#01 Our fate: ‘Suzuka 8hours’
- 掲載日／2010年07月14日【Suzuka 8hours Endurance Challenge Blog】
- Text & Photo / Masanao NITTA (Tras) Japanese >>
Go for it ‘Team Tras’!
In 2008 the Tras team challenged successfully the Motegi 7h Endurance race with the HP2 Sport. In 2009 the team faced a new challenge: The Motegi Race with the HP2 Megamoto. While ranking 1st for a while an engine trouble forced the team to retire from the race. Then in 2010 the Tras team has returned to the Suzuka 8h Endurance Race, where they fought many past challenges with BMW motorcycles.
Challenging the Suzuka 8hours as a production professional!
Dreaming of becoming a works team motorcycle rider as a child, I had to face my poor reflexes and feeble physical strength. The dream quickly crumbled. But not all hope was lost. I was blessed with manual skills. I therefore reconfigured my goal and decided to one day build works team machines used in races. There were some twists and turns, but finally the dream came true.
One day I was asked to repair carbon parts of a German endurance race machine. This enquiry was made by Noboru Muto, who was participating in endurance races with a BMW R1100S. Once the repair was done the following conversation ensued.
Muto：“Nitta-san. Are you interested in the Suzuka 8hours race?”
Nitta：“Well, I am involved with it due to my line of work.”
Muto：“Not in that way. I mean, how about we challenge the Suzuka 8hours together?”
In 2002, one year after this conversation, Muto and I entered Suzuka 8hours with the Tras version of the R1100S. Our team name: Boxer Sports Club.
While it may not be widely known, we actually continued to challenge the Suzuka race from 2002 to 2006 with a BMW machine. In 2006 our Tras designed K1200R challenged the race successfully as winner of its class. Due to regulation changes after that, BMW was no longer able to race the Suzuka 8hours Endurance Race.
Again not all hope was lost! BMW announced that it would sell the WSBK championship bike as a standard version called S1000RR. On April 4th the rider Toda participated in a Japanese road race in Tsukuba. Muto was excited to watch the race.
Muto：“Nitta-san, let’s participate in Suzuka! Prepare a bike!”
Ready or not, here we came. But time was very short!
During that time of destiny I was not even in Japan, but in Germany to interview the Director of Motorsports at BMW Motorrad Berthold Hauser. I also visited ‘alpha racing’, the home base of the S1000RR works team. It really did feel like destiny!!!
Soon thereafter our entry into the ‘Coca Cola Zero 2010 Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race’ was confirmed. The Team name: ‘Tras & G-Tribe + BSC’. The riders were to be Takashi Toda, Hayato Takada and Eiji Saito.
So! No time left! Will we be able to ready the bike on time…!?
#04 Finishing the ‘Suzuka 8hours’
#02 Construction of the ‘Suzuka 8hours’machine
#03 Finally! Right before the race.