After a difficult time at both Donington and Spa, classic endurance racing stalwarts Sweatshop Phase One were looking to bounce back over the weekend as the European Classic Series headed for the famous Imola circuit.
The team fielded both of their P&M Suzuki machines in an effort to maximise their chances in Italy, the first being ridden by Hugh Brasher and Mike Dickinson, and the second by Ian Simpson and Peter Linden.
Qualifying saw former champions Team Force of Belgium go top of the time sheets as the pairing of Fastre and Le Bihan put in a 2’06.171 – more than half a second faster than the local Guaracing Factory Racing Moto Guzzi team. Phase One found themselves down in 6th and 8th place respectively, as several wildcard teams made themselves known to the regulars.
Several UK teams got away well at the Le Mans style start, with Phase One and Alf’s amongst the mix as defending champions Team Neate Racing took an early lead.
At the halfway point, Neate Racing were still out in front with Team Force having to retire the Harris Suzuki. With less than an hour to go, the same fate would befall Team Neate as their race came to a premature end due to an electrical fault.
That left Alf’s battling it out with Phase One for maximum points with Mike ‘Spike’ Edwards putting in the fastest lap of the race, until the Kawasaki suffered an engine failure to rule another team out of contention.
Due to their ability to carry out longer stints on the bike, Guaracing Factory Racing Moto Guzzi eventually hit the front in the final throws of the race to finish ahead of Dickinson and Brasher, followed by Linden and Simpson in third. Fellow championship regulars Roadrunner Team Suzuki came home in fourth.
However maximum points would go to Phase One as championship regulars, setting up an exciting championship finale at Aragon next month.
The majority of bikes on the grid including Phase One were fitted with ContiRoadAttack 2 CR classic racing radial tyres.
You can find out more about the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR here.