“Team Shand Racing” set off to the 2017 Isle of Man TT races on Wednesday 24th May.

With one week on the island not a lot of laps have been done due to bad weather. Although the weather was hot and sunny for three days running up to the first full weekend on the island, no practice had been scheduled.

With this long wait, it was an opportune time to get some good preparation done to the “Shand Chassis” Honda.
Driver Gordon, managed to get a lot of engine work done in the mobile workshop in the back of the team truck, he was really happy with the progress he managed to get done to some engines. Passenger Phil started making adjustments to the fairing and some small changes to the ever important handholds he uses. Mechanic Douglas “The Professor” started checking over the chassis, making some adjustments; he also did a lot of work to the front brakes, and fabricated a new oil catchment tray. While this was all going on the team were well fed and watered by the “Boss” Sandra.

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With the first practice due to get going on Saturday 27th May, for “New Comers’” the bad weather came rolling in from the Irish Sea. Practice was canceled. The following day, Sunday, the sun was splitting the tar!

The first main practice due for Monday was canceled also, due to bad weather, and mist over the highest part of the 37 ¾ mile mountain course.
With another cancelation this gave the team another opportunity to get some vital work done to the sidecar. Gordon decided to use the time and get some vital work done to the fuel mapping and get some other ignition work done. Another sidecar racer, Pete Alton, known for his work in this field came over to the “Team Shand” paddock, and set to work with laptop, all very clever stuff!

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Tuesday saw a break in the weather, giving the organizers the opportunity to get a practice night done. First the “New Comers” speed controlled lap got under way, then it was the solo bike practice followed by the sidecar practice. There was still some damp patches out on track, under the trees and in the sheltered spots where the sun does not get to.

Gordon and Phil set off on their first laps of the TT course for their 2017 campaign. Gordon and Phil managed to get two practice laps in. After the practice, both Gordon and Phil said that the sun was so low it was hard to see at certain parts of the circuit, but this is where the homework of learning the circuit comes in. The “Shand Racing” machine had some other minor problems after practice too. Gordon commented that it was over running going into corners, and that there was a slight fuel leak from an injector seal, also the fuel filter was very dirty, but this could have been from work done to the fuel tank earlier. The team will get all these small problems sorted before the next practice session.

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Gordon and Phil will hope that they can improve on their fastest lap time of 101.976 in the following practices. But as Gordon said, “Steady away, reliability is the key thing about the TT”.

The next practice is scheduled for Thursday evening 19.40 after Wednesday night was also cancelled at the last minute. 

Mark Walters.