The 2012 race season was highly anticipated by Marcel Irnie. This year would mark his return to the Canadian racing scene and would also be his first on a brand new motorcycle.(2012 s1000rr break-in video) After a busy spring participating in preparation races in Washington, Oregon, California and Utah, Marcel Irnie and his new BMW S1000R were ready to embark on his rookie campaign in the Pro SuperBike class of the Canadian Superbike Championship.
Early in the spring, a horsepower gremlin had afflicted his new machine. Early season dyno runs showed that the bike delivered a healthy 184 horsepower. Following an early April wet race weekend in Washington, the bike could only muster 169 horsepower.
Round one took place at Shannonville Motorsport Park outside of Toronto on June 24th. Marcel and his father (Ron Irnie) left Kelowna in mid-June to visit the BMW dealer in Ajax, Ontario. The hope was that they offer a solution. Unfortunately they could not and Irnie would have to compete in Canada’s most elite race series with a considerable handicap. Irnie qualified 11th and also finished the race in 11th, in what was a tricky rain race that dried toward the end of the event. Irnieracing.com presents: "The Long Road to Shannonville"
Round two took place on July 8th at St. Eustache, Quebec. During this event, the BMW traction control was not working correctly, so he turned it off and ran without. Irnie again qualified and finished in 11th position. Irnieracing.com presents: "Bienvenue au Québec"
For Round three, the series moved to Shubenacadie Nova Scotia on July 22nd. In the week prior to the national, Irnie participated in an Atlantic Roadracing League event in an effort to master the race course. Starting from the last row, Irnie was able to secure 3rd and 2nd place finishes. Irnie had good form for the national event, but crashed out of the big race on lap 4 while battling for 7th position. Marcel did not sustain any serious injuries, but his bike would need some repairs prior to the next round. Irnieracing.com presents: "The Rough Atlantic"
Round four took place on August 12th at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Irnie’s opinion is that the tracks smooth surface fast speeds with elevation change, makes this the best race track in Canada. Mark-Olivier Labelle, owner of T_SBK sponsored Marcel with free track-days for the week prior to the event. Irnie rode his 2005 Dave Alexander-built zx-6rr and was feeling so comfortable on this bike that he had made the choice to compete in the Pro 600 class as well. A 200 km/h lowside crash during the Tuesday's trackday put an end to that aspiration. It also did a number on his "Heroic Marcel" Kangaroo race suit and the new pearl white paint job by Mirror Image Customs. Irnie opted to only ride the Superbike class after this turn of events. Irnie qualified in 10th position. Rainy conditions prior to the race start prompted a quick switch to rain tires. The rain stopped as the riders took to the grid a rapidly drying surface made for a very unpredictable event. Irnie took the checkered flag in 10th place. Irnieracing.com presents: "Tremblant Superbike"
The final two rounds of the Canadian Superbike Championship series took place at the famed Mosport circuit near Bowmanville, Ontario. Prior to the event, Irnie picked up his BMW from Brooklin Cycle in Whitby, whom was hired by BMW Canada in a last ditch attempt to correct his horsepower issue. It was to no avail as the engine’s peak output remained at 168 horsepower, with faulty ecu lauches. With many competitors having 184 horsepower at their disposal, he was all but defenseless on the straightaways. For the Saturday race (round 5), Irnie qualified 10th once again. Irnie got off to a horrendous start for the race as the bike would not take off properly in launch mode. Irnie was able to salvage another 10th place finish.
Sunday morning practice brought some unwanted drama as fellow competitor Scott Rupert rear ended Irnie. Irnie managed to stay upright, but his exhaust and sub-frame were mangled. He was able to complete the proper repairs in time for the race. Irnie saved his best for last as he finished a solid 8th in the final round of the season. "Mosport Attacks" video documentary will be uploaded October 15th.
This placed Irnie 10th overall in the series. Considering the horsepower issues that he grappled with all season, this was not what he considered an acceptable result.
Photo by J.R. Walker
Irnie made the long trek back to BC to regroup and take in some late season races in the Pacific Northwest. Despite his unresolved horsepower and launch issues, he journeyed to Seattle to take part in two days of racing on September 22nd and 23rd. On Saturday, the Open Supersport class started well as Irnie moved into second spot by corner 3. His engine started to overheat under mysterious circumstances and he elected to back off and limp the rest of the way to the finish. He performed multiple radiator flushes with the hope that this would alleviate the issue.
Irnie’s first race on Sunday was the Open Superbike class. Once again, his launch was dreadful, but he was able to carry huge speed into the second corner thanks to KFG Racing suspension and passed several riders. Late braking mixed with faster corner speeds put Irnie into 2nd place by lap 2. Irnie followed Adam Robarts and on lap 8 decided to pass and took the checkered flag for a long awaited victory.
The next race was the Formula Ultra class. Mark DeGross took an early lead with Irnie stalking him in 2nd. Irnie again strategized to pass Degross on Lap 8, and then put in some fast laps. Unfortunately, a rider crashed on lap 7 and the race was called early, giving Mark the default win.
Irnieracing.com presents: "Follow the Leader"
With the 2012 season winding down, Marcel Irnie's last event of the year is at Portland International raceway, October 6th and 7th. BMW Canada has now ordered Irnie a new ECU, but it won't arrive in time for Portland. Can Irnie battle off Oregan's fastest with his 'Mad BMW?' Stay Tuned.
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Last edited by irnieracing; 10-03-2012 at 02:05 AM.
Marcel Irnie welcomes everybody to Mosport International Raceway, for the final double header rounds of the 2012 Canadian Superbike Championship. This feature film is now open to the public. If you really enjoyed the film, please donate anything you feel appropriate to my 2013 race/film program. I love motorcycle racing, but fear I can not afford it anymore. Please paypal or email bank transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awesome riding and fantastic videos it's great to see that perspective from start to finish... keep smilin and hassling all those stoic joe's good luck attracting a few new sponsors I'd love to see more videos.
2013 s1k, Austin Racing GP3, PC V, fries and a drink