Archive for February, 2010

WSBK – Super again

February 28, 2010

This weekend saw the start of the 2010 World Superbike Championship, hosted at Phillip Island, Australia. This year the entry list reads like a who’s who of motorcycle racers. The grid is littered with ex and current, national and international champions as well as few ex MotoGP riders thrown in for good measure.  It is the epitome of strength in depth, and a field that the organisers should rightly be proud of. 2010 promises to be a very closely fought and exciting season.

To describe the WSBK championship as being in the doldrums for the past few years would be overstating things. That said, it had lost some of it’s lustre since the heady days of the early 2000’s (the 2002 championship in particular was a classic). Manufacturers and teams have now returned to provide the variety and colour that a championship of this nature needs. Ducati, Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Kawaski, Aprillia and BMW all field bikes. All I’m missing personally is the odd idiosyncratic entry from the likes of MV Agusta (mainly because they build such an achingly pretty motorcycle).

This weekend provided two classic superbike races. Packs of between 4 and 6 riders knocking lumps out of each other for pretty much the entire duration of both 22 lap battles. Phillip Island can be a difficult track to overtake on, as through the fast sweepers there’s really only one quick line. It takes an inventive and brave mind to find a way past, fortunately there’s plenty of them about this season.

Long time campaigner (but still surprisingly young) Brit Leon Haslam got his maiden WSBK win in dramatic style in Race 1 by just 0.004s (see photo below). Race 2 went to ex MotoGP ace Carlos Checa, who at age 37 very much proved that there’s life in the old dog yet, beating Leon by just shy of half a second.

On to Portamao in Portugal for round 2 on the 28th March, welcome back World Superbikes, we’ve missed you.

Photo source – http://www.worldsbk.com/en/home.html

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2010 – A Race Odyssey

February 24, 2010

Epynt – A ribbon of Tarmac sent from Heaven

I need to see more rallies this year. While I lived in Wales for 4 years, top quality rallying was right on my doorstep, after Rugby, it’s got to be the national sport. A favourite venue to visit was the Epynt military ranges near Brecon. It’s a widely used venue, consisting of  fast, pristine tarmac draped on a hill side, oh and there’s some big jumps.

Epynt is a venue that rewards the brave. The stages consist of long straights and sweeping bends over dips, crests, leading to high speed jumps. To rally fans it’s like the Baumholder stages in WRC Germany, to others, imagine the Nordschleife, but half as wide and with no Armco.

You get a variety of machinery doing the event, from WRC Imprezas to 1.4 Nova SRis, via the odd Metro 6R4 and classic Escort. What’s so great about Epynt is that it’s so fast, even a tiny Nova can be spectacular due the speed that they build up. If you want to see a rally car in full flight, this is the event to go to.

http://www.ptmconline.com/tour_of_epynt.asp – The organising club’s website, you’ll find spectator info here

http://www.ptmconline.com/entry_list.asp – Un-seeded entry list

March 14th is the date of the 2010 Auto Fix Swansea Tour of Epynt – No the date hasn’t escaped me, it’s F1 from Bahrain on the same day, I’ll have a tape set, this is too good to pass up…


A Motorsport Blog

February 21, 2010

Flat In 6th stems from a sarcastic Twitter account that I set up in early 2010. It’s aim is to two-fold, to poke fun at but also celebrate motorsport in all it’s many forms. I go to a lot of motorsport events during the year, so I thought I’d create a blog to write about and show photos of what I’ve been up to.

I’m an enthusiast, not a journalist, in that I don’t just want to post up the results. There’s a lot of little stories that go on during a race/rally weekend that aren’t widely reported, it’s the experience of being there that’s important.

Last year was quite a busy one, but I want this year to be even busier. Highlights of last year:

  • Historic Motorsport Show – Stoneleigh
  • FIA GT Championship – Silverstone
  • Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Silverstone
  • Vintage Motorcycle Club Coventry Parade – Coventry
  • British Touring Cars – Silverstone
  • Trax Performance Car Show – Silverstone
  • Le Mans Series – Silverstone
  • British Superbikes – Silverstone
  • Britcar 500 – Silverstone
  • Cambrian Rally – North Wales

Lets see how 2010 pans out…