Almost exactly a year later we were back to Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours to once again spend 2 days on track and watch the 500 Miles endurance race organised by FVP.
We had vague plans to enter the endurance race this year, but due to lack of preparation we decided to postponed it, although we are committed to entering next year. With this in mind we prepared ourselves for a weekend of training and improving our pace on this challenging world class track.
The qualification time-limit for the endurance race is a 2:00 lap time, which always sticks in our minds as the reference for our pace. As the race usually finishes past midnight our bikes also have to be fitted with lights, so I spent the weekend also testing the durability of my new headlights and mounting structure.
I was joined by Horizon Defined’s Argyris and Dionysis, and our close friend Michael, making it the four of us.
Here’s a quick summary of the bikes:
Me: Honda CBR1000RR ’05 – New endurance lights fitted for testing.
Argyris: Aprilia Tuono ’01 – Rebuilt and big bored to 1060cc yielding over 140hp.
Dionysis: Aprilia RSV Mille – New tune and refresh for over 120hp.
Michael: Honda CBR900RR ’03
This year FVP offered a Friday night practice session which was going to allow us to ride the track in darkness for the first time.
Unfortunately due to poor weather conditions our night session ended around 8pm and we spent the rest of the evening holding down the tents as what felt like a hurricane passed through.
Saturday and Sunday were business as usual with sessions splitting up the two days on track.
On Saturday morning we woke up to a beautiful dry track as the heat swept up the water rather quickly and we went ahead and familiarised ourselves with the track once again.
The beauty of Magny-Cours is something that needs to be experienced and, like I’ve mentioned in the past, it is such a complete track. It has every type of corner and straight possible, all draped over undulating hills.
We quickly got up to speed and on pace with our personal bests from last year by the end of the first day, which meant we had another full day to work on improving even further.
The temperatures rose over 33C on Sunday as it was clear skies all day, which meant that fatigue and hydration had to be kept an eye on. Our blow-up pool certainly helped with the situation!
My new tailor-made Texsport suit was a necessary upgrade as it gave me a lot of freedom while still fitting tightly; the full perforated leather also helped with the heat.
I kept the headlights on the entire weekend to test their reliability and I didn’t come across any issues, other than than the low-beam sometimes flickering. I think this may have something to do with the voltage which I’ll need to look into.
The high-beam worked flawlessly.
Argyris and I spent the entire weekend pushing each other to improve as we continuously swapped best laps among our group. I truly believe that the friendly rivalry that we have allows us to both reach for lap times which we may not be able attain by ourselves.
At the end of the weekend we had smashed all of our previous records from the year before, and it showed Argyris and I that we have some margin to the 2:00 cut-off.
Argyris and I improved over 2 seconds from the last time round with a 1:56.5 and 1:56.3 respectively. Dionysis improved an incredible 8-9 seconds to 2:05.8 and Micheal managed a sub-2 minute lap time of 1:59 for his first time on track with this bike.
Here are the rest of the pictures from the weekend to enjoy: