Competing in round 7 of the National Endurance 600 at Cadwell Park, Pertemps Network Racing give us their report from the event:
Dusk was settling over Cadwell Park when Colin arrived. Fergus was waiting with a set of repaired forks ready to go in the bike for tomorrow. Many hands make light work and the camp was soon set up for the weekend. Gaz is racing in the Senior Manx Grand Prix, so Jonathan Lodge is standing in and arrives with his ZX10 for the sprint races.
Friday dawned and it felt like the last day of summer. Bike prep is done with fresh oil and brake pads from EBC. Colin is up and fitting forks in the R6, Lodgie will ride in the endurance. Jonathan did a few sessions on the R6 getting the set up how he wanted then moved on to his ZX10. We even found time to listen live to the Manx radio commentary on the Manx GP. Great ride for regular team mate Gaz Evans. With both riders happy with their machines we went through scrutineering without a hitch and the riders signed on. Then came the logistical issues of loading everything required for the endurance race into the van. Finally an excellent social evening spent at Alex James’ splendid annual BBQ.
Race day was sunny and dry. There was an early start transporting garage essentials from the gazebo to the pit box in the van before the track went live. Both riders had morning qualifying for the Sunday sprint races …three hours just isn’t enough apparently!
Endurance qualifying followed and Jonathan put in a blistering lap placing Pertemps Network Racing 1st in Class at 5th on the grid. Team Army 1 had qualified first enlisting the BSB power pair of Sam Cox and Tom Ward with regular Pep Brown. It was great to see old friends Pit Stop Racing back on the grid and well placed. Competition in the National 600 class was keen with the pairing of Bruce Wilson and Tim Neave for Kime Racing / Fastbikes hot on our heels. It was beginning to look like it would be a challenging day.
More things including bikes were transported down to the pit box. Courtesy of XG Graphics we had the only banner on the wall, even the mighty army team was fed up with transportation. After lunch Jonathan took a third place in the Pirelli 1000 race and at last we were all in pitlane ready for action.
With Colin holding the bike the endurance race was started by Jonathan in spectacular fashion as he scorched passed 4 bigger bikes leading into the first corner. He was on it! Just amazing. He tore by the pit wall for the second time, still leading the pack across the line; he could hold onto his lead only a short while longer. Jonathan settled into the race at a powerful pace, 1st in Class 4th on the road.
Tim Neave made an unscheduled pitstop catching the Kime / Fastbikes team unprepared and costing them a full lap. A superb stop by Fergus and the team sent Colin on his way first in class +1 lap. Col put in some solid laps against a strong challenge from Bruce Wilson and at the second pitstop we were still a lap in front.
The heat of the sun was intense as Jonathan went out for another stint. He maintained his scorching pace picking through the back markers taking 2 seconds a lap out of Kime. By the time Col went out for his last session he was a clear lap ahead. Kime were putting in some fast laps and maintained pace despite the traffic. After more than a hundred laps the fight was going strong.
In the setting sun, after 110 laps Col took the flag to win the race and the 2018 National 600 Championship! A great first year for new sponsors Pertemps Network.
What a day, just brilliant. Remarkable skill and pace from the riders. Huge team effort from everyone involved especially Ben, Sheila, Fergus, Craig and Kyle.
Colin would like to dedicate his 3rd National Championship posthumously to John Trigger who will be sadly missed.