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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

Mallory Park April 2023

Over the winter the Morini engine was repaired once more, a nut had come loose allowing the camshaft to move about, which had damaged it. Fortunately, one of the few parts still usable from the original race engine was the camshaft so that was swapped over, the timing and tappet clearances were reset, and the silencers had extra bits added to quieten them. Would this ruin the performance and/or require re-jetting the carbs? Running the engine up on the rolling road, it seemed happy to rev out under load in top gear, so hopefully it would still go well enough.

The Cub all seemed OK from the last outing, but the tyres were getting old, so a new pair was purchased at vast expense. A slightly smaller sprocket was also ordered and fitted to the back wheel, potentially adding 4 or 5 mph to the top speed if the engine is feeling up to it. Mallory is quite a high speed circuit, where the Cub is flat out most of the time.

Jenny was also due out on her Ducati – it had struggled to pass the noise test at a test day in March, so had had baffles fitted. But when the time came for the practice session, it did not sound happy – two Ducati experts were to hand, who agreed that the baffles had to go. That meant missing practice and the first race while bits were sawn through, but it squeaked through another noise test, so she was ready to go by lunchtime.

Meanwhile, I was out on the Morini in the first race of the day, the track had mostly dried out after the overnight rain, though a damp patch had provided an interesting moment at the beginning of the practice session. Sadly, there were almost no other 500’s – no chance to avenge myself on the Ducati that beat me last time out. The 500 and 750 BEARS classes had been (accidentally) merged, I kept ahead of a 750 BMW but the other 500 was an early 1950’s BSA prototype which someone had developed over the last 60 years to great effect – it was astonishingly fast and came in third overall out of 19 finishers (ahead of a 1100cc Suzuki Katana). I had read about BSA not having pursued that project, some saw it as a missed opportunity, and it seems that they were right. Still, BSA did sell lots of Gold Stars instead.

The first race for the Cub saw me keeping ahead of a couple of Bantams, in the second one Jenny was going well on the Ducati. She had to start from the back of the grid, having missed practice, and her faster bike came blasting past in no time. However, there were also some much faster, bigger bikes out with us, and before long the leaders were lapping us, one of whom decided to go through Jenny rather than round her.

Jenny going well before the accident.

She and her bike went separately down the track at around 80mph and the race was stopped. With a cracked shoulder blade her meeting was over, we deposited her at Coventry hospital before returning home on Saturday night, and after Sunday’s races got her van back to her home (fortunately not too far from the hospital, which had released her later on Saturday evening), our friend John giving me a lift back to Mallory to collect our van. The good news is that a couple of weeks later Jenny has started – rather painful – physiotherapy, and the bike survived surprisingly well too. Next stop for me is Cadwell, and then we will both assess what may be possible for the rest of the season.


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