Team Banana Racing Home Page
This is THE site for all frustrated forty-something, soft fruit fantasy motorcycle afficiandos, or is that armaddilos.
Whatever. All you have to be is a hard nut with a soft centre, and be prepared to plunge into the razz and dazz of clubman motorcycle racing, careof your genial host, one Colonel Banana Sanders (racing with General Attitude )who will hopefully (hospital visits aside), keep you informed of the unfolding saga of geriatic two-wheeled racing.
Team Banana Racing was originally conceived by yours truly and another menopausal motorbike nut, one Paul Scannell, hereafter referred to as Small Paul, one balmy summers evening in 1995. A fragrant addition to the team came in the delicious shape of Michelle Scannell, Small Paul's eminently desirable half.
Michelle was head of hospitality and all things culinary until she was reluctantly sacked for breaking the catch on the fridge of the luxurious team motorhome, while in a frenzy of bacon sarnie preparation. Subsequently, her role has become one of intense mass debate.
Small Paul spent hundreds of man minutes engineering the team bike, an Aprilia 250RS, and produced an exquisite piece of top racing tackle that was despatched to Frank Wrathall of FWDevelopments, to tune the engine for maximum power with maximum reliability. And a terrific job was done.
Unfortunately, the rider ( namely moi ) wasn't exactly maximumly reliable in his first race back in March 1996, and managed to bin it on only the second lap. But things improved as logged elsewhere.
Small Paul so impressed the big-wigs of Aprilia that he was headhunted from Team Banana and installed in their Scottish H.Q. as General Manager. He subsequently moved to the same position at Malaguti i.e. with his feet up on a desk, drinking coffee and barking orders down the phone to dealers up and down the country.
Being a man of many parts, all of them very tiny but magnificently proportioned, he accumulated enough funds and knowledge to take pre-retirement and settle in a bijou caravan in Worcester.
Brother Richard was designated official team photographer, fulfilling a lifetime ambition of donning orange overalls and blagging his way into parc fermes all over the country. Being unnaturally unfit at the start of the first racing season while carrying numerous flash, zoom
and motorised paraphenalia, he embarked on a furious fitness regime which culminated in him achieving a body like Jean-Claude van Damme. He has subsequently been snapped up by a top movie producer and has not been seen since.
Nevertheless, some of his work will hopefully make it onto this site once I figure out how to work me scanner.
One other important team member needs to be introduced in the shape of manic mechanicman Ace.
Ace has the prescence of a genius on Stella. Artois that is. Wo betide anyone who approaches him while he's counting out the links in his chain. Ace is a lynch pin in Team Banana Racing and will lynch you if you interrupt him while fettling the team motorsickles. Any other time you are perfectly welcome to tell him how wonderful Arsenal are and how splendid the petrol tank of his 350LC looks.
Apart from his skill with the spanners, after the departure of Small Paul, Ace took over the task of team manager, which involves primarily of putting a consoling arm round the team rider after another race has gone pear-shaped for the bananas,and buying another round in the bar. He also has an uncanny skill of making a pile of steaming and bent metal bits into a perfectly acceptable race bike.
However.Since the beginning of the 2002 season,Ace has been dramatically dropped from the Team Banana Massif,'cos he has lost the plot.
It has been a case of "Life's rich Tapestry",but I will keep his profile in situ,'cos I feel he might be back any time soon!
Meanwhile,I have the pleasure of announcing,that the wonderous Small Paul,is personally becoming involved again with the Colonel's Southern Championship capers and a most ridiculous season is anticipated!
Team Banana only use ( while stocks last) the wonderful motorcycles originating from Noale in Italy, namely Aprilia.
We currently campaign a 250 RS two-stroke twin in the British Motorcycle Racing Club (Bemsee) Supersport 400 division.
When I say "currently", what I mean to say is that I'm currently making my comeback into racing,after taking a year off,erm...or two, while recovering,both physically and financially.
Life being as it is, after having a prang at Brands in '99, in which I did in the ligaments of an ankle and my confidence(while taking four others with me!), I decided to give racing a rest while everything repaired.
Things take longer to recover when you're the other side of forty,but ,as the Chinese proverb says,"when the ashes are smouldering, the fire is still burning"!
I maybe oldish but Bemsee is the oldest motorcycle racing club ever, having been founded even before electricity (about 1908). It is run by Dave and Bernadette Stewart, who are just about the nicest overworked people you could possibly meet. They are ably assisted by an army of helpers, marshalls, first aiders and mad people, who together organise,what is certainly one of the friendliest clubs in any sport ever, anywhere. So there.
Bemsee are to be found at:-
Lydden Circuit,Wootton, Nr. Canterbury, Kent CT4 6RX
Tel: 01304 831714
Fax: 01304 831715