Minovation racing news
C.R.M.C Silverstone R.O.Y 2012
As we had already previously committed to helping our mate Kenny Cummings over in the USA beforehand, ace right hand man Mick volunteered to save the day & crew chief for Lee at the race of the year. We re-built the engine, prepared the bike and he, assisted by good mate Chris and our works manager Wayne set off for Silverstone on the Friday. Between them they did a fantastic job of getting our bike and rider through a very tough weekend, they had the usual race weekend problems to contend with, but never gave up trying to solve them.
Saturday they only had the one race to contest and this immediately showed up a front end suspension chatter problem. We have had this problem intermittently all season and to be honest we are no nearer to really solving it, even after many adjustments. Obviously we have a serious fork internal issue which hopefully will be resolved during the planned complete winter strip down of both works bikes, we just have not had the time to do this during the racing season. Despite this handicap Lee rode hard as ever putting us in the top ten amongst very talented opposition, choosing to ignore the problem at this meeting seemed to be the only way forward.
For the Sunday Mick elected to make several changes to the setup, some of which worked, some which did not, but Lee kept pushing, getting closer to the front as the day wore on, leading up to the 500 GP 1 R.O.Y. In this event he got a good start, got his head down, and put himself amongst the front runners in very difficult semi damp conditions. Any one of the leading bunch were potential winners but unfortunately Michael Cooper (Craven Manx) & Alan Oversby (Roger Titchmarsh Racing) fell in the latter stages. Lee made a massive push towards the end of the race, managing to come out the winner in front of Ollie Linsdell (Flitwick Motorcycles) & Chris Firmin (Team Molnar Manx). Needless to say all present Minnovation Racing team members were delighted with this result, as were those of us stateside upon being belatedly informed, this for us being a double celebration.
Lee has put maximum effort into his riding since he joined our team mid season and this has inspired us in turn to raise our game and try to provide suitable machinery, we would like to thank him and his crew for all they have done for us.
Now we have to get working towards 2013, where we hope to contest the full C.R.M.C series and selected A.H.R.M.A events in the US.



A.H.R.M.A Barber Motorsports 2012
We had arranged to attend the annual Barber Motorsports festival in Alabama USA long before we teamed up with our new rider Lee Hodge, but unfortunately as it turned out this event clashed with our C.R.M.C - R.O.Y which Lee was very keen to contest.
The arrangement with Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton was that he would ride his own Minnovation Racing MKII G50 alongside his own F750 Seeley, so a deal was done, and Kenny's bike was dispatched to the US arriving the Thursday before his first race event on the Saturday, so he literally unpacked the bike, put it in the van, drove it to the track and won first time out of the crate.
A good start.
We did not want to miss the R.O.Y, but as our chief mechanic Mick had volunteered to look after the show in England in our absence,George (our M.D & patron!) and I decided we would go to the USA after all.
I arrived in New York on the Saturday prior to race weekend, George travelling also to the US to attend mining business, leaving me plenty of time to do the NYC sightseeing Brit thing, which with a New Yorker as your tour guide is a fantastic experience. I was also delighted to meet Kenny's lovely family (wife Deborah and daughters Natalya & Imogen) and his right hand man at NYC Norton Jon Thorndike.
We packed up the following Monday and in our rented RV complete with U-HAUL trailer set sail for Barber Alabama, experiencing many adventures (thanks to Jack Parker & his beautiful girls Lily & Ivy for their mid-trip Southern hospitality) and fantastic sights along the way.
We arrived at Barber late Wednesday afternoon meeting up at the track with George and his monster rented RV. We all got setup in prime position in the paddock and got ready for the events first practice the next day. We were privileged to be parked up with Maurice & son Chris Candy to our left, with their beautifully prepared Manx Nortons and legendary A.H.R.M.A big hitter Timmy Joyce and his crew to our right.
Kenny & Jon got out on track in the morning, Kenny quickly getting down to some very quick lap times on his 750 Norton, and Jon in only his third event using the track time to develop his race craft. Things were going great until the first session after lunch, when on a flying lap Kenny's 750 viciously highsided him, requiring a lengthy hospital trip for treatment to an obviously broken left foot, thankfully accompanied by George.
In Kenny's absence Jon continued with the available practice and due entirely to his making a determined effort to think very carefully about his riding and machine setup reduced his lap times considerably, a pattern that would be set for the entire weekend.
We got Kenny & George back very late in the evening, with a reset (no anaesthetic!) foot and toes. This guy is tough.
Friday we took as a rest day, repairing Kenny's 750 and making adjustments to Jon's bike best we could with what we had available. Kenny bravely tried to race on the Saturday, but it was too much for the freshly broken joints at that point. Jon had a really good race - again the lap times dropping with every lap.
Saturday was my birthday and in our borrowed van (thanks Timmy) we drove into Leeds?? for a BBQ restaurant meal, followed by a few drinks and an early night ready for Sundays racing. Not!
Sunday morning dawned (painfully for one or two of us..) and team NYC Norton managed to get some practice in on the morning, Kenny deciding to ignore the pain and discomfort, pretending it wasn't there seemed a good plan, although how the hell he pulled that one off I will never know. He went out in the feature 500 race on the Minnovation G50 and led convincingly for six of the eight laps, a gruelling distance in the Alabama heat at the best of times. Unfortunately, he then developed a gearbox problem, which dropped him to third which he held to the flag. I watched the race from the top of the circuit control tower with fellow visiting Brits Max Nightingale of Aplha Bearings, our ace crankshaft manufacturer! and his partner Nicky Beechey-Smith, and none of us could believe what we were watching, in fact we could not watch! Back in the pits we were all overcome with this fantastic result and Kenny's sheer bravery in overcoming a massive handicap.
Well done mate, a fantastic joint result for Minnovation Racing / NYC Norton.
This effort had taken its toll on Kenny, he put everything into this race, and his broken foot was loudly announcing its presence, so we decided that he would call it a day, and instead we concentrated on getting Jon setup as best we could for his 750cc Bears event race. Jon continued to drop his lap times, finishing top six with his last lap being his fastest. Think Jon will be a front runner in Bears next season.
Our commiserations to Timmy Joyce, who decided it was a great idea to go out and replicate Kenny's broken foot injury.. get well soon mate.
Pack-up time followed, with a lot of sad goodbyes made to a bunch of wonderful new friends, then the road trip back to New York for a couple of days in Kenny's workshop and last meeting new friends and sightseeing opportunities. Hi to (Jons partner) Kelly!
George and I would like to thank all the good people we met on this trip for making two Brits feel so welcome, you all know who you are.
I also got to meet American legends and personal heroes of mine Scott Russell & Jay Springsteen!, how good is that?
Plans are now being made for team Minnovation to join NYC Norton at selected events in the USA next season..
Martin doing the NYC tourist thing.

Kenny (& Martin holding camera) getting over our collective fear of heights. Empire State building, top of.

Fantastic breakfast with Jack Parker and his lovely girls Lily & Ivy, Knoxville Tennessee.

Moonshine time.

Martin & Jon - our waggon train finally made it to Barber.

Kenny - Minnovation Racing/NYC Norton G50, full gas!
More full gas!!
Kenny & Martin - post super human effort!

Jon Thorndike, wearing it well!

ouch! - Kenny led and finally finished third in Sundays feature 500cc race at Barber with this advantage..

Three of the fastest, and most thoroughly decent guys at A.H.R.M.A Barber - Timmy Joyce, Peter Politic & Kenny Cummings.

Alabama birthday boy Martin, with clockwise - Jon, George, Kenny.
Jon & Martins old ex works racing Sunbeam, Barber museum.

Nicky & Martin.

Nicky, Max & Kenny.

Max & Martin.

Brum Brumm Brummm!

Shiny happy people.

Long drive back to New York z z z z z.
C.R.M.C Snetterton 2012
This event proved to be a difficult one for our team. As ever Lee rode hard and well but we were plagued with handling issues all weekend. As previously stated we are new to racing at this level and unfortunately we were unable to completely solve the problems. This hampered Lee throughout the weekend and was reflected in our results, which considering our problems we were happy with.
Top six all weekend would have had us doing back flips earlier in the season, but once you have had a taste of life at the sharp end...
On a positive note we learned a lot and once home back in the workshop we took stock of the situation and have put some things in place which we hope will take us forward in the future. We would like to thank Colin Davies for spending time with us, giving us some much needed advice on machine set-up.
Silverstone next, Mick & Lee are on their own there as I am away in the US looking after Kenny Cummings racing at Barber Motorsports, I know Mick & Lee will do a great job as ever.

Australian National Classic Championship 2012
We are pleased to announce a collaboration with top Australian Classic Racing sponsor Malcolm Sullivan. Malcolm is more usually associated with Velocette machinery, but for this season has chosen one of our replica G50 engines to contest the Australian Classic Championships. We built the engine to run on methanol, which provided us with a new challenge, fortunately with very good results. Graham Roberts has been racing for many years in Australia with great success and we wish him and Malcolm the best of luck with our G50
We will be following Malcolm's and his rider Graham's progress throughout their racing season.

CRMC Donnington Park 11th-12th August 2012
Firstly we would like to congratulate the CRMC for putting on this fantastic international festival, no other UK club could have produced such a wonderful event.
The only thing we would ask to be revised would be the decision to use the single ten minute practice session as the weekends qualifying starting order. Practice should be for practice, qualifying is for qualifying.
Our commiserations to team Molnar Manx and their rider Chris Firmin - the bloke was forced to start from the back in every race just because they had a problem in practice. No one wants to see this, especially the slower riders who inevitably have to be passed or the race fans paying good money to see the top riders and machines battling it out at the front of GP1 500. Everyone realises time is very tight at this kind of event, and all it needs is a bit of sorting out for next time.
Team Minnovation had another great weekend, with many of our friends in attendance to share the lovely sunshine and the full program of racing and demonstrations, with good race results for us to boot!
We have been racing for enough years now to know that these weekends keep you going through the inevitable bad ones, so we will take them, thank you very much.
We would like to thank our new works rider Lee Hodge and his family and friends for bringing a new spring into our teams step, and we all appreciate his efforts in helping to finally make our team a front running effort.
We started the weekend with a distant third place on the Saturday, and our congratulations go out to Mike Cooper (Craven Manx) and Andrew Taylor (Dunnel Manx) - we did our best but are new to this 'sharp end stuff' and it's going to take some time and hard work...
Lee in only his second ride for our team is learning how to ride a big single very quickly and we think if we carry on progressing at this rate then things will be looking good.
On the Sunday we again got third place in the first race, this time a little closer to the dominant Norton's, Lee still learning how to get the best from the bike, but in the last event (run without the Norton's due to some unfortunate circumstances) - after a typically hard fought race long battle with a possibly still less than 100% race fit Gary Thwaites (Shelton G50), Lee gained us our first team win.
This put the icing on a fantastic weekend for all of our team and supporters, and has given us lots to think about regarding improving how we operate, we now look forward to CRMC Snetterton in a few weeks time.
Click the images below to visit DB-Photography's webpage.



Mark & Rebecca Hansford's Wedding 14th July 2012

Team Minnovation were honoured to be invited to Mark & Rebecca's wedding. We have known Mark and Bob's crew for a number of years now, good customers becoming great friends!
Mark has a special place in Minnovation Racing history, he gave us our first racing championship in securing the 2010 B.H.R 500cc specials class, and we are very pleased to be associated with all of Team Hansford, these guys manage to make race meetings a fantastic social event as well as being fiercely competetive on track, a rare combination these days.
The wedding was absolutely fantastic, with all concerned getting a rare chance to let their hair down (especially Mick!). The church, hotel, reception, the whole thing was just perfect.
We would like to wish Mark & Rebecca all our best wishes for their future happiness.

C.R.M.C Mallory park 30/06 - 01/07 2012
We arrived Thursday afternoon in storm conditions so bad that the scheduled afternoon and evening car testing sessions had been cancelled, bizarrely by 6pm we were sat in the awning fully setup for the Friday classic motorcycle practice day in blazing sunshine.
Friday was spent assisting our customers with general set-up as due to work commitments Lee was unable to attend until Friday evening. Once Lee had got his tent??? set-up we spent some time adjusting handlebars, controls & footrests in preparation for racing.
Saturday started very wet but this fortunately soon turned to sunshine, with only the odd slight shower both days. Lee quickly got to grips with riding a 500 single and put in consistent spirited performances all weekend. The standard of riding at the sharp end of this class is unbelievably high, but he quickly established himself as a top 6 contender, with a string of 4th and 5th placings culminating in qualifying front row for the A.C.U national championship race.
The A.C.U race sadly had to be stopped after a serious incident involving our friend Gary Thwaites, requiring him to be hospitalised, thankfully since making a full recovery.
In the re-run Lee was up to an impressive 3rd place when unfortunately on the second last lap the motor ingested a stone via the carburettor causing the bike to go flat, dropping him to 4th - which we were delighted with.
All in all a good weekend with many lessons learned and along with Lee's total domination of the 350 twins class made it a debut weekend to remember for team Minnovation.
Donnington Park next...

Click the image above to visit DB-Photography's webpage.
Click the image above to visit DB-Photography's webpage.
Click the image above to visit DB-Photography's webpage.
CadwellPark 13/06/12 MSV Track Day
We have been so busy with the business this year that sadly, making time for racing has been very difficult. Getting Kenny over for C.R.M.C Cadwell consumed so much time and energy that afterwards we had to concentrate on earning a living for a while.
Several top riders had approached us regarding riding our bikes this year but up to now we simply have not had the time to properly commit to a seasons racing. We had more or less consigned ourselves to entering one or two of the end of season meetings when we were approached regarding the possibility of a test by the current C.R.M.C 350 Twins championship leader Lee Hodge. Lee's refreshing enthusiasm for our sport caused us to possibly rethink our plans.
A meeting was arranged and a test day agreed upon, fortunately resulting in a successful MSV track day, few problems with getting the bikes setup properly, mostly all resolved by day's end.
Lee adapted extremely well to the 500 single, and as a result we have decided to enter C.R.M.C Mallory Park at the end of June, with the sole intention of hopefully enjoying a good weekends racing.

Cadwell Park 4th to the 7th of May
In an attempt to avoid the Saturday post drift car paddock setup hell Kenny (Cummings) and I decided to setup camp at Cadwell Park on the Friday afternoon - the plus side of this being that we got to watch the car racing, making for a relaxing day prior to the racing Sunday/Monday.
Sunday race day dawned fine, but soon deteriorated into the usual "British Summers day" - and by lunch time we had a prolonged hail storm to contend with. Kenny really needed a couple of days dry weather to really get to grips with the highly demanding, extremely technical Cadwell Park layout. Nonetheless Kenny got stuck in and tried his best with results improving with every race, our 750cc Norton ran like clockwork all day, we just kept putting fuel in it, by the end of the day Kenny felt confident to say that if we got a dry day Monday he would be able to get some good results.
Sadly the last sidecar race on Sunday saw one of the competitors deposit oil from Chris Curve to Mountain Bottom, stopping the days proceedings and jepardising the next days.
Our pit crew comprising Mick, Paul and Wayne tried in vain to win the paddock bar Saturday night disco dancing competition, another time boys...
Sunday dawned bright & sunny, Kenny got one race in on the oil enhanced track on our Norton and works G50 before once again the heavens opened big time.
With the combination of spilt oil and heavy rain making Kenny understandably nervous, we made a joint decision to curtail the day's activities. My respect for all riders that carried on knows no bounds, but for Kenny we feel it was the correct decision.
To sum the weekend up Kenny had some excellent finishes, progressively clocking faster lap times whilst lifing the mood of everyone he met with his attitude and fun loving outlook. A fantastic weekend despite the weather, we very much look forward to Kenny's return for C.R.M.C Donnington Park in August.
Click NYC NORTON to access Kenny's website & click Shelby to listen to kenny's band.
C.R.M.C Pembrey 7th/8th of April 2012
We arrived at a freezing cold but sunny Pembrey on the Friday for the open pit lane test day.
Most riders were using the morning to familiarise themselves with high speed riding again after the winter layoff. The usual suspects being as fast as ever.
Our riders had their fair share of teething troubles mainly ignition gremlins all resolved by the end of the day.
Racing on the Saturday started as a cold damp affair, more like the Wales we are use to, brightening up in the afternoon. The days racing was spectacular as ever, with the top guys all doing what comes naturally to them.
Sunday was damp and overcast all day, this did not stop lap records falling by the hour. our congratulations to all our riders, with many top ten finishes and special congratulations to our good friends Gary Thwaites & Richard Shelton winning the A.C.U championship race with ease.
Due to pressure of work we did not have time to participate with our own works bikes, but we look forward to Cadwell and the UK debut of our American distributor Kenny Cummings, riding our 750 & 500 machinery.
Early Season testing 2012
We attended the early season CRMC/BHR combined test day 22nd of March to assist our customers with setting the bikes/engines ready for the new season.
Among those present were 2010 500cc specials champion Mark Hansford's crew, out in force with father Bob and 2010 novice of the year Ian carter, all out on Minnovation Racing equipment. Team mechanic Martin Baxter was also making his track debut on the Bob Hansford prepared 350 Honda twin. Many teething troubles were overcome during the day with Martin's debut going particulary well.
A good day out and a good start to 2012.
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