Phase One Endurance returned with all guns blazing at Misano!
With Phil Atkinson second fastest on track, it was always going to be a great race. Qualifying was centred around getting Peter Linden comfortable on the bike as well as getting Hugh Brasher up to speed, both suffering from a two month lay-off. Conversely, Phil Atkinson was fresh from a period of seventeen consecutive weekends of racing, and mostly winning.
Team Force, event winners, fielded a strong team, Stephane Mertens being accompanied by Mathew Lagrive who replaced Greg Fastré for the event. As expected, they led qualifying with an impressive performance getting just inside the 2020 pace.
Phase One Endurance (Atkinson) started well and rose to 2nd at the end of stint one. From that moment the team didn’t drop out of the top five, despite some pretty average pit stops, none of which was perfect, but all were adequate and were a credit to what was a very inexperienced team (due to Covid).
Unusually for Peter Lindén, he played a very impressive supporting role, returning a performance like he hadn’t been away, despite his double knee replacement absence. Tucked in a couple of seconds behind Atkinson, he was returning to endurance with his head, and he delivered.
Hugh Brasher’s race strategy proved excellent and in optimising his and the others performance, it extracted the maximum possible out of all team riders.
The race itself was quite uneventful, with the only real disruption to the warm dry race being caused by a major oil spill and a twenty minute pace car period. there were no major incidents.
The Misano event certainly boosted the Covid fatigued team morale, and despite the ridiculously cramped pitboxes, the team go into the winter rejuvenated and already eager for March pre-season testing.
Thank you to all our sponsors for making our racing possible – see you in 2022.!!!