National + Junior Endurance, Final round

Published: 08 October 2007

Hottrax Motorsport Racing Club National + Junior TAG Endurance Motorcycle Championship – Final Round 5 – Silverstone 6th October 2007

HOTTRAX National Endurance Championship – 6 hours Championship leaders; Harvey Mushman Racing (Hugh Brasher/Rod Lynn – Yamaha R1) was only six points ahead of GBMoto (Mark Smith Halvorsen/Mick Godfrey/Peter Jennings – Yamaha R1) and winners of the last two rounds – Uprite Racing (Damien Rowley/Jason Gunning – Suzuki 1000) were 21 points away. With superb reliability and riding, Moores Racing were mathematically still in with a shout for overall honours as HMRC arrived in Northamptonshire for the final round of the 2007 National Endurance Championship.

It was again GBMoto and HMR who topped the Superproduction 1000 table, with Uprite chasing hard in bronze position, whilst 120+ Racing (Richard Cunningham/Sean Moss/Steve Lunnon – R1) were untouchable in the Superstock 1000 class. Moores Racing (Tony Jimenez/Jim Agombar/Mike Eglington – Yamaha R6) had smashed and grabbed the Supersport 600 title but were hunting for another podium place or possible overall victory and Team Viking (Paul Clarke/Barry Salmon/ Crispin d’Albertanson - Honda 600) were looking to Silverstone to secure second place in their class championship, following coping with a spill and a down on power machine at Snetterton’s last round, back in August.

Only 9 points separated Phoenix Endurance and Kawasaki Newcastle at the top of the Superstock 600 table – so it was all still to play for. Major dramas occurred well before the start of the race; GBMoto lost their #1 engine and much of the qualifying session on Saturday morning – the pit crew having just 60 minutes to swap engines to one not set up for Silverstone.

With minutes to go, the power plant was fired up in the garage – would it last for six hours? Uprite Racing was stuck with an Ohlins rear shock with no rebound – GBMoto’s Pete Jennings donated a replacement from his Crescent Suzuki which was found not to fit so it was back to the original item! Unfortunately, regular Uprite pilot Vance John had to pull out for family reasons on the Sunday morning negating the talented equipe manager, Max Schol to rethink race strategy for the afternoon. Uprite’s pit crew included a number of young trainee Modern Apprentices who were gaining some real work experience in the pit lane, making a welcome change from college classrooms and workshops: rider line up also included experienced international endurance pilot – Damien ‘Demon’ Rowley.

Pole position had been secured at blistering pace by the Paul Young Racing (Paul Young/Adam Tempest/Peter Ward – Triumph 675) over half a second from the bigger machine of Uprite, ahead of four Junior 1000 teams. It was a brilliant sight to see 40 bikes leaving the grid after a Le Mans start, heading into Copse at Silverstone, the home of British Motorsport – and when was the last time a British machine was on pole for a major endurance race?

The flag was dropped by Sarah Ozanne, a member of GBMoto from Guernsey who helps HMRC run the meetings, one of a band of people with a real passion for motorcycle endurance racing. Despite starting from the pit lane and being 33rd at the end of lap one, GBMoto were leading at the one hour mark ahead of Uprite with the Triumph in third, the pace car was soon to make a brief appearance and Adelaide born national Supersport runner Youngy pitted with a broken clutch, pushing them down the order.

GBMoto also pitted at around the same time for a new rear tyre and battery borrowed from Pete Jennings’ Suzuki - twenty minutes later the Triumph was back in the garage for attention to the clutch which was drenching the rider’s boot with hot oil, loosing PYR valuable track time. PYR pit crew also included Glen Richards who has ridden so effectively in 2007 for Phase One Endurance, including a recent third place at the Bol d’Or in France – Phase One go into the final round at Qatar sixth in the table with a mathematically possible third within their grasp.

More battery trouble was occurring to GBMoto just after the two hour mark, with the possibility of salvaging the regulator from their Junior TAG bike as a solution. By halfway point Uprite held a two lap lead over GBMoto with the well ridden Moores Racing R6 in a close third and Team Viking a delighted fourth on the road ahead of Duck’s X Racing (Martin Landmann/Jonathon Railton/Michael Thompson – R6), whose riders ages spanned 43 years with Jonathon aged a tender 16. Kawasaki Newcastle (Andy Jones/Phil Knowles/Andy Rouse – Kawasaki ZX6) were 5 laps ahead of class title aspirants; Phoenix Endurance (Shelley Pike/Pete Gibson/Shaun Finch – R6), Phoenix would be safe for the title if this position held as Darkside Endurance (Andy Buik/Darren Eyre/Kevin Upstone) were leading the Superstock 600s. In the third hour this plan went horribly adrift when the Phoenix R6 required a battery change to keep going, this was to occur again, later on in the race costing the team 15 minutes in the garage – Shelley Pike calculated the R6 would have to achieve another 30 laps to be classified as an official finisher and, if the status quo was maintained – the class win would be secured by Phoenix.

Pete Gibson was returning to Phoenix having missed Snetterton to compete in the Manx Grand Prix, doing well in the Newcomers, the Senior was unfortunately abandoned on the final day of the week. Joining the team in the garage was Pete’s replacement at Snetterton – Chris Mayhew, who was nursing a bruised body as he had managed to throw something expensive and Italian at the countryside whilst on road testing duties recently. Stations were held for the final hour of racing and at the drop of the cloth Uprite Racing won their third race of the championship, six laps ahead of new HMRC Champions – GBMoto with the R6 of Moores Racing taking a creditable third place. Ducks X Racing were fourth ahead of Superstock 600 winner Darkside who were on the same lap as Team Viking. Kawasaki Newcastle was in seventh just ahead of 120+ Racing and a resurging Paul Young Racing.

The bright pink R6 of series newcomers; Feisty Racing (Susie Grayson/Deb Cartwright) ex Army and RAF personnel, who have considerable international racing experience, were tenth ahead of Pulse Racing (Nick and David Roake/Cliff Heather – Kawasaki ZX10). Next to last were title protagonists Harvey Mushman Racing who never really recovered from their Woodcote excursion requiring a couple of lengthy pit stops. HMR were helped out in the pits by those very jovial people from Moores Racing. After the race, HMR’s Hugh Brasher was noble and generous in defeat and was one of the first to congratulate GBMoto’s Mark Smith-Halvorsen assuring Mark the result might be different in 2008! Final classified finisher was Phoenix Endurance, who had completed more than 75% of the class winner’s distance thus enabling them to be classified as finishers and take the class title. Shelley is already committed to returning to defend her title in 2008; however Phoenix will be without the redoubtable Shaun Finch who has announced his retirement from the sport to possibly go rallying (why).

The Uprite Racing Endurance Forum will be a lot quieter without Shaun’s wit and words of wisdom – you will be missed Finchy. Uprite Racing’s win was rightly dedicated to missing rider; Vance John’s father who had died in Wales after a long illness, a period of silence was held before the prize giving as a mark of respect. This would have been Vance’s final race for Uprite as he had decided to ‘hang up his leathers’ - he has made a major contribution towards Uprite’s three outright wins and success throughout the 2007 season.

In its first year the Hottrax Motorsport Racing Club National + Junior TAG Endurance Motorcycle Championship has produced some fantastic racing with a high quality field of riders and machines. There will be some minor regulation changes and some new exciting venues for 2008 so watch the website and press for emerging details. http://www.hottrax-motorsport.co.uk

1 Uprite Racing * 309 laps 2 GBMoto 307 laps 3 Moores Racing * 301 laps 4 Ducks X Racing 293 laps 5 Darkside Racing * 292 laps 6 Team Viking 292 laps 7 Kawasaki Newcastle 291 laps 8 120 + Racing * 290 laps 9 Paul Young Racing 290 laps 10 Feisty Racing 288 laps 11 Pulse Racing 278 laps 12 Harvey Mushman Racing 269 laps 13 Phoenix Endurance 243 laps Fastest Lap GBMoto 64.921s (88.834mph) * Class Winners

HOTTRAX Junior TAG Endurance Championship – 2 hours With a mere 5 points separating the teams at the top of the Junior 1000 table; Team Sober (Mark Linscott/Gary Bransgrove/Steve Callahan) were third fastest overall in qualifying and the team’s race strategy was to keep ahead of rivals Moto Developments (Luke Hall/Simon Nash) which they comfortably achieved in the two hour race. Eventual winners were Team RHR (Ryan Hooker/Paul Evans) who finished an incredible 0.84s ahead of C2C Racing (Martin Black/Dave Brooking/James McBride) who took fastest lap with some demon riding by international road race specialist McBride – a man with a number of 120+ mph laps on the Isle of Man as well as successes in Ireland and Macau. Going into the final race of the year, ETA Racing (Ian Courts/Darren Brearley/Phil Muldowney) were already Junior 600 champions and in the race they were to finish third in class behind winners Extreme Bikesportz (Ian Walker/Dave Wardle) and GBMoto Junior (Robert Moon/Samantha Godfrey).

For Sam, wife of leading national team rider, Mick, this was the second time the pairing had competed against one another, the last occasion being in Thailand! The field, at thirty, was the largest to date and included the Moores Racing Pit Crew entry of Phil Haynes + James Walker on last year’s Moores R1 and an ex Phase One Endurance parts bin special 750 Suzuki, finishing in 22nd spot.

Some riders paid respects to a rider who should have been racing # 99, sadly Simon Philpot died in a road accident prior to the meeting and rightly so he was remembered for his passion, enthusiasm and riding.

1 Team RHR * 101 laps 2 C2C Racing 101 laps 3 Throttle Monkey Juniors 100 laps 4 Racing Snakes 99 laps 5 Team Throttle Monkey 99 laps 6 Go Fast Racing 98 laps 7 Freaks of Nature Too 98 laps 8 M & P Racing 97 laps 9 Extreme Bikesportz * 97 laps 10 Electric Lemonade 96 laps 11 Radtec Racing 96 laps 12 Team Sober 95 laps Fastest lap – C2C Racing 65.176s 88.486mph * Class winners

HOTTRAX Junior TAG Endurance Championship – 6 hours A number of the TAG teams had chosen to continue to race on for the full duration of the six hour race, with championship finishing positions standing at the two hour mark. The results indicate it is a relatively small step for HMRC Junior teams to make the transition to National level and the fact that C2C struck the fastest lap of the day show how competitive the Junior teams are; 2008 should see several Junior teams migrate to the National championship.

1 C2C Racing 302 laps (3rd on the road) 2 M & P Racing 294 laps (5th on the road) 3 Team SOBER 292 laps (7th on the road) 4 Black Cat Racing 276 laps (15th on the road) Fastest lap – C2C Racing 64.772s 88.630mph (fastest time of the day)

More information is available - http://www.hottrax-motorsport.co.uk/index2.php