Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Imola 4 hrs ECS - First & Second


Hugh Brasher and Mike Dickinson won a straight forward 4hrs race at Imola, the third round of the ECS championship held on Sunday 3rd September. Team mates, Peter Linden and Ian Simpson were a superb second. Congratulations to the whole team and thanks to our loyal sponsors. A fine third place went to Henk Van der Mark and Dirk Brand on the fast and reliable Bakker Roadrunner Suzuki. Top job.!










The race was conducted in warm dry conditions with not so much as a pacecar to break the monotony.! Not to say that the race was boring; entertainment was provided aplenty; firstly by the Banfield/Conroy pairing, struggling with a loose oil pipe on their P&M Kawasaki on the warm up, followed by Alf's  guys breaking another superfast Kawasaki engine, then Force and Banfield/Conroy following suit. At least the Neates added a bit of interest with push ins and electrical problems, but the final and saddest failure was SCERTs with a broken crank within the last 30 mins.
It's called endurance racing.

The ECS obsession with the destruction of Europe's whole stock of Kawasaki and Suzuki parts continues apace, with absolutely no word on modernising the regulations for 2018. We think that it's almost too late now to prepare for an EVO750 entry, or anything new for 2018.











This Italian round of the ECS was another of these hotch potch races with bikes from all sorts of more recent classes mingling with the ECS entrants and distorting the results. For instance an Italian bike raced with two young guns, one a factory test rider (not allowed by ECS regs) on a recent Moto Guzzi - (also not allowed by the ECS regs), inevitable finishing ahead of all the ECS entries. Other recent bike, non-classified teams were scattered through the results.

Whilst the ECS stick to the current out of date formula, all non-Belgian races will be like this; with separate organisers forging ahead with new categories, leaving the ECS in antique land, even more depleted.
Steve Bateman helped prepare the rostrum bikes. 













Following the race the team headed for the Ferrari museums at Modena and Maranello. Monday was spent transfixed by the blend of engineering with art and the life story and vision of Enzo Ferrari.
Ferrari Museum Modena


































Last weekend was a great chance to dip our toes into the ICGP water (literally). The Rijeka round of the series gave Peter Linden a chance to try out Andy Abram's Spondon TZ350. Over 30 laps were covered before Peter succumbed to Flu, but in that time he achieved second fastest time in the damp Sunday practice which followed seventh in his debut dry session. Mike Edwards dominated the weekend with wins in the wet and the dry on the superbly prepared BSR TZ350 of the Beale Roberts Team.
Anyway, enough of that; looking ahead we have a week in the Pyrenees and the Aragon 4hrs to look forward to. This year's Ainsa off road trip will pitch racers against sponsors and a world champ (albeit with a gammy foot|- Linden) against the rest. As always it will be sheer fun.!

Aragon will then follow at the end of October.

See you there.

RB


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Imola and Rijeka double


The team head into the third round of the ECS in third place, behind the young, on form Neates and Team Taurus, both of whom have had a pair of top results.














As in the first two rounds , Hugh Brasher and Mike Dickinson will be on the no.3 bike with Peter Linden and newly married Ian Simpson on the no.4 bike.

Hugh and Mike have had two horrible races with a clutch failure at Donington whilst in a rostrum position, followed by a crash apiece at Spa. Things can only go better.....












Peter and Ian are both fit and well for the third round and determined to put another strong performance in to try to make an impression on this championship.

After Imola, Peter will try Andy Abraham's very nice TZ350F out for size at Reijka, after Ian gave the bike a thumbs -up after testing it briefly at a rain soaked Cadwell Park three weeks ago.

Other news;

Bill Simpson has completed the first BSR TZ350 frame for Peter to ride next year. The team will build this bike up over the winter for a test in March.
Long term team  member and ex-Shell Endurance Academy boss, Roy Hood has also commissioned Bill Simpson for a sister BSR frame. Currently we are looking for TZ 350 engines for both these bikes.













EVO750 Class at ECS. Disappointingly there has been no news of the alternative ECS class to take the series forward, as the numbers competing in the current categories continues to fall. At Spa the organisers made proposals for a class based upon the world championship rules ( 1984-1991) but there has been silence since.

More after Imola....

RB



Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A short appreciation of Raph Chausee, team manager of R2CL, who died last week.

                                                                                             















We didn't know Raph well, but will remember him as a 'do-er', someone who through his good nature, pleasantness and persuasive skills got many to follow him.
And what a journey he led them on,... his team were true giant killers.
Very shortly after bursting onto the EWC scene they were achieving results far above their station and that continued to the end. The high point must have been their magical second place at the Le Mans 24 hrs. Raph's Team were always respected along the pitlane and never underestimated.
Surely one of Raphael's greatest legacies will be the sheer pleasure and satisfaction that he brought to so many team members and supporters alike.
His enthusiasm was infectious, his character was massive and his achievements considerable.

The pit lane will miss him greatly.

Our thoughts are with his family, friends and team members at this sad time.

NB; Raph with arms folded at Suzuka last year.

Monday, 10 July 2017

3rd at Spa for Lindén/Simpson


The solid third place went a long way to overcome the disappointment of a double crash on the Brasher/Dickinson entry. Peter Lindén and Ian Simpson put in a measured and restrained performance in the very difficult conditions, whilst others succumbed; some on oil and some on the greasy and wet surface. Their 3rd place was richly deserved because of this; staying out of trouble and avoiding incidents is as much a part of a skilled endurance rider as going fast. (note for Greg !)
















At the wet start, Peter Lindén cautiously pressed ahead from his fifth qualifying position to take third place at the first stop. With Simpson aboard, that was consolidated and at hour two the team were 3rd locked in a battle with Force and Taurus for 2nd position behind the on-form Neate team.


These four teams ducked and dived for the final hour and a half, eventually adopting the finishing positions after Greg Fastre took a minor 'off ' in the closing stages, dropping Force to fourth. The race was red flagged after approx 3.5 hrs, after a 15 minute pace car session, during which the oil laden track was assessed and found too dangerous to continue upon.














Mid-race Mike Dickinson lost the front and crashed quite heavily, thankfully without injury. The bike took what seemed like an age to return, but when it did the pit crew set to it quickly and turned the repair around in 14 minutes. Hugh Brasher returned to the track, pitted after one lap for planned checks and was quickly on his way, only to lose the front (whilst upright!) on oil. Although he got the machine back to the pits, with under an hour to go, and the race under pacecar, the race for them was over.














The third was solid and after the double clutch failure at Donington, it was great to find a clutch spec that appeared to be working well and giving reliability to both bikes.  Naturally that set up will be taken forward to Imola in early September.  The race there will be a Sunday 'day race' on 3rd September.

Thanks to all team members and sponsors for helping to make another Spa rostrum; the aim must be to go a couple of steps higher at Imola.!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Yamaha TZ350 project gathers pace!

Bill Simpson is now well on the way to completing the new rolling chassis.
The 'kits' that Bill produces include frame, swinging arm, caliper carriers, spindles and even fairing brackets - so it should make speedy completion of the machine relatively simple... well, it will be simple when we can source an engine, carbs and pipes.!
The plan is for Peter Lindén to test sometime before the end of the season, before embarking on the ICGP's in 2018.












The project took a massive step forward last week when Andy Abram offered to loan his immaculately restored ex Dennis Trollope TZ350 to the team. We took delivery last week and immaculate it truly was, so much so that the first job will be to remove some of the most crash vulnerable items and replace them with modern 'available' stuff. A very big thank you to Andy for that.










We really can't wait to mix in with Ian Simpson and Mike Edwards next season - it really does seem to be where the classic action is right now.

RB

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Top Job; but no reward at Donington













A fantastic team effort by the riders and pit crew alike failed to bring a result at Donington Park. Engine failures halted both teams who were each holding second position when the problems struck.

After qualifying third ( Linden/Simpson) and ninth ( Brasher/Dickinson), Mike Dickinson stormed away and held second place for the first 45 minutes, with Peter Linden holding fifth. By mid race the teams were briefly first and third.

Thanks to all the team and sponsors for a supreme effort - sometimes it just doesn't work out.

New engines for Spa will be underway shortly ! See you there.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

A fun two day test at Aragon


Seventeen teamsters turned up at Aragon last weekend for a three bike test. Sponsors Hugh, Ray, Lee Maurice and Robbie all joined in, some with their machines as well.

The weather was kind, albeit rather cold in the mornings, warming from 2 degrees C track, to 25C in the afternoons.

The highlights were the successful proving of the new engine spec, plus some new geometry and suspension settings. Lesser work included proof testing of new tachos, mounting brackets and battery lifetimes.

The main thing was to blow away the cobwebs of team and riders alike and to blood a couple of new team members. Andy and Mike both came away smiling and did a great job.!

The racing this year will start with the Donington Park Endurance Legends 4hrs day race on 6/7th May, then Anneau du Rhin in June.
The DG Sports ECS series continues to be a fiasco with 13 slots being 'bought' by DG Sports at Donington, all of which are oversubscribed, leaving many teams having booked ferries, airflights etc, but with no entries. Our sympathies are with those guys, who make up the lifeblood of the series. What are the ECS organisers playing at.! The Endurance Legends guys are pulling their hair out with potential reputational damage through no fault of their own..  

Sweatshop Phase One will have a two-bike entry at Donington Park, in a real effort to support the return of International Endurance to the circuit and to support Endurance Legends. The last race was in 1987 when the World Championship organisers held an 8 hrs race there. From memory, Phase One Endurance were 14th that time; a lot has happened since then.

This year Multi-Hottrax Endurance Champion, Hugh Brasher will be joined by Mike Dickinson, ex-South African Superbike Champion, on the first bike. The second machine will be piloted (literally) by Peter Linden (2000 world Endurance Champion) and Ian Simpson (Double BSB and British 600 Champion). What a line-up. ! How lucky we are, to be able to call these guys friends.

See you there. RB