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18th November 2015

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Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance

Last month Snetterton circuit hosted the UK's first classic motorcycle endurance race, a four hour challenge for bikes built before 1987. Martin Gelder took too many photos; here are some of the best...

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance

The race began with the traditional Le Mans start, but because of ACU regulations which don't really cater for endurance races it was done with engines running. Despite this, one team had to push half the length of the pit straight before their race started. There were three classes of bike competing, basically over 750cc (F1), under 750cc (F2) and 600cc (F3).

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic EnduranceSnetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance

The following photos are grouped by team but are not presented in any particular order, and apologies to those teams not featured.

SCERT Suzuki

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
SCERT's Harris Suzuki XR69 finished the day as overall winners, with riders Steve Clark and Steve Boam backed up by a well-practiced team fresh from competition in Europe.

Team Manx

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
The Team Manx Suzuki GSX-R750 (on the left, above) was ridden to second place overall and first in the F2 class by Andy Stewart, Andy Cowie and Stephen Ault. The bike has a stock motor in a chassis built for the Isle of Man Classic TT.

Phase One

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Sweatshop Phase One were odds on favourites for the race, with riders Peter Linden and Steve Smith fresh from the FIM European Classic Endurance series. Linden put the team on pole but then Smith dropped the bike in the first hour of the race, and the team elected to retire and save men and machinery for the forthcoming European season finale.

Muzzi Moto

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
More Guzzis on Now...

Muzzi Moto are another team with Classic TT experience. Their bike is a replica of the Dr John Wittner bikes built in the late 1980s with a frame designed by Tony Foale, and ridden by Glen English, Chris Firmin and former world endurance competitor Tony Jimenez. They finished second in the F1 class.

Team Ibonhart

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Team Ibonhart were second fastest in qualifying and looked set to finish well up the field before a lenghty session in the pits dropped them out of contention.

Scarab Racing

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Where have all the Yamaha FZ750s gone? Despite being a rare sight on the road, Scarab Racing's clean example finished tenth overall and sixth in class.

Team FBR

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Team FBR's Suzuki GSX-R750 only completed 19 laps before mechanical mayhem ruled them out of the race. They attempted a complete engine swap but the transplanted power unit proved to have its own problems. If there'd been a Spirit of Endurance prize, they'd have won it.

Marlin Elf Racing

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Competing with a Harris Kawasaki, Mark George and Steve Dobbs finished thrid in the F1 class despite a series of problems in the race.

Hagon Race Crew

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Hagon Race Crew were one of a number of teams campaigning Honda VFR750s. They finished fifth overall.

LG Racing

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
The LG Racing Ducati Pantah was by far the best sounding bike in the race, eventually finishing ninth overall and second in class behind F3 winners Broken Yamaha

Track Day

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
The weekend was held alongside a trackday for 'modern classics' which mostly seemed to consist of 1000cc bruisers. My 350cc Moto Morini Three and a Half felt somewhat outclassed but acquitted itself well. There's a full write-up here.

And Finally

Snetterton 4 Hour Classic Endurance
Lurking in the car park was this replica of the Honda RCB1000 raced by Jean- Claude Chemarin and Alex Geroge to victory at the 1976 Bol d'Or. It looks like it's fitted with a later CB900F twin-cam motor - it might even be based on that model - and some rather incongruous Comstar wheels, but otherwise it's a faithful tribute to the real thing.

Thank You

This was a fantastically enjoyable weekend that wouldn't have happened without Darin and Rob from Endurance Legends (they also organise Classic Bike Trackdays) and the guys from the Classic Motorcycle Racing Club. We're all looking forward to next year's bigger and better event...

Words and Photos: Martin Gelder, Race24.com


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