On Saturday, June 3, 2023, Nick drove his first race of the season at the HMV with this beautiful Rudge Special racer from 1934.
For this event, we at Red Hand Classics had to make some preparations before the Rudge was ready for this season. For example, we had to change engine oil because of that the brand of oil that we used to use is unfortunately no longer available in Europe and is only available in England and that will be an expensive activity with the import duties due to Brexit. After a long search and comparing specifications, we finally opted for Putoline Castor R oil because this oil is closest to the Morris C50 oil, because the Rudge runs on methanol, we can only use Castor oil and no normal mineral or synthetic oil. after weeks of testing mixing the 2 oils and mixing methanol with oil, we approved the Putoline for the motorcycle and thoroughly rinsed everything before the oil could be used.
Nick had already driven to Rockanje on Friday evening because registration and the inspection of the motorcycles for the event was early on Saturday morning.
During the training the engine ran well and Nick was able to explore the track because they only had 1.5 hours to train with all classes. The track was in good shape and there was no debris on the track. All manhole covers were also neatly marked with white crosses where they were on the track so that you could clearly see where they were. At the back of the circuit, the track went from asphalt to pavement, so you have to drive slowly because the Rudge only has a little suspension in the front fork and a stiff rear frame.
The first race went well for 2 laps, shortly afterwards Nick noticed that he started to lose power halfway through the rev range and did not want to increase the revs any further, after 1 or 2 laps further Nick had decided to return to the riders quarter and therefore the race because he didn't want him to do more damage to the Rudge later on. After the engine had cooled down, we unscrewed the spark plug and soon we saw that the electrode of the spark plug had burned away, so that the methanol almost blew the spark away and therefore did not want to continue in revs. luckily we had 2 new modified spark plugs with us that we could change quickly so that Nick could try again during the second race of the day.
The second race went great, no more problems with the engine stalling and Nick was able to drive the Rudge again. Every lap Nick drove better and faster and he was able to finish the race without any problems. After the finish flag came out Nick had to do a cool down lap with the Rudge. Along the way, all spectators and Marshalls were clapping for this great day and for the great races that day and Nick and everyone from this class could also wave to the audience.
In the end Nick didn't get any points because he couldn't finish the first race. At the HMV there is no racing but demo driving. As a result, the result is selected on who has ridden the laps most consistently and it is not about who crosses the finish line first.
Below are a few more photos from the race.