After a three-year wait, reigning Macau Grand Prix champion Erno Kostamo will make his much-anticipated debut at the 2023 Isle of Man TT Races, continuing the trend of mainland Europe’s finest road racers progressing to the TT.
The Finnish rider will contest the RST Superbike, RL360 Superstock, and Milwaukee Senior TT Races on the Penz13.com BMW M 1000 RR and becomes the first rider from Finland to compete at the TT since Juha Kallio in 2017.
Kostamo was scheduled to participate at TT 2020 only for the pandemic to put his plans on hold, but he’ll now make his debut in June with every chance of becoming the quickest Finnish rider ever around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course. That accolade is currently held by Kallio whose best lap, at an average speed of 117.132mph, was set in the Supersport Race 2 in 2014.
31-year old Kostamo became the first ever Finnish winner of the Macau Grand Prix last year; beating David Datzer; who impressed at last year’s TT; and World Supersport leading light Sheridan Morais to the top step of the podium. He became the first non-British winner since 1997 – and his road racing credentials extend to notable performances at the North West 200, finishing just outside the top ten in 2019.
A regular podium finisher in the International Road Racing Championship, Kostamo has contested the road circuits in mainland Europe since 2016, with his best season coming in 2018 when he finished third in the Superbike class behind Danny Webb and Didier Grams.
Fourth overall in 2017, 2019 and again in 2022, Kostamo has taken four wins and 21 podiums in the IRRC, with victories coming at his home event at Imatra as well as Terlicko in the Czech Republic.
Kostamo will certainly be one of the brightest European talents to have graced the TT and he’ll enjoy great support at this year’s event from Rico Penzkofer’s experienced team, with the German outfit once again having a considerable presence in the TT paddock. Penzkofer remains the fastest German rider around the Mountain Course with a speed of 124.962mph; he will be a source of invaluable advice.