Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Team dinner a great sucess

Thirty team members sat down on Saturday evening to celebrate the successes of the season. The Lamb Inn at Spaxton put on a great traditional Christmas Dinner, but the special Venison and Stilton Pie still won over!
Furthest travelled were Peter Lindén, Ian Simpson and Bill Simpson, from Sweden and Scotland respectively.

We all enjoyed the opportunity to have a good talk away from both circuit and workshop and what was especially good was to introduce key sponsor Lee Marchant of Marchant Engineering Services (MES) to some of the local team members who don't go to races and also some of the new starters.

The evening was capped by an exclusive UK airing of "The Peter Lindén Show", a charity picture show presented by Peter about his life in fighter jets and with racing motorcycles.
As they say, a good time was had by all.

South Africa

The Team will travel to South Africa for the first time, in late January, to contest 2 rounds of their three event Classic Series.
The first two races are at Zwartkops and Killarney over the weekends of 30/31st of January and 6/7th of February. It's not endurance, but it will be great to see Peter up against similar machines in the pre 1983 category.
Competition will come from a host of local stars, plus Ian McPherson and Ian Simpson, last year's series winner.The event s organised in the UK by Mick Grant, who has shipped a dozen or so bikes from the UK.
TT star Bill Simpson will also be racing an XR69 Suzuki.
Last time Bill was on the same grid as Peter was at the 1985 Production TT where he beat him convincingly - a fact that he would not let Peter forget at last weekend's dinner!
More on South Africa to come -....

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Aragon 4 hrs; reflections on a great success

Aragon 4 hrs - final ECS round 2015


Sweatshop Phase One are now 2015 FIM European Classic Series Champions, after winning at the final race at Aragon on 31st October.


Despite becoming the 2013 ECS champions, during that season, it was becoming clear that the old P&M Kawasakis were coming to the end of their competitive existence. The rolling chassis continued to be as light and nimble as any, but coaxing any more reliable power from the old uni-track engines would be difficult. In short, we would need to compromise reliability if we wanted the Kawasaki lumps to make any more power. As that is never an option in endurance (always reliability first and performance second) our only way forward was to go to a four valve engine. In practical terms that meant Suzuki in the shape of the GSX1100 E models, which were available in 81/82 and were thus eligible. Our first outing with our 'prototype' GSX1100 bike was at Nurburgring in late summer 2014. And what a début it was - with a Linden /Brasher/Conroy win straight out of the box. ! Next race, at Aragon in 2014, didn't go so well, with a crank failure from second place. !

Anyway, to cut to the present; The two 'production' frames (with different headstock angles and swinging arm mounting positions) were built by P&M over the 2014/15 winter, and by the mid season point, we had considered that we had got on top of the reliability issues. Three key areas have been addressed and solutions applied. One area of engine reliability remains in question, with no obvious mitigation available. The frequency of this failure mechanism is around one event per 80 hrs and its consequences are non catastrophic, but race terminating. More work will take place in this area over the winter.

So, our  frequency of all failures (catastrophic and non-catastrophic) with the Suzuki engine during the development phase was one event per 17 hrs, now during this recent 'developed' phase it is one event per 35 hrs, so we are getting there.

With the engine now close, the riders could exploit the package - and what a great run they have had.

2nd Paul Ricard
2nd Mettet
2nd Spa
1st Paul Ricard (classic Bol)
1st Misano
1st Aragon
2nd Aragon

Leaving engines behind; we really wanted to win at Spa this year. As a team we hadn't won there since 1993...loads of seconds and thirds, but not a win since Buckmaster/Manley and Toland. That's why we ran two bikes this year - it was intended to be just a one-off to increase our chances, but when it all went wrong and Stephane and Ian suffered engine failure whist leading (and Peter and Hugh powered on to second) we found ourselves in the crazy position of having two bikes equal on 20 points, instead of one on 40 points. That meant, instead of leading the ECS by a nice margin, we found ourselves equal fifth with ourselves! So it now had to be two bikes for Aragon.

Aragon 4 hrs - the final showdown

And so to Aragon....any one of seven teams could win and six of them were there trying....and every one of them was serious. (It's a real shame that Bolliger, with Kellenberger did not make the journey).
Anyway, it was the two Phase One teams from Spa (Linden with Dickinson replacing Brasher) and Mertens and Simpson. Plus, the favourites Greg Fastré and Richard Hubin, on their Team Force Harris GSX1100s, Moto-Bel, Kaiser Kawasaki and Roadrunner Suzuki, the endurance stalwarts who had scored well in each race.

In addition, major competition should also have come from Alf's endurance, with Mike Edwards, John Barton and recently returned Mick Godfrey, plus Gary Johnson's Monex package, the very fast but infrequently scoring Taurus Suzuki and also Sam Neate should really have shown his nose.

The Sweatshop Phase One team's weekend started fairly well with a trouble free Friday practice and qualifying, which saw Mertens and Simpson get pole, with a combined time of 2.08.57, some 0.36 secs ahead of Taurus on 2.08.93, with Hubin and Fastre in 4th ( 2.09.26) some 0.5 sec  behind Linden/Dickinson who took third.

Moto-Bel were 5th, Alfs were 6th, Hampe (with Christian Haquin) was 7th, Toscane were 8th and Monex 9th. Other UK interest was with Sam Neate in 17th.

Night practice went well for Linden and Dickinson, but Mertens/Simpsons was cut a little short due to a developing oil leak, which necessitated an overnight engine change.

The race conditions were perfect. The early laps were in air temps and track temps in the low 20c region and Lindens unofficial class record (2.06.9) looked like it would surely be broken.

Taurus led the early laps with Mertens closely trailing and Fastre in hot pursuit. Linden was steady in 4th. Taurus ( having recruited local Spanish hotshot Mas Martinez to join regular man Cantalupo) pulled ahead during the first 45 mins and pulled a seven second lead on Mertens at stop one. Force were also close behind.

During the early part of the rota , Moto-Bel crashed lightly and were back in the fray after a three minute repair.

Also during the first hour, Alf's endurance, the Neates and Monex all left the stage with engine failures.

At the close of hour one, Sweatshop ( Mertens) had taken the lead, largely assisted by a speedy pitstop, Taurus were second, Force third and Linden fourth.

Hour two was equally dramatic; Fastre and Hubin met the Sweatshop challenge and put the hammer down, equalling and exceeding Simpsons times as twilight drew in. The Phase One pit stops were going well (despite only 100 secs between each bike !) but not well enough to stop Force taking a half second lead at mid-race distance. Linden/Dickinson remained fourth, behind Taurus in third.

Taurus customarily left the stage early, this time on lap 64

During the third hour Force hit trouble - their ECU became detached and pit work was necessary to get going again, they rejoined in third at the close of hour three. Sweatshop Phase One also had a hitch. A troublesome battery change at stop 4 needed some attention in the pit lane (30 sec or so), but fuelling had taken place; that meant the act was unallowed and therefore the team were penalised with a thirty second stop and go.!

So, the close of hour three saw the two Phase One teams in first and second, Mertens leading Linden by 29 secs, Force in third a further 42 secs back, with Roadrunner up to 4th one lap adrift.

The final hour was classic endurance; A big big chase by the back to backing Fastre to try to wrest 3rd position from Dickinson, who in turn was trying to hold position with the minimum of risk.
During this chase Fastre scored the best lap of the race with a new record of 2.05.779.

Whilst at the front, Stephane was doing what Stephane does; head down , hammer down, ultra fast, ultra reliable...right to the flag with a string of best personal laps in the darkness........

And for Linden and Dickinson; a textbook team performance.

Sweatshop Phase One .......first and second and championship winners.......

Thank you to Team, Riders and Sponsors alike, what a marvellous job.

Final results Aragon:

1. Sweatshop Phase One (Mertens/Simpson)
2. Sweatshop Phase One 2 (Dickinson/Lindén)
3. Team Force (Hubin/Fastré)
4. Roadrunner (van der Mark/Brand)
5. Kaiser Classic Endurance (Kaiser/Steinmacher/Deiss)
6. Les Melting Potes (Laghi/Langlois/Frattini)
7. Red Fox Tide 4 Fun (Coppens/Govaert)
8. Motobel (Charles-Artigues/Sardi)
9. German Guzzi Classic Team (Boos/Nerge/Pfautch)
10 Team Segale Classic (Tossolini/Germann/Bertschinger)
11 DuDu Team (Dumont/Duvernay/Mignot)
12 Poweracing Japauto Club (Jaubert/Sauve)
13 AML Racing (Weber/ d'Imbleval)
14 Capelli Belli (Struck/Sieg/Bohmhauer)
15 Team Carlains (Bisconti/Carlini)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Phase One: Enduring Success

Sweatshop Phase One picked up its 5th FIM Championship last weekend by winning the final round of the European Classic Series at Aragon.

Stéphane Mertens and Ian Simpson fought off massive challenges from Team Force and Team Taurus, as well as team mates Peter Lindén and Mike Dickinson on a second Sweatshop Phase One entry.

At the flag, Mertens/Simpson were some 53 seconds in front of the Lindén entry with Team Force trailing by over a lap after a last minute splash and dash,

Peter Lindén and Mike Dickinson played a superb supporting role to give Sweatshop its first 1-2 result ever.

Russell Benney said - This win is dedicated to the whole team, but particularly to Hugh Brasher, who made it all possible, but could not be here to share in the glory.
All in the team wish Hugh's wife Claire a speedy return to good health -

More details later in the week.
Mertens on his way to the series win, with team mates Simpson and Brasher for Sweatshop Phase One.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Aragon update

Due to unforeseen circumstances Hugh cannot race at this weekend's final ECS round at Aragon. Mike Dickinson has been drafted in to accompany Peter Lindén on the number 1 entry. The number 4 bike will be raced by Stéphane Mertens and Ian Simpson, in an all out effort to win.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Snetterton 4 hrs

Steve Smith and Peter Linden crashed out of the lead of a wet and overcast Snetterton 4 hrs race during the first hour. After a fine start, in difficult conditions, Steve Smith lost the front end at the Bomb Hole during rain. After assessing the damage the team retired in order to preserve key spares for the upcoming Aragon race that they departed for just 36 hrs later. The key issue was the destruction of another fuel tank.

The event started well with dry cold qualifying in which both riders topped their groups. The grid comprised a wide cross section of machinery, not strictly in class, but all underpinned by a great enthusiasm for being there. Technically, qualifying was straightforward, but the opportunity to test a set up which coped best with the very cold track was impossible due to deteriorating weather conditions.
The team regretted the early retirement following the crash, but focus had to stay on the European Series and compromising spares could not be considered.

Hearty congratulations to Steve Boam and Steve Clark for their fantastic win at Snetterton on the SCERT Suzuki. After years of trying the team thoroughly deserve this result.The team are now en-route to Spain where one of seven teams can win the series. Sweatshop Phase One are pulling out all the stops to win, with a double entry of Mertens/Simpson and Brasher/Linden.

The team wishes to thank Rob and Darin for their efforts in getting the Snetterton race off the ground and hopefully set for a great future. Thanks are also due to Ray Marchant for entering the team and to Graham Matcham for the superb Continental tyres.

Aragon race is on 31st October.

Finally, thank you to Martin Gelder of for the superb coverage of Snetterton and we look forward to the resurrection of in depth articles on the exciting sport of Classic Endurance. 


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Misano 4hrs; - winnin’ in the rain !

During 4 hrs of torrential rain Peter Linden and Mike Dickinson fought off a serious challenge from the Austrian Team Horvath Guzzi to secure the team’s first win at Misano.

Free practice had gone well, in lovely sunny conditions, but the heavens opened for qualifying and the race. Although the thirty or so competitors were soaked, competition was fierce, with sweatshop Phase One eventually scoring pole, with Horvath Guzzi 2nd , Segale 3rd (Kawasaki)  and Wobker 4th on another Kawasaki.

The race conditions were truly appalling, with the risk of aquaplaning high from mid-race onwards. At one stage it was thought that conditions were bad enough for the race to be stopped. However, with great skill and supreme judgement Linden and Dickinson guided the 100% reliable bike to its wet win.


It’s been a long time since the team raced with the ECU in a sealed polythene bag…..but it was worth it.

See you at Snetterton for the inaugural Snetterton classic 4 hrs this Sunday (18th) afternoon.



Monday, 5 October 2015

Misano and Snetterton

Misano 18.00 (Italian time), Saturday 10th of October.

We are pleased to welcome ‘Dicko’ back to join Peter Lindén for another classic 4 hrs adventure at this weekend’s Misano event. Hugh is once again away on Marathon duties and Mike has kindly agreed to stand in.! And what a stand-in he was at the Classic Bol, returning excellent lap times and coming home with a win.

Misano is a Saturday evening race, starting in the light and racing into darkness. It is the final event in the Italian 4 round championship for classic bikes of pre-82. The previous rounds have been at Imola, Mugello and Vallelunga, so it could be a great one to do in the future, if there are no date clashes. Peter is on great form and with Mike and a new engine (to be run-in on Friday), expectations are high….

The track is just over an hour from Bologna and I checked Ryanair prices the other day. Under £50….what’s YOUR excuse.?!

Snetterton 13.00, Sunday 19th October

Snetterton could be a temperature shock to the system after Misano, but we may be lucky! The Team are pleased to announce that Peter Lindén will be joined by Steve Smith for this race. Steve competed well at the classic Bol on his father’s Yamaha OWO1 with Steven Neate, returning great times and with every prospect of a class win, until their machinery let them down. For those who don’t know; Steve is ex-endurance racer Dave Smith’s boy, and the OWO1 is the very one which Dave competed on in the early 1990s.

The Snetterton 4 hrs race is a significant event as it is the first classic 4 hrs race in the UK. We are used to having the sport in all our neighbouring countries and it is difficult to understand why it’s not been here sooner. Anyway, it is now and the Team are very pleased to support this inaugural event and salute the organisers for taking the plunge. Already, a bigger and better event is being spoken about next year, but right now there is a race to win. First free practice is at 10.20 on Saturday morning with a single qualifying session, per rider, later on Saturday. Warm up is late morning on Sunday. The race is at 1.00. Please come and visit us.

Thanks to MES and Ray Marchant for entering the Team for this Snetterton race.     

Marchent Engineering Services

Monday, 21 September 2015

Sweatshop Phase One win at the Classic Bol d’Or !

The return to Paul Ricard for the 13th Classic Bol d’Or definitely met expectations;

Peter Linden and Mike Dickinson scored a textbook race win, pole position and fastest lap, and all in lovely warm dry conditions.! It just couldn't have been better.

The weekend started as predicted – the organisation was a shambolic, no passes, no race number, no decent paddock, etc etc, but that didn't hold things up, much. Lindén set a fantastic pole lap of 2.14.93, from Godier Grenoud on 2.15.57, in the dry Friday session, after a damp start on Thursday. Mike Dickinson lagged a little at first as he had to learn both the bike, the circuit and how to race at night. By Friday he was also well on the pace, setting a lap of 2.18.56 to place him 3rd in his group.

The race was of two, two hour legs, one in darkness on Friday evening and one from 09.00 to 11.00 on Saturday morning.

By describing the race as text book, I really mean textbook! In each leg; two stops, three sessions of 40 mins ish and pitstops of about 20 secs. In the pits it was boring, just like it should be.! On track Lindén was fast, very fast; since his wrist repair earlier this year we have seen a rejuvenated Linden, scoring the Spa class lap record in July and repeating it this time, with a 2 13.16 sec lap in the race. The track performance by Mike was also first class, inheriting and improving the lead in each of his two sessions.

In leg one, The Taurus Team, IT, (Suzuki) were a fine 2nd some 1 min 28 secs adrift, followed by Team Roadrunner, NL, (Brand and Van Der Mark) also on a Suzuki.

In leg two, Taurus were again 2nd some 2 mins 14 secs back, with Hampe Racing Team in 3rd, after Roadrunner suffered a technical problem.

The post-classic class was won by Stéphane Mertens and Richard Hubin on Team Bike’s RC30 and the pre-classic class was won by Gérard Jolivet and Christophe Gaime (Moto Revue Classic) on a Z1R.

Huge congratulations are due to Stéphane Mertens on his first place, on the 25th anniversary of his first Bol d’Or win with Honda in 1990.

Well, who could wish for a better return to the Bol at Paul Ricard, 30 years after the team’s first race there in 1985. Truly special.

Thanks to all our team members, sponsors and supporters – all of whom made it happen.

Misano 4 hrs is next, on Saturday 10th October, followed by the return of endurance to Snetterton with the 4 hrs race on Sunday 18th October and finally, Aragon on Saturday 31st October.   

Photographs by Sara Dickinson and Lida van Ham  


Friday, 18 September 2015

The Grand Reunion

Bol Fever is definitely back!!
It's 27 degr C. now, the crowd is swelling and the atmosphere building. It really is quite special.
Already we have been visited by dozens of Phase One supporters and riders.
Topped by the arrival of Steve Bateman, Russell's long term endurance partner.
On the track things could not be better - pole position (in class) and outright fastest at night (Linden).
Let the battle begin, with the first 2 hours leg starting at 20.50 (continental time) tonight..

Monday, 14 September 2015

Return of the true Bol

As we leave this morning I can already feel that this really is going to be a special meeting.
The world round, returning to Paul Ricard should attract upwards of 80.000, together with 25.000 for the classic and with the Bol d'Argent you could reasonable expect 100.000. So, how will one gate with 5 turn styles accommodate that; it will be havoc, but that is always the case in this dusty, sunny and iconic event. 
Yes, it will be havoc, but unforgettable. 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Countdown to the Bol

I can say "Bol" this year, as for the first time in 14 years, the Classic Bol and the "real" Bol are together.
The "real" race runs from 3.00 pm to 3.00 pm on Sat/Sun 19/20 September, "back home" at Paul Ricard after an absence of 15 years.
Ok, it hasn't always been at Paul Ricard, but since 1976 or 1977 it has, after it was run at Le Mans for the last time.
Our race consists of two legs of two hours, one on Friday night and one on Saturday morning. This year the Classic and Post Classic races are being run together. I am not sure if I really agree with that as I am quite sure that the Classic Bol and the Post Classic Bol can continue to stand alone as an individual event, with two x two hour races.
However, we have a race to win and preparations are well underway.
Our target is firmly last year's Post Classic winners (Mertens/Martin) on their RC30 Honda.Despite being 6 years younger than our P&M, we reckon the win is perfectly possible.

Mike Dickinson
Peter Lindén's Classic Bol partner will be Mike Dickinson. It is a pleasure to welcome Mike to the Team for his first race with us.
 (Hugh is unavailable for this one, and Ian is overqualified!!).
Mike has had fantastic successes in his long carreer, most notably becoming 1992 and 1993 South Africa Superbike champion. More recently he undertakes race tutoring with his team ( We wish him good luck on his debut!

More soon..... RB

Monday, 6 July 2015

What a Spa.

Pole position, second place, fastest lap and class lap record were all bagged, but that elusive win was not. Great credit must go to the German Kaiser Nico Bakker Kawasaki Team, who won the race for the second time with a faultless performance on a bike 30 years old and owned from new. Lindén and Brasher were second, whilst Mertens and Simpson suffered engine failure after three hours, having led from the flag.

Mertens pole, Mike Edwards 2nd, Greg Fastre 3rd

Peter Lindén and Hugh Brasher didn't put a foot wrong on their journey from qualifying fourth to second place on the rostrum. It was Brasher's third time on that step this year. Even the expected thunderstorm did not materialise to hamper their progress. Linden was straight back to form following his wrist operation in May and scored fastest race lap and class record, whilst chasing Mertens on the team's number one (literally) entry in the early stages. The biggest drama of their race was when Lindén, running second, got to within 18 seconds of Kaiser in the final 30 minutes, but there was not enough time remaining for a serious try for the top spot. A great result.!

Peter Linden on his way to a new class lap record, 2 mins 39.9secs

Ian Simpson and Stéphane Mertens raced to pole position during a scorching Friday qualifying, which saw temperatures reach 35 degrees C. For three hours the pair dominated, overcoming challenges in the first rota from Alf's Endurance (with a wild Mike Edwards, Bob Collins and John Barton aboard) and Team Force's Greg Fastré. After three hours the Sweatshop Phase One bikes were running first and third after running 1-2 for most of the second hour. With under an hour remaining Mertens stopped at the pit box with a grossly overheated engine, which was also burning oil. Their challenge was over.

Early stages; Mertens-Fastre-Edwards-Linden

Alf keeps his smile

Alf's later ruled themselves out of the top ten by running out of petrol and Team Force suffered engine failure. Expected challenges from Gary Johnson on a Harris Suzuki and the Bolliger Kawasaki didn't materialise.

The Mertens-Simpson bike expires !

The SCERT team of Steve Boam and Steve Clark were 9th whilst the popular Roadrunner Team Suzuki of Dirk Brand and  Henk van der Mark scored a fine fourth place, which together with their fourth at Paul Ricard, hoists them to the top of the championship.

New Lap Record ; Peter Linden, Sweatshop Phase One P&M Suzuki   2 min 39.982secs.
Ian Simpson - in the lead, in the dark !

 Pictures by Jonathan Godin (ECS), Jacco Dijkhuizen and Bob Collins

Continued thanks to all our sponsors, but particularly, Sweatshop,Ray and Lee Marchant of MES, Maurice and Graham Matcham of Continental tyres.

Monday, 29 June 2015

All aboard for the Spa 4hrs.

The Team has pulled out all the stops and will enter two bikes at Spa.!

Stéphane Mertens and Ian Simpson will run under the team's normal number four and Peter Lindén and Hugh Brasher will use the specially granted number one plate for the race.

Both bikes are identical and both teams are capable of winning. Sweatshop Phase One has a fantastic record at the iconic Spa circuit, with rostrum places in each of the last three races....but no wins. !
Well, not since that fantastic 24hrs race in 1993 when Steve Manley, Simon Buckmaster and Doug Toland left the rest of the field for dust.!

Its anybodies guess how this race will pan-out, but with two potential race winning teams, the chances of scooping that elusive prize are certainly improved.

Since the team's fine 2nd places at Paul Ricard and at Mettet, several mods have been completed, most notably the ultra fast gear change-over, a new lighter action clutch and new fairing tops without oil cooler slots. Each should show benefits at Spa.

Spa has traditionally been the most popular meeting of the season and we can see no reason for numbers to drop....the grid for the 4 hrs race is certainly as strong, and maybe even stronger than normal. But, will it still be the most popular? It will be difficult to top the fantastic turnout at Paul Ricard and looking forward; the Classic Bol, again at Paul Ricard, but this time as part of the WEC meeting, should be sensational.

The growth in this classic endurance scene is certainly showing no signs of abatement.........

See you at Spa next weekend.   RB

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Mertens Magic at Mettet

Stéphane Mertens and Hugh Brasher got onto a marvellous second step of the rostrum again at Mettet. This time after one of the most dramatic battles of recent years. The Sweatshop team overcame problems in both 2 hrs legs, but could not match Fastré/Hubin, despite their own problems.

A crash in leg one and very difficult conditions in manche two created the uphill struggle, but Mertens dug deep into his reserves and pulled this great result out of the bag.

The end result in both legs was; Fastré/Hubin - Mertens/Brasher and Senechal/Frerad, making the first Suzuki 1-2-3 in this type of racing.  (Harris / P&M / Harris)

The race was held over a relatively cold end of May weekend which saw the team qualify second with a time of 1.11.96 secs (Mertens) against Force's pole of 1.11.05 secs (Fastré). Hugh Brasher qualified with a excellent 1.14.6 sec lap, with Hubin on 1.12.8 secs.

Steve Boam and Steve Clark qualified well in third position with a best from Boam of 1.14.2 secs.

Race One was dry but chilly. Mertens started and entertained with a great dice with Fastré, seeing them both pit after 40 mins, lying first and second, with just a few seconds between them. Brasher continued well, just as Team Force had an unplanned stop, lasting around one lap. After 10 laps of his rota, Hugh Brasher suffered a light fall, costing, with a stop for checks (and a later tank change), some 3 laps. This had handed the lead back to Force at this mid race point.

When Mertens took over, with 38 minutes remaining, the crash and the tank change had placed the team in 5th place. This is when the first dose of Mertens magic was administered.!

Stephane, as he does so well, meticulously calculated his necessary pace to get to second, and in conjunction with Lida in the signal board, he delivered it!  He eventually displaced the Harris Suzuki pairing of Senechal/Frerad, for second, two laps before the flag. What a marvellous display, lap after lap, fastest on track, and the rostrum was his.

Race two started damp and drizzly, got dryer and then wetter ! Mertens started well and led for some of the early race, after Team Force faltered with a starter motor problem, which saw them start from the back of the grid. The Senechal Suzuki also had a look in at the helm in the first 30mins, until Fastre, absolutely on form, came blistering by.!

This time , Hugh Brasher had a trouble free and creditable session, delivering the bike back to Stéphane Mertens at the 80 mins point in second place, after briefly leading around the 50 lap mark on a now dry track.

A one minute stop handing over to Mertens, dropped the team to 5th in this highly competitive leg - and that's when Stéphane displayed his second dose of magic......achieving another great result for the team, this leg snatched from the drizzle. The excellent Contis really do handle all conditions.

Overall, another great rostrum, but another defeat to Team Force who continue to dominate. They really now are the target......and at Spa, Sweatshop Phase One will rise to that challenge....two bikes, Lindén and Brasher, plus Simpson and Mertens. Race On.!!!!    See you there.

Cormac Conroy pushed the BSA to its limits
World Champion Endurance Roger Ruiz still at it!

Pictures courtesy of:
Jacco Dijkhuizen

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Countdown to Mettet

After dominating in 2012 and 2013 and then being beaten into second place last year, Sweatshop Phase One are eager to clinch back to top spot. Hugh Brasher will partner Stephane Mertens on the freshly rebuilt 1230cc P&M Suzuki, now further lightened and equipped with Ohlins latest Classic shocks. Practice, qualification and racing take place on Saturday, with the first 2 hrs leg on Saturday at 15.30. The second leg will be held on the Sunday at 14.00.

Spa will be next, in early July, where the team hope to run two bikes for the first time there. The plan is to run Ian Simpson with Stéphane Mertens and the Hugh Brasher with Peter Lindén, who should be fully fit after his wrist operation.

Mettet is just south of Charleroi in the Belgian Ardennes, just right for a weekend's ride.

See you there  RB


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

2nd position at Paul Ricard, a great start

Hugh Brasher, Stephane Mertens and Ian Simpson achieved a magnificent 2nd position at the first round of the ECS held at Paul Ricard last weekend.
Beringer 's Etienne and Simon fit a new brake lever.

The race was won by the Team Force pairing of Richard Hubin and Greg Fastre, continuing their fantastic form of 2014. Third position was taken by the Kawasaki of Armor Classic Bike. At the flag just one lap separated each team.

Pit stop practice

Sweatshop Phase One dominated qualifying with Mertens and Simpson both achieving sub 2.25 laps, with Simpson fastest at 2 mins. 23.531 secs. Greg Fastre was third quickest with a lap of 2 mins.25.017 secs. On aggregated time however, Force were pole and Sweatshop Phase One were second.
New team members include tyre man Dan Wynn and fueller Lee Marchant

The race was held in marvellous crisp dry conditions with temperatures between 17 and 11 degr. C. The race started at 18.30 and ran for 4 hours, Force and Taurus set the early pace with Mertens staying cautious and finishing rota one in third position. Simpson rode well in rota two to take the lead for the team after 65 mins from Hubin. Rota three saw Hubin make a short stop for exhaust system repair and Brasher hold and increase the lead for Sweatshop,

Rota four did not go so well. Ian Simpson (in only his second night race) struggled a little against current endurance superstock world champion Fastre, but worst, unexpectedly heavy chain wear caused the chain ton jump the sprocket. Quick thinking by Simpson saved the day and he quickly got the chain back on and the bike back the pit for adjustment with less than 1 lap lost.

The team dropped to second position and despite Mertens best efforts (fastest on track) he could not catch the Belgian champions before the flag.

A truly marvellous weekend of racing was watched by approx 25,000 spectators (official figure).

Thanks to all our sponsors, team and supporters alike.

Mettet next, May 30th/31st.


1. Team Force
2. Sweatshop Phase One
3. Armor Classic Bike
4. Roadrunner Team
5. Bolliger Classic Endurance
6. Team Segale Classic
7. Neate Racing
8. Scuderia Officine Toscane
9. Red Fox Ride 4 Fun
10. Moto Bel'

 Pictures by ECS photographer Jonathan Godin and Lida van Ham