Tuesday, 19 April 2016

3rd at Paul Ricard - a great start!

Ian Simpson and Peter Lindén made a great start on the job of defending the Team's European Classic Championship. After qualifying second against notably stronger competition they raced to a very hard fought third place in the 4hrs race. Team Force won and Neate Racing were second.

Against my expectation, the competition, in both depth and strength was up. Forty teams were on the line, many now with the security of two bikes, and almost all from the top ten had well known national champions, or ex- world champions aboard.

At the top, Greg Fastre was as fast as ever, fresh from his second place at last weekend's Le Mans 24hrs race. Sam and Steven Neate raced at a pace better than ever before. Mike Edwards and Mick Godfrey went superbly on Alf’s Kawasaki, Roadrunner (Dirk Brand and Henk van der Mark) and Taurus was very fast too.
The fifth to fifteenth region was stacked with talent as well… Cormac Conroy came back with a bang, joining Patrick Banfield on a pair of Kawasakis to finish a very creditable 7th, plus the Team Monex entry qualifying well in 6th and finished in 12th .

In the race, Lindén started well and settled in fourth for most of the first 40 minutes. The Neates led, followed by Force and Taurus. Monex lay fifth, until a stop and go ended their challenge.

There was excitement right from the warm-up, with team Force pitting after the sighting lap for adjustments and Cormac pitting with a slipping clutch.
After stop one, Sweatshop Phase One were in third, with Simpson pushing hard. Force were leading the Neates.

After stop two Sweatshop slotted into second place behind Force.

During rota three the pace car arrived in response to Mick Godfrey crashing Alf’s Kawasaki and the detached tank catching fire. The pace car intervention resulted in the top three closing on track to 8 seconds separation; Force, Neates and Sweatshop.

The latter part of the race was uneventful; with good pit work and faultless riding the team were able to secure third, some minute or so behind the fast charging Neates and two laps ahead of Nocki Classic Team in fourth.
Steve Boam and Steve Clarke had an awful race, chasing what turned out to be a dropped carb needle for at least half the race distance.

The sweatshop Phase One Team were content with getting points on the board (the team’s fourth consecutive ECS rostrum position) but will be working hard to be even more competitive at Spa.

Mettet 4 hrs next,  27th - 29th May…….RB


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Valencia - good, Vallelunga - bad

Following an excellent two day test at Valencia, where all objectives were achieved and which involved Peter Lindén, Hugh Brasher and Ian Simpson, it all came to nought at Vallelunga!

Serious deliberations

Peter Lindén and Hugh Brasher qualified in third spot behind Team Taurus (44), with Giorgio Cantalupo and Sandro Caprara and the fast charging Team Scuderia Officine (333) with Samuele Sardi and Emiliano Bellucci.

Long queues for the scrutineering

After 25 minutes Peter Lindén led and built a 4 second lead by stop 1, at 43 minutes. Hugh Brasher returned to the track in an even better position, leading by 18 seconds.

At stop 2 and stop 3 the team held a steady 3rd position, well in touch with Scuderia Officine, who led.

A mid-race stoppage, due to a bike fire on track, turned into an Italian farce. No pace car, nor parc fermé were available and all bikes returned to their pits awaiting instructions.
These can in town crier fashion with the organisers making the rules up on the hoof, contradicting each other and making no coherent sense... poor Segale suffered a 1 minute penalty for wiping the screen!

Anyway, farce over, our race resumed... but not for long. Hugh Brasher pitted with 45 minutes remaining with a broken gearbox! It was a real shame, as Peter Lindén had scored the race fastest lap and absolute class record whilst chasing for the lead after the race stoppage and Hugh Brasher had delivered a 1 min. 54 sec lap and was displaying top form!

Fastest lap trophee

Next week off to Paul Ricard for round one of the FIM European Classic Series.

Ian Simpson and Peter Lindén will join forces on the Sweatshop Phase One bike... and this one really does count!

See you in the Provence next week.


Golden memories, James Ellison on the No 3 Phase One bike