Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Sweatshop Phase One: Winners at Imola

Linden about to start

Peter Linden took the lead on lap 7 and the team never looked back.
Stop 1 at 40 minutes went well, dropping the team just 3 places, all of which were made back by Hugh Brasher in the second hour. Three further pitstops, each problem free, saw the team build a buffer of 68 seconds by the end of hour three.
That lead grew to 110 seconds by the final stop and at the flag the team had pulled the margin to 2 minutes and 4 seconds.! The race had been pretty much copybook with no rider or pit errors.

The Imola field was stronger than expected with all the significant European competition in attendance, with the exception of the Moto-box Guzzi from Spain. Of the 42 starters, it was judged that any one of 8 teams could win.

The race rules were constraining on this occasion, as no rider was allowed to ride for more than 45 minutes and fuelling was to be by "handle activated gravity filler" - a rule ignored by most other teams! These rules were applied as the race was also part of the five round Italian classic endurance series, which actually sounds quite appealing.

Peter Linden qualified fastest and when aggregated for the starting order, the team were third.

There were some great highlights; Motobel Guzzi, Taurus Team, Glam, Scuderia and Classic Racer Shop all challenged for the top spot, with Motobel eventually taking second and Taurus third, both with apparently trouble free rides. Motobel had previously suffered an engine failure in practice. James Clark's Glam earned a well deserved 4th after some cruel luck during earlier rounds.

Classic Racer Shop (P&M Kawasaki) had drafted in Mick Godfrey to join Patrick Banfield and he made a great race debut taking the fastest race lap (2.08.07) from Linden (2.08.39).
Glam suffered a left side oil leak which, despite causing frayed nerves, didn't seem to slow James Clark, who made his best laps late in the race - kicking himself that he hadn't performed as well earlier.

Fastest through the trap by 7 kph !

The speed trap times were: Sweatshop Phase One 232kph, Glam 225kph, Classic Racer Shop 222kph, Scuderia 217 kph, Taurus 213kph and Motobel on 209kph.

For the team, the race was won with the usual ingredients: A great rider performance (with Hugh Brasher continuing to become faster and faster), dedicated team preparation, a good handling and fast bike and some great tyres - one set of Contis competitive throughout.

The Classic Bol d'Or is next - 20th/21st of October at Magny Cours.

Ben Nahum in control of the 1977 Facotry V6 Laverda
Thanks to Sweatshop, Continental Tyres, SBS, DFDS Ferries and all our other sponsors.

Phase One visit the DUCATI FACTORY


The Team met at the gates to the Bologna factory on Thursday 20th of September.
The gatehouse was looked over on one side by bright sunshine and the other by a house sized mural of Carlos Checa, with the words "Grazie Carlos", commemorating his 2011 Superbike success.

There were certainly some highlights - examples of early models (1946) all the racing history, not just the twins, but the racing prototypes and the hightly successful dynasty of singles.
Our tour guide Natasha did a great job, explaining all that was seen on both the museum tour and the factory tour.
The centrepiece, based on the racing of Mike Hailwood and Paul Smart was impressive and topical, with the following weekend being the 40th anniversary of the Paul Smart Ducati Bicylindrico win of the 200 miles of Imola.
The early Motogiro films being shown were alone worth the visit. At the time of our visit several machines had already been relocated to Imola for the 40th anniversary celebrations - that was no problem, we would see those over the weekend!
Definately worth the trip.