Racing against the pandemic – Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix on thyssenkrupp carbon wheels in 2019 but not 2020
The Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix has been around for decades – 2020 would have been the 54th edition of the historical race on the legendary Guia Circuit. For the German competitor Penz13.com, the trip to the Asian metropole has been a set date at the end of every season for years. Equally set was their wheels choice for the past couple of years as the braided carbon wheels, developed and produced by thyssenkrupp Carbon Components, had proven their quality and advantages on the Macanese and international roads in previous seasons.
While the 2019 race was far from ideal and spectacular for the wrong reasons, the 2020 Grand Prix seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel for the whole road race scene in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past year, the Macanese crowd saw a high-quality three-rider line-up on the grid in the Penz13.com colours. Finnish rider Erno Kostamo was enjoying the thyssenkrupp carbon wheel agility on the nimble street course and secured an outstanding seventh position on the grid for the race. Davey Todd, a Top 10 finisher in 2018, positioned his BMW in twelfth on the Asian circuit, while returnee Dan Kruger had first to reclaim this feel on the roads and was set to start from twenty-fourth.
On race day, all Penz13.com motorcycles were equipped with thyssenkrupp carbon wheels and ready to conquer the distinctive roads of the Asian Special Administrative Region Macau. The two-time red-flagged race saw the Penz13.com riders Erno Kostamo and Dan Kruger unfortunately involved in the race-ending crash and taken to the hospital. The results were declared on the basis of the last completed lap of the restarted race with the Penz13 riders finishing in fourth for Davey Todd, ninth for Erno Kostamo and position 17 for Dan Kruger.
Set to continue with Erno Kostamo in the International Road Racing Championship (IRRC) and at the Isle of Man TT in 2020, the Penz13.com racing team and German wheels manufacturer thyssenkrupp Carbon Components renewed their commitment to continue racing on roads. However, as racing was, alongside everything else, cancelled over the course of the year, only the single opportunity to test their set-up and provide practice time for their riders was in September at Brno Circuit. At this time, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix was scheduled to go ahead and portrayed the only race event of 2020 to take place. As the attendance at the event would have required each team member to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Macau as well as an expected quarantine when returning to Europe, a large part of the invited teams and riders withdrew from participating in the 54th Motorcycle Grand Prix. On November 4th, it was announced that the Motorcycle Grand Prix was not going to take place, while the iconic event would only feature multiple car races in 2020.
While the uncertainty with the pandemic remains for 2021, the race-proven advantages of the thyssenkrupp carbon wheels are not reserved for the Penz13.com only and available to end-customer across the globe with the unique feature of being road-legal and track approved worldwide.