North West 200: FHO Racing BMW Withdraws Over Technical Rule Confusion

North West 200: FHO Racing BMW Withdraws Over Technical Rule Confusion

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By FHO Racing BMW:

FHO RACING BMW MOTORRAD WITHDRAWS FROM THE 2023 NORTH WEST 200

The FHO Racing BMW Motorrad team are withdrawing from the 2023 fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 due to no confidence in the application of the Superstock technical regulations.

The Superstock class technical regulations mandate the machines must fully comply with conditions regarding the wheels, where Superstock machines must remain with the originally homologated wheels from the manufacturer, which from BMW are carbon. It then goes on to prohibit carbon material, however aftermarket wheels are also not allowed and no mandated alternative specification is prescribed.

The FHO Racing BMW M 1000 RR machines passed scrutineering on Tuesday (9 May) and were allowed to take part in all qualifying sessions before being informed they were not allowed to race moments before the Briggs Equipment Superstock race this evening.

Having taking this issue out with the fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 organisers, there is no confidence that the FHO Racing riders could take part in a race with the obvious dangers, and risks that road racing prevents and then the performance protested or disqualified on a technicality that is not adequately explained.

The FHO Racing team have checked the 2023 technical regulations against those of 2022 and the regulations remain the same, where the team raced the carbon homologated wheels in both Superstock races, as well as the event in 2019.

The effort commitment and logistics required to compete in the North West 200 are significant and this lack of confidence in the organisation renders the team’s participation in this year’s event impossible.

The FHO Racing team would like to sincerely apologise to all its sponsors and fans, and the team are now looking forward to getting back out on the roads in a few weeks time at the Isle of Man TT Races.

 

 

 

More, from a statement issued by North West 200 organizers:

The technical regulations of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre), under which the fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 is run, state that carbon wheels are not permitted for use at any MCUI road race event.

Those regulations, which are implemented by the MCUI Stewards of the Meeting, were approved by the sport’s governing body in January 2023 and published on the North West 200’s website at that stage.

The FHO Racing BMW team were informed by the MCUI’s Stewards after qualifying on Thursday afternoon that their riders, Peter Hickman and Josh Brookes, would be excluded from the Briggs Equipment Superstock race as their machines were fitted with carbon wheels.

The NW200 organisers were informed of the Steward’s decision, which is final and binding upon the event, at 21.30pm on Thursday night during the final Steward’s meeting.

No such action had been discussed with the NW200 organisers prior to this time despite the machines having been scrutineered on both Tuesday and Thursday morning.

We deeply regret the FHO Racing BMW team’s decision to withdraw from the event tonight as a result of this action, a sentiment we know will be shared by all NW200 race fans.

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