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BSSO 2011: Rounds 2 & 3 – Pembrey

May 25th, 2011

The second and third rounds of the 2011 BSSO racing series took place at Pembrey in South Wales on the weekend of May 21/22. Here’s Adrenalin Pedstop’s account of how it went.

TEST DAY: We set off at 1am Friday morning to attend the test day as we’d made a few changes to the Zips. Although rain had been forecast we only had one fairly heavy downpour which we all took advantage of to get some testing done in the wet. The bikes were running very strong and having all day to practice we had a steady day. Besides, we didn’t want to take too much life out of the engines. By the end of the day we were literally falling asleep so we packed up and headed back to the Pembrey Inn where we were staying for the weekend. The steak and chips went down well followed by a few games of pool.

DAY 1 (ROUND 2): Saturday morning we were up at 7am in time for a full English breakfast. We arrived at the track and set up next to the Ravenscrofts and their camper van. Josh and Joe’s bikes flew through scrutineering however they were a bit picky on Sam’s claiming a steering stop issue, we’re sure every Zip in the competition has the same problem. A few persuasive words from Ian Brown and it was passed ready to race. The morning practice went well for all three Pedstop riders and the entire team was excited for some good results. Shortly after practice the first race for us was on the way. The sun was shining although it was still fairly cold and windy, with it being the first for everyone in our class most riders got off to a very good start. Into the first corner, which is an extremely tight hairpin, everyone gets very grouped and it’s a battle to see who comes out the quickest. Sam was slowly gaining on Craig Bewey and Tim Wilson but on the start of lap four his front brake pads went entering the hairpin which slowed him down a little but he still managed to hold his position finishing in a respectable fifth which isn’t bad going for his second ever race meeting. Joe finished second and Josh came first setting a new lap record of 1 minute 15.67 seconds. Who knows, it could have quite easily been a Pedstop 1,2,3 if it wasn’t for Sam’s front brake pads failing.

We had a few hours to wait until race two, so time was spent checking the bikes over and getting them ready for the next session. About 15 minutes before the race was due to start the rain really started to come down. Joe and Josh got their tyres swapped just in time for wets, Sam on the other hand got his front changed then due to an awkward exhaust bracket didn’t have time so went out on the Dunlop dry tyre at the rear. All the riders were sat in the assembly area for quite a while getting cold and wet which isn’t good right before a race. Eventually the race got underway and everyone was very steady into the first corner and round the first lap until they got some heat into their tyres. Joe and Josh were up at the front with Damon Tunnicliffe who ended up taking the win, Joe was just over one and a half seconds behind Damon in second place while Josh was eight and a bit seconds down due to not being able to see through his black visor. Sam admitted that with it being his first race in the wet he didn’t have full trust in his tyres and therefore came in sixth.

The third race of the day was mixed with the geared classic scooters so there were a lot of scooters on the grid. The weather was still wet and windy so everyone opted for the wet tyres. The lights went out and the race started. There was a bit more action in this race due to the mix of scooter types on the track. The Zips are very quick through the tight corners but the front three or four Lambrettas were very fast on the straights. Another win for Josh who achieved the fastest lap of the race, Joe close behind in second and Sam in sixth who had some slight contact with a Lambretta up on the hairpin.

All in all it was a good day for everyone despite the erratic weather and it was time to get packed up for the night. It was back to the hotel for Josh, Ian, Chris and Sam where it was the local karaoke night which we didn’t hang around too much for. We headed back up to the track to find Joe and the rest of the Ravenscrofts in their camper. Thinking they were all tucked away in bed we called for a drink in the bar and just before heading home we bumped into Joe and Tom who revealed Pete and Joanne Ravenscroft were at another camper having a bit of a party. So we headed back to the hotel for a few games of pool before bed.

DAY 2 (ROUND 3): Another early start to find the weather was even windier but the sky was pretty clear. On arriving at the track it was still wet but we knew it would dry out as the day went on providing the skies kept clear. A last minute decision for the riders meant changing the rear tyres back to the dries to avoid chewing up the wets if they got too hot as there were plenty of dry patches on the track.

Race 1: Josh pulled a good gap on Damon Tunnicliffe and came in first with Damon seven seconds behind in second place. Sam had a great race battling for fifth with Mark Shirley pretty much right through the race. He managed to take fifth place and said it was the best race he’s had so far. Joe came in seventh due to his Zip having his spare engine in that didn’t fair too well with the strong headwinds bringing his bike off the power. He had to swap over to his spare engine because on the last race of day one his casings split clean in half and were holding together just by the kick start casing.

We had a relaxing day on day two and a bit of a wait for the final race of the weekend. The sun was shining although it was still extremely windy which made everyones bike drop off in RPM a little bit, so lap times were a little slower than the previous races. Everyone was back onto dry tyres and eager to get the last race finished.

Race 2: All the scooters lined up for one last time and away they went tearing into the first corner. Josh went on to take yet another win for the weekend with Joe in fourth and Sam in sixth. We didn’t stick around long after our final race and was soon packed up ready for the long four hour journey back to Yorkshire. All in all it was a great weekend. Josh got quite a few wins and set another lap record, Sam managed to get a proper feel for his Zip after using different front tyres and Joe, despite having a few technical difficulties, picked up some all important championship points.

Words: Adrenalin Pedstop
Photos & Videos: Mickey Dee
Racing shots: Lee Hollick