ESC Vespa Race Harzring Sept. 2020

Created by Jesco at 11:10 on October 5, 2020

2020 hasn’t exactly been the best year for Vespa and Lambretta events. Everything, including the race series for geared scooter has been affected by Corona. The DBM Sprint racing has been cancelled altogether for 2020. The ESC circuit racing has fared slightly better and all in all three race meetings were actually held.

The European Scooter Challenge ESC returned to the traditional and popular Harzring track for the last race of this year’s championship. Reason enough for SIP to travel there with a camera-team and a racing scooter.

With the season shortened and the uncertainty about the races even taking place or not the number of participants this year was somewhat smaller than usual. On a more positive note this made for a track with plenty of space for all racers. Hence the Friday training session offered plenty of room for rookies too to familiarise themselves with riding on a racetrack. Ideal conditions to prepare for the scooter race on the Saturday.

Knie am Boden bei bestem Wetter am Trainingstag

On race-day the weather had deteriorated significantly. What I did see from the window, toothbrush in hand, made me question the idea of racing on two wheels. It was raining, properly so, and the weather app predicted rain for the entire day. In the end it wasn’t going to be too much of a deal since most riders had had the good sense to bring modern rain tires for their Vespas and Lambrettas. The qualifying was enough to get used to the conditions. The races themselves demonstrated the potential of modern tire technology. Best performed the PMT Racing Rain Tyres we found. Even under these conditions it was possible to safely get your knee down and to really hit the brake before turns. Choosing a line and accelerating out of the corners of course required a bit of a sensitive wrist, but with these tires even controlled power slides in the wet are possible. In the end it was a worthy season’s final with fast and tightly fought races.

After the changed ESC rules the best riders meet in Class 4. So this was where the action was on the day. The third race in particular had the leading trio battled it out time and again in captivating fights. Racing through fast corners, accelerating on the finishing straight and hitting the break before the chicane is more spectacular still on wet tarmac. Robert Leibfahrt pretty much was champion in all but name before the weekend already. With his victory further strengthened his claim and convincingly won the title with seven wins of the nine races (twice runner up).

ESC Vespa Race Harzring Sept. 2020

In the class with the most racers, K5, the champion won the races of the day too. Valentino Randazzo, the young gun, dominated the race at will and gave cause to great expectations for the years to come.

Fastest lap of the day went to Albert Heigold. With an impressive 1:06 min he set a time most riders would find difficult to beat even in the dry. 

Unfortunately an after race party to close the season wasn’t possible in the usual manner. The corona restrictions put paid to any planning in that direction, and anyway most riders weren’t in the best shape after a day in the cold and wet. Still it was a great return to the Harzring. The organisers around Felix Richter hat their stuff well sorted, and the obligatory ambulance wasn’t needed on the race-day. See you in 2021, hopefully with more races, more racers and more distance to corona than to each other. 


Jesco is our product manager and technical editor. Many people know him from his videos on SIP Scootershop TV, where he presents tutorials, stories and products.