One number, one story – 8 for Bolliger Team Switzerland
Bolliger Team Switzerland’s lucky number is 8: the infinity symbol reaching for the sky. For more than 25 years now, this independent squad has been giving the factory-backed teams in the FIM Endurance World Championship a run for their money.
Bolliger Team, the veteran Swiss outfit based north of Bern, was created in 1975 by Hanspeter ‘Hampu’ Bolliger, himself a rider. He made his first foray into endurance racing in 1982, at Imola and Barcelona. He finished 10th in the 24 Hours of Imola and 7th in the 24 Hours of Montjuic. That was the start of a lifelong passion for endurance racing.
‘Hampu’ – already proudly sporting his trademark moustache – raced his first Bol d’Or in 1992, but was forced to hang up his leathers as a result of an injury and focus instead on his role as team manager. With a crew made up of volunteers, Bolliger Team Switzerland began to build up experience in the world championship, obtaining some promising results, like a 5th-place finish at the 24 Heures Motos in 1994. They claimed their first podium with a 2nd-place finish at the 1999 Oschersleben 24 Hours. It was only the second edition of the German race, a relatively new addition to the FIM EWC calendar. In 2000, Bolliger Team Switzerland decided to race their first full season of the world championship.
Bolliger Team Switzerland have striven ever since to keep up with the factory teams, often managing to do better than the top squads. Their track record speaks for itself. They have been one of the world championship’s most prominent independent teams since the early 2000s, claiming the runner-up spot in the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2005 and again in 2010. They were back on the championship podium in 2014 after finishing 3rd overall. In 2015, they flew the Swiss flag over the 3rd step of the podium at the 24 Heures Motos.
Throughout their extended run in the FIM EWC, Bolliger Team Switzerland have stayed loyal to Kawasaki and to the number 8 – the number assigned to the team when they joined the championship as a full-season entry back in 2000. The number 8 has become Bolliger Team Switzerland’s calling card; it is uniquely associated with the independent Swiss team, whose future is assured.
Hanspeter Bolliger, who recently celebrated 45 years in racing, now has the support of his son Kevin. Although Kevin has a beard, not a moustache, he has inherited his father’s passion for endurance racing, and will continue his efforts to make Bolliger Team Switzerland shine.