Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Team finish 2nd in 2014 FIM ECS

After a very competitive season, which saw the team finish on the rostrum in 5 of the 6 races, the team finished 2nd to Belgian winners Team Force. Three pole positions and several fastest laps were not enough to beat the Moreno Suzuki of Team Force.

It all went to the wire at Aragon, Sweatshop Phase One and Team Force tying on points as the start flag dropped. After one hour Sweatshop were leading by 8 seconds and at hours two and three there was less than 50 seconds in it. But, with 45 mins to go, the challenge evaporated as new man Ian Simpson brought in a coughing and spluttering P&M, which due to electrical and mechanical ailments, could not be re-entered.

Nobody can remember the team's last DNF, and it was certainly some seasons ago, but the disappointment was tempered by the knowledge that the team had risen to Team Force's challenge and only one failure stood between retaining the title and losing it. The Team went faster everywhere in 2014, built and introduced a new bike, further developed the rider line-up and now stands perfectly to respond to the challenges of 2015.

Ian Simpson in his debut race with Phase One

Thanks to all our team members, sponsors and riders for a fantastic effort this year....we should all be very proud and pleased with our five out of six podiums. Lets do better still next year.!!!!!

The challenge now is to recruit sufficient additional team members to develop the Suzuki to win and build a spare bike plus parts.

People and money are always the key elements to win, and never more so than now.......if we all work hard to find the right people and the budget, I promise it will happen.

See you in the workshop.

The team Christmas meal is at the Lamb Inn at Four Forks, Bridgwater on Sat 13th December. Details to follow.

The above pictures have been taken by top ECS photographer, Jonathan Godin. Have a look on  to see them all. They are fantastic!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Aragon-the big showdown.!

We enter the final round in joint first position, tying on 61 points with Team Force of Belgium. Momentum is with the team, having scored a début win with the new Suzuki at Nurburgring and topped that with pole and fastest lap at Misano. And there should be even more to come; with the addition of Ian Simpson for Aragon, the rider line-up is second to none. Every area has been improved and we are ready to win.

But there is a downside. Just as the FIM have messed up the World Endurance championship (points are now awarded for positions during the race even if a team doesn't finish), DG Sport have changed the ECS format to be a ' best of three' rounds. This change to the 4 round championship was done without any consultation and sprung on teams early in 2014 - it means that a team who has scored most points in the year can be trumped by one who has three good results and a non-finish. In both the FIM and DG Sports cases, the organisers have failed to understand the essence of endurance...never give up, finish at all costs. Endurance is about reliability first and speed second, not vice versa.! What a pity.

Anyway, enough; the new Suzuki has been freshened with new valve and valve seat work, plus a fork rebuild to put the team in the very best position to win....and win we must, as anything less may allow the opposition to secure the championship. Our results are 1st, 2nd and 3rd, so far. Team Force's results are 1st, 1st and 5th. Points are awarded  as follows; 25,20,16,13,11,10 etc, so that means there is everything to play for. We must either win outright or come at least two places ahead of Force. Wow - I am getting excited just thinking about it....this IS tight, this IS proper racing !!

Graham Matcham of Conti will be there, Ray and Lee Marchant of MES will be there, and of course so will Hugh Brasher...we hope you will be too....  

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Linden & Brasher 2nd at Misano

Pole and fastest lap were great prizes from this marvellous 4 hours event, but the win evaded the Team.
Linden and Brasher fought hard but the local heroes of Team Braghi, on a 1000 Ducati won the day. Linden's fastest lap (1 min 52.4 secs) put Braghi's 1 min 53.8 secs in the shade, but a pair of unplanned Linden stops from the lead in hour two put the mockers on winning. Why you ask?

Well that's exactly the question we were asking when Peter stopped twice with a stuck throttle that blatantly wasn't stuck when twice examined in the pits.! When he pitted at the end of the third rota, his explanation was one of the most bizarre I had ever come across, but was improbably true. During his rota a small tear in his leathers , just below the left knee had grown and formed a strip about 6" long - the strip had then been sucked into number one carburettor and prevented it closing.! This almost incredible event had cost almost three minutes of lost track time and despite the best efforts of both riders, closing to 60 secs with 45 mins remaining, regaining the lead was not possible. Linden was furious with himself, unlike Brasher who was rather pleased with quite definitely his best ride of the year.          
The Braghi Corsa team add some glamour to the start line

The event was very well attended, mostly by domestic teams, but also with a few French, Germans  and Austrians. It was held in fantastic conditions with temperatures peaking at 29C and had a genuine night bias with almost 3 hrs held in darkness. It started at 17.45. The hospitality and atmosphere around the paddock was the best this year, culminating in a  gala buffet after the race with 5 star food and gallons of complimentary prosecco flowing freely. The race was the final round of the three leg Italian classic endurance championship running from Vallelunga, through Mugello to this final round. Some more of this Italian zest is a must for next season.!
Julian Graf is the latest addition to the Team

This event was the final planned outing for P&M 17, the famous 1978 'works' P&M Kawasaki campaigned by John Cowie and Bernie Toleman to great success in world endurance events and which won the 1978 British TTF1 championship with Cowie. The bike will be restored to its original spec and displayed in the team's museum for posterity. Its sister, frame 15 (originally built for Dennis Mc Millan) will be sold at the end of the season to continue its own success story. Russell is compiling a full history of 17's racing results and would very much welcome any contributions.

Race Results:

1st Team Braghi Corsa         Damiano/Rossi          Ducati                  118 laps
2nd Sweatshop Phase One   Brasher /Linden         P&M Kawasaki  118 laps
3rd Team Segale Classic       Bertschingler/Tosalini Segale Honda      117 laps
4th Pane&Nutella                 Ruzza/Sasselli             Moto Guzzi        113 laps
5th Team Moretti                  Freddi/ Duranti          Moto Guzzi         112 laps
6th MC Ferrentino                Collela/ Diego            Kawasaki           111 laps    

Friday, 26 September 2014

Misano 4hours 11th October

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

Nurburgring win puts P1 back at the top.!

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.

Race Results;

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

Nürburgring 4 hrs, 7th September

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

Monday, 18 August 2014

Nurburgring test 20/21st August

The team track test the P&M Suzuki again this week at Nurburgring with Hugh Brasher, Cormac Conroy and the recovering Peter Linden. The new Suzuki proved fast at Donington but the team are aiming to improve performance further with some different carburettors and shock absorbers. The new bike weighed in 3 kgs heavier than the Kawasaki last week, but there is a long way to go with weight reduction as well as power improvement.

The Nurburgring race is over the weekend of 6/7th September, we hope you can make it.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Sweatshop Phase One at Donington.

The Team have just completed 3 days testing at Donington Park on the new P&M Suzuki. Peter Linden was originally planned for the test but crashed heavily in Sweden two weeks ago, breaking two ribs and bruising a lung.

Ian Simpson kindly agreed at short notice to stand in for Peter and proved the ideal replacement. Despite the relatively small amount of track time , the vast majority of the team's objectives were achieved before the weather turned this morning and the final day was abandoned.

The new bike proved powerful and controllable, although a steering damper was necessary to calm the front end lightness over uneven surfaces etc. With 140 BHP on tap, the bike was always going to have different characteristics to the Kawasaki, but none proved detrimental and a base setting was found to take on to the Nurburgring tests next week. Good settings were found for carburation and  ignition curves.
Ian gave great feedback and was a pleasure to work with.

Meeting of minds. Steve Bones of FTR and Richard Peckett of  P&M

Thanks to all involved and sorry to those ( Lee) that came to watch today and went away with nothing more than pitlane chat.!!

Peter, Hugh and Cormac will all be back for the German test on 20/21st August.

Lancaster fly by

It's well worth getting this month's Classic Racer, nice article on Spa Francorchamps.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

3rd at Spa Francorchamps

The Team Force entry of Greg Fastre and Richard Hubin dominated the race with a text book performance from start to finish, winning the race from the MotoBel Guzzi and Sweatshop Phase One, all finishing on the same lap. John Neate and family's plucky performance gave them a well deserved and popular 4th place.

Peter Linden, Hugh Brasher and Cormac Conroy's measured performance in extremely difficult conditions gave the team a well deserved 3rd place in the race and solidified the team's 2nd position in the 2014 ECS championship. Despite sunny warm conditions during Friday qualifying, the race day weather was appalling; the race started damp, went wet and got wetter!

The conditions were not improved by a pretty thorough layer of oil being deposited in the classic races and parades that proceeded the main event. An early casualty of the conditions was Alf's Bob Collins who fell after about 40 mins, taking the Alf's P&M Kawasaki that he shared with Mick Godfrey, out of the race. Another of the 64 starters, Team Bolliger also went out after just 5 laps. Steve Boam and Steve Clark retired the SCERT Suzuki after alternator failure. It really was one of those very tricky races which rewarded those that took a steady and measured approach; the oil, the wet and the dark, all presenting separate challenges.

Sweatshop Phase One's rider line up and pit crew did exactly what was necessary, without error, to secure second in the championship, pulling on third but losing out to the Team Force Bakker Suzuki which increased its leading margin.

The Sweatshop Phase One team will work hard in the next month to get its new P&M GSX1100 Suzuki ready for testing at Donington Park over the weekend classic festival of 10th August, with a view to taking the fight to Team Force at Nurburgring on the 5th September.

Thanks to all our sponsors, team members and supporters for your continued backing.

Pictures by Jacco Dijkhuizen and ECS

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


The Team travel tomorrow to Spa for the second round of the FIM European Classic Series, to be held on Saturday, from 20.00 hrs to midnight.

Peter Linden, Hugh Brasher and Cormac Conroy need to build on the Team's 2nd place at Paul Ricard to stay in the hunt for this year's championship, in the face of the strong performance by Team Force at round 1, and at Mettet.

The Team will test at Spa on Thursday the 3rd of July to be prepared for Friday's practice and qualifying.

For those that don't know, Spa is only 3 hours from Calais.

See you there!

Also, have a look on the ECS website:

Motogiro d'Italia Centenary

Team members Roy Hood and Russell Benney, supported by Phill Haynes and Lida van Ham completed the 100th edition of the Motogiro d'Italia last week.

The 1000 mile event started at Misano Circuit, and circumnavigated Imola, Alba, Genova, Florence, Bologna and returned to Misano.

Despite the  range of conditions, from 38 degr. C to torrential rain, Russell completed the event on his 1956 175cc Moto Morini in equal 10th place, and Roy finished 35th on his 1955 Gilera 150cc, after suffering a failed generator and broken clutch cable.

The organisation was, let's say typically Italian, but despite this everybody enjoyed themselves.

The scenery (particularly the Mediterranean coast and Apennine Mountains) was fantastic.

The people were very friendly and the hospitality offered by the villages that the Giro passed through was overwhelming.

To be recommended!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Phase One at the Moto Giro d'Italia

Roy Hood, Phill Haynes, Russell and Lida head for Misano tomorrow for the start of the 100th Moto Giro. Roy and Russell have been talking about competing in the giro for years and at last it's come to fruition.

The event is run on a unique course of 1600 kms (1000miles), over 6 days and the eligible bikes are machines of 175cc or less, built up to 1957. Roy will compete on a 1957? 150cc Gilera and Russell on a 1955 175cc Morini tourismo.

Roy's machine is newly restored and will be competing in its first giro whereas Russell's bike has a couple of giros under its belt in the hands of well known veteran Harry Long.

This year's event starts near Misano on the Adriatic coast, strikes north west, almost to the French border and then returns south east, following the Mediteranian, almost to Pisa before going inland once more to return to Misano.

Phill and Lida will be in support, helping with any repairs or mechanical work and organising logistics.

In truth, it should be a good jolly with a lot of back ache.!!

More on Spa preparations later.