Author: Stuart Barker Posted: 17 Aug 2015
The original and best one-make race series has been revived as a special support race at this year's British Grand Prix. The Bennetts Yamaha Pro-Am Challenge will see 24 riders - many of them the original stars of the 1980s series - lining up to bash fairings and tangle elbows on identical Yamaha RD250LCs at Silverstone on August 30. This will be the first Pro-Am race in 31 years and over the next three weeks we'll be profiling every rider on the grid to find out what they achieved in their racing careers, what they've gone on to do since, and why they accepted the challenge to dust down their leathers and race in the wildest race series ever held just one last time.
Rider: Curt Langan
Curt Langan was a top club racer in the late '70s and early '80s and was famed - and feared - for his aggressive riding style. He finished third in the Yamaha Pro-Am Challenge in 1984 (the same year he competed in the TT for the one and only time, finishing 17th in the Junior) but after suffering serious injuries and becoming a dad the following year, he made the decision to retire from the sport.
Langan did not even sit on a bike for the next 20 years but after deciding to buy a Yamaha R1 in 2007 he made a surprise return to racing and won the Pre-Injection class first time out at Cadwell Park, broke the lap recors at Oulton and ended up finishing second in the championship. Sadly, Langan broke both arms during a race at Anglesey the following season and retired from racing for a second time.
He now spends his days in a very respectable suit, working as a business manager for Perry's Vauxhall in Doncaster, cycles 200 miles a week, and swims nine miles a week in winter. 'I thought it was a wind up when I got the call about racing in Pro-Am again' Langan says. 'But when I realised it was genuine I didn't hesitate to accept - even though I've not ridden since I was lying in the long grass at Anglesey!'
Despite the painful end to his recent return to racing, Langan isn't planning on taking things steady at Silverstone. 'I don’t do second in anything' he says. 'I’m out to win. I’ve done two track days and I'm back on it. But there are some fast lads on the grid who are still racing so I think a podium finish is probably more realistic.'