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Jun 05, 2013 - 05:23 PM
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Tony Scott's IOM TT Blog
Posted by: newsla on Jun 05, 2013 - 05:22 PM
Tony Scott's IOM TT Blog

As the Ace Cafe T3 Racing team come to the end of their maiden visit to the island, team principal and owner of T3 Racing, Tony Scott reflects on the highs and lows.


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One bike, three engines, three weeks of preparation and the adventure had began. It has been our debut appearance at the Isle of Man TT with our partners Ace Café London. On Tuesday 28th the team arrived on the IOM to join the Ace Café London guys. Dave Harris, team manager and T3 engine guru, arrived with Joshua Doorne T3 mechanic and James Beale team co-ordinator to take on the challenges of this gruelling event.

Each lap is a little over 37 miles long with some 200 corners to master, no mean feat for any mere mortal, so the team decided to turn to its resident Mechanic Steve Mercer tapping into his five years experience of the TT circuit. With just two weeks to go Steve was involved in a big high-side whilst testing at Snetterton circuit breaking his scaphoid bone in his hand, with preparation of the bike well under way and the ferries and flights booked the team had a problem. I then had a chance conversation with Dave Johnson (DJ) at the Oulton Park round of BSB, a deal was struck and the teams debut was back on.

Tuesday evening’s practice was cancelled due to bad weather so once all the final preparations were completed the team sat waiting…and waiting, a tough job when you are keen to see if your rider likes his bike; a bike you have meticulously prepared and your rider has had no opportunity to test.

Wednesday nights practice arrived and the team’s first chance to see what we have. Whilst the top end of the circuit was wet DJ got his first taste of a Daytona 675 and the team some feedback on all their efforts. DJ returned happy, the bike was stable and the handling very positive. It looked like we were on the right track, now we needed a dry lap to fully test the suspension, tyres and most importantly fuel consumption.

Thursday night arrived and the weather was in our favour, with two laps scheduled for the bike we would now get the answers we were looking for. With all looking well DJ returned to the start and finish straight having completed lap one, only to be met by a chequered flag missing his opportunity for a second lap by just five seconds! Putting the disappointment of that behind us it was now time to get the feedback and it was not great, fuel was tight and the rear tyre wear was bad.

Having used a box standard engine for the first two evenings practice it was now time to swap to the first of the super-sport engines. Friday nights test practice was going to be interesting, had we made the rights changes to the rear suspension and was the additional fuel consumption of the Supersport bike going to give us a big problem. Well I guess we are going to have to wait for that one. Friday nights practice was limited to just two laps after a house fire on the circuit. This meant that our Supersport bike never saw the light of day as DJ used his two laps for practice on his Superbike.

It was on Saturday that disaster struck, the bike stopped out on track and once again we didn’t get a chance to test the Supersport engine’s capabilities. When we eventually got an opportunity examine the problem it appeared to be either an electrical problem or a fuelling issue. With time tight we had two options: change the engine for our second Supersport engine or one of the stock engines we had run earlier in the week. The second Supersport engine was from Rob Guiver’s Motorpoint British Supersport bike, with the Knockhill round of BSB coming up just one week after our return, the decision was made not to risk the second Supersport engine. We therefore made a decision to run our datum engine for reasons of reliability and to give DJ the best chance of increasing his seeding of 16th place.

My main objective, as this was our first ever IOM TT, was to bring home the rider and the bike. We predicted that with the Supersport engine in we could achieve a top 15 result, this seemed unlikely now as we were running what was basically a stock bike - almost exactly the same as what the boys run in the Triumph Triple Challenge series.

We couldn’t have been happier with the result of Tuesday’s race, the team worked hard to make the bike the best it could be and DJ was really happy with the way it was riding and it paid off. He took the bike through its maiden TT race finishing in a stunning 13th place out of 61 entrants and received a silver replica! Guiding the bike through four 37.5 mile laps at an average speed of 119.479, DJ completed the race in 01:15:47.346, just over 3 mins behind the leader and eventual race winner Michael Dunlop.

DJ finished the race in style, running out of fuel as he crossed the finish line and having to push it the rest of the way! Today is our last race of the week and we are hoping the bike will perform just as well. The team have managed to squeeze a bit more fuel in the tank so hopefully DJ can make it a bit further this time!

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