Pembrey Race report.

MotoE were very excited to be back at Pembrey for the second round of this years cup.   The weekend started promising with both teams fielding machines they had spent the last month improving:-

Nova Electric racing team had a mixed result In the last round, winning a race and then suffering from a DNF at the last round, team manger Floris Straver said “After the problems from last race, we managed to track them down to the motor controller here in Delft. With the great support from UniTek GmbH, We were able to send it over for specialized repairs and even got an upgrade of the firmware. We thank them for their continued support.

We are looking forward to the next MotoE race in Pembrey. With the data from last race we managed to improve the bike, so keep an eye on us this weekend”

The morning practice was seamless for this well prepared team, with Rider #85 Casper Voogt taking it easy dialing up the power slowly.  There was a quiet air of confidence about the team.

Feelings were also buoyant in the University of Bath’s camp who had a to electric new racer, Mark Purslow at the helm. “ Pleased to announce that this weekend I’ll be filling in for Mathew Rees on the University of Baths electric bike in the Moto E championship at Pembrey. Think It’s going to be a bit different from the little 125 that I was riding last weekend… but I can’t wait.”

The morning practice went without a hitch for the local team.  Mark took to the bike with ease and found that although he needed to adjust his riding style, the bike was response and very smooth to race. The team just watched mark put down faster and faster lap times with each circuit of the track. The bike didn’t need to be restarted and the gremlins of the previous rounds appeared to be behaving.

#2 Mark Purslow making it look easy at Pembrey for Bath Zero. Photo By Colin McKenzie

However, The good luck wasn’t set to last.

Bath Zero were the first to experience the changing tide, after a fantastic start, #2 Mark Purslow  low-sided in the first corner of the first lap.

“We had a minor low side incident on the qualifying lap. However, with the teams dedication the motorcycle is now ready for the next race of the weekend, both Mark and the motorcycle for the most part came away unscathed. We only had a bit of damage to the fairings…” Said Hannah Crewe

The qualifying session for Nova electric was a different story with #85 Casper Voogt for Nova electric racing qualifying midfield in a full grid of Demo Duo’s with the fastest lap time of 1:07.488 – And now eyeing the track record for electric racing set by UoN’s Daley Mathison in 2015 of 1.04.760.  The race was set to be very interesting.

#85 Casper Voogt for Nova Electric Racing at Pembrey 2017

The organisers NG Racing had kept a keen eye on the weather for while it was dry and sunny for Saturday, torrential rain was forecast for Sunday. By Mid afternoon it was clear Sunday could very well become a wash out, It was decided the last afternoons track session would become the first race of the weekend.

The race time was three o’clock and disaster stuck both teams, with each having difficulty starting their bikes despite moments before everything being ok.  The race was on to find the fault and fix it before all the other bikes completed their warn up lap… the only option remaining for the electric competitors was to start from the pitlane.  It was nail-biting but both racers managed to start their machines and join the race. But the jubilation was short lived with both suffering DNF.

An obvious disappointment from Nova Electric “We’re gutted to announce that we have had a problem with our motor controller. This resulted in us not only not finishing the race but we even have to withdraw from the entire weekend given that we cannot repair the motor controller on site. This is especially painful given the superb times ridden in the qualification showing the true potential of the Nova Bike 08. We are travelling back to Delft now to fix all the issues and we will be back in Donington Park in 5 weeks time stronger than ever!”

The news was not much better for University of Bath, “After getting the bike ready for the race at Pembrey on Saturday, there was a last minute low voltage electrical problem that we managed to temporarily fix. Unfortunately we only completed 2 laps before retiring, we know what the problem is but to fix it we would need to dismantle the battery box which we would prefer to do in our workshop.”

Despite the disappointing end to an otherwise great weekend, both teams have learnt a great deal about their drive trains and the mechanics of their respective bikes and each round sees improved lap-times and performances.  Donington Park looks set to be a great race weekend with more teams set to join the grid and even a showdown with last winners is on the cards.

Watch this space…


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