Monday, 23 September 2013

Classic Bol washout.!!

You win some and you lose some. !! This really wasn't a great weekend, but it was no disaster either.
We were plagued with rain in all four races. Both the post classic legs and the first classic were real washouts, with only the second classic giving a little dry track in the second half; actually enough for Linden to post fastest lap by two full seconds !! That really was the only good bit.

So, to summarise; in the classics, on the P&M and in the wet, we were 16th in the first leg and 5th in the second, giving us 12th overall and 2nd in class. On the 'Team Bike' RC30 we led at half distance in leg one and then made the difficult decision to discontinue in the interests of rider safety whilst leading. At that point almost a third of the field had fallen and we didn't want our riders to suffer the same fate.

Why pull out I hear you say. Well its like this; the problem is with the regulations. The rules state that we have to use road homologated tyres. That prevents the use of wets or cut road tyres and effectively means that without a road legal wet weather tyre we cannot compete safely. After much discussion with the organisers (Lariviere organisation) over the weekend they have acknowledged this fact and have agreed to allow wets in the post classic race next year, but still not in the classic.That battle is still there to be fought.

So, despite the average results, there were some real positives from the weekend; the new engine went well, definitively giving more usable power and the new batteries and headlight combination was effective and reliable. On the post classic side, it was a pleasure to meet with all the Team bike crew once again and particularly Hilkka, Mikael Lees, Dermot Rycroft, Ian Lucas and Brian Capper, all of whom made it for the weekend. I think that everyone had a good time despite the weather. It was a pity that Ian Martin, who had put much of the organisation in, could not make it.

Peter Linden warms up after a freezing classic first leg

From the Sweatshop Phase One perspective; a big thank you to all the team members, plus Hugh, Peter and all the sponsors.You are doing a good job. Aragon is next and that's the one that matters.!!! Lets prepare well and get it right.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Classic Bol next weekend.!

Frankly, we have never done really well at the classic Bol.! We were third a few years ago and we won the first leg last year, but that doesn't count as we crashed out in the second. We rejoined and finished 5th,

I certainly wouldn't say it was an unlucky place for us, but then, it is certainly not a lucky place either.! Magny Cours, the circuit where we clinched the 2000 championship - how can I speak badly of her?. Well, there is just no affection. It goes back a long way. Was Magny Cours the robber that stole the Bol from Paul Ricard, or the Bol d'Or's saviour, providing a home when Bernie Ecclestone was the thief.?
Who can tell ?

The classic Bol d'Or will be run in two x 2 hr legs, one on the evening of Saturday 14th September and one in the afternoon of the 15th. Its a nice format that allows for some good racing followed by equally good socialising. As mentioned in previous posts, there is also a pair of post classic race legs, preceding the main events, in which we will be running Linden and Brasher on the Howard Lees Racing Honda RC30.

I think that the social side of things will definitely take a boost as Mikael Lees and his mother Hilkka, plus some other ex-Howard Lees Racing people are also due to come. The era of 'Team Bike', 'Team MCN', 'That's Racing', 'Team Townsend Thoresen', etc (all Howard's teams) was a long time ago, but many of us still have vivid memories of some of the team's exploits.

Personally, I have just one, that of Kenny Irons on the Harris framed FZ750, at Le Mans in 1986, in the snow - fastest on track by far and still completely in control. That race put Kenny Irons firmly on the map for me; a truly giant killing session ! And that was on one of Howard's bikes. So, for that reason alone it will be a pleasure to run the RC30 next weekend; a tribute to Howard's efforts and to allow me the indulgence of enjoying the Kenny Irons memory once again.

Anyway, looking forward is much more fun. Hugh Brasher hasn't raced a RC30 before, so he has got that joy to come. Our team will have the dubious pleasure of being absolutely flat-out, running four endurance races over one weekend. And Peter Linden, together with us, will be trying to win all four.!! Roll -on Saturday.