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History/Spirit Racing

History of Spirit Racing
Donington July 2023
Darley Moor July 2023
Cadwell BHR May 2023
Mallory Park April 2023
Darley Moor August 2022
Festival of 1000 Bikes
Brands Hatch 7-8th May 2022
Spirit Racing 2022
Spirit Racing 2021
Spirit Racing 2020
Cadwell September 2019
3 Sisters August 2019
MRC Track Day July 2019
Spirit Racing 2019
Spirit Racing 2018
Spirit Racing 2017
Spirit Racing 2016
Spirit Racing 2014
Spirit Racing 2013
Spirit Racing 2012
Spirit Racing 2011
Spirit Racing 2010
Spirit Racing 2009

Darley Moor August 2022

This meeting clashed with an annual garden party where we catch up with friends we do not often see these days, but I was keen to find out how the Morini would do now that the cutting out problem seems to have been resolved. The circuit is only 40 minutes away, so on Friday I took the bikes up and got them scrutineered, aided by my friend John, who was staying with us over the weekend as he was marshalling at the meeting. I drove up alone on Saturday – John needed to be there before me – with Sally staying behind to get a lift to the party around midday. Jenny arrived at Darley at 11.00 am to help for the rest of the weekend, she stayed there overnight while John and I hoped to get back in time to join the party around 7.00pm

Engines could not be run until 9.30 so noise testing was just before practice started at 10.00. This resulted in a huge queue and the usual chaos – I took the Cub for testing first and after a 20 minute wait just got out in time for the allotted practice session. I then took the Morini for noise testing – and it failed. I had the tools to fit extra stuffing in the silencers, but I had left the stuffing at home, the bike having passed noise tests several times already this year. So the first race was missed, the Cub was out shortly afterwards and that went OK, then there was a long gap before the second races. More stuffing was purchased; Jenny and I set to quieten the Morini. On the first attempt the extra stuffing blew out, a bit more experimenting resulted in something looking viable but the engine was sounding a bit rough and at the critical moment of testing the engine died. Attempting to bump start it produced a clicking sound, something was definitely not right. So after the second Cub race we loaded the Morini into the van, and I headed home to remove the number plate and mirror from the Daytona and swap to the race silencer. In the warm dry conditions the road tyres would be fine, especially the brand new back one. John helped upon his return, along with two more friends who were staying the night after the party, and we all eventually got there at 8.00, returning at midnight ready for a return to the fray in the morning.

Brought out of retirement.

On Sunday Sally came along to help, the Daytona was scrutineered and noise tested no problem, and out I went for the first race. As expected it was not competitive, the only other 500cc bike holds the lap record for the class, and the rest were all in the 1000cc class. On a good day I had been known to get ahead of some of them on the Morini; on the Daytona, starting at the back of the grid as I had missed the first two races, I just had one 1000cc BMW in my sights. I eventually got past at Paddock Bend, at which point a misfire set in and he came past again. The misfire got worse, I tried to make it round to the circuit exit point but the engine died just before resulting in a very hot push back to the paddock and a dash back to the van to be in time for the next Cub race. Two more friends had arrived and, along with a helpful marshal, they got the bike back to the van. I found a poor electrical connection – eureka! But after sorting that out it still ran badly, so that was that. One more Cub race, where I was trying hard but somehow managed to be slightly slower than in the previous race. I had a few behind me, but should have been up with the group ahead, I would catch up in some parts but slip back in others.

Back from a reasonably successful session.

There was one brief moment of excitement. My friend Andy races a 340cc Ducati and was out in the same race as the Cub, albeit in a different, faster, class. A different class indeed, he was lapping 3 seconds quicker than ever before, and won all his races by a country mile, lapping me and several others before the end. Normally there would have been a gaggle of 250 and 350 Ducatis, but for reasons unknown they were absent, which was frustrating for Andy as he had no real opposition, the rest of the bikes being 200cc or smaller. On the last lap I had still not given up hope of catching the group ahead, with the bend at the end of the start/finish straight being a place where I gained a bit. To my horror, Andy came past and then went into the bend in a somewhat lackadaisical manner, in my way. Determined not to be held up I dived inside and unlapped myself for a short while, before he came past again with a cheery wave.

Dicing with a 4 stroke Honda, the main competition.

The Cub seemed to be going pretty well but looking at previous lap times I should have been faster. After a bit of fettling the Cub is ready to go again but at the time of writing I have yet to investigate the other bikes. Jenny is due out on a Ducati at Cadwell at the end of September, I am committed to running a local games event but if I can wriggle out of that I will go up and help her. Whether I will also race remains to be seen.


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