Fresh of the back of a podium in the opening round of the 2015 MotoE championship at the Nurburgring just a few weeks ago, Darvill Racing headed to Angelsey for round two in high spirits, despite the torrential rain.
With the clouds parting over the island, the team set up shop next to their factory partners from Zongshen in China, who work with them to setup the #77 satellite bike.
After an initial practice session which saw rider Chris Foster finish as the fastest Chinese bike in the field, the team requested some changes in preparation for qualifying. These changes turned out to be a little on the conservative side by their own admission, and although lap times dropped, Chris qualified in 4th.
The first of the two races comes in the form of a sprint, and with further changes the bike was feeling good, although still a little slow in getting off the line despite some gearing alterations. The weekend saw a new entrant in the form of Graeme Smith on his Brammo Empulse RR, and Chris tucked in behind him as he held the fast line in the early laps. Sitting in his slipstream, he was able to squeeze past the Brammo, and he worked the Zongshen and it’s ContiRaceAttack Slick tyres to latch on to the back of the leading three riders. The pack the diced for podium positions for three laps, before the front two broke away, leaving Chris to fight it out for 3rd with the factory Zongshen of Nelson Choi, who eventually took that final podium position just ahead of the satellite bike.
The second, longer race of the weekend gave Chris and team the opportunity to manage their power with a more frugal setup, in order to give them an advantage of their rivals and the race progressed. The Darvill team wanted to manage the power via the rider, as opposed to via the bike, but this was clearly lost in translation as they pulled off the line, the Zongshen mechanics obviously reducing the performance level of the bike. However, with one rival team turning the performance in completely the other direction, the burnt their single motor out, highlighting the need to put plenty of thought into eBike setup prior to any race. Once again Chris fought hard, but the factory bikes clearly had an advantage, and pulled away to leave Chris with another 4th placed finish, sitting 4th overall in the championship too.
The next round takes place at Cadwell Park on 12th & 13th of September, and may see the return of 2014 champion Ho Chi Fung from injury, promising some more exciting electric racing!
All photo credits to The Man Shed.
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