2-3-1999

BRITTEN #9 WINS AT DAYTONA


For the 5th year in a row a Britten has won the Sound of Thunder (previously BEARS) at Daytona. The 9th bike, respendent in the Pro Britten's team colours of silver and gold with black trim and sporting a fern amongst the stars on the tank, was shipped to Daytona last week for its new owner South African,Gary Turner. It was ridden to victory by Dutch rider Lex van Dijk in a field that included Ducati 916's, 955's, 966's and Suzuki TL1000R's.

The bike was originally to compete in the Battle of the Twins the previous day but due to a combination of a new hi-octane slower fuel, damp conditions and a very finely tuned fuelmap, the engine nipped up in practice and had to be transported to a nearby workshop for what has become nearly a traditional last minute engine rebuild by the Britten support team. This was completed at 4 a.m. so the team managed to fit in an hours sleep before having to return to the track.

Without time for a warm-up lap, Van Dijk got off to a poor start but soon warmed up to ride an exquisite race, diving under Carl Raybourne III Jnr. on his Ducati 955 at the infield horseshoe in the 3rd lap and taking the lead. The crowd, the largest to be seen at Daytona for some time, were right behind the Britten and were rewarded for their support by a wheelie on the infield straight on each of the remaining 7 laps.

Britten Race Team Manager, Wayne Alexander said the team were justly elated with the victory. The bike will go on to Europe where the Pro Britten Team are contemplating racing in the European Sound of Thunder series before coming back to New Zealand later this year. The #9 Britten will be based in the Netherlands. Before returning to New Zealand they will visit Mr Michael Iannuccilli in Las Vegas. He is the new owner of Britten #10 which was also shipped last week.