Racing So Far With AW Motor Sport

2016

With almost half the year gone I’m guessing most of you are wondering where we have been. Well, it has been a busy year so far for AW Motor Sport but unfortunately it has mostly been all work and no play apart from a few outings on the promised new machines.

Firstly as a few of you might have seen, Andy had taken on a 2006 Yamaha R6 to compete with the Thunder Sport Elite group.

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With a small amount of set up and very little track time, the first round a Brands Hatch would be a good insight to whether this would be to the liking after such a long relationship with the Suzuki. Even though after 4 completed races in some up and down weather Andy has decided to pass the R6 on to a fellow paddock friend Rich Stubbs.

In all honesty I think Andy’s mind was on a more adventurous task of hustling around a 1983 Yamaha TZ 250cc, 2 stroke. A ride offered to him by local classic car and bike fan Martin Web. A great opportunity would be available to take part in the first ever motorcycle race in the Members Meeting at Goodwood. Again with work commitments, testing and getting to know the TZ would prove that preparation is the key. Testing the TZ showed how fun it could be to ride an even greater classic, having to change riding styles and even getting to grips with a complete opposite shift pattern. All this aside, the feedback was this is where Andy would have the most fun riding two wheels. Testing a few weeks before the Members Meeting showed Andy was one of the quickest on track and had been noticed by a few of the classic racers who had been competing for many years.

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Race weekend came around quickly and consisted of Practice and Qualifying on the Saturday. Unfortunately due to some mechanical failures Andy would only be able to qualify 22nd. Without doubt this was still an honour to be on the track with some of Andy’s heroes. The challenge was then set to see what had gone wrong and see if it could be fixed in time for the race on Sunday.

With mechanic Rick on hand and some loaned parts from the guys in the paddock it would be somewhat of a late night finish. After a strip and rebuild, including new barrels and pistons, ignition system and a lot of coffee Andy and Rick would make the race by the skin of their teeth.

Andy was struggling to get the bike started once back at Goodwood but was still able to get out for the start of the race. Thinking that the drama would all be left in the race would only turn into hopes as on the warm up lap it would appear that the clutch was starting to slip considerably. Unfortunately this meant that Andy would be unable to start the race and would have to watch from the side lines.

Even though the TZ didn’t make the race it was still a great experience and a big learning curve for Andy but with the knowledge he has walked away with and the friends made in the paddock it was definitely a sure thing that this wouldn’t be the last people would see of Andy on the TZ. 

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As many of our customers will know, Andy has been fulfilling a life time ambition to race motorbikes and during the last two and a half years he has been able to take part in the Golden Era Super Bike class with the Thunder Sport GB racing club.

In Andy’s first year he competed in only a few of the last rounds to get a better understanding of how the racing world worked and gain some confidence to complete a full year in 2014.

Here is a shot of Andy at one of his first races in 2013…

2013 Brands Hatch

2014 Season Review

2014 started with a goal to be mixing it with the top ten riders in his class. Alongside the likes of gentlemen that had been competing in this class for many years with lots of experience. With the help of two close friends Jim and Jules the team was set out to make an impact from the start.

The First few rounds were beginning to show the potential Andy had with results in the top 10 at both Brands Hatch and Donington Park.

Coming into the third round at Snetterton Andy had decided to take on some extra help and build the race team including the introduction of Rob, who had experiences in the BSB world and knew a great deal about race suspension set up. With this extra help it gave Andy the confidence to secure his first podiums and score some good points. It was rare to see an orange vested rookie battling with what would be the overall champion of the year. This took a few by surprise and to say the least that the name Andy Windsor was a rider to keep an eye on throughout the year.

As the season progressed Andy and the team would continue in the success and have a good shot at securing the goal of a top ten finish in his first full season. Gradually making improvements to the Suzuki and some ‘light’ fitness training, times were noticeably getting quicker throughout a race weekend.

During the season the weather was very kind and the Suzuki barely saw a set of wet tyres, which I think everyone was thankful for. Top ten finishes would follow at each round and finishing every race apart from 2 would help re-evaluate Andy’s goal that he could possibly finish in the top 5 at the end of the year.

Mallory Park was the last round and while some of the top riders were battling it out for the title and third place Andy was able to take the opportunity to pounce and secure finishes in all 4 races. Finishing the season 5th in the championship with 315 points.

2014 Oulton Park with fellow supporters

2014 Oulton Park with fellow supporters

After a great first full season it was time to take a step back, relax and enjoy the winter!!!!!

2015 Season Review

Once the winter was over, it was time to pull the Suzuki back out and starting getting it ready for the second full season. With some engine upgrades, new chassis and some other new parts (unfortunately we don’t want to reveal our racing secrets to much) not to mention a new paint job including new sponsors, it was time to see how far we could push for even better results in 2015.

Here is how the Suzuki looked going into the new season.

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After a quick wet pre-season test at Brands Hatch confidence was high along with a few new members to the team. This year would see Rob Goodall (previously on the tools) and Chris Froggatt pull on their leather to compete in the Golden Era Super Sport class riding Yamaha R6’s. Glen White also came on board and would be helping turn the spanners for the extra team mates. As you can expect this called for a bigger awning giving the team a greater presents at each meeting, one to be recognized with the results that came in the future.

Andy, Tom, Rob, Glen, Chris

 

Brands Hatch would be the destination for round one. We couldn’t ask for better weather and with great weather came a very positive start. Coming away with three 3rd place finishes and a faultless machine, things were looking positive for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately the weather throughout the season wouldn’t be as kind. Luckily this wouldn’t have an effect on the results.

Donington Park was a wet weekend throughout but two 5th’s a 4th and 3rd were good results to walk away with.

Snetterton, known as one of Andy’s favourite tracks for its high speed straights would see Andy’s only DNFs for the season as pushing hard for the lead at the Bomb Hole and losing the front end, causing some damage that meant missing the rest of the days racing. The team clubbed together and got the bike ready for the next day. After another long wet weekend Andy was happy to have a few more points on the board.

From Andy’s favourite to least favourite, Cadwell Park. Again we were greeted with the northern wet weather but a less eventful weekend, consistently scoring points to help stay with the leading pack at the top of the championship.

Oulton Park was next up and thankfully it turned into a dry weekend and a short weekend with double points for the taking. Struggling with some rear suspension issues only top ten would do at this round.

Round 6 was Rockingham, a track we had tested at in the rain earlier that year would prove vital. Again the weather wasn’t kind but Andy kept upright to finish all races, not to mention a battle with a good friend of the paddock John Dieterman in the last race to finish 2nd.

As we traveled abroad for round 7, the long 8 hour drive to Anglesey, Wales would seem well worthwhile as Andy overcame the rear suspension issues, knuckled down and got his first win of the season. On TV day too, which would mean a quick interview to thank the team and sponsors so far.

Between Rounds Andy had the opportunity to fill one of his bigger ambitions to compete in a ‘Real Road Race’. Along with fellow riders from the Golden Era class, John Dieterman and Richard Blunt they would travel to Scarborough to race at Olivers Mount. A Road Race with the likes of John McGuinness and Dean Harrison. Again the weather wasn’t kind and especial racing on the roads meant nerves where a little higher than usual for all. Even though Andy had a spill in day one, he got back on to race the second day and came away with a big smile and something to look forward to in the future.

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Ready at Olivers for the first time

 

 

Returning to Donington Park for the penultimate round sitting in 4th position in the championship meant the pressure was on for a top 3 finish to the season. After a solid performance with 3 podiums, going into the final round meant anything was possible.

Back to the Mountain for the finale with everything to play for 3rd in the championship. Again bless with northern showers, tyre choice would be more important than ever. Watching as other riders made gambles, the team stayed confident and played on the safe side. Choosing wets over a mixture would prove to be the best option as Andy finished day one with 2nd in both races. It was looking like it would come down to the last race but a victory in the first race on day two meant 3rd in the championship was secure. Going out for the last race of the season would be relaxed and Andy could really enjoy swinging his leg over the Suzuki for the last time this year.

A great end to the year for the whole team saw Andy finish 3rd, in the Super Sport class Rob Finish 2nd and Chris who only race half of the season gain some great experience to carry into 2016 finished 17th.

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2016 Season update coming soon with a few changes, including a change of bike and trying something a little new/old!