ISLE OF MAN – Team Mugen Shinden rounded off their record-breaking week at the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races fueled by Monster Energy with the Motul Team Award for technical excellence.
The Japanese outfit enjoyed a stunning TT experience, culminating in their lap record of 117.366 (19:17.3) around the TT Mountain Course on June 4 in the SES TT Zero Race, the race’s first sub 20 minute lap.
Competing with the all-electric racing bike, Shinden san, the third version of the TT racer produced by M-Tec Co Ltd (M-Tec) is named after the Japanese God of Electricity.
For 2014 Team MUGEN elected to run 2 riders for the first time, with previous Team MUGEN rider, 20-time TT winner John McGuinness joined by nine-time TT race winner, Bruce Anstey, enabling the team to be able to collect double the data from previous years and to run different qualifying strategies for comparison.
Throughout qualifying, Shinden san were the leading pair and were faster than MotoCzysz’s Michael Rutter’s 2013 lap record with every completed lap, including the first sub-20 minute lap by an electric bike, but saved the best for the race itself.
Having been narrowly beaten into second-place in 2013 (by 1.6 seconds) M-Tec were determined to maximize the performance of Shinden san which entailed revised aerodynamics and bodywork, more powerful and lighter motor, improved battery capacity, and the latest Showa factory suspension.
It was also announced that Frances Thorp, the Honorary Secretary of the TT Riders Ass’n for the past 11 years, has been awarded this year’s PokerStars Spirit of the TT Award. The position is unpaid and subject to an election every year.
Ex-racer Freddie Frith formed the charity, which provides funds for old and injured riders and their families, in 1953. All current and former TT riders are eligible to join. Frances’ husband Tom, who passed away in 2012, competed at the TT and MGP from 1956 to 1962 and was a TTRA member.
The charity is made up of an Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, four committeemen and a President with a new president elected each year. Current president is Mortons Media Publisher Malcolm Wheeler while previous presidents have included Phillip McCallen, Mike Hailwood MBE, John Surtees MBE, Joey Dunlop, Stanley Woods and Geoff Duke OBE.
The TTRA operates a number of fundraising events in the UK and worldwide through the year including their high profile annual lunch at the NEC in Birmingham during Motorcycle Live. The charity has helped hundreds of riders and their families past and present over its sixty-year history but never reveals individual details. Frances is regularly seen operating and managing the ’38th milestone’, the meeting point behind the grandstand for ex-riders during the TT Races and Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.
“Frances is a worthy recipient of this year’s award. The incredible work that she puts in to fundraise for the TT Riders Association is second to none and many riders past and present have benefitted from her efforts,” said David Cretney, Isle of Man government political member with responsibility for tourism and motorsport.