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Opie Oils sponsored rider Ben Harrinson race report of round 1 & 2 of the formula 400 championship

We were very happy to hear from one of our sponsors Ben Harrinson this week who is competing in the NG Road Racing 215 Formula 400. Ben put together a fantastic report for you all to enjoy below.


NG Road Racing 2015 Formula 400 Round 1 & 2 Race Report

2015 started off very very cold! I had booked onto the  test day the Friday before as i hadn’t ridden the bike since the last race of 2014, I thought it would be a good idea to get used to the bike again and try and get some set up for the coming races.

The test day went well; I immediately felt at home on the bike and set about getting my lines sorted. I had an ongoing issue with the bike running quite bad below 8k revs but worked around it. At the end of the test day i felt good on the bike and was ready for racing!

Saturday

The weather was dry but it was extremely cold, tyre temp was going to be a big issue throughout the whole day so i took it easy in morning practice and felt out the grip levels and track conditions.

I started 2nd on the grid for the qualifier race, I managed to get a good start and settle into 2nd place where i stayed which put me 2nd on the grid for the final. I managed to hook the bike up well off the line starting the final but due to the cold conditions i took it too carefully into the first corner and got passed buy Emma Jarman on her ZXR. I set after her as i knew it I could pass I’d have some clear track to try and pull a gap. Unfortunately i made a mistake which let Tim Bradley through on his FZR.

I got a bit carried away trying to make up for lost ground and ended up overtaking under a yellow flag which i hadn’t seen so i finished the race in 2nd place, but got a time penalty which put me back into 3rd.

I was still happy to get a podium in the first race of the season and i knew I had the pace to run at the front.

Sunday

The weather decided to have a bit of fun with us and absolutely tip it down over night, so now it was freezing cold and wet, grip was going to be a serious issue, it turned into who could stay on the bike rather than who wins the race. To make matters worse it was the first full wet race since my big crash at Cadwell Park in May 2014. I took the practice session very gently as there were already people crashing in the wet conditions.

I started the qualifier 2nd on the grid again and focused on just finishing the race and gaining confidence for the final. I was running in 5th place with Simon and David in front of me, i used them as a target to aim for and slowly started to reel them in, getting faster each lap. I passed Simon for 4th place on the last lap giving me a second row start for the final.

Ben Harrison

I changed some settings on the suspension for the final and it worked really well, the bike felt really comfortable and i managed to push more than in the qualifier, I was running 2nd for the whole race, at one point i started to close in on Tim Bradley in 1st but caught a back marker at the wrong time so ended up finishing in 2nd place with the fastest lap of the race too.

It was a great start to the season and it’s only going to get better from here, i feel confident in the wet again and comfortable on the bike too. So after round 1 & 2 I’m running 2nd in the championship and ready to fight for the 2015 title!


What a great start from Ben, Opie Oils wishes the same in the next round and wishes him the best of luck for 2015 season.

Opie Oils

FPW Racing – Round 7 Motul Motostar Oulton Park

Opie Oils sponsors FPW Racing had a fantastic weekend of  racing with the exception of Taz Taylor who suffered a cruel blow during the race. After each event we FPW Racing always write an excellent race report, enjoy!


Jayson Uribe
Finished 4th (3rd Moto3 Class ) – 3rd in the British Moto3 Championship

Sometimes things just gel. From the second Jayson swung his leg over the FPW Racing Moto3 machine he was right at the sharp end. Friday was a very productive day with two very quick Free Practice (FP) sessions. One noticeable change to Jayson this weekend was his consistency. Building up speed with each lap, Jayson was able to string together multiple quick laps rather than relying on one or two laps during a session. This was just what the team had wanted to see from Jayson and he delivered.

In Qualifying Jayson continued this good run of form and effort. In a very strong Q1 session, Jayson was on the pace from the very start, managing to end the session in 4th place with a lap time of 1:47.238. In Q2 Jayson, like many of the other riders was unable to improve on his time from the morning session but this had no impact on his grid position.

As the remnants of a tropical storm passed over Oulton Park in the morning for the warm up session, it was great to see Jaysons form was not just confined to the dry. His pace in the wet was blistering too, ending the eight minute period in 6th with an average lap speed in excess of 80 mph.

Jayson Uribe
All IMAGES BY David Johnston

After the race start was delayed due to torrential rain, it was calming for everyone involved to finally be called to take to the grid. As the lights went out it wasn’t the greatest of starts for Jayson, as he ended the first lap in the difficult conditions in 7th. Unable to make any headway Jayson became comfortable with the conditions before deciding to pull the pin on lap six, going almost two seconds a lap faster than his previous laps Jayson was able to pull out a gap on championship leader Jordan Weaving. With just two laps remaining in the shortened race it looked as though Jayson was going to make the move on Ed Rendell but as the trio drove hard out of Old Hard for the final time it was Weaving who snook through on Jayson while he looked to make the move on Rendell. This unsettled Jayson’s rhythm and he was left to cross the line with a very hard fought third. This was edge of your seat racing from 15 year old racer – superb and well done!


Daniel Hermansson
Finished 10th (3rd 125GP Championship)

Daniel came to the UK to race two stroke bikes in the most competitive European class. He did this to improve his riding and take his sponsors bike to the very limit. Coming to the UK and running with some very quick riders has some downsides especially when you’re arriving at circuits you’ve never seen before. Having already spent a weekend at Oulton earlier in the season this was Daniels weekend to prove his ability to his piers. Unfortunately though this weekend was going to test Daniel and his group of mechanics to their limits.

With perfect conditions for FP, Daniel went out and struggled in both. In the first session he struggled with visor issues then didn’t have the perfect run in the FP2 as jetting hampered his top end speed.

Going into Qualifying Daniel had high hopes, but these were soon dashed as his primary engine suffered a mechanical. After swapping the engine out Daniel again struggled to get the best out of the machine and ended the session with a best lap of 1:52.236 leaving him 21st on the grid.

Daniel Hermansson

Daniels troubles didn’t end there. In morning warm up on race day he suffered brake issues in the very wet conditions. Having inspected everything it wasn’t clear what the issue was with the brake, but when the same problem appeared on the warm up lap Daniels heart sank. Entering the pit lane he spoke with his mechanics who attempted to trace the problem. Thoroughly annoyed, Daniel started the ten lap race from pit lane with no idea whether his brakes were good or not. What happened next is what’s racing is all about.

Daniel took to the track and threw caution to the wind, riding to the limit in the conditions Daniel was able to pass riders as though they were somehow limited on power. In the opening three laps, having lost a good 10 seconds at the start, Daniel was able to make up seven places. Two laps later he’d made another seven places and was visibly faster than those in front. On lap six, Daniel passed team mate Greg Greenwood, and slotted into 12th place. By now the riders around him weren’t that much slower so making the moves to overtake was that little more difficult. This didn’t stop Daniel and by lap eight he was up to 10th, a position he held onto easily until the end of the race. The question now stands, what was he capable of had he started off the grid? This was a fantastic effort in such difficult conditions! Daniel moves up to 11th in the British 125GP championship.


Greg Greenwood
Finished 12th (5th 125GP)

Greg was happy to arrive back at Oulton, a circuit he was families with having just raced at two new circuits in the previous two rounds. This comfort didn’t manifest itself straight away as he struggled to match his previous times from earlier in the season in the FP sessions.

Going into Q1, Greg knew his bike was quick enough from the speed trap measurements from Friday and to improve he’d need to make more time in the corners. In near perfect conditions Greg made a solid attempt to improve his grid position during Q1 and Q2. Ending the first of the two Saturday timed sessions with a lap of 1:53.628, Greg was provisionally 23rd on the grid. For Q2, Greg was looking to make a step in the right direction and he bettered his lap time by 0.3 of a second. Unfortunately though for Greg he lost another two grid places mean ping head start the race from 25th. On a good note though Greg had gone 1.4 seconds faster around Oulton park than he’d ever gone before!

Greg Greenwood

Waking up to heavy rain was the alarm call Greg had been hoping for. Rain levels the playing field and rider ability shines through. With a consistently wet track Greg was aware of bringing it home safely in morning warm up but was pleasantly surprised with his suspension settings working to end the session in 16th. Starting from 25th, was never going to be easy for Greg, as making the moves on riders in the wet needs to decisive as theirs no room for error, it’s not like you can grab a handful of brakes when the track is so wet. After the 30 minute delay to the start (due to flooding of the circuit) Greg made a good start a and after the first lap he was up to 20th, another two riders were passed on lap two. This progression up the field continued and by lap-five Greg was up to 15th overall. With teammate Daniel Hermansson right on his tail Greg was eager to stay ahead, but the shear anger driven pace of Hermansson was just too much for Greg and the Swedish rider went past on lap-six. Now in a battle of three as Jake Archer joined in the action the trio pushed on hard for the remainder of the race with each one looking to make moves hold on the others. Greg crossed the line in a career best 12th overall, 5th 125GP, which was a fantastic result and a real bonus for the Lancastrian who has worked so hard on a minimal budget.

Greg takes a big step up the table into 8th in the British 125GP Championship.

Greg Greenwood: “We had a few niggles throughout the start of the weekend and through into qualifying but when it came to race day it went really well. I had a great opening couple of laps and I was happy with how the bike was responding in the wet. With such good feel I was able to pick off riders quite easily as the race progressed. Finishing 5th in the 125s and 12th overall was just the best way I could ever imagined to end the weekend, thanks to all of the FPW Racing team for their support this year”.


Taz Taylor
DNF

Taz arrived at Oulton full of confidence and this was immediately evident in his performances in Free Practice. Taz ended the opening FP session in second and forth in FP2.

The pace this weekend was electric from the off and times were certainly quicker than previous years of this championship. Saturday didn’t start as planned though as Taz’s bike suffered an electrical issue that was untraceable in the time frame. Missing the session was a big deal for Taz as the track time is so limited during these British Championship events.

The lost time could easily of dampened Taz’s enthusiasm but his willingness to succeed shone through as he took to the track for the second qualifying session. With a first flying lap in the 1:48s it was evident that Taz was focused and the issues were behind him. After a short pit stop early in the 25 minute session Taz was back out and within a lap was right on the leaders pace. Ending the session in fifth with a time of 1:47.343 was a superb result for the youngster from Mansfield. Just to add, the time set by Taz was six-tenths of a second faster than he had ever done around Oulton Park.

Taz Taylor

In the very wet conditions of morning warm up Taz looked really comfortable and set a time of 2:00.562 without really pushing it. So he was confident he could race right at the front in what looked to be the weather for the day. With the 30 minute delay pushing the start time back to 3pm it was good to see Taz drop in directly behind teammate Jayson Uribe as they entered the first corner of the race. In the opening two laps Taz matched the pace of Uribe with both passing South Aftican Jordan Weaving on lap-3. However on lap 5 Taz lost tabs with his team mate and Weaving in the tricky conditions. As Taz attempted to regain the lost ground he lost the front end and slid out of contention. This was a very unlucky end to the weekend especially after showing such good form all the way through the weekend.

Taz remains second in the British 125GP Championship.


Thanks for another excellent race report, we look forward to reading and sharing the next one!

– Opie Oils

 

Opie Oils Sponsor Ben Harrisons Race Report of Round 1 & 2 at Brands Hatch

Opie Oils sponsored rider Ben Harrison had a fantastic start to his 2014 season, securing a 2nd and 1st in Formula 400 and his first ever win in the 500 Newcomer race/Minitwin Newcomer at Brands Hatch.

This is Ben’s race report of the weekend, enjoy!

Heading into the first round of the championship I had mixed feelings, my last experience at brands had not been a pleasant one at all and during preparation for this year’s race quite a few bike issues became apparent in the week leading up to the race.

But, these things had to be put out of my mind and I needed to focus on the racing ahead.  Saturday came around very quickly, the bike passed scrutineering and noise test with no issues, next was morning practice. I went out worrying whether I was going to have clutch slip issues that had plagued me all of last season, luckily the clutch was perfect so I was able to focus on getting into a rhythm and finding some speed around the track.

Saturday

Formula 400 qualifier:

I started the race from 7th on the grid, front of the third row. Immediately the bike felt great and I was able to push from very early on and pick of riders ahead of me, I took the lead on lap 3 and stayed in front winning the race and setting the fastest lap. This put me in pole position for the Formula 400 final.

Formula 400 final:

I got a great start and started to get into a rhythm, but a few laps in I lost track of what gear I was in and lost concentration, this put me back to third where I had a 3 bike battle for the lead, eventually coming out in 2nd place, setting the fastest lap of the race and gaining my first ever trophy.

500 Newcomer race/Minitwin Newcomer:

Coming out of the last two races I had a lot of confidence in my speed and my bike, I started 8th on the grid making a good start, I lead my class into the first corner with only minitwins ahead. (Two classes are racing in one race and have separate results).

Knowing I had good pace I tried to get my head down and put a gap between me and Dan #95 on his VFR, while trying to put a gap in I got stuck behind one of the minitwins which unfortunately had slow mid corner speed but was faster down the straights, it took a good 3 laps of battling to eventually pass round the outside into the first corner.

From there I put my head down and tried to catch the minitwins ahead to give me something to aim for and hopefully pull a gap on Dan behind me. It worked and I got my first win and set the fastest lap of the race again.

BHarrison2

Sunday

Morning practice went very well, I was able to still run the same pace as I had done in Saturdays newcomer race, this gave me a lot of confidence in myself and the bike that I could challenge for the win again.

Formula 400 qualifier:

Unfortunately something had worked itself loose in the practice and only became apparent when tried to start the bike to warm it up. Missing this race meant I was down on track time and had to start the final from 7th, front of the third row.

Formula 400 final:

Due to not starting in the qualifier I was on the back foot in the final race. But I knew I had the pace to run at the front so it was a case of getting a good start and getting my head down. I got the best start I had all weekend and from 7th I was 2nd into the first corner. By the third corner I had gotten the lead and got my head down and tried my best to break away.

I ended up winning my first Formula 400 race and my second win of the day; I set the fastest lap of the race again ending up 10.93 seconds ahead of 2nd place.

The Team at Opie Oils would like to say a massive thank you to Ben for the Race Report and congratulate him on his fantastic start of the season, keep up the good work and good luck for the rest of the season.

Opie Oils