Back home: the Classic TT is over, and our project is almost completed, creating such vacuum that it took me a good week to recover the intensity all those past months and two weeks to live an almost normal life. I came back totally worn and exhausted, not only because of the pressure of the race, but also because we have worked like mad on our project for three years. The Classic TT was the peak of our race program, and for me it was day one as all the previous races we entered were practice to be ready for the Classic TT.
I must admit at first glance that I was a bit disappointed with our results. I have dreamed of having one machine in the first 10 and also to complete a lap within the “TON”, but we have not been very lucky with both machines:
Alex Sinclair our young Welch rider crashed at Ballaugh Bridge on somebody else’s oil during Tuesday practice. It was a miracle that he was not more severely injured. However, with the left thumb supposed to be broken, he was not allowed to practice until the Thursday evening, which was too late to qualify three laps with our Egli-Vincent, while he had more days to qualify in other classes. Alex had the fastest of both machines and recon that he could have done a 102mph lap.
Fortunately, we still had our French rider Bruno Leroy. Bruno’s entry at the TT this year was his 25th, and he knows the place and he has proved it. Bruno was also very unlucky when he was black flagged in the fourth and last lap. The reason was the silencer of his Egli that had cracked and was moving up and down enough to be noticed by a marshall, Bruno instantly slowed down and lost a precious minute in this last lap*. End of 3rd lap he was 11th overall and 2nd P1 (P1 category is single cylinder machine ridden by privateer), he finished 5th P1.
Looking back: three years ago, when I asked Bruno to race again for me our Petty Manx Norton in order to be fully fit when our Egli-Vincent will be ready, he finished 7th with our old Manx engine. Two years ago he finished 5th overall with same old Manx. I could not believe we are only 14th with a faster machine this year, although I recognize that the change from Manx Grand Prix to Classic TT organisation has brought stronger teams to the party.
Finally since March and in less than six months our machines have proved to be in the ball park with several wins and rostrums plus crossing the Classic TT finish line which proves our engine is fully reliable. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your encouragements since the beginning of the season. We shall see next year if our good old Vincent pushrod engine with another year of development will keep waving the flag.
* Bruno Leroy on #40, August 25, 2014 (from David Wright)
Lap 1 – 23.00.002, 98.355 mph
Lap 2 – 22.58.426, 98.538 mph
Lap 3 – 23.01.365, 98.329 mph
Lap 4 – 23.55.009, 94.653 mph
Total elapsed time was 1 hour 32 minutes 55.802 seconds at an average race speed of 97.441 mph.