After a 5 day test at Aragon, which saw them set a new unofficial lap record, it was time for Phase One to roll out their latest Suzuki classic endurance bikes at the Paul Ricard Circuit for the first round of the 2015 European Classic Bike Series.
The latest line-up of Hugh Brasher, Stephane Mertens and Ian Simpson dominated qualifying, achieving sub 2.25 laps, with Gregory Fastre of Team Force just behind in 3rd. However, on agregated times, Team Force took pole and Phase One started in second. Both the lead teams were once again running the class leading ContiRoadAttack 2 CR, the classic race version of our popular ContiRoadAttack 2 sport touring tyre.
The conditions on the day of the race were crisp and dry, with temperatures fluctuating between 17 and 11 degree Celsius as the race dragged on late into the evening and the sun dropped beyond the horizon.
Team Force and Taurus set the pace in the early stages, with Mertens erring on the side of caution in the opening stint, sitting in 3rd place. Ian Simpson then put in a superb 2nd stint to take the lead for the team after 65 minutes, leaving Richard Hubin and Team Force in 2nd. With the 3rd sting seeing Hubin pit for an exhaust repair, Hugh Brasher continued to increase the lead at the front.
The final stint did not go to plan, as things often don’t during endurance races. Unexpected heavy chain wear caused the chain to jump the sprocket, and some quick thinking by Simpson saved the day with Phase One losing just a single lap. They pushed on in 2nd position, with Mertens putting in a fastest lap for the session, but Team Force were just out of reach and took the win in front of 25,000 spectators.
With the 3rd placed French team also running Continental, it was a clean sweep for the brand once again at the European Classic Bike Series, taking all the available spots on the pdodium.
The teams now have a break to gather themselves and make any adjustments and improvements before the July race at Spa.
Find out more about the series via their official website.
Find out more about the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR here.