Photo: Martyn Parnell
Initially back in April, we placed an entry to race a GPZ 600r in the F2 Classic TT, but was turned down which was very surprising and disappointing, given that we were a Manx podium finisher the previous year. Anyway, Roger had compiled some 'trick' parts to make a quick bike for the Classic TT, but having been declined these were then sold.
With three weeks to go, we thought we were organised in progressing the 2 ZXR 400s for the lightweight race. Nick then got a gratefully received email to say there was an outside chance of a ride in the F2 classic (thanks to Adrian Earnshaw) which was then confirmed by the organisers. We hastily found a non-running road bike off eBay and from then on it was a mad rush to get all three bikes ready for the event; still completing them upon arrival.
By the end of practice week, we qualified 2nd fastest on the 400 (although fastest through the Sulby speed trap at 139.5MPH), and 3rd in class on the GPZ 600 (around 12th overall), but was the fastest four stroke F2 bike down sulby at 133.4MPH.
In the Classic TT race, Nick came 9th overall and 2nd 4 stroke, winning a famous silver replica with a lap speed of just shy of 102MPH. Not bad going for a stock-motor'd bike that was a knackered none runner just a couple of weeks prior! The bike had no problems at all, and never leaked any oil or even missed a beat!
In the 400 lightweight race, Nick led at the end of the first lap with 106.2MPH average speed, with eventual winner Mark Purslow just behind. Purslow then took the lead, and after a slightly quicker fuel stop he led by around 15 seconds. Nick clawed it back to only 2 seconds starting the last lap, with the quickest lap of anybody stopping for fuel. Unfortunately the bike suffered a con-rod failure on the last lap whilst at Snugborough. Pictures of that random component failure to follow!
For a full lightweight race report, visit http://www.manxgrandprix.org/News/2015/September/04/SuperTwin-Lightweight-report and then scroll down.
Steve Smith - Avon Tyres
Mike Hailwood Foundation