Hottrax Motorsport Racing Club National + Junior TAG Endurance Motorcycle Championship – Round 2 – Knockhill, Scotland 28th April 2007 HOTTRAX National Endurance Championship – 6 hours
Series leaders GBMoto (Mark Smith Halvorsen, local ace Torquil Paterson and very experience rider Roger Bennett, making a welcome return to GBMoto on the Yamaha R1) managed to grab pole from local specialists – Grant Racing (Bruce Binnie/Forbes Cowan – Suzuki 1000) who have their base in the Knockhill paddock, a business run by Scottish 600 specialist and race winner ‘Wee’ Bob Grant.
Missing from the grid were Uprite racing who arrived at the track with the borrowed Moores Racing R1 but managed to drop a valve in testing. Moores also supported Harvey Mushman Racing (Hugh Brasher/Mick Godfrey/Vance John – R1) who arrived with bike, riders but no crew or race tent. Welshman Vance had initially been down to ride for Uprite but switched camps after the R1 expired.
The early part of the race saw Northern racing protagonists, Binnie and Bennett circulate in very close company before initial pitstops commenced, by the one hour mark GBMoto held a lap over HMR who were in front of the Moores Racing R6 (Tony Jimenez/Mike Eglington/Jim Agombar) with Grant Racing in fourth.
The Pace Car made an unwelcome appearance on the 2 hour mark, as Team Viking’s Paul Clarke and one of the Radtec Junior riders went down at the hairpin. Paul’s team mate, Crispin d’Albertanson managed to recover the stricken 600 and continue sharing the riding with Barry Salmon. Clarke was knocked out for a short while but recovered with bruised pride and backside.
After 179 laps, former World, European and British Strongest Man, Forbes Cowan - a big man who loves his racing - dropped the Grant Racing machine and retired back in the pits with front brake problems. Another team having real dramas were Team Purple (Kevin Davies/Chris Wade/Des Senior) whose steel framed 600 was in and out with fuel problems. In the fourth hour the bike threw a chain at the other side of the track and a new chain was purchased and sent out to Chris Wade to fit and return to the fray.
Team Purple was run by Hazel Drury, the racing GP, who is recovering well from an endurance racing massive spill last year at Pembrey on a very quick Honda Firestorm.
Des Senior is new to endurance racing after a long and illustrious career in motorcycle road racing. Towards the end of the race, GBMoto consolidated a safe lead over HMR who had the M2 Construction R6 (Matthew Checkley/Doug Cannon/Neil Richardson) only a couple of laps behind. With just over an hour to go the GBMoto R1 developed a split exhaust, holding a seven lap lead just in case! The bike pitted and new front pads were fitted, the exhaust was left intact and half the lead evaporated. Although they had a spare system in the van did they want to risk losing the race with a lengthy pitstop repair.
In the final hour, the Kawasaki Newcastle (Andy Jones/David Alsop/Phil Knowles – 600) was chasing the Phoenix Endurance R6 (Shelley Pike/Pete Gibson joined by Hottrax instructor and supermono specialist Andy Buik) for sixth place behind 120+ Racing (Richard Cunningham/Sean Moss/Steve Lunnon) who had enjoyed a steady race in the top 6.
The Kawasaki eventually battled past Shelley Pike, only to be handed a 10 second time penalty for a pitlane speed infringement, effectively loosing the gained place. GB Moto took the chequered cloth ahead of the similar machine of Harvey Mushman Racing with the 600 Supersport teams of M2 Construction and Moores Racing behind, 120 + Racing were fifth on another R1 and Phoenix retained sixth ahead of Kawasaki Newcastle.
Team Viking made it all worthwhile by finishing a brave eighth place, Grant Racing were classified ninth and Team Purple Endurance were running well at the end to complete the field.
The first motorcycle endurance race in Scotland, a national endurance race, started with a saltire and two races starting at the same time with different race lengths and fantastic Scottish weather - all the ingredients for a fantastic event.
Despite winning the first two races, GBMoto cannot relax, Harvey Mushman Racing are close, M2 Construction have their R6 running well with Moores Racing in very close attendance and Phoenix look good in the Superstock 600 class. Next round in at Pembrey on 21/22 July at Pembrey.
Overall results: 1 GBMoto * 375 laps 2 Harvey Mushman Racing 369 laps 3 M2 Construction * 366 laps 4 Moores Racing 365 laps 5 120 + Racing 348 laps 6 Phoenix Endurance * 344 laps 7 Kawasaki Newcastle 344 laps 8 Team Viking 332 laps 9 Grant Racing 251 laps 10 Team Purple Endurance 179 laps * Class Winners
HOTTRAX Junior TAG Endurance Championship – 2 hours
Starting from pole position M & P Racing (Mike Ashton/Paul Rogers) were quickly overhauled by Team SOBER (Mark Linscott/Gary Bransgrove) who had shown much promise at the opening round at Snetterton, three weeks ago. By the one hour point Team SOBER held a half lap lead over at the M&P Fireblade - at the same time running 7th and 8th on the road as the Junior race ran at the same time as the six hour National encounter.
When the chequered flag dropped after two hours, Team SOBER had developed a one lap cushion over Moto Developments (Luke Hall/Simon Nash) who finished on the same lap as Go Fast Racing (Tristan Clarke/Tim Westley/Kane Dalton), and M&P. Not far away were TSE Racing (Nick Potts/James Urquart) and Dos Albaniles (Nicholas Ford/Dave Charrett) who made up the top six finishers of the Junior 1000 class.
The two brothers Lee + Mat Rawlings (Rawlings Racing) took their R1s into 7th place in their class ahead of C2C Racing (Martin Black/Dave Brooking) and Radtec Racing (Guy Langley/Martin Timms) after a spill at the Hairpin. Junior 600 winners, ETA Racing (Ian Courts/Daren Brearley) finished fifth on the road a whole seven laps ahead of their other class rivals; Team Issor (Kevin Miller/Bruce Cobburn) and Black Flag Racing (Alistair Holmes/George Duncan).
Overall results: 1 Team SOBER * 115 laps 2 Moto Developments 114 laps 3 Go Fast Racing 114 laps 4 M + P Racing 114 laps 5 ETA Racing * 111 laps 6 TSE Racing 111 laps 7 Dos Albaniles 110 laps 8 Rawlings Racing 109 laps 9 C2C Racing 107 laps 10 Team Issor 104 laps 11 Radtec Racing 95 laps 12 Black Flag Racing 90 laps Fastest lap – Team SOBER 55.923s (83.636mph) * Class winners
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Words + photos – Alfonso Lygo