Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dominance in Germany !!

The Sweatshop Phase One squad dominated in the Oschersleben 4 hrs race after taking the lead after just 30 minutes, from the Spa winning German Kaiser Kawasaki Team. the race was held on the evening of Friday 15th August as the support class to the official WEC 8 hrs race which was held on the Saturday. Linden started and settled the first few laps in a modest 4th position,having qualified in second. He spent several laps eyeing the opposition and feeling the track. Conditions were good, with only light wind and high 20 degrees C at the 17.30 race start. It was to be a warm and clear race.

By lap 10 Kaiser had carved a 10 second lead and Linden had moved to second place. Gradually Linden's superior fitness began to show as Kaiser slowed slightly. Linden posted the teams fastest lap during the chase down, an impressive 1min 38.93secs. Then the tide really turned as a misfire set into Kaiser's machine. The Bakker Kawasaki was really suffering by the 40 minute mark and was forced to pit for a 10/15 minute stop, before returning later to take 6th place at the flag.

Cormac Conroy took over for the first of his two stints after 44 minutes of racing and a 16 second changeover pit stop. He settled pretty much immediately into a 1min 42sec rhythm which was absolutely spot on; the balance between pace and risk being perfect for the conditions in hand and the point in the race. He was riding, in the lead like an old endurance pro. Actually nothing much seems to phase him; definitely a Mr Cool.!!

At stop 1 the team had noted a looser chain than should be expected after just 44  minutes of racing and at stop 2 some 15 seconds were invested in adjustment, despite the growing challenge from the Bolliger Kawasaki, in only its second race - they suffered early race engine failure at Spa.  The stop was slow, but it was worth it; no more chain problems and a clear reliability run, with the exception of a headlight failure in the final hour.

Linden took over for his second stint at 19.05 hrs and settled for 41's, nothing quicker was needed - already the riders had been issued with a rev limit and he was observing it. Cormac came under some pressure from Kellenburger on the Bolliger bike, which closed to within 88 seconds an hour from the end, but it could not be classed as a real threat.

Linden took the flag at 21.30hrs  after his 3rd stint, reporting that his biggest race problem was being blinded by the low sun at just past 20.00hrs. The best races are always the boring ones.!!  

Bolliger finished second, around 2 laps adrift with the ever constant Boam/Clark Harris Suzuki in a very creditable 3rd position after a trouble free run.

Cormac and Peter both went on to win a race apiece in the German classic superbike championship  12 lappers on Sunday, bagging even more silverware

The most memorable part being Cormac seeing off some very big horsepower opposition on his Contis, being tested in damp conditions for the first time.It was a three win weekend - they don't come round very often; a big thank you to all our team and sponsors !! 

Next ; the classic Bol d'Or on the September 15th/16th weekend where the team will field Peter Linden and Hugh Brasher on the Team Bike Honda RC30 in the post classic race as well as the trusty P&Ms in the classic..

The Team also tested one of its 1993 ZXR 750s, in preparation for future post classic racing

Monday, 12 August 2013

Oschersleben 4hrs 16th August

Peter Linden and Cormac Conroy will represent the team at this years Oschersleben 4 hrs. The race is part of German Speedweek and will take place during Friday evening. On Sunday, there are also two classic superbike races which the team will also take part in.

Hugh Brasher, who recently confirmed financial support for the 2014 season from Sweatshop, will be back on board at the classic Bol d'Or next month.

The team will test seven new items during the 4 hrs, including HID lights, batteries, rear calipers, front master cylinders, rear and swinging arm spindles, a fork brace and carburettors. The massive test programme has been stored up for this race as it does not form part of the ECS.

Plus, a new sponsorship deal with Beringer has resulted in the new rear calipers and master cylinders. The new front calipers should be available to test later this season.

At Oschersleben, the team will also test a new P&M recently purchased as a 'spare' bike,with a plan to give the team greater security against a significant component failure.

And, the restoration of one of the team's 1991 ZXR Kawasaki post-classic bikes is almost finished and will get an Oschersleben run out. It is hoped to d├ębut this bike in earnest at the 2014 post-classic Bol d'Or.

Monday, 5 August 2013

TEAM BIKE - Back for the Classic Bol, with Phase One.

If all goes to plan, Peter Linden and Hugh Brasher will compete on the Team Bike Honda RC30 in the 2nd post classic Bol d'Or, which runs alongside the classic race at Magny Cours 13th-15th September. There is a 2 hr leg on the Saturday evening and another on the Sunday afternoon.

At Spa last month, the team hatched a plan with Mikael Lees, his mother Hilkka, Mat Oxley and other representatives of the old Howard Lees Racing team, to dig out one of their Honda RC30s and get it on track again. Re-uniting Peter Linden with the team he once raced for was especially appealing to Hilkka.
Steve Chambers (That's Racing -HLR) battles it out with Pete Linden at Paul Ricard

At the time of writing, the bike is still in Finland, but is scheduled to be shipped to the UK by Chas Mortimer and delivered to the Phase One workshops later in August. Prior to us getting hold of it, Brian Capper, who was heavily involved in the team in the 1980s, will cast his eye over it to give us the benefit of his relevant experience.

Once in the workshops, Phase One's Layne Wilson will lead the team's race preparation efforts.

We pack the truck for the classic Bol on the 8th September, so there will be alot of work top do in a short timescale....but its doable.!!

If we think we are pushed, then so are the race organisers. Last year there were just 6 entries for this embryonic class, which ended up being run within the classic Bol race- much to the dismay of the half dozen classic entries that got hoofed out. This year we are guaranteed  two separate races. As a result of last year, the organisers haven't yet updated the technical regs...and being French are unlikely to do so until they finish their month long holidays in late August. So, those fundamental questions like; can we use slicks and wets, can we use 4 cylinder calipers, can we use closed fuelling systems and what colour plates do we need, will just have to wait.
Peter and Vesa (Kultalahti) meet in the pitlane at the Spa Classic

Anyway, right now the focus is on the Oschersleben 4 hrs on 16th August........its on the Friday night, just after WEC qualifying, so fly early. More of that before we go.