Phase One, Britain’s top World Endurance race team is not going to the Bol d'Or this year. Team boss Russell Benney says the decision has been made to not race at the prestigious French 24 hour race or at the final round of the World Endurance Championship at Qatar.
“Instead of doing the Bol and Qatar, the team’s funds are being directed into the two remaining races of 2010, the Spa Six Hours and the Cartegena classic Six Hours plus preparations for next year,” he said.
“Currently the plan is to seek funds for the 2011 WEC, but definitely to compete at the 2011 Daytona 200 miles, plus a season of classic endurance. The whole team are disappointed that the Bol d’Or will be missed, for the first time since the team’s creation in 1985, but the financial reality is such that finding sufficient funds to be competitive has proved impossible.”
As a result, the team’s last planned outing on the Yamaha R1s will be at Spa on 14th August. The bikes will be maintained as normal following that event in anticipation of further races next season.
The Spa Francorchamps Six Hours on August 13/14 is part of the Belgian international ‘Endurance 4 Fun’ championship that has been developing for several seasons.
The rider format involves either two national level riders who have not scored international points, or a national rider plus what they call an A grade ‘star’ rider.
Stephane Mertens for example has competed in the event since its inception and riders such as Julian Mazuecos, Werner Daemen and Gwen Giabanni have raced there in recent seasons.
The format has proved highly successful and the Spa Francorchamps grid is full, as have been the previous 2010 rounds. Phase One’s national grade rider is Hugh Brasher, 2010 UK (Hottrax) endurance champion and he is accompanied by Scott Smart on the team’s 2009 Yamaha R1s, freshly converted back to endurance specification following the TT.
Smart’s last outing with Phase One was at Qatar in 2008, when he partnered Glen Richards and Damian Cudlin in the Eight Hours, while Brasher will be making his debut on the Phase One Endurance Yamaha.
The final race of the year for Phase One will be the Cartegena Six Hours Classic on September 25 where Peter Linden will team with Brasher.
The teams two Peckett and McNab bikes, called ‘15’ and ‘17’, (the frame numbers) are currently being prepared for the event. ‘17’ will remain pretty much as raced at the Classic Bol, but ‘15’ will have a new engine, fork modifications and new brake discs. The objective being to close the gap on the big Moto-Guzzis of Motobel, MCC Corki Mechanica and Guzzi motobox, who collectively dominated at the classic Bol race in the spring.