Pre season warm-up in Spain had not been so warm but it did allow Colin and Fergus to meet up with Joe Burns who will be the 3rd Sorrymate rider at the longer rounds and fill in for Warren when he is at Thundersport with his sons Kade and Luke who are both starting their racing careers on Aprilias. Joe will be riding Fergus’ ZX6R. Colin’s R6 is now fully repaired following a little off in Spain.
Practice day on Wednesday saw 4 visits to noise testing for the Kawasaki, the slinky Leo Vince exhaust needed two baffles and wadding in order to comply. One session revealed a total lack of power but everything else on the bike seemed fine. A solution which didn’t affect the bikes performance was essential and the spare Akrapovic can didn’t fit… KC Precision Engineering to the rescue.
After biblical rain on Thursday the shorter Island circuit was still drying when Colin went out for 3 laps to qualify. Joe was new to the ZX6R and had not ridden a 600cc for several years. Nor was he familiar with the Island configuration. He used the rest of the session as practice and for making adjustments to his new ride returning to the pit for front suspension adjustments a couple of times.
Sorrymate qualified third on the grid behind the 1000cc machines of Phil Bevan and Tom Tunstall.
Fabulous sunshine at Oulton Park on Good Friday saw the start of the No Limits season. Colin went out in the first race, the No Limits Cup 600, finishing 8th with a new PB.
With some further slight amendments to the ZX6R forks over lunch the team were fired up and ready for the endurance race.
There was a full restart to the race following two riders getting tangled up at the grid but Joe got a good start and best lap of the race at 1 min 26 seconds. Just as he had the ‘1 lap’ board, Colin’s bike wouldn’t start and to make things more interesting the pace car went out to allow for attendance of the Air Ambulance. Colin and Ben rapidly got jump leads on the bike so Joe pitted under the pace car allowing Colin to exit the pit lane and re-join at the back of the pack.
With Colin out on track the pace car was redeployed for another four laps before the race was red flagged as a result of an incident between 2 riders at Deer’s Leap. There was an hour’s delay. Race order was restarted from pit lane.
Colin was out for a further 3 laps and then another slick transponder change from Fergus and Joe was out again. Yet another incident and the pace car came out again for another 8 laps. When the lights went off Joe used this to his advantage picking his way rapidly through the pack.
Finally, with just 15 minutes to go it was getting cold, visibility was reduced and with the rain light on, Colin went out to finish the race taking the flag to cheers from the crowd as first rider in class. The first bike to cross the lane was No. 1 Ice Valley 4 Angels but they received a 2 lap penalty for incorrect safety car procedure which put Sorrymate outright race winners!
A spectacular result with 25 points on board. Come and join us we have much to look forward to at the next round at Snetterton.
We wish all the fallen riders a speedy recovery and hope to see them again soon. Especially Joanne from Iron Maidens who lent us a transponder bracket.
THANK YOU TO THE WHOLE TEAM; FERGUS, BEN AND ISABEL IN THE GARAGE AS WELL AS RYAN AND SHEILA ON THE WALL.