Monday, 28 May 2012

4 Hours of Liege at Mettet

 First win of the year for Sweatshop Phase One

Stephane Mertens and Brett Richmond scored a magnificent first win of 2012 at the new "short" Mettet circuit in Belgium, over the weekend of 26th/27th of May.
In 2nd place, making it an all British affair, were Steve Boam and Steve Clark on their Harris Suzuki, 3 laps in arrears, leading home Roger and Laurent Ruiz, on another Suzuki in 3rd. 

The 2 leg x 2 hours race was held in marvellous conditions with bright sunlight, air temperature at 29C and the track at 50 C. The team qualified on pole, on their Continental tyres, with a time of 1.16.38 (Mertens/Richmond average), from a field of 21. The main competition was from the Moto Guzzi of the Lambrechts father/son combination, with a time of 1.18.04.

Sweatshop Phase One started leg 1 with Brett Richmond and finished with Stephane Mertens, each rider completing approx. one hour.
The race was trouble free until 20 minutes from the end when Mertens made an unplanned stop suffering from a blown exhaust header gasket. The team elected to push on and secure a win and fastest lap (Richmond 1.15.7).

Leg 2, held on the Sunday went by the textbook, with two 55 minute stints and a 10 Minute Mertens short end stint to take the flag and again fastest lap (Mertens 1.14.7).

In summary, the season has started well, with fastest lap in Cartagena and sixth place, followed by this excellent Mettet performance. What a great event! The winters hard work seems to have paid off. We were absolutely honoured to be riding against the likes of endurance stars like Ruiz and Hubin. A great weekend. Thanks to all our supporter, sponsors and of course Brett and Stephane for doing such a great job.
Full results at

Spa is next and we are ready. Hugh Brasher and Peter Linden will be back to fly the flag for Sweatshop Phase One. See you there we hope. Classic Spa 4 hours is over the weekend of 29th June.

Photographs by Jacco Dijkhuizen

Plus some more pictures, taken by Pascal Kinds

Monday, 21 May 2012

Stephane Mertens, back on after 10years

Mettet 4 hrs Classic Endurance - Belgium, Saturday/Sunday 26th /27th May.

Stephane Mertens will replace Peter Linden at this weekend's Mettet race after Peter's wife booked him a surprise, non-negotiable holiday in Turkey to celebrate his retirement. Stephane will be partnered by Kiwi Brett Richmond, who in turn replaces Hugh Brasher, absent on marathon duties.

The Sweatshop Phase One Team are delighted to welcome Stephane back into the fold and look forward to tapping into his extensive knowledge of this particular circuit. For many years he has run his highly successful race school here and should know every bump and camber by now.

The Team also have high expectations that Brett Richmond can build on his fastest lap at last month's Cartagena event. With a test and race already with the team, Brett should be settled and ready for the challenge.

Technically the Team are confident. The handling and speed of the bike are competitive and the electrical problems of the last meeting have been firmly identified and rectified; the issue being a Dyna coil breaking down under load.

For this race, as at Cartagena, the Team are being fully supported by Continental Tyres which are certainly proving to be the tyres of choice, setting fastest lap at round 1 in the hands of Brett Richmond, notably ahead of previous pole setters and regular winners, Team Moto-box ( Segarra/Segarra). Thanks to Peter Ziegler at Continental.

Title sponsor ' Sweatshop -we know running' - brought in by owner Hugh Brasher, remain the Team's key sponsor in 2012 and without them we just wouldn't be there. !

One of the other major factors contributing to that fastest lap was the SBS pads provided in DC compound by Allan Ostli. Allan won two world championships with the Team and we are keen to work with him on improving the best stopping pads even further.

Mettet is one and a half hours from Calais. Race One (there are two, 2 hrs legs) is on Saturday at 15.30.

See you there.

2012 race dates

Cartagena 6 hrs                                              28th April
Mettet 4 hrs                                                    26th /27th May
Spa 4 hrs                                                        30th June
Oschersleben                                                 10th August
Imola 4 hrs                                                     22nd September
Bol d'Or 4 hrs                                                20th/21st October

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Mark Buckley

Today Mark Buckley died at the NorthWest 200.

Mark rode with Phase One Endurance at the 2008 TT races as a late replacement for another rider and immediately proved popular with the Team and able on track. He was enthusiastic and dedicated to his sport and his all inclusive family approach fitted well in the Team.

The Team were in the workshop today when the news of Mark's accident arrived. The shocked silence said more than any words ever could.

The Team extends it's sympathy to Mark's family and friends.

Cartagena - 6th and fastest lap

Top result for Linden and Richmond   
In the absence of Team Sponsor and Sweatshop owner, Hugh Brasher, the Team were pleased to recruit Brett Richmond as a last minute replacement.
Hugh was missed but Brett's fastest lap of the race certainly helped to fill the void.

The race was extremely competitive with 32 teams lining up to contest the day and night six hour race. Any one of ten teams could have taken the honours. Bob Collins of Team Glam achieved pole position, Sweatshop Phase One were second, and the Motobox Guzzi of Segarra/Segarra were third.

The race started wet and ended dry and was one of the best endurance battles for quite a while.
Collins led, pursued by Linden, who for the first 30 minutes hauled him in by up to 1.5 seconds per lap, after a cautious start. Linden's charge was halted abruptly due to an electrical problem that took three stops to rectify. - Ultimately it was found to be a breaking down coil.

The Sweatshop pairing fought back hard and by the five hour point were holding a secure third. In the last hour the team were gifted second place by Team Glam's engine failure, but hopes of the podium were soon dashed. With 50 minutes remaining Brett Richmond crashed fairly heavily, necessitating a brake and fuel tank change. The Team fought back to finish sixth, a hard fought result, with fastest lap to it's credit.

Congratulations to Motobox for another great win.