MC Electronics reconfirms support for 2021

At a time of great change for all of us, it was fantastic news that MC Electronics is back for another year in the Classic endurance paddock! The uninterupted sponsorship support that Sharon and Ian, company owners, have been giving the team for the last three seasons has been invaluable. It has given us the ability to afford race gearboxes in both the race engines and prepare a third spare engine. The reaffirmation of support came last week after a call from Russell Benney confirming that it was all systems go for 2021. The whole team wish MC Electronics a successful coming year in the railway safety equipment business. https://mcelectronics.co.uk/

If Covid restrictions are lifted, the team hope to be at Cadwell Park to test in late April with Phil Atkinson, Ant Hart and Hugh Brasher. With the first race planned at Paul Ricard three weeks later, the team will need to ramp up the workshop activity as well, to ensure that it is not caught napping.

At the time of writing there is still much doubt, on both sides of the channel, that our race will actually take place. Several factors need to fall into place. – the ability to travel away from the UK whilst staying within the law, the construction of a team (and riders) that can handle the return (and possibly forward) quarantine measures, the enrty limitations to get into France and perhaps most importantly; the decision that the event will be run at all. With so many variables, it is literally impossible to plan a calandar at the moment.

The 4 hours Classic Endurance planned dates are;

Paul Ricard 4hrs France 21/21nd May Spa 4 hrs Belgium 2/3rd July Magny Cours 4 hrs France 20/21st August Rijeka 4 hrs Croatia 3/4th September Misano 4hrs Italy 8/9th October

Peter Linden – update

Peter has now been successfully fitted with two new knees and is walking well. Angular movement is already sufficient on both knees to go racing; so in short, he is fit and ready to go. However, no matter how much he is chomping at the bit – travel is still impossible because of Covid rules, so we will be without him at Cadwell Park, but hope to get him back in the saddle before Spa.

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Endurance Museum

The first phase of the team’s endurance museum is now complete. It is planned to open it formally during the summer. So far there are examples of the 1993 World Championship winning (Doug Toland) Riders ZXR 750 Kawasaki, the 2000 Phase One GSXR 750 and one of the Team’s 2003 winning GSXR1000 K3 bikes and the 1978 factory Packett & McNab Kawasaki as campaigned by Bernie Toleman and John Cowie to great success. one of Frank Sheene’s 1966 TSS 250 Bultacos is also on display.

The second phase of the museum will be completed in 2022 and it is hoped to populate it with many more examples of UK endurance machinery from the 1960’s and 70’s. The intention is to provide a central home for as many notable endurance bikes as possible, covering the era of the Nortons, Triumphs and BSA’s through to the present day. There has been sixty years of rich history of endurance racing attributed to UK teams and entries, yet it is diverse and until now there has been no place to call home. It is planned to get all that success under one roof so it is not lost. Contributions invited.

2021 – Back on Track !

At last we have some certainty – with the vaccine just around the corner, we shall be back in the spring as strongly as ever. Getting out at Cadwell , Most and Misano last season was the tonic we all craved, this year lets take it with a good dose of Gin.!

Hugh Brasher, Phil Atkinson, Ant Hart and newly kneed Peter Linden, as well as the team, are absolutely up for it. The full championship is planned, lets get started !!!!!

Race dates available soon.

Best wishes to all for a successful 2021.

Russell and the Team

Fast at Misano !

Hugh Brasher – Phil Atkinson – Ant Hart.

A pole and a second in qualifying and a 22nd position finish in the race.

With fantastic qualifying performances by each rider, but particularly by Phil Atkinson, the team was hoping to repeat last year’s rostrum performance. However, speed can’t be turned into a result without reliability.!

Our downfall came from a stop due to a broken weld in the gear selector mechanism, (7mins 43 secs) which led to a secondary selector problem necessitating the removal of the clutch and a massive 48min 2 sec. stop.

The team responded immediately, tucking into the clutch removal and simultaneously removing the clutch from the spare engine to expose the necessary parts should they be needed. The stop was slow by the team’s historic standards, but there was no lack of effort or enthusiasm from team members; they were going to get that bike back on track and finish whatever.! A lot was learnt and a similar stop in the future would be tackled much more quickly. In recent years the team have been spoilt by good reliability and nobody can actually remember when the last mid-race engine strip took place, so only few have any experience.

Once the bike was returned to track, both Ant Hart, who did a marvellous ‘backbone of the race rota’ and Phil Atkinson were absolutely on it, Atkinson passing race leader Fastre and un-lapping himself at one stage. That particular battle seemed to worry the Force Team sufficiently to rapidly call Fastre in, to remove him from the skirmish.!

Hugh Brasher finished the race off with a steady, reliable stint ensuring that the team completed the distance and qualified as finishing. That’s what we do – endurance.

Pole was set by Greg Fastre (Team Force Suzuki, Fastre/Mertens) 1min 46.16 secs. Stephane Mertens did the next fastest qualifying lap of 1 min 46.77 secs. Phil Atkinson was third fastest with a 1min 47.19 secs. Ant Hart did 1min 49.7 secs ( pole in group three) and Hugh Brasher was on 1min 57.02 secs.( 8th in group one)

And – what a superb endurance debut for Ant Hart; first time at Misano, first time on the team’s bike and first time racing at night – an absolutely top performance.!

So, the shortest season ever has now been completed, with a back-to-back Misano, and we were very pleased to be part of it. We very much thank the organisers who made it happen, when weaker characters would have given up. We also thank the other teams who chose to be there to give their support – for the thirty or so dedicated ones, it was a great race meeting and well worth it.

I could not wish to be associated with a better group of hardworking and committed team members, riders and sponsors. thanks to you all and roll on 2021. RB

Misano 4hrs- the first and final 2020 endurance race.!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Anthony Hart to the team for this event, riding alongside Hugh Brasher and Phil Atkinson. Anthony ‘Ant’ is a highly accomplished and successful racer, with many recent TZ wins to his credit. With Phil Atkinson on blistering form this season (having won the NG championship and many races) plus the endurance experience of Hugh Brasher, all is set for a great meeting.

The race will be held at 18.00 hrs on Saturday 10th October and is the final round of the Italian Classic Championship as well as a European Championship race – not that there is a 2020 championship !

Free practice starts on Thursday afternoon, leading to Q1 and night practice on Friday, with Q2 on Saturday morning and warm-up at 3.25pm.

Historically, the race has been the highlight of a marvellous classic race weekend festival with all sorts of stores and exhibits relating to the classic scene. The team will be trying hard to better its 2019 2nd place, finishing 21 seconds behind Taurus – a fantastically close race and one in which we hope we can swap the top step of the podium.!

See you on Saturday

Overall and class wins at MOST(CZ) – Ian Simpson dominates!

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Ian Simpson was absolutely on fire at Most over the weekend of 8th/9th August. Fresh from his lockdown training regime, a slimmed down Simpson took to the new 2020 XR69 and the Most circuit like a duck to water. By the end of the free practice day Simpson was fastest on track, in front of all the German klassik championship regulars. At the close of the three qualification sessions he was also fastest with a fantastic 1min 45.67 lap in session two, with Thomas Meier on his ZXR in second on 1min 46.17. Session two was fastest, with track temperatures in the mid-40deg Cs, before rising to 50deg C in the final session, when the air temperature was a blistering 36 deg C. the achievement was all the more remarkable as this was achieved on a 1986 engine, way out of class compared to the up to 2002 opposition. (there were three classes; up to 1991, up to 1992 and up to 2002, he beat the lot)

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Momentum gained on the Friday and Saturday was impossible to quash – In the first race Simpson was as aggresive as a teenager into turn one (a slow right hander) passing three to take the lead after 7 seconds. He held that, with significant challenges from the Suzuki of Dominik Horvath and Axel Suess (Aprilia RSV) to win by 0.31 sec at the end of the 10 lap scrap. As well as the overall win, the class win (up to 1991) was achieved.

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Several Team stalwarts were unable to be at Most; Hugh Brasher was off on important Marathon duties. Peter Lindén was off for new knees ( expected back in action with a pair by February) and Linda Rutter off for an important operation.

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Ian Simpson stood in for Peter Lindén and Robert Burns had a great ride out on the 2019 bike, in the place vacated by Hugh Brasher. Ian Simpson went on to score a further class win in the second and final 10 lap race, finishing third overall in the 36deg C temperature. Robert Burns also finished both legs in comfortable and satisfying mid-field positions.

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Thanks to all who helped the team to this fantastic post-Covid-lockdown return ! There are too many to mention, but a few are; Hugh Brasher and Robert Burns, Ian and Sharon Mathias, Graham Matcham and Conti, plus Katy Jones for the super looms and Stuart Scott for his race winning bike build. Well done too, to all the other team members and sponsors – great preparation for the Misano 4 hrs in October. See you there.