The Suzuki 4:8:12 Endurance Racing Series that ended last weekend with the third and longest leg of the series, proved to be such a success that the importer of Suzuki Motorcycles has renewed its sponsorship for 2016.
“We are challenging all manufacturers and riders on all kinds of street and circuit racing bikes to join the series. Just because it is sponsored by Suzuki, doesn’t mean you have to race a Suzuki,” said Stuart Baker, National Sales Manager of Suzuki Motorcycles.
On top of the sponsorship announcement, Suzuki also confirmed that the trial of running the new Relay category proved extremely popular and will now become a permanent feature for the 2016 series.
“In this new category a team enters three to five riders and bikes, racing in a relay format as opposed to a single bike with different riders,” said Baker. “That means friendships should stay intact in any unfortunate event, and each rider will be responsible for their own bike as opposed to one team member taking the risk of sharing a bike with other riders,” he explained.
The 2015 series ended on Saturday 10 October with the third leg of the 4-hour, 8-hour, 12-hour endurance series, with Suzuki teams and motorcycles this time taking the honours among entries that included Hondas, Ducatis, BMWs, Kawasakis and a Triumph.
Last time out in the Suzuki Endurance Race Series at the Red Star Raceway in Delmas during a cold spell in June, riders welcomed the fact that they had to wear thick leather suits, but on Saturday conditions were super hot in more ways than one.
A heat wave producing extreme conditions was nothing in comparison to the sizzling racing, with the eventual winners of the 12-hour event putting in over 300 laps of the demanding circuit.
And if the heat and 12 hours in the saddle did not offer a big enough challenge, the racing direction was reversed from the regular anti-clockwise direction also used in the 4-hour and 8-hour events, completely changing the look and feel of the circuit.
The third and last event in the 2015 Suzuki Endurance Race Series, which this year had its first full season with Suzuki sponsorship, was a combination of the first 4-hour and the second 8-hour event, and pit tactics played a huge role.
“We had to change tyres and brake pads during the 12 hours, but the bikes never cooled down,” said Baker.
The 12-hour was won by Uncle Andy Racing on a Suzuki GSXR 750 (316 laps; winning the Pro Class), with the RSR Stars on a Suzuki GSXR 1000 (293 laps; winners of the Club Class) in second place, proving that the biggest machine was not necessarily the fastest.
“Its all about the amount of laps – not how fast, but how smooth and how long you can make the tyres last,” explained Baker, adding that the teams had to adhere to compulsory pit stops every 45 minutes anyway.
Bike Addicts Team A on a Honda CBR 600 came home in third place overall, winning the Rookie Class in 290 Laps.
One of the great success stories of the event, was that of the Suzuki Dealer Invitational Team on a GSR 750 that not only completed the full 12 hours of racing, but competed as a team that had only been formed on Friday afternoon.
“We invited five dealers from across the country, and although the guys have met in the retail world, for them it was a first time racing,” said Baker. “They also got to sit on the bike for the very first time on Friday afternoon. They completed 252 laps on a GSR 750 – well within the Top 10,” said Baker.
The 2016 series will again be for teams with a minimum of three and a maximum of five riders who can enter any bike of their choice.
“There are absolutely no restrictions – anything goes,” said Baker.
The main prize for the 2015 Suzuki Endurance Race is a fully sponsored Suzuki GSX750R prepared by Õdin Racing, which will be made available to the winning team for 2016.
1. Uncle Andy Racing (Suzuki GSX750R) with 316 laps
2. Team Ridefast (Honda CBR 1000S) 281 laps
3. Fourways Flyers (Kawasaki Z1000) 270 laps.
1. RSR Stars (Suzuki GSXR1000) 293 laps
2. 27 for 48 (Triumph 675) DNF (65 laps)
3. Uncle Andy Racing Pitbull (BMW HP4) DNF (63 laps)
1. Bike Addicts Team A (Honda CBR 600) 285 laps
2. Team Bike Show (Suzuki GSXS 1000) 279 laps
3. Team Suzuki (Suzuki GSR750) 252 laps
1. Bike Addicts Team B (Yamaha R6) with 272 laps
2. Team Pitlane Frost with 258 laps
3. Team 66 with 245 laps