twin to carbs to allow him to tun it with his particular skill set. Of all the other modern twins racing the GNC, which now includes Ducati, Kawasaki, Yamaha, KTM and BMW, I think only the Bonneville Performance Triumph has been converted to carbs. Understanding of EFi is so much greater now, that even eight years ago when this BMW was built.
You can see from this photos (taken from the always on the ball flattracklive) that the BMW logo the bike originally wore is covered up with a Rotax logo. BMW developed this twin engine in conjunction with Rotax, the Austrian specialists (Aprilia, Buell and others have used Rotax to develop engines for them, too) and Wood Racing obviously have a very long history with Rotax.
This is the first ever pro dirt track win for a BMW in the sport's history. Gauthier came from the back row to win. As soon as there is footage of the win on Fans Choice TV I'll put a link up. G
* Jargon Buster
GNC2 is the support class, the Moto2 of GNC flat tracking. It's for younger riders on their way up. Most GNC2 races are competed on 450 singles. There was a push to have the GNC2 riders race on twins at all the bigger races, but it fizzled out, after many riders and their mom and pop teams had spent $10,000-plus on building bikes. It was a shambles. Hopefully AMA Pro Racing have got it right now.