Monday, 29 August 2016

A lucky win at Osch

It was a great weekend with a superb outcome, but there was more to it than that. Frankly, the field was thin: not weak, just thin.

Qualifying for instance was fairly hard, with ACR Wobker and Motul Endurance both within 0.9 sec of fastest man Lindén.   Ian Simpson trailed slightly all meeting due to him suffering from a cracked rib following a mountain bike incident.
Qualifying ended with Sweatshop Phase One on pole with 1.39.62. Motul Endurance on 1.40.28 and ACR Wobker on 1.40.47. But there were not many other competitors close to this.
[It was interesting to note that some of the factory EWC bikes were only 11secs faster, with the latest young guns on board!].
The whole meeting was blisteringly hot, with air temperatures between 33-35 C and track temperatures in the 46-48 C region.

Sweatshop Phase One led from the flag, pulling a lead of approx 1 lap per hour over second place finisher Team Segale Classic (Dario Tosselini and Roberto Germann).
The Team's race was trouble free, with some great pitstops, even one at 18.17 secs, which resulted in the team being 5 laps ahead with 10 minutes to run (the race was between 16.00 - 20.00).
That hard earned margin proved invaluable as Ian Simpson stopped, with 10 minutes to go, at the beginning of the start/finish straight, apparently with a serious top end rattle.
The Team, in consultation with Ian, decided to sit the last 10 minutes out, just before the line, sapping up the margin, and to push over, at 20.00hrs.

The plan worked! The Team won, with just 100 sec to spare!!
It was a close thing, but well deserved after a great effort by all the Team.
Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters. Classic Bol d'Or next, September 18/19.

NB The engine fault was detonation eating a plug thread and loss of a plug

Pictures by Dave Martin

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Oschersleben 4hrs, Friday 26th August

Ochersleben has been a firm favourite with the team since the mid-1990s when the 24hrs race was conceived. Battle after battle was fought there, some absolute epics. Like in 1999, when we broke a cam chain whilst in the top three; pushed in, stripped it, got a new chain from the spare engine, retimed and fitted it, and carried on to a top ten finish. Those were the days; Rees, Bonhuil, Linden. And the marvellous 24hrs race win in 2001, a true race long battle with Zongshens, Jerman, Mertens and Nowland, which we won....true payback for Zongshen buying most of the 2000 Phase One rider line-up after we won the world championship the year before. That was Peter Linden's last world endurance race too... what a way to bow out of the WEC.... a 24hrs race win.

Anyhow, enough of that.... This weekend's race will be held at 16.00 on Friday PM. Peter Linden and Ian Simpson will be aboard, supported by a tight little team of five of us. We will be taking all three bikes; overkill really, but one is there just to run-in, and the other as a spare. We are learning all the time about these particular engines, and all are fresh for this latter part of the season.

Next will be the Classic Bol in mid-September (Linden/Brasher); an event that really should be renamed- post classic bol, with some classic bikes in support ! We go there to defend our 2015 classic bike win, in a field that will probably be around 50/50 with post classic....should be interesting....   Despite the absolutely rubbish facilities, remote paddock (no more than a field actually) and tented pits, its difficult to stay away....its still Paul Ricard after all, its still the south of France in September and above all its still the
Bol d Ór.....

Our last race will be the final EWC round at Aragon. We go there as absolute series leaders, but with only a slender margin ahead of Taurus, with Roadrunner and of course Team Force all within striking distance....

Thank you all for your continued support..... More after Osch ...RB

Bill Simpson
I am delighted to say that I visited Bill last week, the day after he was discharged from Dumfries Royal Infirmary and over two months after his horrific accident at East Fortune. I found him in good spirits, very thankfull to still be here and looking forward to getting back to fitness. I was so worried that after such a lengthy time in a coma he may have lost some of his wit; but no, Bill was back to full strength mentally.....but there is going to be some hard word ahead physically - he does however expect to make a full recovery...
Bill Simpson in South Africa earlier this year