E2E Racing News

26 March 2012

Glorious Weather at Donington Park (Well Eventually!)

Donington Park - Race 1 - Lee leads the way!

The team headed to Donington Park for Round 2 of the Thundersport GB Golden Era Superbike series.

Both riders where on the back-foot as other commitments meant they had to miss the practice day, so both would have no setup time and jump straight into qualifying with no practice (Lee R. having not ridden the Mille round Donington Park at all).

Saturday morning the circuit was covered in fog, which didn't clear until nearly midday, this meant races on Saturday were shortened and our class would have one double points race as opposed to two races.

Lee R's Report:
Not having any testing was going to be a problem, we had to guess at gearing and setup and go out and do the best we could in qualifying. To make matters worse Ian Simpson (Ex BSB and TT Winner) was riding a factory spec rc45 - so it looked like we'd be battling for 2nd place this weekend!

After a frantic and messy qualifying session (including a red flag, and me only getting in 5 laps) I was surprised to find I'd qualified 3rd, front row, which was good enough for me, we made a few tweaks to the suspension and prepared for our only race on Saturday, which was due to be lengthened to 12 laps to compensate for us losing a race. More stoppages and an incident on our warm-up lap meant we were down to 6 laps - on a double points race - I had to pull my finger out.

The race started and Simpson shot off like a train, I chased after him, much to my surprise Josh Daley screamed past me down Craner Curves, the race turned into a scrap between me and Josh as Simpson slowly escaped, until about lap 4/5 when I got passed Josh and started to reel in Ian. I set fastest lap after fastest lap as I caught him up, then on the last lap I made a massive lunge into the Melbourne Hairpin and took the lead, I rode the last two corners as defensive as I could and took the win by 0.015 of a second!

Well chuffed with the victory, even if I did mug poor Ian who'd rode a perfect race until then. Josh Daley is some kind of corner speed hero and put up a great fight.

Sunday wasn't so good! - In warm-up Simpson stamped his authority on the class and set a lap quicker than I'd managed in the race, but I was on pole with the quickest "Mega Lap" on the previous day.

In both races Ian cleared off, I had a fight with Josh again in the first race before I got passed him and he then retired. In the 2nd race I had a massive near high-side moment on the warm-up lap and was convinced I had an issue with my rear tyre, so set off in the race at a steady pace, dropped to about 6th/7th and then picked up the pace as I gained confidence in the rear tyre and made my way back to 2nd.

Not a bad weekend really, we've extended our lead in the championship - loads of little issues to sort out on the bike - she's going off to Griff @ Aprilia Performance this weekend to be fettled before Mallory Park - my local circuit!

Thanks to my brother Ross for the awesome photo!

Lee P's report:
This was not the best return following my crash at Brands.

Friday practise was arranged by another company and spaces where limited, therefore I could not get a place on either the noisy day (Thursday) nor the quiet day (Friday), not the best start, I need my practise.

We arrived on Saturday to a very foggy Donington, the fog did not start to clear until around 11am, resulting in a rushed 15min qualifying session and double points, single race. The qualifying session was stopped by two bad crashes, best wishes to Paul Willis and Dave Harnett, which did not help matters. My qualifying time was about 6 seconds off my usual pace, I just couldn’t find the flow and the more I tried the slower I became, leading to frustration and disappointment. I qualified 18th out of 24 and realised I had a lot to do in the race.

Race 1 / 2  - I had a good start off the grid and made about 5 places at the first corner, but then got a bit tangled up down into the old hair-pin and dropped 2 places. My times were not improving and I found myself stuck in a grove. I finished a disappointing 16th, but at least I got a signature for my rookie vest, 5 more and I don’t have to wear it.

Race 3 / 4 – I woke up Sunday with a much improved mental state, although still foggy for sometime, things got underway as per the schedule. Warm up went well, I concentrated on my gears and lines, desperately trying to find the flow of the track and improve my times. Again I got a good start in both races, making 3 – 5 places on the first corner. During race 3 I had a great little tussle with a Kawasaki 750 which I beat and managed to score a point, which helped me settle down and regain some confidence ahead of race 4. Races 4 again went well, although I did not improve on my position of race 3, I still scored a point and managed to do my best lap time, which was still 2 – 3 seconds off my estimated time.

All in all, I’m glad to have got through the weekend with a couple of points and without a broken bike / rider. Mallory next and hoping to do a lot better, top 10 this time for sure!!!!

Thanks to the team for all their help, assistance and encouragement I couldn’t do it without you.

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24 March 2012

TV Coverage from Brands Hatch


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5 March 2012

Baltic Weather at Brands Hatch for Round 1!

Brands Hatch - Bikes in Garage

The team headed to Brands Hatch for the opening round of the Thundersport GB Golden Era Superbike Series.

Lee R's Report:

On Saturday we had the best weather.. although the first race was a damp drying track, we both went out on wets to be safe.

I led the first race all the way to the end, the last two laps I got pit signals to say I had a massive lead, so out of the last corner I stood on the pegs to celebrate just as two riders passed me and beat me to the line – ended up 3rd - It appeared later that the 2 riders had dry tyres on and in the last couple of laps destroyed the 8 second lead I had as I struggled round on destroyed wets - never mind 3 more races to make amends.

The track was pretty much dry all the way round by the time the 2nd race started - I took the lead on about the 3rd lap and won by 16 seconds – that’s nearly a 3rd of a lap !!

As I set the fastest lap under the new “Mega Lap” rule I was on pole then for Sunday when the TV coverage is on - result!

On Sunday the weather was horrid, driving rain and must have only been just above zero temperature by the afternoon.

I should have won the first race, but had a massive slide out of clearways into the last lap and finished a close 2nd.

4th race was freezing, as I pulled up on the line the race director came up to me, felt my front tyre and said “Watch it out there, if the weather drops another degree I’m going to abandon the race” – really confidence inspiring as we head off!! – I pulled off pretty steady thinking they would certainly abandon the race – we got a few laps in and I realised they weren’t – so got my head down – I finished a close 3rd.

All in all not a bad weekend, Brands Hatch is my least favourite circuit, and we have come away leading the championship by 12 points – so not a bad weekend!

Lee P's report:

Brands Hatch, WOW!!!

This was my first visit to Brands and one I will always remember.
Practise day (Friday) started well, I was aiming for 55sec laps and managed a 57 before lunch. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get back on the pace in the afternoon and found myself going slightly backwards in time.

Racing day one; I’d sorted my head out and quickly got back on the pace. My aim this season was to finish in the top ten (at least) on every race. I qualified 10th out of 22 riders. When we lined up on the grid, another rider was in my grid position, so the steward pushed me back to the next row, won’t be letting that happen again! Had a great start off the line in damp conditions and continued to battle throughout the race, finishing 8th at the end. The second race did not start so well, 5 mins before we went out, we noticed my new rear tyre only had 3psi. After frantically searching for another wheel / slick, our only choice was to go out on a dry track with a wet rear. As I also missed the sighting lap I had to start at the back of the grid, 20th! Despite this I did some 56sec laps and finished 14th, not great but could have been worse.

Race day two; Wet, cold but ready to go! Had a good warm up with 6th fastest lap time. Unfortunately following day one’s issues with the rear tyre, I had to start in 17th position, so the bit was securely between my teeth, so to speak. I’d had a great battle with a GSXR 750 and a Kawasaki 750. I had taken them both and was pulling away. I could have and should have dropped off the pace as I only had two laps to go, but I didn’t and crashed out, front end. Bashed and bruised my elbow, left foot and knee, but ok really. Bikes a little bent, but mainly superficial damage, couldn’t race last race due to injuries.

Big thanks to the team for all their help and support, especially the food!!!!

Looking forward to Donington now.

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