PLC Corse : Primarily Lunatic Conversions

Compared to other countries, Dutch scooterists are a rare breed. Rare, but often good quality in my experience. Christiaan Foppen u2013 also know as Ollandese Volante (the Flying Dutchman) u2013 really fits the bill.

Christiaan runs PLC Corse, a Vespa racing parts company borne out of his passion for scooter racing. The business is singularly and splendidly unconventional, as was Christiaanu2019s introduction to racing early in this Millennium.

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His background is not u2018traditionalu2019 scooter scene. He was an art school kid in Holland with a penchant for skateboarding and dreams of becoming a professional Motocross racer, but knee injuries put paid to that. Instead he put his Vespa on the track and immediately shone.

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When he moved to Italy, where he spends time with his wife and new-born son, Christiaan was one of the first fully-sponsored Vespa racers in the current sport, riding for Angelo Zirri.

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While racing under factory contract helped with the finances, it didnu2019t entirely satisfy Christiaanu2019s ambition on the track. A chance encounter with an Italian kart tuner lead to a joint project making a Vespa smallframe kit based on a liquid-cooled kart barrel.

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Development was a long process but the end result was a complete boxed kit for turning a Vespa into a fire-breathing 14,000rpm beast. Christiaan promptly assembled a team of equally nutty racers and entered the 2008 European Scooter Championship (ESC) series in 2008.

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2008 Team: Gico, Andy Reid, Christiaan, Koen and CestanPhoto: PLC
2008 Team: Gico, Andy Reid, Christiaan, Koen and CestanPhoto: PLC

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u201cI felt like a rock staru201d explained Christiaan, looking back on the impact his team made on their sudden arrival in the ESC with his own cylinder kit. Celebrations however, were short-lived. PLCu2019s kits were promptly disallowed from obtaining points in the championship due to being u2018alienu2019 cylinders that were unavailable to all competitors. The team carried on winning races deprived of any opportunity to win a championship as a result.

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Christiaanu2019s attitude has always been unconventional. If you were one of the few who bought a PLC cylinder kit back in 2008, then it arrived in a straw-filled wooden box; much like the baby Jesus. Unlike Maryu2019s boy child however, a PLC kit did not come with instructions on parchment. Instead you got an assembly video made by one of Christiaanu2019s friends who worked for Discovery TV.

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Since that time PLCu2019s business has remained true to the Vespa racing creed, evolving to produce the fibreglass tanks and body kits used throughout the European racing world.

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THE FUTURE:u00a0Christiaan remains motivated by fun. This might be riding one of his Vespas in the Italian mountains, running a crazy moped race on the farm where he lives, or competing in the Zuera 24-hour Vespa race for Pinasco.

In the future Christiaan plans to ship several race Vespas around the world so he and his friends can compete in one scooter race in every country where there is a championship. If that doesnu2019t sound like the ultimate scooterist stag party, then I donu2019t know what doesu2026

PART TWO >