The spectrum of successful motorsporting activities Wunderlich Motorsport has taken part in is enormous and in 2017 ranged from taking part in endurance races to road races, through to the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the most outstanding and challenging of all mountain races in the USA. The drivers for this ambitious commitment are Erich Wunderlich and Frank Hoffmann.
Christof „Fifty“ Höfer and Nate „N8!“ Kern finish the BMW BoxerCup 2019 on top as champion and vice champion
Since Sunday 29th September, 2019, following the final race in Hockenheim, it‘s official: Christof „Fifty“ Höfer #73 and Nate „N8!“ Kern #12 Wunderlich MOTORSPORT have brought home the trophies for first and second place the from the newly established, popular and hotly contested BMW BoxerCup championship, which was raced on Europe‘s legendary motorcycle race courses. At home means in the new Wunderlich company headquarters at the Innovationspark Rheinland in Grafschaft-Ringen.
One thing is clear: You can only have victories and successes if your team meticulously prepares the race bikes in the background, completes the stops during the race in a routine way and makes lightning-fast decisions about what to do in the event of technical challenges. The core of our pit crew consists of three calm, experienced, technically decorated and competent men: Sebastian Klettke, Peter Schwellenbach and Christian Reifert.
By Toni Börner
It's back as of 2019: the BMW BoxerCup. Unlike the first edition that formed part of the Motorcycle Grand Prix, this time with the lightning-quick, series reminiscent R nineT. Along with its BOXER-SPIRIT division, Wunderlich is among those international providers with the largest range for conversions of all variants of the R nineT family. The company was extremely successful at Pikes Peak and the Long Distance Cup at the Nurbürgring with Wunderlich MOTORSPORT. It therefore made sense to seize the chance to bring the BOXER-SPIRIT and MOTORSPORT together: Nate "N8!" Kern from the USA and former Suzuki GSX-R1000-Cup Champion Christof "Fifty" will be fighting for victories and the championship.
"I actually didn't want to compete in racing any more", grinned Frank Hoffmann, managing director of Wunderlich, at the start of the year. But racing is a virus they haven't found a cure for yet.” When it became clear that the Cup was coming, there were some discussions, some directly with BMW, about Nate Kern. Naturally, I knew who he was. He's been riding BMWs for years – and also comes from America, a market that is both relevant and important to us."
Kern himself is the Boxer dinosaur, everyone on the team says: when Nate Kern came into the world, he asked about the Boxer concept. A play on the fact that Kern was there during the original Boxer Cup in Daytona and at the start of the 2000s.
Another successful weekend for the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team at the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup promoted by Wilbers at the Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM): Christof “Fifty” Höfer #73 took the sole race win on Sunday, starting from pole position. Team mate Nate “N8!” Kern #12 (USA) got second. With these results it is clear: The BoxerCup Champion 2019 will be one of the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT riders!
Assen always is a big gamble in regard of the weather conditions and there was no difference in this year’s fifth round of the BoxerCup season as Friday and Saturday the TT Cicuit Assen was haunted by showers.
It came on hard for the BoxerCup riders on Saturday: A rain shower mixed by an oil spill lead to the decision to declare the first race off. The R nineT racers got the offer to have another go on Sunday, but teams and riders agreed on a single race format for this weekend. It was a similar scenario like at Zolder earlier in the year.
It was another hard fought race between the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team mates Christof Höfer and Nate Kern, especially in the first third both of them swapped positions for the lead in almost every corner. Mid-race Kern got the arm pump syndrome in his right hand and had to let Höfer go.
Höfer took his sixth win of the season, seventh podium, out of the first eight races of the year. There is just one round left with the finals at Hockenheim and Höfer leads the Cup with 181 points, with Kern second 31 points adrift. 50 points are up for grab at the Hockenheimring.
The Wunderlich MOTORSPORT Team and its riders Nate N8! Kern #12 and Christof “Fifty” Höfer #73 took part in the third round of the 2019 BMW Motorrad BoxerCup promoted by Wilbers at the Schleizer Dreieck last weekend, with both earning a race win each.
The race track of “Schleizer Dreieck” is the highlight of the season in the “Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft” (IDM) with ten thousands of fans attending the specatular races at Germany’s oldest street racing circuit. The 3.805 kilometre long triangular course is a combination of public roads with gravel traps plus a motodrom section. It is the race of the year in the IDM with most fans coming to here.
So Nate Kern from USA and Christof “Fifty” Höfer from Hessen presented themselves highly motivated to hold the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT flags as high as possible to the Schleizer sky. Already in qualifying both proved to be quick with Kern earning the pole position by only 0.107 seconds in front of his team mate Höfer. Both were unreachable for the opponents.
And again both should be battling it out in race one for the victory with team boss Frank Hoffmann watching the on goings nervously. Höfer did take a bad start and had to fight his way back to Kern. After that, both were changing the leading position in a permanent way with the final decision only to be made on the last lap. Kern took his first BMW BoxerCup race win of the season.
It was up’s and downs for the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT BMW Motorrad BoxerCup Racing team – but also a weekend full of oddities fpr the RnineT riders Christof Höfer (GER) and Nate Kern (USA). Höfer took the full 25 points in the Saturday race but Sunday’s outing had to be cancelled with best riding weather conditions due to safety reasons after the previous races that day had covered the Belgian track at Zolder in oil.
Zolder was a further new track for US boy Kern so him and Höfer joined forces in tackling the track – one to learn his way round and the other the gain some more experiences in the secrets of riding Boxer bikes fast so both roteted in going front and following each other.
But Kern and Höfer became serious competition after they qualified in second and third respectively “only”: It was Arie Vos who took the pole position in his wildcard ride at Belgium – and he is a former six times Dutch champion and won races in the IDM Superbike. Kern took the better over Höfer by 0.018 seconds but both were highly motivated to reduce that half a second gap over Vos in front.
Our Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team got off to a perfect season start of the International Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM) at Germany’s Lausitzring. Riders Christof “Fifty” Höfer and his team mate Nate Kern from the USA powered their BMW R nineT Racer in a double 1-2. Kern already had taken pole position in front of Höfer, who turned the fortunes around for himself in both races.
It has not only been the season opening for the IDM and the BoxerCup but also the very first race of this new class in which only BMW R nineT machinery is lined up. Our targets were easily found and clearly communicated: Both riders shall fight for race wins and the championship.
For that Nate Kern from USA was brought into the team – an experienced guy not only on Superbike machinery, but a Boxer rider for more than ten years. Team mate Höfer won the German edition of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Cup two years ago and moved up to the IDM Superbike last season. But the year was injury plagued, so Höfer is now aiming for a fresh start in the BoxerCup.
Rivalry only starts come race time
Kern and Höfer might be team mates but won’t make any gifts to each other during the races, but in Lausitzring’s practice and qualifying sessions, both worked together as Kern was new to the track and Höfer almost has no experience on Boxer motorbikes at all. So, the duo worked together and did not make the opponents having a faith at all.
In Saturday’s first race it was Kern who took the holeshot and the US rider was able to pull a gap to his opponents. But at the end of the race it was Höfer that put in the best pace, fighting back on his team mate. Kern also missed a gear one or another time, so Höfer could not only catch him but also took the win.
Wunderlich competes in this year‘s BMW BoxerCup 2019 as a racing team and as an exclusive sponsor for the series. Now, Frank Hoffmann, Team Manager of Wunderlich MOTORSPORT, announced that Nate “N8!” Kern will be competing all the races in the 2019 BMW BoxerCup 2019 for Wunderlich MOTORSPORT.
At least since 2016, Nate Kern has been known to the German public when he became a crowd pleaser at the Glemseck 101 - also on the R nineT. His appearance on the 1/8-mile was passionate and convincing and corresponded to his credo: „You do not have to decide whether you have fun or success. It‘s both!“ A racer to touch!
But Nate Kern is not set to just the 1/8th mile. He is an audience hero especially in the USA. Those who know his story, know what kind of enthusiastic motorcycle racer he is: he had his breakthrough in the original BMW BoxerCup Daytona in 2003. Since then he has successfully raced 9 different BMW Models with wins or podiums on each! Nate has also helped launch the class leading S 1000 Double-R and is the current Official S 1000 RR Ambassador to the USA. With a very busy schedule introducing The All New BMW S 1000 Double R all over the U.S., he loves the challenge of extensive travel and new circuits!
His career and heritage with the brand however, is very closely linked with the Boxer. Among other things, he has won multiple Regional and National Championships with CCS, ASRA, WERA, and AHRMA. The ultra-competitive ASRA Pro Thunderbike National class Nate won on a Boxer, which was until then firmly in the hands of Buell. And recently you could admire him on a race-ready BMW R nineT, which he has proprietarily developed over the past 3 seasons successfully, inspiring the return of the highly exciting spec racing series BMW BoxerCup! He has shown that the R nineT is not only good for the track, but that, in the right hands, it is fast enough to beat other two-cylinder racing bikes. The man obviously seems to have a strong weakness for BMW motorcycles and especially for the Boxer engine.
Now he comes back to Europe and rides on the Wunderlich BoxerCup R nineT circuit race instead of just the ever popular 1/8-mile at Glemseck 101.
Frank Hoffmann: „We are looking forward to Nate, who is amazingly fast on the R nineT! In addition to Nate Kern, in January we signed the winner of the 2017 Suzuki GSX 1000 Cup, Christof „Fifty“ Höfer, so our team is complete for 2019. The preparations are in full progress, which promises to be an exciting season!“
After Lucy Glöckner’s triumph at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Christoph "Fifty" Höfer and Nate "N8!” Kern’s Championship and runner-up in the BoxerCup, our RLC Endurance Team won the race on October 3rd, 2019, and thus the Championship of the Reinoldus Endurance Cup - RLC for the third time in a row.