A star studded cast descended upon Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps circuit at the weekend as the European Classic Series came to town for the second round of the season.
With the title race wide open, all the main protagonists were running Continental classic race tyres, including Neate Racing’s Harris Honda with special guest rider John McGuinness.
Defending series champions Sweatshop Phase One, supported by Continental in the UK, had a successful opening day of testing on the Thursday before a starter motor clutch disintegrated. This led to a double engine change, and a strip down overnight as the team mechanics swapped gearboxes.
Entering two P&M Suzuki bikes, the duo of Stephane Mertens and Mike Dickinson qualified in 3rd, whilst Peter Linden and Hugh Brasher came home in 11th.
During the warm-up the lead bike experienced a mysterious issue which robbed the bike of around 25bhp. Just 15 minutes from the start of the race, they had no option but to start proceedings with the mystery fault. This saw their lap times down by around 7 seconds in the early stages, but some determined riding saw them hold their position near the front of the field of sixty machines.
Out in front, Team Force’s Richard Hubin crashed out breaking both a shoulder and several ribs. This handed the initiative to Team Roadrunner, who held on for their first ever win at the series in four years of trying, with Henk van der Mark and Dirk Brand both absolutely elated with the result. The Neate Racing Honda ridden by McGuinness and Steven Neate won the race outright but their result was not classified, although it brought some fantastic publicity to the event.
Pit stops were fractious affairs at the best of times, with 60 teams using only half the available garages, but Phase One completed several well orchestrated changeovers in order to take 3rd and 4th place in the race.
The overall results give the UK team a 5 point lead in the championship before they head to Oschersleben in August.
Find out more about the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR classic race tyre here.