Spa 4H Classic: Race Preparation

Posted: 1st July 2017

Pete Linden on riding at Spa in the wet, at night, on 'road' tyres – New Evo Class proposed for next season: RC30, GSX-R750 ZXR750, OW01 – The nature of rain – Today's Race Updates

Spa, Night, Wet, Tyres

Although the rain is still falling at the moment, it is forecast to stop at about the same time as the 4 Hour race is starting. Talking to Phase One's Pete Linden he fears that the conditions may cause problems which will be magnified by the series' use of treaded 'road' tyres and ban on tyre warmers.

“The first lap here is always a problem because we are starting with no heat in the tyres; there are always crashes because of this. Even if it stops raining the circuit will still be wet in places; where the water runs across it or under the bridges and gantries.

“It's worse in the dark because you can't see which parts of the track are wet and which are dry. I use a yellow visor in the day time which shows the difference but at night it's much harder. And then if the pae car comes out, your tyres cool down again. You have to use your brain more in the wet, to think about how your tyres will grip.”

EVO Class Proposed for 2018

There was a meeting this afternoon t present and discuss the introduction of an additional class to the Eudopean Classic Series, basically allowing 750cc bikes made between 1983 and 1991 to compete. This will bring into eligibility the Honda RC30, Suzuki GSX-R750, Kawasaki ZXR750R, Yamaha OW01 and – with special restrictions – Ducati's 851.

The aim is to increase the size of the grid, allow teams to use bikes that are easier to source and tune, and to widen the appeal of the series. Much of the discussion centred around the use – or not – of slick and wet tyres and tyre warmers, and of the impact on the existing entries and classes.

The Nature of Rain

As mentioned earlier, it is still raining, but the downpour has been so constant today that everyone is starting to acclimatise and no longer notice the water falling from the sky. The drizzle now is slightly heavier than simple low cloud or mist but everything – the entire fabric of the circuit and everyone in it – is so wet now that additional rainfall makes no difference.

Today's Race Updates

Because of the flakey nature of the WiFi at the circuit and the distance between the press office and pitlane, today's 'Race' updates will be added after the race rather than during it. Apologies for the inconvenience, but it hasn't proved possible to reliably post to the site from the pit complex.

Follow the live timing here: Spa 4 Hour Live Timing
Download the time sheets here: Spa 4 Hour Time Sheets

Words: Martin Gelder, Photos: Martin Gelder