Frohburg Road Races continue to attract top class riders

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The annual IRRC-Finale in Germany attracts fans from the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries as well as international riders. Northern Irelands Michael Dunlop and Lee Johnston celebrated victories in the final Superbike races at Frohburg in 2014 and 2015 respectively, putting their names on the list of winners at the triangle circuit near Leipzig. They were not the first popular international riders to do so.

Heinz Rosner (Frohburg 1967)

Heinz Rosner (Frohburg 1967)

The Frohburg Road Races were first held in 1960. Heinz Rosner finished 5th in the 125cc race that year. He went on to become a works rider for MZ in the World Championship and took wins at Frohburg in 1965 and 1966. He completed the triple in 1967, putting a whole lap on Bultaco riders Ginger Molloy (New Zealand) and Bob Coulter (Ireland) in second and third place respectively. In 1968 the Frohburg Road Races were cancelled because of the Prague Spring. The road near Leipzig could not be closed for racing, but was used by tanks on their way to Czechoslovakia instead. In 1969 the racing was back and so was Rosner (3rd of the 1968 250cc World Championship) standing on the top step of the podium once again.

Janos Drapal (Frohburg 1979)

Janos Drapal (Frohburg 1979)

Hungarian ace János Drápal won four Grand Prix between 1971 and 1973. His winning streak at Frohburg began with the 1976 250cc race. He celebrated another eight victories until 1984, winning the trophies and the sympathies of the local fans. A whole generation in and around Frohburg was inspired by Drápal, but he was not to return in 1985. The nine times Hungarian Champion lost his life in an accident at Piešťany earlier that year.

Toni Rechberger, Steve Ward, Roy Jeffreys

Toni Rechberger, Steve Ward, Roy Jeffreys

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the grids became more international. The first Superbike race on the shortened circuit in 1993 was decided between Tourist Trophy regulars Steve Ward (Great Britain) and Toni Rechberger (Austria). In 1995 road racing legend Joey Dunlop raced his 125cc Castrol-Honda to victory and returned to Frohburg with his 250cc machine a year later.

Joey Dunlop (Frohburg 1995)

Joey Dunlop (Frohburg 1995)

1997 saw the road racing debut of young Max Neukirchner. The 14 years old took second place on a 125cc Honda in his first year of racing. A year later he stood on the top step of the podium. Max´ father Lothar, a Grand Prix racer and Frohburg winner himself (1988), was the best mentor you could imagine. As a member of the Frohburg racing club, Max Neukirchner went on to win two World Superbike races in 2008, the first German rider to do so.

In 2003 the event was named the “Joey Dunlop OPEN” for the first time. Irishman Martin Finnegan joined the races on Supersport and Superbike machinery that year. The big Suzuki gave him a win in the OPEN Xtrem class. A year later TT-winner Ian Lougher had the Frohburg Road Races on his schedule. He took victories in the 250cc and OPEN Xtrem classes.

Thomas Walther, Robert Dunlop, Ian Lougher (Frohburg 2004)

Thomas Walther, Robert Dunlop, Ian Lougher (Frohburg 2004)

Lougher finished the 125cc race on the podium as well, but it was Robert Dunlop who won the smallest class, nine years after his brother Joey did. Robert’s son William made his Frohburg debut as well that year. In 2007 the Dunlop-family came for another visit and William took the OPEN Superstock win, his first ever international success on a big bike.

Michael Dunlop (Frohburg 2014)

Michael Dunlop (Frohburg 2014)

Also in 2007, William Dunlop’s younger brother Michael finished second on the 250cc-Honda of local team Pirate racing, the same team he would later take that memorable North West 200 victory with, only two days after the tragic accident of his father Robert. Michael returned in 2014 to take his Frohburg glory, riding for another local team: Penz13.com.

The list of winners may get even longer at the 54th ADAC-Frohburger Dreieckrennen on 24th and 25th September 2016. The entry list includes Penz13.com-riders Gary Johnson and Michael Rutter as well as Grand-Prix-rider Danny Webb.

Race schedule
24th September 2016
08:00 – 15:25 Qualifying sessions
15:40 Twins + Monos race 1 10 laps
16:25 Supersport race 1 10 laps
17:10 Sidecar Trophy Sprint 6 laps
25th September 2016
09:00 Superbike race 1 10 laps
09:45 two-stroke Classics race 1 8 laps
10:30 IRRC Supersport race 1 10 laps
11:15 Twins + Monos race 2 10 laps
12:00 IRRC Superbike race 1 10 laps
12:45 Supersport race 2 10 laps
13:30 Superbike race 2 10 laps
14:15 Sidecar Trophy main race 10 laps
15:00 two-stroke Classics race 2 8 laps
15:45 IRRC Supersport race 2 10 laps
16:30 IRRC Superbike race 2 10 laps

Andy Jordan

andyjordan@motorrennsportarchiv.de

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