On Sunday March 29th, Kapital Moto Racing successfully completed their first 6 hour endurance event at Mallory Park. The race wasn’t without drama and incident for the team, however they were ultimately successful in passing the chequered flag to record a result in the National ProSuperbike class.
Finishing the final touches to a newly built race bike on the Friday before race weekend was always going to mean everything was down to the wire. The bike was completed and arrived at Mallory Park early on Saturday morning, ready for a first shakedown the day before the first race. Initially the suspension settings were found to be incompatible with producing fast laps, so Saturday was mostly dedicated to adjusting forks and rear shock to find an optimum setup. Team drills regarding re-fuelling and wheel changes were also practiced. The weather was not kind at Mallory Park on Saturday, with heavy rain showers and hail disrupting proceedings. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, with high hopes of a strong race result.
The Kapital Moto Racing Ducati Supersport 1000 qualified well down the field in 21st position, with suspension adjustments continuing until the very last minute. Some qualifying and practice time was lost as rider Jason Boswell suffered a small crash at the infamous Mallory hairpin, resulting in only minor damage to the bike. Sadly, a fabulous paint scheme was no longer pristine. The 6 hour race was split into two 3 hour events, jointly run with various classes of 3 hour competitors, with all National and Senior bikes staying in Parc Ferme during the changeover period. The first Le Mans start of the day saw Luke Palmer sprint across the track, making a great beginning for Kapital Moto Racing in the opening laps. However, early gains were short lived.
Pitting after only 20 laps, Palmer reported extremely poor handling. Quick investigations indicated a flat front tyre, which was brand new at the race start, resulting in an unscheduled wheel change and lost time. The remainder of the first 3 hours passed without further incident, with seconds steadily coming off the lap times. Restarting for the second half of the race, Jason Boswell this time took part in the Le Mans style starting procedure.
Unfortunately the Ducati Supersport 1000 would not start and required pushing down the main straight, before the engine would start. Boswell celebrated this success by radically hoisting the front wheel in the air, as he fired down the track. This was the beginning of ongoing starting issues for the next 3 hours.
Almost every fuel stop required a battery change or bump start so that the team could continue the race. Once again, all these delays resulted in lost laps on track. Finally, Phill Clarke took the chequered flag after 6 gruelling hours and 236 laps, proving that it is certainly possible to complete 6 hours of racing on an air-cooled, twin cylinder motorcycle.
“The whole team’s really happy to have completed 6 hours of racing, even with the obstacles thrown in our way. We may not have won this event, but we’ve learned a lot as a team and feel we’ll be even better prepared for our next challenging round," declared Clarke.
Kapital Moto Racing would like to thank all their team members, sponsors and supporters for making it possible to compete in the Hottrax National Endurance series. For a complete list please see the Kapital Moto Racing website at http://www.kapitalmoto.com.
Special mention to Neil Barrett of Cornerspeed for long hours of motorcycle preparation, right to the last minute, and Max Eaves, from sponsor TVT, for taking on trackside Marshalling duties for the day. Kapital Moto Racing’s next event will be at the Anglesey circuit on May 23rd and 24th.