Following a successful series of tests in the week building up to the 3rd round of the European Classic Bike Series, defending champions Sweatshop Phase One decided to give their new P&M Suzuki race bike for 2015 an early debut at the Nurburgring 4 Hour Endurance.
The beautifully crafted Suzuki GSX-1100 is already delivering around 15bhp more than their current machines, which won the 2013 series on Continental. Lying second in the series behind Richard Hubin and Gregory Fastre, the team were looking to the new bike in the hope that it would give them the edge over the former World Endurance champion and his teammate on the Belgian bike also running on Continental. Both teams were utilising the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR classic race tyre, which brought Phase One the 2013 championship title.
Saturday saw a successful qualifying session for Team Force, with Richard and Gregory finishing just behind the #44 bike of Team Taurus to take second place.
The early stages saw Team Force take the hole shot, and after an hour of racing they had eeked out a small lead over Phase One in second place before disaster struck and a problem with the ignition fuse saw the bike return to the pit lane for some emergency repairs.
With Phase One leading the pack, the Team Force riders brought the newly repaired bike back up to 2nd place with an hour left to go. The #56 Team Force bike then suffered another failure, as Fastre suddenly appeared pushing the bike into the pit lane. Once back out on track Team Force found themselves lying in 7th position as Phase One continued to lead.
By the end of the 4th hour, Phase One has completed a total of 105 laps, averaging 134.101km/h. The problems suffered by Team Force also gave Continental shod Team Alf’s Classic Endurance Kawasaki duo of Bob Collins and Mick Godfrey the chance to cement their 2nd place on the podium just one lap behind.
Setting a new lap record, Team Force pulled themselves up to 5th place on the Suzuki Morena, which leaves them tied at the top of the standings with Phase One as the final round at Aragon beckons in a months time.
The championship race is finely poised, and neither Phase One, nor Team Force can afford to play it safe in the final round.
Bring on Aragon!
Find out more about the ContiRoadAttack 2 CR.