Donington 4H Classic: Live Race Blog
Posted: 7th May 2017
Donington Park Classic Endurance live race updates - News and photos direct from the circuit - Live during the race - Analysis and comment - Gossip and nonsense...
Race Result After 4 Hours
ECS Maxi Classic and Overal Result
F2 Class Winner
ECS Classic 1000 Winner
Thankfully, after a cold and dismal qualifying, Race Day was basked in sunshine for a good slice of the race. The eventual winner, Neate Racing was one of the expected front runners, despite having to replace the battery.
Drama towards the end with the Phase One No. 4 pulling out with smoke pouring out of the engine as they were pushing hard to catch Neate. Engine failure also put paid to Team Force, who were controlling the race until then - Classic Endurance racing has this additional factor that no matter how well you prepare the bike, is age going to catchup with the components?
Unexpected rookie error of leaving the bike wasn't something you would expect from such an experienced rider as James Whitham perhaps, but it made no difference as gravel in the engine ended their race.
Much credit must go to 2nd placed Team Taurus and 7th placed Steady Boastie Team, who started the weekend as reserve teams. Davies Motor sport took 10th, despite starting from the back as a bump start
There were some paddock mumblings of moving the race earlier in the day next year, which would be good news for those going to work the next day. But a good crowd attended the weekend despite the latish finish.Phase One: Game over with 20 minutes to go
Top 5 After 3 Hours
Neate Racing, Sweatshop Phase One No.4, SCERT, Team Taurus, ACR Endurance 56.
Big news is Team Force, who had a two lap lead dropping to 6th place, 5 laps down with a 5:49 lap shown on the timing board. No news if there was a pitstop problem as yet.
The skies are starting to darken after a few hours of glorious sunshine, but there are still plenty of blue patches in between the clouds.
There is a cracking little race within a race in the Classic 1000 class, with four bikes (Gijs VanDijk Laverda, Classic Boxer BMW, QRG Motorcycles BMW and Scuderia ACR Ducati 900) running within just a few seconds of one another.
Top 5 in Other Classes:Steady Boastie Team Kawasaki GPz600
F2: Steady Boastie Team Kawasaki GPz600, Warner Racing Honda VFR750, FB Racing Suzuki GSX-R750, JH Racing Honda VFR750, Team Ibonhart Suzuki GSX-R750
F1 Classic: Muzzi Moto Guzzi, BSK Speedworks BMW K100, ACR Hartmann Moto Guzzi, Marlin Elf Racing Harris Kawasaki, Jed Heath Racing Suzuki XR69.Gijs VanDijk Laverda Jota
ECS Classic 1000: Gijs VanDijk Laverda Jota, Classic Boxer BMW R100S, QRG Motorcycles BMW R90, Scuderia ACR III Ducati 900SS Bevel, ACR II Ducati, 900, Flat Earth Racing BMW R100.
Phase One No.3 Update: The Sweatshop Phase One bike that has retired from the race suffered engine failure rather than a crash as we said earlier. If anyone knows where there are some GSX1100 crankcases going spare, the team would love to hear from you...
Top 5 After 2 Hours
Team Force Suzuki, Sweatshop Phase One No.4, Neate Racing Honda, Classic Racing Nice Kawasaki, SCERT Suzuki
With all the teams forced to run a maximum of 45 minute stints we were expecting the pitlane to be busy as everyone pitted at the same time but in fact the stops are more staggered.
Neate racing were forced to change a battery, Alf's pitted and lost a lot of time, there has been a safety car session while a fallen bike was cleared from the track, and we can report that the single neck filler jugs being used by many teams are painfully slow.Phase One pit stop
Sweatshop Phase One No.4 have moved up to second place, but Sweatshop Phase One No.3 have just crashed at Redgate whilst in 2nd place, and Classic Racing Nice are currently in fourth place but have been given a ride through penalty for passing under the safety car.Team Classic Suzuki - Game Over Laverda pit stop
Top 5 After 1 Hour
Team Force Suzuki, Neate Racing Honda, Sweatshop Phase One No.3, Team Alf's Kawasaki, SCERT Suzuki
Team Force got away quickly, followed by the Sweatshop Phase One No.3 who got off to a flyer from 9th on the grid.
There was drama on the very first lap, with the Team Classic Suzuki going into the gravel at the Chicane. Whitham walked away from the bike as a steward pushed it which led to the team being excluded. They were going to be allowed to take part as a non-scoring team, but the engine has sucked in gravel and is out of action. There have been few other incidents, though Flat Earth had to nurse the bike back with a carburettor hanging off!
It is worth mentioning Team Classic Nice who – despite starting at the back of the grid as a bump-start team, have worked their way through the field to 8th place.
Words Martin Gelder, Bob Pickett, Photos: Martin Gelder