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 d├ębut 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