QUEENSLAND. Townsville racer Damien Koppe earned a significant slice of history at the weekend when he became the first Aussie ever to win the beach races at the Burt Munro Challenge in New Zealand.
The 30-year-old car mechanic and sometime Future Sport Motorcycles bike mechanic clean-swept the famous beach races, winning the Pro Open, the 450 and the 50-lapper, as well as the Burt Munro 1-mile Challenge.
Using the Future Sports Motorcycles KTM450SXF, an assortment of different wheels and tyres and the significant ‘spannering’ skills of his father/crew chief Steve Koppe, he also placed third in the hill climb and second in the drag race.
Damien also rode exceptionally well in the speedway event aboard a borrowed solo, winning two races, however, a succession of flat tyres brought his progress to a halt.
Held at Invercargill, near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the Burt Munro Challenge has attracted top New Zealand riders and weekend warriors alike to its exciting variety of events since 2006.
A former professional speedway racer and winner of two Grass Tree Beach Races at Mackay, Koppe was able to use his broad experience in various facets of motorcycle sport including flat track, motocross and supermotard, to make the best of the conditions.
Koppe’s trip home from New Zealand will take in a diversion to Brisbane for this weekend’s North Brisbane Cup at Mick Doohan Raceway.