New EWC team KM99 targets 2023 debut and FIM world title success in three years
A new team will challenge for FIM Endurance World Championship honours in 2023 after Belgian squad KM99 revealed plans to enter the EWC from next season.
KM99, which has been in the planning since January, is an alliance between Christian Jupsin, Mario Kupper and Gaëtan Schyns, a trio with a passion for motorcycle racing – and a pedigree to match – and comes equipped with big ambitions.
It has set winning the FIM EWC title within three years as its target and plans to announce “world-class riders” who will chase success on its Dunlop-equipped Yamaha R1 in August.
Christian Jupsin, who heads up DG Sport, a successful Belgian motorsport team and event organiser, explained: “Mario is a known figure in the world of Belgian motorcycles, with such achievements as victories at the 24 Heures Motos, Bol d’Or, 8 Hours of Doha, the Tourist Trophy and the Endurance World Championship. Together with Gaëtan Schyns, we thought there might be something we could do. With the support of Yamaha and Dunlop, we have, I believe the best ingredients to play up front, with an objective to aim for the world title within three years.”
A key factor in KM99’s FIM EWC title target will be its rider line-up, as Mario Kupper underlined: “A short-list is already on the table and we are giving ourselves until the month of August to name the team that will represent KM99 in 2023. But we can already assure you that these will be world-class riders.”
Meanwhile, Gaëtan Schyns, Managing Director of the Schyns-Discar-Citropol Group, took part in the last 24 Heures de Liège, the spirit of which the 24H SPA EWC Motos helped to recreate, in 2003.
What’s in a name?
KM is the name of Mario Kupper’s company, which is based at Lontzen, Belgium, and was formed in 1999. The team will use #99.
Commenting on KM99’s EWC plans, Jean-Baptiste Ley, the EWC Director for Discovery Sports Events, said: “We are very pleased and excited to welcome a new team from the 2023 EWC season. While it’s a new team, the individuals behind it have achieved plenty of success in motorcycle racing and we have no doubt that KM99 will be another great addition to the line-up of EWC teams planning for next season.”