Pole position, second place, fastest lap and class lap record were all bagged, but that elusive win was not. Great credit must go to the German Kaiser Nico Bakker Kawasaki Team, who won the race for the second time with a faultless performance on a bike 30 years old and owned from new. Lindén and Brasher were second, whilst Mertens and Simpson suffered engine failure after three hours, having led from the flag.
|Mertens pole, Mike Edwards 2nd, Greg Fastre 3rd|
Peter Lindén and Hugh Brasher didn’t put a foot wrong on their journey from qualifying fourth to second place on the rostrum. It was Brasher’s third time on that step this year. Even the expected thunderstorm did not materialise to hamper their progress. Linden was straight back to form following his wrist operation in May and scored fastest race lap and class record, whilst chasing Mertens on the team’s number one (literally) entry in the early stages. The biggest drama of their race was when Lindén, running second, got to within 18 seconds of Kaiser in the final 30 minutes, but there was not enough time remaining for a serious try for the top spot. A great result.!
|Peter Linden on his way to a new class lap record, 2 mins 39.9secs|
Ian Simpson and Stéphane Mertens raced to pole position during a scorching Friday qualifying, which saw temperatures reach 35 degrees C. For three hours the pair dominated, overcoming challenges in the first rota from Alf’s Endurance (with a wild Mike Edwards, Bob Collins and John Barton aboard) and Team Force’s Greg Fastré. After three hours the Sweatshop Phase One bikes were running first and third after running 1-2 for most of the second hour. With under an hour remaining Mertens stopped at the pit box with a grossly overheated engine, which was also burning oil. Their challenge was over.
|Early stages; Mertens-Fastre-Edwards-Linden|
|Alf keeps his smile|
Alf’s later ruled themselves out of the top ten by running out of petrol and Team Force suffered engine failure. Expected challenges from Gary Johnson on a Harris Suzuki and the Bolliger Kawasaki didn’t materialise.
|The Mertens-Simpson bike expires !|
The SCERT team of Steve Boam and Steve Clark were 9th whilst the popular Roadrunner Team Suzuki of Dirk Brand and Henk van der Mark scored a fine fourth place, which together with their fourth at Paul Ricard, hoists them to the top of the championship.
New Lap Record ; Peter Linden, Sweatshop Phase One P&M Suzuki 2 min 39.982secs.
|Ian Simpson – in the lead, in the dark !|
Pictures by Jonathan Godin (ECS), Jacco Dijkhuizen and Bob Collins
Continued thanks to all our sponsors, but particularly, Sweatshop,Ray and Lee Marchant of MES, Maurice and Graham Matcham of Continental tyres.