Last weekend, we took part on our first race weekend of the season; International Road Races Varsselring. The only street circuit of the Netherlands has been an international staple of road racing for years. This year was no different with 280 participants in various classes. We took part in the 2-stroke class amongst 28 others, with Jorn Hamberg on the APEX-RS and Finn de Bruin on the DELTA-XE.
On Friday, we set everything up and took part in the drivers parade. We, and the other participants, drove from the paddock to the city centre of Hengelo (gld) with both bikes. Once we got back, we made final preparations for the qualifications on the Saturday.
The track opened on Saturday. Our first qualification sessions was planned in the morning. Both motorcycles went out on track and drove out of sight. After a few minutes the APEX went into the pitlane, which was according to plan. In the pits, it was discovered that the APEX overheated and could not continue to compete. The DELTA, however, remained out of sight. After a few nerve wrecking minutes, we received the news that it was parked near a marshal post after it had shut itself down.
Once the session finished, both bikes returned to the paddock where we were able to inspect them. After solving the issues found in the first qualification, we prepared both the DELTA and APEX for the next session in the afternoon. They again went out on track and this time both bikes went into the pitlane after one lap, all according to plan. After a quick check-up the DELTA returned to the track first. Shortly after it had taken off, the APEX followed. Unfortunately, it shut itself down after a few meters.
However, the DELTA was still up and running. It set its first official lap time and we officially qualified for the race on Sunday. We as a team were ecstatic about this result. It has been three years since Electric Superbike Twente had qualified itself for a race! We used the rest of the day to celebrate this result and prepare the bikes for Sunday.
On Sunday we discovered that the APEX could not be fixed before the race. The DELTA, however, performed very well during the warmup session in the morning. Our driver, Finn, was able to improve his lap time each round and pushed the motorcycle further and further. Once the session was over we inspected the DELTA on the paddock. We discovered that we had very low brake pressure, resulting in not being able to brake properly. The team worked non-stop until the start of the race, but was unfortunately not able to fix the issue. The fact that both motorcycles were not able to compete in the race was a big setback after two very successful sessions. However, the team was able to also look back at the successes.
Altogether, we had a good first race weekend. We learned a lot about all the challenges that a race has to offer, both on and off track. We are confident that we will be able to use the gathered knowledge in our advantage in order to be more prepared than ever for our next race: 21st of may at the IDC.