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Courtney returns from injury at Brands Hatch. 


Team ILR's Connall Courtney returned to action at the latest round of the Hel Motostar British Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend. 


The young rider from Warrenpoint has missed out on the last two rounds since his crash during the first qualifying session at Knockhill in June which left him requiring surgery on his right hand. 


However, it was obvious during practice and qualifying that Courtney was struggling but, after much thought, he decided to take to the grid for Race 1. 


Despite being in pain and discomfort, Connall did well to register an 11th place finish, but this proved to be a step too far with his injury and he reluctantly made the decision to take no further part in the weekend's proceedings. 


Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher: 

"Connall returned to Brands after having to miss the previous two rounds through a nasty injury to his finger, where he had to have the finger pinned and a skin graft and the two fingers sewn together. 


Unfortunately it was probably a week or two too soon to return to action as he was only really able to do 6 or 7 laps before his two fingers were starting to cramp up, which made it very difficult to brake properly. 


But Connall gave it his best in the one race out of the three that were scheduled for the weekend." 


Connall Courtney

"It finished up a really tough weekend. I knew from the morning warm-up that the race was going to be tough to finish with the injured hand but I managed to just about make it to the line in 11th. 


I really struggled to get the bike stopped because it's my right hand but happy to have made it, learned more and made some improvements."


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Phillips holds on to Championship lead. 

Sandown Racing's Carl Phillips had another challenging weekend at Brands Hatch. 

Working out of the Team ILR awning this season, Carl and his team had to dig deep to bring home some crucial points that have kept him at the top of the standings, but with his nearest rival Jordan Weaving winning for the second meeting on the trot, Carl's lead has been reduced to 12 points. 


The sun did little to warm Carl's mood as a few problems surfaced with the front end of his bike during qualifying, but he knuckled down to the task in hand and managed to finish up in 7th place for a third row start. 


By the halfway point of the 10 lap race a pattern had emerged with Phillips running in 8th place with just over a half second buffer to the next rider Lewis Rollo, Carl in turn being some three seconds off the rider in front Harry Truelove. The time differences closed up in both directions with two laps to go, however Carl couldn't get closer to Truelove but he did respond to the challenge of Rollo to open the gap again and finish in 8th position at the flag.  


Ian Lougher: "Carl had a difficult weekend after he and the team struggled to find a good set up for the front of his ZX-6R, but he still managed a very respectable 8th position finish.  Normally that would be a very good result considering the circumstances, but with his nearest rival for the championship getting a win, this has reduced his lead somewhat. Carl needs to regroup now and come out fighting at Cadwell Park." 


Carl Phillips:  "We didn't get the result we were hoping for with 8th place. 

There are front end issues with the bike that the team can't resolve at present but we won't give up that easily. 

The last three rounds have been very frustrating and so much effort is put into this by a lot of people. 

With four rounds of the championship still to go, the gap is now down to 12 points. 

Let's hope Team Sandown can get back up to the front of the pack at Cadwell.  

Thanks to my sponsors and team members."  

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Schoots looks forward with optimism. 


Nadieh Schoots registered another race finish in her Superstock 1000 learning year in the team, and is already looking forward with optimism to the next round at Cadwell Park in three weeks time. 


Schoots posted a time in qualifying which was almost two seconds quicker than the one she posted last October round the same circuit when she had a one-off ride on the ZX-10R. 


And although she was unable to improve on this during the race, nevertheless it is a clear indication of how much she is benefiting from operating within a well established, experienced team with the highly respected Ian Lougher at the helm. 


Nadieh's race was a solitary affair. 


After passing Jim Walker on the second lap, she managed to ease away from the True Heroes Racing Kawasaki and with a few retirements in front of her she eventually came home in 25th position.  


Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher 


''Nadieh had a good weekend going on to improve her lap times every time she ventured out on track.  


We have a 3 week break now before the next BSB weekend at the very difficult and tricky Cadwell Park, so Nadieh has taken the team's ZX-10R to get a track day in at the track this week to familiarise herself with the Lincolnshire circuit.'' 


Nadieh Schoots:  


“I'm happy with another race finish on the Team ILR ZX-10R at Brands Hatch! 

Miles better than last October, even with very heavy arm pump on the clutch side.   


A big thank-you to my team, and Bring on Cadwell!"


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Progress for Schoots at Thruxton. 


Team ILR's Nadieh Schoots came away from her debut at Thruxton well pleased with her weekend's efforts as the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship moves into the second half of the season. 
The seventh round of the series saw the young Dutch girl register a race finish for the second meeting on the trot with a confident ride. 

Nadieh was 37th in Friday’s free practice session and just outside the qualifying benchmark for the race, but both she and team owner Ian Lougher were confident there was more to come. 
Using the sizeable knowledge the team has for settings for the superstock Kawasaki, Nadieh went over three seconds quicker in first qualifying to comfortably qualify for Sunday’s race. In the second session the next day, Nadieh managed to knock almost a second and a half off her fastest time and took her place on the grid in 38th place for Sunday's 16-lap race. 

An incident in the earlier Superbike race, meant the Superstock 1000 race was reduced from 16 laps to 13 and as the race got underway in much cooler conditions Nadieh held her position as the field streamed round the ultra fast circuit on the opening lap. 

By the end of the lap, Nadieh had gained a place and as the race wore on she found herself up to 35th and closing on the riders in front. 

But with the race being reduced, she ran out of laps to make any further impact and she had to settle for 35th place, but nevertheless delighted with her race. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
''Nadieh had a good enough weekend and did a decent lap time in practice. She rode a solid race and brought the Team ILR ZX-10 home for a second successive finish and can now look forward to building on this at the next round at Brands.'' 
Nadieh Schoots
“It was my first time at Thruxton and I love the circuit, it's my favourite in the UK so far. It's so fast and I had a smile on my face every lap! I made a lot of progress this weekend and felt I have closed the gap to the riders in front of me and I'm happy with another race finish, and my fastest weekend so far. I'll be looking to improve even further! 
A big thank-you to my team."

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Challenging Weekend for Phillips. 

While Schoots was enjoying arguably her best meeting of the year so far, over on the other side of the Team ILR awning Sandown Racing's Carl Phillips was experiencing his most challenging event so far of 2016. 
The Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship leader is working closely with Team ILR this season and he arrived at the Hampshire circuit justifiably confident of a good result. 

However his problems started from the first qualifying session when, with five minutes of the session remaining, his No.1 engine let go in a big way leaving his team of Willy, Neil and Robbie with a big task on their hands. 
But as always they rose to the challenge and worked brilliantly to have the ZX-6 spare engine in, dynoed and ready for Q2. 
With a few suspension changes also in place, Carl finished in 9th with a third row start for the race. 

As Sunday's race got underway Carl quickly settled into a good rhythm and was comfortable with the race pace during the hectic opening laps in which he climbed to fourth with the leaders well within striking distance. 
However, he got pushed wide at the final chicane and in doing so had to take to the kerbs, across and over the rumble strips, and lost 6 places. 

He regrouped and fought his way back up to 8th position, but this is where his troubles really started with his bike starting to lack revs and hold back on the straights. Somehow he was able to hold onto 10th and limped across the line a bit dejected and fortunate to finish the race. But finish he did, to pick up more championship points, and with Jordan Weaving winning the race to close the gap slightly at the top of the championship, they're points that could prove crucial at the end of the season. 

Ian Lougher: "The fact he was not that thrilled with his grid position is a measure of how well Carl has been riding this season, but he was only 0.4 seconds off pole and had a good potential race pace heading into Sunday. Although on paper it looks a bad result for him, this is the first time all season he has finished outside the top four, and in my mind this was a weekend of what champions are made of. We had a fair number of problems over the course of the meeting, through no-one's fault, but Carl kept his chin up and brought it home in the best position he could. I think he will look back on this meeting and see that this is where he dug deep, and even when the bike was only performing at about 80% on the last couple of laps he still managed to only lose 2 positions and still has a 29 point lead in the championship." 
Carl Phillips: "Tenth place was the best I could manage, it was a very frustrating weekend to say the least. The team are exhausted with the effort they put in trying to get the bike competitive, and I have under two weeks now to get things back on course. I must thank everyone, the team, sponsors and anyone who helped in any way." The next rounds of both championships take place at Brands Hatch (GP Circuit) on August 5-7.
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Phillips Consolidates National Superstock 600 Championship lead  

Sandown Racing's Carl Phillips who has been working with his team from the Team ILR awning this season, rode brilliantly to maintain his overall lead in the standings in the latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship. 

The weekend wasn't all plain sailing though. 

Carl took provisional pole in the first qualifying session and sat the wet second session out as the conditions gave the riders no chance of improving their times, but it was Sunday morning's warm-up that brought its fair share of drama. 

Phillips had a big crash in the short session with the damage to his bike being more extensive than was first thought. 
The team really had a race against the clock to get things sorted, a task not helped by the race organisers decision to bring the race forward by 45 minutes! 

Everyone worked their socks off and, with a brilliant effort, managed in just over an hour to put Phillips on his pole spot on the grid. 

Carl then rode a measured, calculated race, leading in the early stages and then bringing it home safely to a podium finish in third, after weighing up that his nearest rivals for the championship were out of the picture. 

He has now increased his lead in the championship from 38 to 46 points. 

Carl Phillips
"I'm absolutely delighted with a podium result in third place, and to have extended my lead in the championship. After my crash during warm-up, I must thank everyone involved in getting the bike back into shape with just over an hour to race time. 
Our working relationship with Team ILR has been working out brilliantly, and I am really enjoying working with Ian Lougher and very much benefiting from his experience and advice."

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Soild Finish for Schoots at Snetterton 

Nadieh Schoots put the recent disappointment of Knockhill behind her to ride to a solid 25th place finish from over 30 starters in the latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at the Snetterton 300 circuit on Sunday. 

It took a few laps for Nadieh to get back into the swing of things and, although she was comfortably inside the qualifying time in Free Practice, in Qualifying One she improved further and went well over two seconds quicker. 

However, a damp second qualifying session on a drying track gave her no real chance of any improvement and she started the race from the tenth row of the grid. 

Rain on certain parts of the track prior to the start thankfully gave way to dry conditions as the race got underway and for the first few laps Schoots, who was battling a virus, was able to use Scott Pitcher as a target to aim for. 

But when he went out it proved to be a lonely race for the Dutch girl who made steady progress in the first half of the race and, although she was unable to improve on her fastest lap in qualifying, she did however ride consistently to bring the ZX-10R home to a morale boosting finish ahead of the next round at Thruxton in two weeks time. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
''Following her bad luck in the last round at Knockhill, it was important for Nadieh to get another finish under her belt. 
Despite not feeling the best, she rode a good steady race and hopefully it will give her some renewed confidence to take into the next round at Thruxton.'' 

Nadieh Schoots
“I struggled a bit in Free Practice but managed to turn things around in the first qualifying session and we also found a good wet set-up with the bike in second qualifying. 
On Sunday though the race was hard going as I was unwell, but I was pleased with the result. 
A big thank-you to my team."

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Injury rules Courtney out for weeks 

There was bitter disappointment for Team ILR's Connall Courtney in the fourth round of the Hel Motostar British Championship, when the young Warrenpoint rider's weekend came to a premature conclusion in the first qualifying session. 

After a promising start to the weekend, Courtney approached the first session with determination. However, just like his Superstock 1000 team mate Nadieh Schoots, Connall was taken out by another rider as he pushed hard for a good qualifying time. He was examined trackside by the circuit doctors and was declared unfit to continue. 

Further examination revealed the finger to be dislocated and broken, resulting in a visit for Connall to hospital where he put a brave face on things. 

Connall Courtney
"I was feeling really good today and battling hard until the incident which put me out. It's unfortunate, but these things happen. 
I have had the bones pinned and a skin graft but unfortunately it's looking like I'll be out of action for longer than I thought. 
As always, thanks to my team, my dad and my sponsors and also to all the medical staff at Dundee and at Knockhill." 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
"Connall was progressing good in Q1 only to be knocked off going into the hairpin with three minutes to go. 

Such a pity as he seemed to have gelled with Knockhill on his first visit. 
He has done enough damage to his finger needing skin grafts to be out for at least the next round or two, his poor dad has had plenty of time sitting around in hospitals over the last couple of days. 
From all at Team ILR we wish Connall a speedy recovery."

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Weekend to forget for Schoots at Knockhill 

"It was an eventful and forgettable weekend for Team ILR's young Dutch rider Nadieh Schoots as the latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship paid its annual visit to the Knockhill circuit in Scotland. 

In unusually dry and mild conditions during qualifying, Nadieh had the misfortune to be unintentionally shunted off the track in the first session leaving her with a sore neck and back, and hoping for a dry second session the next day to give her a chance of qualifying. 

Thanks to the hard work of the team in sorting her bike, Nadieh managed to dip under the qualifying lap time in Q2 by the slimmest of margins, but importantly make the grid for Sunday's race. However that was that, as far as hopes of any further progress was concerned, as Nadieh's race never made it beyond the first lap. 

In the usual first lap melee, Matt Pearce was forced off line and then highsided coming out of the chicane, collecting the unfortunate Schoots and Ewan Meston in the process. Despite feeling a bit 'second-hand', Nadieh has already set her sights on the next round at Snetterton in two weeks time. 

There was some consolation for Team ILR when Carl Phillips clinched a thrilling win in the Superstock 600 race. Carl and his team are operating from the Team ILR garage this season and taking advantage of team owner Ian Lougher's experience and knowledge. Carl was 5th quickest after qualifying and, after Ian altered the suspension set-up on his bike, there was an immediate improvement during the warm-up session. Carl also set the fastest lap in the dry conditions and extended his lead in the championship by 18 points and now leads by 38 points. 

Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher
''Nadieh's really had bad luck, getting shunted off twice by the same over exuberant guy, but as they say 'that's racing'. It's a shame, as after a few front fork setting tweeks she went faster in the warm up and was looking forward to a good race. Carl showed great pace all weekend and used his head in the race in difficult conditions as on a dry track and dry tyres, the rain started to slowly arrive, but he kept his cool and worked his way from 4th to the lead, first setting the fastest lap on the way to a class win.'' 

Nadieh Schoots
"Battered, bruised, and covered in tape after two crashes that weren't my fault. 
Can't thank Team ILR and my dad enough for their help this weekend. 
Bring on Snetterton please!"

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Ian Lougher's TT 

''Well the 2016 Isle of Man TT is now finally over, and as normal the all of a sudden tired feeling you get hits you like a smack in the face from Mike Tyson as soon as you shut off at the end of the 3 week visit to Mona's Isle. 
It's more mental tiredness than phyisical that catches up with you, although I must admit I have a few aches and pains now after muscling round a 130kg 576cc two stroke as well!!! 

At the end of it all, the results certainly don't do justice to the amount of hard work and enthusiasm that was put into the whole event by every member of the Suter racing team, Asa and myself. 
You would think after looking at my results from the two races that I would be upset or angry in not achieving more, well speaking as a motorcycle racer, of course I am disappointed in not finishing higher and lapping quicker, that's normal in a racer's eyes, but looking at it in a way I have never had to encounter before and consider the fact that this is a brand new bike (all Suter engineered), a brand new 576cc two stroke engine with fuel injection (not been done before on a race bike), and it was only definitely decided to go to the TT to compete less than 12 weeks ago, then I feel like we achieved a hell of a lot in a very short space of time together. 

When I signed up for this role of testing and racing the Suter, ''the beast'' as they named it, I knew it would be a lot of hard work but also a great chance to work with one of the best engineering companies in the world, and I must say they didn't disappoint. They have created far and away the most beautiful, innovative and talked about bike at this years TT. 

We gelled instantly, and had a truely great working experience together, something which is hard to achieve in my long time involved in the sport and in an, at times, very stressful island . We both learned in bucket loads and have lots of data gathered in readiness for a proper assault on next year's races. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Eskil, Philippe, Asa, Alex, Reto, Didier, Haggi, Fred and the rest of the SRT team for all their hard work and true professionalism, it was fantastic to work with you guys. I would also like to thank the marshals for their great work at the TT, we would be nothing without you. 
Finally, the saddest part is to pass on my best wishes to all the family and friends of all the competitors who lost their lives during the Isle of Man festival, Team ILR's thoughts are with you.''

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Schoots happy with progress at Brands 


It was a contented Nadieh Schoots who came away from the latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Brands Hatch. 

Free Practice saw Schoots post a time within the qualifying benchmark to get her weekend off to an encouraging start and she followed this up by going over a second quicker in the first qualifying session. 


The second session would see her improve further to place her on the grid, and banish the non-qualifying disappointment of the previous round at Oulton Park. 


Starting from 36th on the grid, it was always going to be a struggle for Nadieh to gather any real momentum round the short 1.2 miles Indy circuit, nevertheless she gave it a good go and enjoyed a race long battle with Ricky Dickinson whom she passed on Lap 5. 


Nadieh then tried to catch the riders in front and was closing slightly as the chequered flag brought an end to a more positive weekend for the Dutch girl.  


The next round is at Knockhill in four weeks. 


In the meantime it's a return to the roads for Team ILR when team owner/manager Ian Lougher makes a much anticipated return to the Isle of Man TT races to spearhead the Suter MMX500 challenge. 


Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher:  

''I feel both Nadieh and her team-mate Connall progressed through the weekend on both of their machines. We have a lot of set up data now, especially with the ZX-10R, so Nadieh was very happy with the set up of her bike from the first free practice session, improving her lap times all through the weekend. There's a bit of a break now before both riders return to action at the next round at Knockhill on June 24th-26th so everyone is looking forward to going there, let's hope there are less midges there this time, as last year Asa and Matt got eaten alive!!!!!!'' 


Nadieh Schoots:

"Very happy with my race! Started at position 36, then had a nice little battle going for second to last. I pushed the other rider into a mistake on Lap 5 and was able to pass and quickly managed to open up a gap. I steadily gained on rider in front of me, however he pulled into the pits. 

New PR - Finished 30th - Stoked!  

A big thank-you to the team for all their help.

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Tough Weekend in Kent for Courtney 


"It was another tough weekend for Connall Courtney on his way to picking up four more championship points, as the third round of the Hel Motostar British Championship (Standard Class) took place at Brands Hatch at the weekend. 


Qualifying saw Courtney finish in 34th place, improving by half a second in the second session, but unfortunately he accidentally stalled his bike before the start of Race One on Saturday afternoon and thus was unable to start the race, leaving him bitterly disappointed. 


There was no such repeat for the second race on Sunday which was held in dry conditions. 


It wasn't long until the safety car was out when pole setter Tom Booth-Amos crashed out at Paddock Hill on the opening lap. When it all got underway proper again two laps later, Connall found himself at the back of the pack and, in what was a fairly lonely race for him, he eventually finished 12th in the Standard class to bring the weekend to a close for the young Warrenpoint rider. 

The next round takes place at Knockhill in five weeks time. 



Team ILR owner/manager Ian Lougher

"I feel both Connall and his team-mate Nadieh progressed through the weekend on both of their machines. 

Connall had to learn the Kent circuit as this year is the first time he has seen any of the UK tracks, so it's more of a daunting task for the Warrenpoint rider, but he's picking things up all the time, including the many little things from the team that make a good rider progress. 

There's a bit of a break now before both riders return to action at the next round at Knockhill on June 24th-26th so everyone is looking forward to going there, let's hope there are less midges there this time, as last year Asa and Matt got eaten alive!!!!!!'' 


Connall Courtney

"Not the greatest of weekends for me at Brands Hatch. 

Took me a while to find my feet on the track in practice but once I did I felt good, and myself and the team made good progress right through qualifying. Unfortunately in the first race I had to be wheeled off the grid before the warm up laps and didn't get to race. 

In Race 2 I didn't get the best of starts and got caught behind some riders who, under the safety car, allowed the other riders to open a large gap over us, making it a pretty lonely 12th for me. 

Still progress was made, and the feeling with the bike is getting better so as always thank you to my team, my sponsors and everyone who supports me, and I am motivated and looking forward to Knockhill "

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''I really respect Ian and his guys, not only for their success on the track, but for the friendly reception and countless cups of coffee and biscuits afforded over the years whenever I have shown up at their garage.
This year I am sure that their success will continue.''

Professional Photographer
Graham Ravensdale
2016 Images
BSB Championships Round 7: Brands Hatch GP

Isle of Man TT
BSB Championships
Round 3:
Brands Hatch (Indy)
BSB Championships Round 2: Oulton Park
Suter MMX 500 First Test: ASC Vairano Circuit
Bob Smith Spring Cup: Oliver's Mount
BSB Championships Round 1: Silverstone
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2015
Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup: Oliver's Mount
Hel Motostar British Championship: Oulton Park
Isle of Man Classic TT
Ulster Grand Prix: Dundrod