Tuesday, 29 October 2013

We are FIM European Classic Series Champions !!!

Provisional FIM European Classic Series Positions

1    56  Sweatshop Phase One  P&M Kawasaki           GB
2    38  Alf's Endurance            P&M Kawasaki            GB
3    27  ACR1 Wobker Racing     RAU Kawasaki               D
4    27 TT Racing                       Moto-Martin GSX 1100    D
5    25 Guzzi Motobox               Moto Guzzi 1100             ESP
6    25 Kaiser Classic                 Nico Bakker                    D
7    25 MotoBel                         Moto Guzzi 1100              F
8    23  Team Glam                  P&M Kawasaki              GB
9    19 Project 34                       Moto-Martin GSX 1100     D
10  18 Road Runner                   Nico Bakker Suzuki         NL

The final round - Aragon 26th October 

The expected scrap between Sweatshop Phase One, Alf's Endurance and MotoBel got underway as soon as the meeting started. Each of the three teams had discreetly tested at the new Aragon circuit in the days and weeks leading to the race. Mick Godfrey (for Alf's) and Phase One's Peter Linden led the field with 2 min 10 sec laps. Linden had actually posted a best of 2.09.1 in testing but was keeping his powder dry.!
Both MotoBel and Moto Box looked strong in qualifying, each in the 2 min 12/13 sec bracket. Bob Collins for Glam was also returning to form.

Free practice and qualifying went well for Sweatshop Phase One who were fielding their normal team of Peter Linden, Hugh Brasher and Cormac Conroy. The dry warm conditions were almost identical to their October test, so tyre pressures, gearing, suspension settings and fuel consumption were all known. The whole of day one was spent on the T bike (15) with bike '17', the Cowie/Toleman 1978 endurance factory P&M machine being held back for the race.

Although the field was down slightly on Spa and Imola, with just 40 teams making the late season journey to Spain, most of the strong competitors were there. Team Kaiser, winners at Spa, did not however return with their illegal RAU Kawasaki, fitted with banned 4 piston calipers. MotoBel did come though, sporting a massive gas discharge light, which they seemed to get away with.!

Mick Godfrey and Patrick Banfield suffered a crash and engine problems in practice and were forced to qualify on the Team Glam spare bike, which was kindly loaned to them by James Clark. By race day Alf's had worked hard enough to produce a pretty good bike, which allowed laps of 2 mins 10 secs in the early stages of the race. A real credit to their teamwork.

At the riders meeting on race morning it was decided to shorten the race duration from 4 hrs to 3 hrs in the interests of safety, as much feedback had been given on racing in the dark at this particularly badly lit circuit, with such mixed ability of rider. The race still started at 17.00 hrs and ran to 20.00 hrs on the Saturday evening.

The Race - Sweatshop Phase One 2nd

Mick Godfrey, Charles Artigues (MotoBel) and Manel Segarra (Motobox) led away at a 2 mins 11-13 secs pace, with Charles Artigues leading. Linden started in the second wave for bikes without starter motors. By lap six he was sixth. On lap eight, he set a record lap of 2 mins 10.023 secs (140.6 KPH), which was to remain the fastest in the race, whilst chasing for the lead behind a super fast Mick Godfrey. By lap 10 Godfrey was in sight and the gap was closed to 7 secs. The two Guzzis were now just behind. Around lap 13 Alf's P&M unexpectedly pitted, their challenge for the championship effectively over. The blocked fuel filter which caused the stop and the 7 minutes pit stop, was time they would never recover. A second stop later in the race, for the same reason, really finished any comeback; they eventually finished 14th.

Linden handed over to Hugh Brasher after 17 race laps with a 5 second lead over MotoBel. Brasher returned an excellent stint, definitely his best of the year, to hold both MotoBel and Motobox at bay and after 38 laps passed the bike back to Linden with a 2 second lead. Almost immediately the MotoBel pit went silent; their machine had stopped on the other side of the circuit with mechanical problems - almost a repeat of the Spa 4 hrs when they suffered engine failure after 11 laps. But, despite the demise of MotoBel, the lead was not secure, the second Segarra brother had taken over and was just 2 secs behind Linden by lap 42.  Peter Linden's stint was planned to be short, but he made good use of it and by the hand-over to Cormac Conroy on lap 50, he was 6 secs clear. Cormac pushed hard, after the Motobox stop there was a true 2 secs seperating the teams, with Phase One leading. His stint was 20 laps and he didn't disappoint - at the final handover, with 44 minutes remaing, the team were still leading, a job well done.

After Linden's second stint, his right wrist was giving real trouble; It was agreed that he would ride into the darknesss phase with a seat pad to keep him stable and with a 'safe to the end 'strategy; going for the championship win and not jeopardising it by pushing. A seat pad was duely fitted, costing some 10 seconds and Linden resumed for the final stint.When things settled, we were some 20 seconds in arrears with 30 minutes to run. By the flag Linden had closed Motobox to 12 seconds, but a faster pace would have risked everything. We were all very pleased with his measured riding, and that of the rest of the line-up, to return Sweatshop Phase One with its first FIM European Classic Series championship win.

Thank you to all our team and sponsors for their support during this fantastic season.!!    RB

Aragon 3 hrs Race Results 

1  Motobox Guzzi    Manel Segarra / Sergi Segarra  ESP
2  Sweatshop P1     Peter Linden/Hugh Brasher/Cormac Conroy GB
3  ACR1                 Wobker/ Matthies/       D
4  Glam Racing        Bob Collins /James Clark     GB
5  Les Melting         Laghi / Langlois      F
6  TT Racing           Arzner / Wagner / Tippelt    D
7  Road Runner       Dirk Brand/Henk Van der Mark  NL
8  Scuderia              Belluci/ Ricci/Barganacchi     ITA
9  Red Fox Grinta    De Vos / Steenhaut  B
10 Moto Spanjer      Schoens /Jansen   NL

Also finished

14 Alf's Endurance  Mick Godfrey /Patrick Banfield.  GB

Phase One at Ainsa

The 11th Phase One Ainsa trip was a great success once again. New recruit Peter Linden fitted in well and avoided any injury prior to the Aragon race. In fact, this year there were no injuries, which was a first.

The south side of the reservoir, fuller than normal
This year 9 off roaders made the full contingent
Pena Montenesa dominates the northern view

A misty dawn on day 3

Paella a la Linden

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Aragon ; The ECS final round showdown

The final 4hrs round of the ECS is scheduled for next Saturday night, 26th October.
The scrap for the championship honours is the most exciting prospect in classic endurance for years. With the championship growing like no other, already with five races planned for 2014, across 5 countries and with full grids, winning this inaugural series is crucial. Currently, any one of eight teams can win the series, let alone the race.!

There are truly four favourites; Kaiser and MotoBel, winners at Imola and Spa, plus the series leaders, Sweatshop Phase One and Alf’s endurance. Each of these teams have particular strengths and weaknesses and we have worked hard to turn our  weaknesses into strengths !

From our team’s perspective, all the necessary preparation work has been completed; the new engine spec has been proven at the classic Bol (fastest race lap), the overall lightening work has been successful and the new brakes and pads are tested.
The rider line-up is also as ready as possible following two days successful testing at the circuit last week and with a further top up test planned for this Thursday.
During the tests a good setting was found which will allow the team to go fast early on Friday for official free practice.

Particular thanks are due to Hugh at Sweatshop for making the tests possible and also Etienne at Beringer and Allan at SBS for getting the new parts to the circuit in time for the test.
The race is planned to start at 17.00 hours on Saturday afternoon. It will again be true endurance, rewarding teams that return strong day and night performances.
We hope to see you there. RB

Races for 2014

Paul Ricard 4hrs 4th -6th April (ECS)

Imola 4hrs 16th-18th May (ECS)

Mettet 2+2 hrs TBA June

Spa 4 hrs 4th-6th July (ECS)

Nurnburgring 4 hrs TBA (ECS)

Oschersleben 4 hrs TBA, mid August

Classic Bol 2+2 hrs TBA mid Sept

Aragon 4hrs TBA October (ECS)

Misano 4hrs TBA October