2-April-1997

BRITTEN PROVES RELIABILITY AGAINST TOP MANUFACTURERS

The final National Points Superbike Series round was contested at Teretonga, Invercargill, this Easter Weekend.

Perfect practice conditions resulted in Stephen Briggs (CR&S BRITTEN) setting the fastest times, points of a second off the lap record set by Stroud on a Britten V1000 last season.

Race conditions proved to be the reverse, with drizzle and cold winds prevailing throughout day.

Billed as the "Battle of the The Twins", the Superbike class has been hotly contested by Briggs (Britten V1000) and Haldane (Ducati Corsa). This was not the case to be the final round, Haldane's latest factory Ducati Corsa experienced gearbox and drive problems in the practice session. The mechanical problems were not able to be repaired in time to compete in the final race day.

Race 1 - under threatening but clearing weather conditions Britten opted for intermediate tyres (as opposed to full wet/rain tyres) and set a good pace in the first quarter of the race. However heavy rain set in and traction became the major issue, Haldane now riding a 1000cc Yamaha running full wet tyres took the lead. Suzuki's of Tony Rees and John Hepburn also on wets reeled in Briggs as he was forced to ease off the pace with the treacherous tyre and weather combination. The final finishing order - Haldane, Rees, Hepburn and Briggs.

Race 2 - Started in clearing weather and a drying track, some exciting racing developed between Briggs and Rees now only 5 points apart. Haldane again on a Yamaha set a rapid pace, hotly pursued by Brigg's (Britten V1000) and Rees (Suzuki). Reliability again became the deciding factor, Rees retired with engine problems in lap 4 of the 12 Lap race.

Briggs came under increasing pressure from John Hepburn (Suzuki) as they both pursued Haldane. The Britten V1000's powerful exciting drive coupled with Stephen's riding ability held of the challenge. The final result maintained that order - Haldane, Briggs, with Hepburn third. The NZ Superbike Series was a successful race campaign for the Christchurch based Britten Team. Briggs achieved consistent top results, while allowing continued development of the Britten V1000 in a competitive race environment. The reliability of The Britten V1000, proved superior compared to the top of the range latest models from both European and Japanese manufacturers, it is the reliability factor which is often jeopardised during development to achieve faster times.

Final results for the Series:

  • 1 Haldane - Ducati Corsa & Yamaha YZF 1000
  • 2 Briggs - Britten V1000
  • 3 Rees - Suzuki
  • 4 Hepburn - Suzuki

We wish to thank our Sponsors:

ICI AUTOCOLOR, MOBIL 1, SBS BRAKES, AEI BANNER and CLIVE WILSON COMPUTERS, our fellow competitors, and supporters.