Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Czech Custom Grand Prix (CCGP)

Czech Custom Grand Prix (CCGP)

CZ Custom GP
International Custom Bike Show, Brno, Czech Republic, March 5-8, 2020

Another new AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building affiliate show for 2020, the Czech Custom Grand Prix (CCGP) is an associate event of Motosalon 2020, the Czech market's leading international motorcycle expo - indeed, it is the largest such show, not just in the Czech Republic, but all of eastern Europe.

Ever since the AMD European and World Championship programs started, they have showcased some of the excellent custom engineering that is being done in eastern Europe - something that a lot of people are still surprised by.
Eastern European builders have scooped dozens of AMD European and World Championship titles, podiums and class wins, and 2018 saw not just a Russian win the AMD World Championship, but eastern European builders took four out of the top ten spots in the Freestyle class, including third and fourth places - Pavel Malenik of the Czech Republic taking fourth with his much admired 'Beast of Brooklands'.

So when AMD was approached with what looked like a convincing affiliate event proposition, one with the pedigree, backing and connections to make it a viable long-term candidate to showcase the best that eastern Europe had to offer, AMD was 'all over it'.
When you go to a new AMD affiliate event for the first time, and in this case an entirely new first-time show, you are never sure what you are going to find, but I have to say, this show and the standard of bikes was excellent.
The event is a credit to the long existing custom culture in the eastern parts of Europe, and the Czech Custom GP (CCGP) proved that with the many beautiful, often handcrafted customs on show, and there was a great eye for detail with some in a distinctive eastern European style. 

Tomáš Pitlík won the Best in Show with 'Tnorf' a 1938 CZ 175cc engine.

The name for the show was chosen because the city in which it was being staged, Brno, is synonymous with Grand Prix motorcycle racing in Europe - Brno is one of the most famous of Europe's MotoGP tracks with a pedigree that goes back many decades.
As an affiliate event, the overall winner of the CCGP at Motosalon will be representing the show at the next AMD World Championship at INTERMOT, Cologne, Germany (October 6-11). With over 100 custom bikes competing in eight competition classes, this show was more than expected for the over 65,000 visitors that crammed the aisles on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
However, proving that timing is everything, the numbers dropped considerably on the Sunday as fear about the COVID-19 threat rushed through Europe that very same weekend.

Ten year old Max Faragula won the National Legends class and an invitation to compete at the AMD World Championship with his 1936 Jawa 250 based boardtracker.

Next to the usual classes, the Indian Redskin and National Legends classes stood out. The Indian class was for Indians only, of course, but the National Legends class embraced all motorcycles from the era of socialism - of which many had been restored and/or customized to the max! And yes, it was a Max, aged just ten years old and probably the youngest builder ever, who took first place in the National Legends class and was therefore awarded a special AMD invitation to compete at the AMD World Championship.
Max Faragula from Slovakia, with some help from his father, showed that the traditions of innovation and precision engineering of the once huge Czechoslovak motorcycle industry are very much alive and well with his beautiful 1936 Jawa 250 based boardtracker - a real attention grabber.
Best in Show was won by former AMD competitor Tomáš Pitlík, who had two great machines in the show. It was his 'Tnorf' front wheel driven bike with a 1938 CZ 175 cc engine that won top honors, earning the biggest trophy and the expenses paid trip to the AMD World Championship in Cologne. 
In the Freestyle class it was 'Rock Steady', a cool chopper built by Penz Custombikes (Austria) that received the biggest trophy.       
With competitors from countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and, of course, the Czech Republic, it was a very international show and one that could become a lot bigger still in the future as many more competitors from other countries, especially Italy, would have liked to come but couldn't because of the borders in Europe beginning to close as the continent headed towards lockdown.

Still, the CCGP organizers did everything and much more to get as many bikes to their show as possible and handled the issues and needs of their competitors and visitors very professionally - on behalf of the AMD team and the World Championship program big thanks for that to Ondra and Tereza! 

The Freestyle class winner was 'Rock Steady' by Penz Custombikes.

The Brno Motosalon is staged every other year, alternating with the Prague show, which is where the 2021 Czech custom show will be staged. The custom bike show used to be known as the Bohemian Custom Show had been an AMD affiliate show twice before, but as Ondra explained "sending the winner to Sturgis, where the AMD WCC used to be, simply got too expensive for us.
"With Motosalon and the Prague show we have new partners, and now we are able to put on a great custom bike show. BVV, the biggest partner and main organizer, helped us to realize this year's Custom Grand Prix, and we are very grateful to be an affiliate to the AMD World Championship again.

"After this good start, I am sure that next year the CCGP will be even bigger and better, and at last, with AMD's backing and credentials, we have a platform that really can become the showcase for eastern Europe that has always been needed."

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