Thursday, 29 September 2016

A tough 8th at the Classic Bol!

All was going so well; second in qualifying; Hugh on form; Peter going like a 25 year old, fastest race lap and the bike on song.... but it couldn't last, and it didn't.

In  leg one, on Friday night (16th September) Peter came crashing down on oil. And, he was leading by a couple of seconds, from one of the many post classic bikes. (actually, not post-classic at all; more like anything old ish...up to about 2000 we reckon - certainly not limited to 1991). That being bad enough, he was then skittled back to the ground by two other bikes crashing on the same oil.
Manfully and typically, he got the bike back (without LH handlebar) and the team fixed it and returned in 7 minutes. We had dropped to 32nd, but fought back to 8th by the end.

It could have been a great race, with over 50 starters; but on this occasion it was a bit of a struggle. Roadrunner Suzuki scored another superb first leg win, back to back with their Spa win two months earlier.They were on a roll, and well deserved!

In the second round on Saturday morning, it was much the same from the off. An ignition problem meant starting from the pitlane (tent-lane actually, as fifty tents had been erected to replace the pits occupied of course by the EWC teams) and a resultant stop and go, plus an oil leak, all led towards a decidedly average final 8th position. The overall race was won, for the second year running, by a post classic bike, firmly spelling the end of the "classic" bol as we knew it. Roadrunner were first classic bike in the overall result, in 3rd position.
Hugh Brasher at qualifying

This year the grid was split exactly 75% post classic and 25% classic.  we accept that classic is now finished. If only the organisers would get a grip and hold to their own regulations of the 1991 post classic cut off, it would have a future on its own, but I fear the worst...

What a negative end to a fantastic event... in just 3 years; a credible race with a full grid and the "main event" at Magny Cours, with its own support races, to a support race itself, with two unpoliced and meaningless classes. Shame.
Beringer products in the main paddock

As  a footnote; I hope that the organisers of next year's Donington 4 hours (6th/7th of May) have noted the demise of the Classic Bol (as a credible event) and the relative success of the ECS series; the former being a properly policed true classic event, rather than an unstructured free for all...

So, foreward to Aragon, we currently lead the championship, with 32 points, with our No. 1 bike, and our No. 4 bike is on 13 points in 8th place. Second is Taurus and tying for third are Force and Roadrunner, each on 25 points. For Aragon, Greg Fastré and Richard Hubin will both be fit.  Let battle commence!

Thanks to all for their invaluable support. Sorry to be negative earlier, its certainly not that way right now; Aragon is there to be won !!


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Classic Bol d'Or, Fri/Sat 17th /18th Sept

We leave today, Sunday and are on track first thing Thursday AM. Peter Linden and Hugh Brasher will defend the team's 2015 win (Linden/Dickinson) using the ex-Oschersleben bike. Post Oschersleben the detonation damage was repaired and the engine freshened ready for the back end of the season.

There are some great aspects of this event; notably the circuit and the world championship status of the main 24hrs race. But there are some negatives too; like being in an unsecured paddock with very poor facilities which is also a good distance from the pits!. Anyway, these trials are there there to be overcome - I am sure that we can lock all the valuables in the truck each time we go on track and we can always use the R2CL toilets... and anyway the pushing will do us good..

Another great thing about the Bol d'Or is that it attracts back lots of the old stalwarts, both racers and spectators, so I am looking forward to seeing many old faces again.

The race itself is a hotch -potch of classes, basically anything goes now, up to about 1995, and any capacity. It puts us at a bit of a disadvantage with such an old girl (1981), up against the GSXR1100s of 1990 and the 916s of later, It really is a post classic race with a classic support class.

But, as always we shall do our best and see what comes...

See you there.  RB