Vespa Race 24h "The Resistance", Zuera (Spain)

Created by Dietrich Limper at 07:06 on June 7, 2024

Vespa The Resistance is a 24-hour endurance race with a special twist: the vehicles are Vespa and Lambretta scooters, ranging from standard models to heavily modified racing machines. Up to 60 teams with a total of around 320 riders compete in four different categories. They have 24 hours to compete against each other, with the focus on fun and the essence of endurance racing.

The organisation of this race began in 2006 with a 6-hour endurance race. in 2011, the event was expanded to a 24-hour race and became known as Vespa The Resistance . It takes place on the Circuito Internacional de Zuera, a circuit that is known worldwide for hosting the CIK World Championship. The circuit is 1,700 metres long, 10 metres wide and has 7 right-hand bends and 4 left-hand bends, ensuring excitement from the first to the last minute. It is no exaggeration to say that this race is the unofficial world championship in endurance racing for scooters.

Le Mans start
Everything ready for the 2024 Le Mans start

One Vespa, five riders

This year, a total of 29 teams competed in the various classes, including scooters from tuning heavyweights such as Polini, Pinasco and Crimaz. SIP Scootershop is one of the sponsors of #Team Germany 111 powered by GSF, or #TG111 for short. Co-founder Mike Betz recalls: "We were the first team from a German-speaking country to take part in the inaugural race in 2011. After that, we actively promoted the race, which led to more and more German-speaking and French teams joining in the following years. No other team has won twice so far, but we have already achieved four overall victories (of all teams) in the SP1 class (fastest class)."

In addition to Mike, four other drivers took part in the race: Rapfi, Woidi, Ulf and Stoffi. In qualifying, they had achieved an excellent starting position with 3rd place and Rapfi started the first stint at 12.00 Clock sharp with the famous Le Mans start, which according to the regulations may not last longer than 65 minutes per driver. After three hours, #TG111 was in a formidable 2nd place. The bike was running smoothly, no problems yet.

We presented the scooter a while ago in our "Custom Creations" series, it's best to watch the video to see what Mike & Co. are moving around the track at up to 130 km/h. A brief summary from engine builder karoo: "Quattrini M200, 58 mm long stroke. The aim is not to achieve maximum power, but rather durability. And the power delivery must be as smooth as possible. 32 mm Carburettor, special gearbox from Faio with exactly the right gear steps. Hartz 4 Clutch - that's it. Perfectly durable and super easy to ride. That's what it's all about."

Good attitude, lots of speed: Team Germany 111 powered by SIP Scootershop

The people in the pits

"Without a good team, the riders aren't worth much," says Mike. "The team plays a key role in setting up the scooter before the race and provides the pit crew during the race. Our guys have done a fantastic job. Since this year, we have also been actively involved in promoting young talent. Two team members have brought their sons with them, one of whom already owns a racing scooter."

We introduce you: Alex is responsible for all the electrics and the self-developed Control Units on the scooter as well as the live telemetry. For the past two years, he has also been independently organising the entire live transmission from the scooter and streaming it online. Putzi, the man from the very beginning when the long-distance team consisted of just him and Mike, has now ended his career as a pilot. His son Leo helps set up the scooter and is also part of the pit crew, as are Benni, Sud and his son Moritz.

Jubilation Zuera
Great jubilation over the podium finish in Spain

FACTS Racing Vespa

PS: approx. 35

Max. Speed: 130 km/h

Brake Pads: two sets per race

Fuel consumption: 190 litres per race

Number of laps: 1,003

Fastest lap: 1:15.910

Penalties: none

Temperature: over 30 degrees in the Leathers

Start: Le Mans

Time cost: One year's holiday

Stint length: 65 minutes

Worst year: 2018 with storms and hail

Next race: Cheb500 in September in the Czech Republic

The Vespa 24h race live and in colour

And after around five hours, this pit crew had a lot to do for the first time, as a breathless pilot Stoffi reported: "No more gears." Now they have to work quickly, purposefully and professionally, and that's what the guys who were born with a spanner in their hands do. And if things get stuck, the other teams even help. That's fair sportsmanship.

So back on the track! On we go! After nine hours, dusk falls and Stoffi is happy about the falling temperatures. Then it gets dark, the team is in 3rd place and some repairs are needed during the night, but 3rd place can be defended until dawn.

Thanks to Alex, the spectators were able to follow all the action via a live stream on YouTube. It was so clear and professionally done that it really blew our Socks off. Quite an achievement when you consider that only one person is responsible for this broadcast. If you want to get an idea of this, you can do so in the linked videos. You should definitely take a look.

The final result

Livestream: 12.00 - 20.00 Clock

Livestream: 20.00 - 04.00 Clock

Livestream: 04.00 - 12.00 Clock

Drama & suspense right to the end

The Radiator of the night Guiding, the sun recaptured the track and #TG111 turned lap after lap and defended his position in the field. with 15 minutes to go, however, there was a shock: "Ulf has crashed, he's pushing the scooter to the pits." Hectic activity that is impossible to describe - watch the video! 4 minutes and 27 seconds before the end of the race, the scooter is back on the track and claims 3rd place behind the works teams from Crimaz and Pinasco. Just two laps ahead of the Toomoto Vespa Rubiella team. That was damn close! Mike finds the right words: "We had a lot of problems, but the morale in the team was never broken and we kept going until the end."

SIP Scootershop also congratulates "#Team Germany 111 powered by GSF on this performance and third place. We were so impressed by the dedication, professionalism and team performance that our CEO Ralf was not the only one sitting in front of the TV at night watching the race live. Respect guys!

Video: Vespa The Resistance 2024 Zuera with Team Germany

Picture gallery: Vespa The Resistance 2024 Zuera with Team Germany

Many thanks to Bengt Lange and Two Stroke Loft

Vespa The Resistance 24h Race Zuera, Spain 2024
Dietrich Limper
Dietrich Limper

Dietrich Limper works as an editor for SIP Scootershop and also writes for local and national publications. When he's not geocaching, he enjoys the amazing antics of Bayer Leverkusen.