Friday, 26 September 2014
Peter Linden and Hugh Brasher line up against totally unknown opposition at Italy's final 4 hrs race (part of the Italian classic endurance championship) at Misano in two weeks time. For Hugh Brasher it will be a new circuit and for Peter Linden a return to Misano after a 20 years absence.
The Italian federation have been extremely positive about welcoming Sweatshop Phase One to the event which is held on Saturday evening and encompasses day and night sections. After the race there is a gala dinner for all, which is something that we are all looking forward to.
Core team members travel to Italy via Ainsa in the Pyrenees for the annual green laning jaunt which runs this year from 1st -7th October. Peter Linden reports that his ribs are almost 100% healed, so we are urging him to be careful in Spain, some hope ! The event evolves each year and with a line up of six bikes it's sure to provide the usual set of spills and thrills.
Aragon is the final race for the team, and for the championship this year, and preparations are well under way. In fact, for Misano the team will ride only the Kawasakis, opting to keep the Suzuki fresh for Aragon, after some extensive engine and rolling chassis work following the Nurburgring weekend.
As well as some serious engine refreshing, the team is very pleased to have secured the services of Ian Simpson in an effort to extract every ounce out of the rider line up at this crucial event. The team first worked with Ian at Donington, where he kindly stood in for the injured Peter Linden for the first Suzuki test. It should be great to listen to the pair swopping set up comments !! We very much welcome Ian to the 2014 team.
Although Cormac will not be riding at this event, he has made a significant contribution to the team's success this year and we are very pleased to have secured his agreement to give support and advice during the race, from the pit box.
Anyway, Misano is next...see you there?
Monday, 8 September 2014
Sweatshop Phase One now tie in the lead going into the final round of the 2014 FIM European Classic Series at Aragon next month. After a faultless performance by riders Linden, Brasher and Conroy on the Team's new 1981 P&M Suzuki 1230, they hold 61 points, equal with Belgium's Team Force Moreno Suzuki of 2013 World Superstock Endurance champion Greg Fastre and ex-world champ Richard Hubin.
After a damp qualifying which saw a frantic battle for pole, Taurus came out on top with Team Force, Alf's, Sweatshop, TT Black Forest and Kaiser all within 2.5 secs.
Pole setters Taurus provided the first excitement of the race by crashing on the second corner of the sighting lap. The start of the 4hrs race followed, slightly early, at 11.55. TT Black Forest (Arzner/Merkens) stormed away, together with Kaiser (Kaiser/Steinmacher), closely pursued by Team Force with Sweatshop completing lap 1 in 5th. By lap 10 Team Force with Fastre aboard was leading followed by Kaiser with a rapidly closing Linden for Sweatshop Phase One in 3rd. On lap 13, Linden made his move and passed Kaiser and Fastre on the same lap to take the lead before pitting on lap 17.
During the second and third rotas, Sweatshop Phase One consolidated second position, never more than about 100 secs adrift from Team Force who retook and held the lead in this period. In rota two Hugh Brasher put in a sterling performance after a spectacular, if painless practice crash. By mid race Sweatshop Phase One were back at the top after Team Force lost two laps with a blown fuse ( followed by further delays replacing a missing belly pan) with Alf's Endurance (Godfrey/Collins) fighting for second with Kaiser Kawasaki. That particular battle ended with the Kaiser engine expiring around the third hour mark. Sweatshop Phase One's rota four was competently handled by Cormac Conroy.
By the fifth and the final rota the race was set - Linden back in control at the front (double stinting the Sweatshop bike), followed by Alf's Endurance P&M Kawasaki and the very consistent pairing of 1984 Le Mans 24hrs winners, Dirk Brand and Henk van der Mark on the Nico Bakker Roadrunner entry in third. Team Force finished the race in 5th position.
At 15.55, the team celebrated its win, amazed that with an injured Linden (4 broken ribs and a bruised lung from a previous crash in Sweden) and an untested Suzuki, that it was possible.
Thanks to all who made this marvellous win possible, notably Hugh Brasher, Peter Linden, Lee and Ray Marchant and all at Continental Tyres.
1. Sweatshop Phase 1, P&M Suzuki, Brasher-Linden-Conroy105 laps
2. Alf's Classic Endurance, P&M Kawasaki, Godfrey-Collins 104 laps
3. Roadrunner Suzuki, Bakker Suzuki, Brand-van der Mark 102 laps
4. ACR Team Wobker, Kawasaki, Wobker-Matthies 102 laps
5. Team Force, Moreno Suzuki, Fastre-Hubin 101 laps
6. Braghi Corse, Ducati, Rossi-Damiani 101 laps
Photographs by Jacco Dijkhuizen and Jonathan Godin
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Following the successful Nürburgring
tests, heavy lobbying from the rider line-up and Hugh Brashers generosity in providing a Nova gearbox, has
resulted in the team debuting its new P&M Suzuki this weekend.
The final decision will be made after more tests on Friday 5th Sept at the circuit where the team hope to get another two hours of tracktime in order to optimise some of the settings.
There were three area of work following the test; gear selection, ground clearance and clutch slip. All have been addressed by the team in the last week, after a big effort. .Much other work has also taken place to give a least a basic minimum of spares and improve the probability of finishing ....this race will be the bikes first 4 hrs continuous run.!
Peter continues to recover from his Swedish crash in July and his broken ribs and bruised lung remain sore. Cormac is regaining form after a lean spell and Hugh continues to benefit (as always) from more track time.
Nürburgring really is only 4 hrs by car or bike from Calais, so there are no excuses for not being there....and this is the heart of Bitburger country.!
The provisional standings are:
1. Team Force 50
2. Sweatshop Phase One 36
3. Hampe Racing Team 22
4. Motobel 20
5. Roadrunner 19
6. Alf's Motorcycles 16
7. Les Melting Pots 15
8. Neate Racing 13