Last weekend we had a number of teams running on Continental taking part in various endurance races, including the 2013 European Classic Bike Series champions Sweatshop Phase One with their rides Cormac Conroy and Stephane Mertens taking on the Mettet 4 Hour race in Belgium on ContiRoadAttack 2 CR classic race tyres.
As with the 2014 European Classic Bike Series, the main competition came in the form of the current World Endurance Superstock champion Gregory Fastre and ex champion Richard Hubin on their Team Force GSX 1100 Suzuki also running ContiRoadAttack 2 CR classic race tyres. The race took place over two legs, each consisting of two hours and both in daylight.
The Sweatshop Phase One team had a trouble free first round using the rider strategy of Mertens-Conroy-Mertens taking 2nd place on the podium behind fellow Continental users Team Force who came in 1st. The second leg started out with a close fought battle between Team Force rider Fastre and Stephane Mertens of Phase One, with Mertens taking a 1 second lead as he pitted at the end of his stint out on track, also breaking his own lap record by setting a 1.11.4s lap on the classic race Continental.
More close racing ensued as Hubin and Conroy exchanged the lead several times in the all Continental battle at the front end of the field before the Phase One alternator failed causing a misfire to set in, with Mertens having to pit for a battery change after the final changeover. Once out on track he got back on the throttle, but despite his efforts he could only take 3rd place in the second leg, with Team Force taking 1st. The event saw a one, two on the podium for Continental with Team Force coming in first overall after the two rounds, and Sweatshop Phase One in second despite mechanical setbacks in the final stages!
The next round of the European Classic Bike Series will be heading to Spa on 4th – 6th July for the next round, and it is likely that we will be seeing another great battle between these two top European endurance teams for the podium top spot!
Following the race Sweatshop Phase One team principal Russell Benney commented:
“The tyres were also perfect. Fastest lap was by Fastre (again) at 1.11.11secs and Mertens did a 1.11.4secs for us, both on Conti. So; they are again making records this season – that’s two at the first two circuits!”
Meanwhile back in the UK Sorrymate Team rider Warren Verwey teamed up with MRO Minitwins podium contender Kurtis Butler for the No Limits 6 hour endurance race at Donington Park riding as Team XG Group. Warren was riding on the ContiRaceAttack Slick tyres on his ZX6, whilst Kurtis was running on the ContiRaceAttack Comp street legal race tyre fitted to a SV650 as used by the likes of championship leading Dilligaf Racing. After a fantastic team performance from both riders they took 3rd in class on the podium, and afterwards Kurtis said of their performance “Same tyres for the whole race. They were faultless”
Great performances from all the riders involved, congratulations on all your podium places!