Monday, 19 May 2014

2nd at Mettet 4 hours, Belgium 17th/18th May

Cormac Conroy and Stéphane Mertens produced another marvellous rostrum position for the Team. The race was held in glorious conditions over 2 legs of 2 hours each, both in daylight.

The main competition came from current World Endurance Superstock champion Gregory Fastre, who was partnered by ex World Endurance Champion Richard Hubin, on the Team Force GSX 1100 Suzuki.
Team Force won both legs and the race overall, 3rd place was achieved by Peter Coppens and Christian Govaert.

Sweatshop Phase One had a trouble free first leg finishing in 2nd position, 70 secs behind Team Force. The Team chose a strategy of Mertens-Conroy-Mertens with approx. equal stints.

The second leg produced a hard stopping dice between Fastre and Mertens, all through the firsts stint. Mertens came out on top at the end of the rota and pitted with a 1 second lead. During the battle Stéphane Mertens broke his own record with a time of 1.11.4 seconds.
This rota was definitely the highlight of the meeting, involving three or four exchanges of the lead.
By the 80th minute the Team had slipped behind Team Force by 20 seconds, with Cormac Conroy circulating steadily in the 1.15/16 second area.

At some point during the second leg the teams development alternator failed and during the final rota a misfire set in, eventually causing Mertens to stop to have the battery changed. 
Despite Mertens putting the hammer down he could only manage third place at the end of race 2.

This race was not part of the FIM European Classic Series, but proved again that the main competition for the title is coming from Team Force on the GSX 1100 Suzuki.

Spa is next on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July and the Team will have to come up with something special to beat them.

The Team wishes to thank all its sponsors for their valuable support.

1. Hubin/Fastre        Morena Suzuki       187 laps
2. Mertens/Conroy    P&M Kawasaki    182 laps
3. Coppens/Govaert  Ducati TT1            181 laps
4  Senechal/Frerad    Suzuki GSX           179 laps
5. Ruiz/Atisy             Suzuki GSX           179 lap
6. Blain/Blain            Kawasaki Z1000   176 laps
7 .Morlon/Hernandez  BMW RS            172 laps
8. Unverzagt/Unverzagt     Suzuki GSX  167 laps
9. Walschaert/de Winter  Yamaha XS     164 lap
10.Rene/Rene            Martin Kawasaki   163 laps

Fastest lap: Gregory Fastre    1min.11.1secs

Photographs by Jacco Dijkhuizen

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