Features Interviews Forums Shop Links Contacts
Visitor Info
TT Message Board
TT Chat Room
Ladies in Racing
TT History
TT Map

TT Supporters Club Merchandise Sale

 John Shand Racing at TT 2001

Seeking a forth-straight win in the Lightweight 400 TT, the John Shand Racing Team has finalized most of the preparations for this year's event.

A recent visit to Japan concluded in successful negotiations with Honda HRC supported Team Auto Shop Sugahara for the supply of suitable machines for the 2001 TT event. This team has competed at the famous Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance event for many years with outstanding success. The Four Hour event for 400cc machines at the meeting has been won seven times by the Tokyo based team known as " Team Honey Bee" to the Japanese race enthusiasts.

John Shand Racing has purchased the winning machines from last and previous years to bring to the Isle of Man TT. Machines were tested at the Motegi circuit last week to select the best engine and chassis combinations that should suit the difficult Manx circuit.

"We have not chosen the most powerful motors" said Team Manager John Shand "Instead, we have again looked for reliability and a well balanced package" "However these engines are a big improvement and now producing well over 200HP per Litre, which should be enough"

Four of these machines will be entered in the Lightweight TT next June.

Japanese rider Jun Maeda, a regular TT competitor will ride one of the "Honey Bee" machines in an attempt to be the first Japanese finisher on the TT podium for many years. Jun is a form rider at present, having taken forth place in the Formula X class at last years Suzuka 8 Hour on a Factory Fireblade. At Motegi testing last week he was most impressed by the outright top speed of the 400cc bikes and expressed confidence that they will be able to outpace some of the 250 GP machines in the Lightweight class.

Confidence in newcomers has always been a trademark in John Shand Racing philosophy. "We are always searching for riders we believe will be a bright prospect at the TT and will be positive towards the team as well as to the future of the TT itself" John Shand remarked "We try to give them good machinery and let their own talent show through so their own future at the Isle of Man is off to a good start."

In keeping with this policy, two newcomers to the TT have been chosen. Using the Manx Grand Prix as an indicator of ability, John Shand Racing have selected Chris Dowling and Ryan Farquar, both winners in their respective classes to campaign in the 400cc Lightweight event.

Chris Dowling impressed the team with two wins at the MGP on their bike along with lap and race records and the equally impressive result of Ryan Farquar in the Senior event has made the rider choice rather easy. The Team is confident these two riders will perform well in the race and will have top class machinery.

In keeping with the international flavour of the team, Swedish rider Jonas Svensson from Stockholm, who has ridden in three TT events, shall pilot the fourth bike. Jonas now has the experience to produce some good lap times as well as showing the Viking talent to travel from the far and frozen north and conquer.

In addition to bike preparation, a film crew from Japanese television will join the Team to cover the event for a one-hour documentary to be shown in Japan on their return. "Interest in the Isle of Man TT races is very strong and it is hoped that we can help to develop further involvement for Japanese riders and visitors over the next few years" said Bjorn Rotheim, the Team's Norwegian member.

All the people involved in the team of John Shand Racing are strongly committed to the TT races and in the future shall expand its horizons to include participation in the bigger classes in 2002. To that end negotiations have already commenced in Japan for the supply of machinery that is highly competitive. However for this year, with four machines and a spare to maintain, the 2001 event will be a busy time for all concerned.

Team Philosophy

Over the years our team has adopted the policy of assisting newcomers and other riders showing promise to the Isle of Man TT races. Our only racing involvement is at the TT event so we are strongly committed to the Isle of Man and its development as the Worlds greatest road race.

We bring high quality machinery to the TT fortnight, and of course it is possible for us to engage the absolute best riders to compete on them. However that is not our goal. To win is not important.

Our challenge is to bring riders less well known and give them the opportunity to do their best. That is all we expect. If a win comes along, so be it.

For us it is the challenge, and most important, the sheer fun of being a part of the overall picture. To meet new friends and reacquaint with our old ones. The experience of once again being at the TT.

The Bikes

In an effort to bring top quality machinery to the Lightweight 400 TT, John Shand Racing will be entering some Honda CBR400RR machines of some technical interest.

From Team Technical Sports we again bring the race winning machines from the 1998, 1999 and 2000 TT. These are proven units with an excellent history. Technical Sports are a highly respected Grand Prix team worldwide. This years bikes have upgraded engines, keeping abreast of the latest technical developments in Japan.

From Auto Shop Sugahara in Tokyo we bring two motorcycles in endurance configuration. "Team Honey Bee" as it is known to the Japanese race enthusiasts have won the Suzuka 4 Hour event seven times. The race winning machine from last year and another from a previous year has been entered for Isle of Man TT.

With four race bikes and a spare, we bring to the TT races, motorcycles from two "giants" in Japanese racing for the enjoyment of the TT race enthusiasts.

Post your views on the TT Website Message Board To comment on this article please use the
TT Message Board

Back to Features Index

Read the latest local news here.

Read about your favourite riders and what they think about the the Isle of Man TT Course and Road Racing in general. [ more... ]

The TT Supporters Club - The Free Internet Service Provider for the Isle of Man
© TT Website