Peter Linden and Huge Brasher took a well deserved rostrum place in the four hour Classic Bol d’Or race, held at the French Magny Cours circuit last weekend. Their result came from a fourth place in the first leg, a two hour race into the darkness on Saturday evening and fifth in the second leg, a daylight sprint. The overall race result was announced only after some controversy with two Teams being excluded for technical infringements
Race 1 was a typical endurance war of attrition, with many early race mechanical failures, crashes and retirements. Brasher started for the team and by avoiding trouble and with consistent lapping, achieved 19th place by half distance. Although 8th fastest in qualifying (with a 2.mins 0.88 sec. lap) it proved difficult to live with the early race pace set by eventual winners, MotoBel Guzzi and the Moto 90 Kawasaki of the Eisen brothers. Linden took over at 62 minutes, after a 30 sec pit stop and quickly focussed on the top six. He took 10th after 66 minutes, 6th after 110 minutes and 5th only 4 minutes from the end, after steadily closing on the 5th placed Laverda of Dirk Brand and Henk van der Mark. During his stint Linden was often fastest on track. Lapping at around 2.mins 1 sec.
Huge Brasher started fairly cleanly again in race 2 and steadily reeled off 27 straight laps to hand over to Linden at 60 mins whilst holding 11th position. Again the MotoBel Guzzi had taken an early lead, with Haquin pitting in the first quarter with mechanical trouble, leaving Richard Hubin on the TZ700 GauloisesYamaha to keep the pressure on. After a spell, Hubin also dropped back with a rear tyre puncture. After a 19.3 second pit stop, Linden quickly took up the pace and settled, lapping consistently around the 2mins 1 sec bracket. Things were looking good as he took 4th place 20 mins from the end - but he wasn’t to hold it. In a controversial incident when the pace car entered the track, he was wrongly penalised for passing under a flag, whilst committed to a passing move that couldn’t be avoided. In the end, the 1 minute penalty imposed on the Team robbed it of second place overall. But no hard feelings, it was a great race.
Peter Linden and Huge Brasher form the core of the Phase One Endurance Classic Team which will also compete at the Cartegena 6hrs race in September. Team Manager Russell Benney was delighted with the result, “ having dipped our toes into the water at the 2007 and 2008 Classic Bol d’Or races and having decided to take things a step further this season, it was superb to get onto the rostrum so early. The competition was formidable, with some very well developed motorcycles and teams who have been occupying the top spots for quite a while. As new kids on the block I wasn’t really expecting to do so well, so soon. Huge’s early race efforts really set the results up; he stayed out of trouble and formed the foundation for Peter to build from in the second halves.”
Peter Linden “ This has been a big fun weekend and I just cant stop smiling - its serious but without the big pressure of last time I was here when we wrapped up the 2000 world endurance championship.”
Hugh Brasher “ It has been a fantastic weekend riding with Peter and being with the Phase One Team, perhaps the highlight of my racing career so far. I am looking forward to the next time already”
The Team wishes to thank Dunlop and Sweatshop for their support.
Next up; The NW200 races with Carl Rennie and Ben Wylie in early May.
Race results. Top ten only.
1. MotoBel Moto Guzzi 114 laps
2. Moto 90 Kawasaki 111 laps
3. Phase One P&M Kawasaki 111 laps
4. Team Taurus Moto Guzzi 110 laps
5. Team MPC RCB Honda 110 laps
6. Far Est Team Suzuki GSX 107 laps
7. DD Moto Honda CB 900 106 laps
8. Gold wing classic Honda RCB 106 laps
9. Team XZ Honda RCB 106 laps
10. Darvill racing Spondon Honda 105 laps
Fastest lap; MPC Honda 1 min 55.5 secs
Team fastest lap , Linden 2 min 00.6 secs
51 started, 26 finished