Team Report - Dave Ogden
Excitedly we arrived at Donington park on Thursday 22nd March for the first round of the Thundersport 600 championship with two Stock 600 Kawasaki ZX6R engines that have not been properly put through there paces since Dyno and mapping and some subtle adjustments in February.
Benny was unable to make Thursday in preparation for the test day on Friday due to his new job (congratulations) and was unfortunately straight into qualifying on a bike he has never raced at a track he has never been round BRAVE lad, Luke arrived 7 p.m. Thursday and we had loads to fit to the bike including clip on’s, fairings, seat unit, new tank mods and all fittings. We eventually got finished at 12 p.m and were very pleased with the look after the crash at the February test day due to following a competitors bike with a loose oil filter down craner curves, which could have been a lot worse.
During Friday we tried a set up with a new Discounted sponsors product and worked with their tech support experts, unfortunately it wasn't to be and advice from one of them was to revert back to what Luke liked, so for qualify this was done.
Luke qualified 6th, on a damp circuit he has had little experience on with a set up that was a starting point as we reverted to past used products with a wet front and wet rear with a time of 1m 27.2 just 1.5 secs off pole, Benny was nervous and qualified 37 out of 56 with his first ever qualify and his first session round Donington park, and in the wet with an impressive 1m 34.7 and just a slight off towards the end after getting pushed out on to the grass at mc leans. GET IN!! to both!!.
First race saw Luke finish P2 with a wet frontt and dry rear in damp conditions putting 4th quickest time together against all the odds, the tyre choice was any bodies guess, his time was 1m 17.6 and was 11 seconds ahead of third 0.42 behind the winner so definitely on the pace.
Benny was 33rd from 43 and fourth in the Freshman with 1m27.9, so a serious 11 points first ever race on a 600, our aim for Benny was to keep him upright and learn his craft as being new to the sport and ex moto-crosser, we know he’ll eventually come good.
Second race Saturday with Benny’s bike back in one piece he managed another Freshman fourth with 11 points and tried getting into some rhythm, Rome was not built in a day, and he did the right thing bringing it home safe.
Luke was still a minimum of 5 sessions behind from Friday due to a change of product and was chipping away at times and lines every session, sector 2 needed ironing out and he was slowly getting to grips with a constant lap.
A new lap time of 1m 16.2 shaving nearly 1.5 secs of his time proved he was going in the right direction and battled al the way to the line to take 5th place.
Sunday warm up saw both riders steady away and put some good times in with conditions much better especially for our newbie Benny.
Race one Sunday
Due to Mega laps Luke was demoted to 11th on the grid and a lot of work to do, getting squeezed out around redgate on two occasions he battled to the line taking 7th and shaved another 1.3secs from his lap time with a 1m 14.5, not bad for a lad with very little experience around the track and admitting he was struggling and felt he had hit a brick wall, may be we thank Lee Williams #94 for taking time out to advise on a few sectors whilst nursing a suspected wrist fracture in ice, advice obviously worked and a big thanks to Lee.
Benny was put into the cup race due to lap times, but as advised it would help and it did, he smashed his times with a 1m 24.8 and 9th overall with some consistent times all the way through the race, a fantastic well done.
Race two Sunday saw Luke with a few changes to set up, and feeling very confident, unfortunately the loom had over time rubbed through to a bare wire, which decided to earth and blow the fuse to the ECU ending his race on lap 3 of 10.
Benny went 1.2 secs quicker again finishing 7th and on a high, getting his time down to 1m 23.6 which was achieved with only 5 sessions under his belt over the entire weekend making a total of 11 sessions in total on the bike to his circuit racing experience, NOT BAD AT ALL!! for someone just moving to road racing.
All in all a great weekend and were all looking forward to Oulton Park.
Massive thanks to
- Phoenix Commercial Fleet Services Race Team
- Rock Oil
- EBC Brake pads
- Pipewerx exhausts
- Ian Boldy Superbike Photography
Thanks to all the Thundersport staff, Medics and Marshalls for another GREAT! round
RACE REPORTS - Donington Park Round 1
Benny Grayson # 19
Phoenix Commercial Fleet Services Race Team
Well that's the first race weekend done. Massive learning curve adapting to a new bike, new lines and new everything. Yesterday had a really good qualifying session in the wet went P4 in class and qualified to go out with the big boys unfortunately I had a highside out of mcleans myself and the bike was battered and bruised but Dave Ogden and the team did a fantastic job in getting me out for race one. As the track dried out the field up'd the pace and I was getting left behind a little bit. After mega laps put me back down a class (probably where I should of been to start with) and I found myself on the front row in P2 the last race of the weekend I gave it my all resulting in my PB time set on my last lap of the last session 10 seconds faster then where I started. Some massive positive to take away from this weekend.
I would also like to thank the motley crew for turning up and showing support Paul GraysonLoraine GraysonToni-Jade Grayson, Dean Hodgson, chris Dexter smith,Jade Rae Brown,
Also MASSIVE thanks to Luke Turner for walking the track and giving me some good lines and braking markers.
Massive thanks to
-phoenix commercial fleet services race team
-EBC brake pads
-Ian boldy superbike photography
for keeping me on track
Until next time tattie bye
Commercial Fleet Services
Luke Turner #86
Phoenix Commercial Fleet Services Race Team
Well what a fantastic first race weekend of the 2018 season which had it’s ups and downs, but thanks to sponsor helper Paul from (PCEBS) and Team Manager Dave ogden of (Phoenix commercial fleet services Race team) a near faultless weekend.
After a tough practice day working hard away with issues, we went into qualifying Saturday with a fairly good set up and put the Phoenix Turner machine 6th In qualifying.
The First race was very close racing all the way to the flag, with a few tight moments and we managed to put the 86 kawasaki machine 2nd on a wet track, and for the first race of the season that wasn’t too shabby 😉.
The second race was much closer with times dropping and 3rd to 6th place fighting with only tenths of a second seperating us, as everyone had upped there pace, I was very happy with my eventual 6th but with more time on the bike and new rubber we got quicker and quicker taking 2 seconds off my lap times!
In my 3rd race I had to start 11th on the grid but I had a great start and finished in 7th again going faster and closing in on a 1m 13sec lap which was a milestone for my first time on the short circuit.
In the last race I had an amazing start again and felt confident of a top 4 finish but due to some wires rubbing on the frame of the bike the bike blew the ECU fuse and lost all power and we had a DNF.
Overall i have learnt so much this weekend and the bike was repaired at the circuit in 20 minutes and is all ready for Oulton park, which is another new track to learn on April 21st, see you there.
Would just like to congratulate my new team mate Benny Grayson for finishing his first race weekend in one piece 😉 and looking forward to having him with me for many more rounds.
More pics coming soon!
Massive thanks to my sponsors-
-Phoenix commercial fleet services race team
-EBC Brake pads
-Ian Boldy superbike photography
#86 Luke Turner