Sunday, 30 March 2014

Taking the No.1 to Paul Ricard !!,

Round 1, FIM European Classic Series, Paul Ricard, France; 4 hrs, Saturday 7th April, Peter Linden & Cormac Conroy.

The bikes are finished, the truck is loaded and we leave for Paul Ricard tomorrow. What could be better!
The entry list shows what looks like a full grid, with no less than four world champions and a host of current and past WEC teams all rising to the challenge of the 2nd FIM European Classic Series. Bolliger is there, MotoBel is there, Alf is there and even some current top names, like Kellenburger and Hubin, even Marc Fissette has joined up.!

Its been 14 years since the last motorcycle endurance race at the Le Castellet track and that was the final round of the 1999 WEC, the 24hrs Bol d'Or. We were there and it was a great race - we finished a fantastic 9th, with Stephane Mertens, Tony Rees and Dean Thomas, good old days!!

Looking at the entry for this 4 hrs, it seems that it will be only us and Bolli that will pick up where things left off; or was Alf there in 99, I will have to ask him. No matter, time for nostalgia is over, its a full grid and the racing will be serious.

Thanks to all our sponsors for getting us this far this season......the bikes are built and the testing is done.

So here we go, let the race begin.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Countdown to Paul Ricard

I just can't get out of the habit of calling it that, Le Castellet that is. For so long, (1985-1999) we travelled to Paul Ricard each September for the annual Bol d'Or 24 hrs that those experiences are totally ingrained. So for me it will always be Paul Ricard.

So, with just eight days to go before we roll up in the paddock, we are on the run down towards packing. It's the same routine before the start of the first race of each season....the chore of fairings and bodywork.!! 
Spike at Ragged Edge and our Ben Nahum have done a great job making and preparing this year's bodywork and just tonight we have finished stickering ready for lacquer tomorrow. This season the kit is just as light as last year but this time some material has been added to a few stressed areas to help longevity.

In the photos you can see a few of the new parts - Beringer calipers and discs, the development alternator, new Hel brake lines and at long last the correct green for Hugh's Sweatshop logos. Well done to the team's Layne Wilson for getting the graphics spot on.  More updated info before we go......and perhaps some pictures of the completed bikes.!!

Monday, 17 March 2014

MES Ltd join the Team

Ray and Lee Marchant of Marchant Engineering Services (MES) have confirmed their support for the Team in 2014.

Ray spoke passionately about his admiration for the team at the recent Aragon test. Over the last few seasons Ray and his wife Claudine have got to know the Team whilst sharing pitboxes at various classic events.

Ray commented ' I just like the way Sweatshop Phase One does things, the team's approach is very professional and I have watched them get better and better.I look forward to following progress this season as they defend the European Classic Championship.'

Team Manager Russell Benney thanked the whole team for its efforts and stated again that by keeping to the same core principles that took it to WEC success, the sort of recognition received from MES would keep on coming. Russell publicly thanked Ray Marchant for the support received and explained that it would be used in the main to support the Teams biggest development year yet on the P&Ms. No stone would be left unturned in the teams efforts to better its 2013 performance. Already extensive modifications to suspension, brakes, electrics and  in a host of other areas had resulted in Aragon times over 1 second faster than in October 2013.

On behalf of the Team, Russell welcomed Claudine, Ray and Lee to the Sweatshop Phase One family.

The Aragon two day test went well with Cormac Conroy, Hugh Brasher and Peter Linden achieving excellent times and with 100% rider reliability. A total of 137 laps were completed. Significant improvements were made with suspension and brakes, and with further testing due, the motorcycle specification will only get better.

Race one of 2014 is Le Castellet (Paul Ricard) over the weekend of 5th /6th April. Peter Linden and Cormac Conroy will represent the Team. Fly Easyjet to Nice. See you there. RB


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Aragon Test - 7th - 8th March

Tomorrow, the team start the 2014 season with a two day test at Aragon involving all three riders. The test objectives are twofold: rider familiarisation and reliability testing of new developments. Over the closed season the team has worked hard on a multitude of technical areas and massive changes have been made. New forks, shocks, brakes, alternator, batteries, starter motor, petrol tank, wiring loom, wheels, exhaust systems and master cylinders have all been introduced and must be tested.

Currently the weather is fine and dry with daytime temperatures at about 15C, so conditions are close to perfect.

The team will be pleased to welcome new sponsor Ray Marchant of Marchant Engineering Ltd to the test. Ray has been around the classic paddocks for a few years now and some may know him as the owner of the immaculate, but noisy MV Agusta, that has been paraded regularly. On this occassion Ray will trackday his up to date 1000cc Suzuki.

More on the test later....