Hill Climb Pikes Peak.
Like so many good ideas, the plan to take part in the beer counter arises.
Lufthansa makes it possible: BMW flew to the USA for a relatively manageable EUR 1990 each way. The whole thing includes pick-up from your place of residence by SKS and works uncomplicated for every bike.
Both had a very long journey: Yasuo Arai with team and Z 1000 from Tokyo…
…and road racer Thilo Günther, who with the Wunderlich team held up the German flag.
The few bales of straw along the route, welded in plastic, serve the racers as orientation for braking points. They are less suitable as a protective wall in the event of a fall.
Hillclimb Pikes Peak.
156 hairpin bends and bends – the path to the 4301 meter high summit is tough.
No trees, no bushes, everything is hidden from view. When and where to brake?
Make America great again: Keith Speir starting training on his 1969 Triumph.
Spectators on race day with the stars and stripes.
Make Germany proud: Thilo writing autographs…
…the start numbers of the drivers…
…and finally a successful cooling off after a heated run. Everything went well, driver and machine in good health and ready for new tasks …
The wonderful team: Sascha Schoder, Niko Abraham, William Plam, Frank Hoffmann, Marco Sundermann, Thilo Günther, Sascha Bartel, Erich Wunderlich, Christian Schütte, Markus Schmitz, Sven Cremer, Hans Plam, Jens Kuck, Rolf Henniges, Malte Bigge
Hill Climb Pikes Peak.
Hill Climb Pikes Peak.
Wunderlich starts at Pikes Peak 2018
With two drivers in a BMW S 1000 R.
In 2017, BMW supplier Wunderlich and his driver Thilo Günther reached 10th place. In 2018 they want to compete with two four-cylinders and go even higher. We visited Thilo Günther
2017 was the team W.and finally started at Pikes Peak for the first time. Thilo Günther achieved a respectable success with fifth place in the heavyweight class, and tenth place in the overall motorcycle ranking. Thilo Günther started on an optimized BMW R 1200 R. Significant changes compared to the production model: engine tuning from 125 to 147 HP, carbon rear and a chassis height of 35 mm for more ground clearance.
Lucy Glöckner strengthens the team
Having recently received the long-awaited approval for the legendary hill climb, the Wunderlich team set even higher goals for 2018. When it goes up the mountain in Colorado on June 24, 2018, the people of Sinzig really want to know. "With the support of Uwe Reinhardt’s ProKASRO racing team, which is active in the World Endurance Championship, we will compete with two competitively built BMW S 1000 Rs and race for victory", explains Wunderlich managing director Frank Hoffmann.
Thilo Günther was signed up again as driver. He receives support from Lucy Glöckner, who competes in the IDM and the World Endurance Championship, among others.
Thilo Günther in portrait
His story took off for the first time between dead fish and bales of straw. This year he is chasing up the Rocky Mountains for the second time. We are talking about the German road racer Thilo Günther, the crowd favorite at the fishing port race and the face of the accessories specialist Wunderlich. At the end of June, the 38-year-old will take to the starting line for the second time in a row at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. After finishing fifth in the heavyweight class and tenth in the overall standings on his debut last year, his goal for this year is: “Come home safe and podium."
Started like Rossi
Thilo Günther has been riding a motorcycle for over 35 years. Just as long as Valentino Rossi. The German doesn’t have nine world championship titles like “il Dottore” in his luggage. The enthusiasm for mopeds started early on, so that Klein Thilo plowed the in-house motorcross track every day at the age of three. He had to endure many injuries, which, however, did not detract from his driving pleasure. “I just always wanted to get back on the bike as quickly as possible,” Günther looks back. Today, however, he prefers to drive a moped and stay seated on top. “Otherwise you haven’t won anything,” he says resolutely. Especially not at the legendary Pikes Peak mountain race, which is one of the most dangerous because of its demanding route and at the same time one of the most beautiful mountain races in the world because of its spectacular views.
From the rich scent of fish to the thin mountain air
So that he doesn’t run out of stamina and breath at an altitude of 3,000 meters, Thilo Günther keeps himself fit with ten-kilometer runs and early morning sessions in the gym. “I train there three times a week between 4.30 and 5.40 am before I go to work,” says Schloss Holte-Stukenbrocker. He gets his driver training in the nearby Kalletal, a popular motorcycle area, “where I’ve driven 20,000 kilometers since my youth and have emptied at least as many tanks,” he looks back with a broad grin on the past. After work or early in the morning on the weekends, he can burn 1,000 kilometers on the asphalt in less than four days or train off-road on his Enduro.
On the other hand, the couch in front of the screen with the game console is used for route training. Because the Pikes Peak race is also available as a game on the Play Station. “I am still familiar with the road sequences after last year, but I can’t remember the complete sequence,” he openly admits. He prefers intuitive driving anyway. That’s exactly what road racing is all about for him. “In my opinion, you can’t train that on a circuit where everything is clean and evenly paved,” said the former IRRC driver and multiple winner of the open class at the legendary Fischereihafenrennen (FHR) in Bremerhaven.
This is exactly where it all started in 2009 for the likeable blonde. Having finished his debut in fourth place, the road racing fever had shot up into his head. “Then I bought a ZX-10R as a crashed motorcycle and converted it into a racing bike,” Thilo Günther describes his beginnings. Since 2012 it has been sponsored by the accessory manufacturer Wunderlich, who became aware of it through the FHR.
A fireworks rocket caliber BMW S1000R
Today, Thilo Günther is the first German motorcyclist to drive 156 bends over 20 kilometers in ten minutes with an altitude difference of 1,440 meters – a jump like from the city festival to the international show stage. This year Lucy Glöckner will also be there as a second driver and team colleague. Competitive equipment is provided by Wunderlich for the traditional race: two refurbished BMW S1000 Rs, which with high-trimmed 225 HP and a slim 180 kilograms have more oomph than a fireworks rocket.
Training takes place at night
One week before the race, the drivers have four days to train under difficult conditions. And then when everyone is asleep: “Around 3 o’clock in the morning we go up to the summit. From there, all drivers are distributed over three sections of the route, ”explains the Pikes Peak professional. “If the weather is okay, we will drive this up to five times.” The drivers only have to put these three sections together during the race. There is no complete driving down of the route beforehand. At 8.30 a.m. it is already over and the route is opened for normal traffic and tourists. It starts on June 24th. Similar to the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man, the start is individual. There is only one race – and it has to be right.
Between the children’s playhouse and the screwdriver workshop
This year Thilo Günther has to do without the support of his five-year-old daughter and his partner. The two of them are waiting in the brick house in the industrial area for their dad to come back healthy. Dog Mayla guards the yard, which has enough space for Thilo’s screwdriver projects and the white and red Yamaha PW50 with his daughter’s sidecar.
The brand-new children’s playhouse with a blue slide stands out in its large garden. A do-it-yourself project by the road racer, which, at the request of his daughter, should be finished before Pikes Peak. “We’ve even stayed there,” chats the family man. Thilo has been employed full-time as an industrial mechanic at a local company for many years. Contrary to the expectations of many. “Wunderlich allows me to practice my hobby for free. With such an expensive sport that is amazing, ”explains Thilo Günther. However, he does not earn anything with it. “I don’t have to either. As it is now, it is optimal. ”
Bottom line: Thilo Günther loves motorsport with every capillary in his body. That much is certain. So what about the idea of living without Braaaap, Wrrroooom and Rooaar? “Impossible. I don’t see how that should work, ”he admits. He doesn’t have to for the time being. After all, the first thing he has to do is the Pikes Peak adventure and “maybe the fishing port race again in 2019”, he hopes sincerely.
If you want to follow Thilo Günther on his Pikes Peak adventure, you can do so online. He publishes live videos on his Facebook page every day and reports on the training and the atmosphere on site. And then it is time to keep your fingers crossed for the first German motorcyclist who might make it to the podium in the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race …
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