Round 1 of the Ducati 848 Challenge at Brands Hatch (Indy Circuit) Sunday 8th April and Monday 9th April 2012
Riders Scot Adam from Luton, Beds, and Woolsey Coulter, Northern Ireland.
We arrived on friday morning after collecting Woolsey from the airport and spent the day setting up our equipment, giving the bikes a final once over and a polish.
We awoke on saturday to howling winds and heavy rain. Practice was scheduled for 2pm and Qualifying was at 5pm.
Practice was uneventful and both bikes performed as they should. We used the time to make last minute changes to the set up of each bike and we were all set for qualifying.
During qualifying Woolsey's bike went well but Scot had to come in after four laps as an oil filter split. He qualified in position 24 which was a little disappointing. Woolsey qualified 25th after struggling with the slippery conditions and getting to grips with the circuit layout.
After a cold wet night which saw the team working until late to adjust the bikes and replace the oil filter the team woke up to the same miserable conditions as the previous day.
After a team meeting plans were made and a race strategy was put in place. Full wet tyre's were the order of the day. Our first race was mid afternoon and the riders were starting near the back. The weather conditions where still treacherous but both bikes got away comfortably. The first two laps saw both riders tiptoe their way through the pack before the safety car was deployed, due to an incident, and this enabled the pack to bunch up. The car pulled in after two more laps and the race continued for a further two laps by which time Woolsey and Scot had moved into positions 13 and 14 respectively. The race was stopped early after oil had been spilt all over the track. The team spent the rest of the day drying out their leathers, boots and gloves and once again inspected both machines and made a few more minor changes.
Under normal circumstances when a race is stopped as it was the previous day the riders start the next race in the position they ended up in in the previous race, so Woolsey and Scot should have been 13th and 14th on the grid. Controversially the powers that be decided that as so many riders failed to complete the shortened race 1 on Sunday that they would use the positions that riders had qualified in on the saturday and then move the whole grid back eight positions! This meant that Woolsey and Scot were on the back row.
On Monday morning both riders where unhappy with this outcome but decided to put it behind them and concentrate on the day ahead. Warm up saw Woolsey putting in an impressive 2nd fastest lap and Scot coming in at 5th fastest, no mean feat considering the terrible weather. The race got under way in front of 47,000 hardy spectators and TV cameras. By lap one both riders had worked their way up to 7th and 8th position which they held for the next three laps. By lap 6 they had moved up to 2nd and 3rd and by lap 8 after some spectacular racing Woolsey was in the lead and Scot right behind him. The next few laps saw both riders take the lead and it was only towards lap 13 that the works supported Ducati caught them up to take the win after the race was stopped a lap early. Woolsey was second and Scot third and the team were very happy with the result considering they had come from the back row.
The team are now busy preparing for the next round at Assen, Holland on 12th and 13th May 2012
If any one would like to join the 100 club please contact the team on the email below
07749 731 670 firstname.lastname@example.org