The Sweatshop Phase One squad dominated in the Oschersleben 4 hrs race after taking the lead after just 30 minutes, from the Spa winning German Kaiser Kawasaki Team. the race was held on the evening of Friday 15th August as the support class to the official WEC 8 hrs race which was held on the Saturday. Linden started and settled the first few laps in a modest 4th position,having qualified in second. He spent several laps eyeing the opposition and feeling the track. Conditions were good, with only light wind and high 20 degrees C at the 17.30 race start. It was to be a warm and clear race.
By lap 10 Kaiser had carved a 10 second lead and Linden had moved to second place. Gradually Linden’s superior fitness began to show as Kaiser slowed slightly. Linden posted the teams fastest lap during the chase down, an impressive 1min 38.93secs. Then the tide really turned as a misfire set into Kaiser’s machine. The Bakker Kawasaki was really suffering by the 40 minute mark and was forced to pit for a 10/15 minute stop, before returning later to take 6th place at the flag.
Cormac Conroy took over for the first of his two stints after 44 minutes of racing and a 16 second changeover pit stop. He settled pretty much immediately into a 1min 42sec rhythm which was absolutely spot on; the balance between pace and risk being perfect for the conditions in hand and the point in the race. He was riding, in the lead like an old endurance pro. Actually nothing much seems to phase him; definitely a Mr Cool.!!
At stop 1 the team had noted a looser chain than should be expected after just 44 minutes of racing and at stop 2 some 15 seconds were invested in adjustment, despite the growing challenge from the Bolliger Kawasaki, in only its second race – they suffered early race engine failure at Spa. The stop was slow, but it was worth it; no more chain problems and a clear reliability run, with the exception of a headlight failure in the final hour.
Linden took over for his second stint at 19.05 hrs and settled for 41’s, nothing quicker was needed – already the riders had been issued with a rev limit and he was observing it. Cormac came under some pressure from Kellenburger on the Bolliger bike, which closed to within 88 seconds an hour from the end, but it could not be classed as a real threat.
Linden took the flag at 21.30hrs after his 3rd stint, reporting that his biggest race problem was being blinded by the low sun at just past 20.00hrs. The best races are always the boring ones.!!
Cormac and Peter both went on to win a race apiece in the German classic superbike championship 12 lappers on Sunday, bagging even more silverware