Our first event of the year, and the penultimate event of 2015!
The National Finals weekend event is preceded by a Peak Performance test day on the Friday, so with good weather forecast all weekend we decided to make the best of it and attend all three days. Lorcan’s partner Sarah who usually takes photos and records video for us had to work on the Friday so there would be no video that day. Unfortunate, as it turned out…
Friday morning we decided to take our time and make sure everything was spot on before making a run. We were all concerned about the recent turbo failures but Mick was confident that the additional weight on the clutch would prevent any undesired visits to the rev limiter.
A reasonable launch (for us) and short shifting brought a PB 7.05 at a relaxed 192mph. Encouraging, and we knew that a six wasn’t far away. Sarah threatened to make Lorcan sleep in the van with Barry if the six happened without her but Lorcan had team orders “Don’t you dare shut off!” and holding on to each gear longer on the afternoon run brought the desired result.
Sam Tait photos:
A couple of celebratory drinks that evening and with the full team compliment including Angus, Graham, Paul and Sarah in attendance and we were ready for Saturday qualifying.
Q1 and we fitted the nose fairing to stay class legal and found ourselves in the left lane with “Fast Fil” Philipos Papafilipou and his new featherweight (212kg) turbo funny in the right lane. Fil spun off the line and we repeated our 6.89 but this time at 203mph – our first 200+! Two barriers broken and two PBs in two runs. The shutdown area was very bumpy for us so an upgrade to the front forks is planned.
Pics from Ian Blackett, Mark Skinner and Colin Donisthorpe:
For some reason Santa Pod had an issue with the ticket and eventually printed one showing Mr Dale Leeks in the other lane, but hey ho, it still counts!
Q2 and having achieved 200mph we can try the full fairing the team have held back as being an unnecessary luxury (!) at sub-200mph speeds. The fairing was made from carbon Kevlar by Angus who taught himself how to lay the weave and vacuum-bag to achieve a light but strong result.
We have the right lane this time with Stuart Crane in the left. Stu had been knocking on the door of a six for the past couple of meetings and didn’t disappoint – a 6.99 PB for him and a 6.95 at 200.5mph for us meant a new ACU FB speed record (backed up by our earlier 203mph) and two happy campers! The fairing seemed fine but our clutch was misbehaving and Lorcan had to use the back brake to hold the bike in stage.
Pics from Ian Blackett and Rose Hughes:
Saturday night was spent in high spirits with Chinese food courtesy of Graham. Many tales of old were told and re-told. Meanwhile Mick was sent home to fix a misbehaving back brake disc – it’s tough at the top Mick!
Sunday morning as #1 qualifier we drew #8 qualifier and mid 7-second runner Phil Crossley and again had an issue with the clutch pulling the bike forward after the burnout and in stage. On the launch Phil got away first and Lorcan’s right foot slipped off the foot rest. The bike drifted to the right and Lorcan was unable to get it back on track while keeping full throttle. Storm clipped the right wall just before the gantry and was therefore disqualified. There was no damage to Lorcan or the bike apart from the clutch cover which took the brunt of the impact. Phil went on to win the event, congrats Phil!
Ian Blackett and Mark Skinner photos:
Video of Sat/Sun from Sarah:
Our 6.84 was another PB, albeit the long way around, and the increments suggest a 6.7 or faster is possible with no increase in power, so we’re very much looking forward to the last event of the season – the Extreme Bike Weekend 17th/18th October.
See you there.