As the dust settles on the 2011 racing season, Ripley-based scorpion Exhausts has even more reason than usual to celebrate. Having actively supported British motorsport and UK based teams in particular throughout the year, the family-owned business now has several high-profile championship titles under its belt – as well as a raft of creditable firsts and finishes.
Unusually in this day and age, the company still insists on making everything by hand, the old fashioned way, using only the finest materials and methods. Having resisted the temptation to move production overseas, Scorpion’s tale of domestic supply leading to home-grown victory is all the sweeter!
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) has been hard to miss this year, with ITV’s superb coverage becoming ‘appointment to view television’ for many enthusiasts. The factory Honda team have been dominant throughout, relying on the prodigious turbo power produced from their Scorpion-equipped engines. As the final round played out to a capacity crowd at Silverstone, Matt Neal grabbed his third title, with team mate Gordon Shedden’s identical car taking 2nd. This performance was also enough to achieve both Team and Manufacturers honours too!
Other Scorpion-equipped teams also did very well, with Airwave’s Matt Jackson scooping 4th overall and 2nd privateer, Tom Boardman in the STR SEAT notching up a superb win at Knockhill and 7th in class overall, whilst Dave Newsham in his similar machine took a creditable 11th in class. The Airwaves team took 5th in the team standings, with STR taking 9th overall, equating to 2nd and 7th respectively in the Independent team standings.
Time Attack Scorpion and its partners enjoyed great success in this innovative new format of racing, where competitors battle against the clock to set the best time of the day, in a high-pressure ‘qualifying’ style session. In Club AWD class, Subaru-backed Jon Mathers piloted his 650 bhp Subaru STI with great skill to set several fastest laps throughout his inaugural season, culminating in outright victory. The highly technical nature of this MSA-approved series led to a couple of late-night builds for the Scorpion team, the most hectic of these being when a stringent noise limit at Snetterton meant a new quieter system had to be fabricated with just hours to spare before the meeting began.
In Club FWD class, defending champion Bo Nielsen was using a raft of tricks and upgrade for 2011, including a full custom-built Scorpion system. Once again, his flawless driving style and consistent finishes netted a comfortable win for the popular Dane.
VW Racing Cup Joe Fullbrook was once again on sparkling form in this exciting series, with an array of podium finishes, an outright victory at Oulton Park and a fastest lap at Brands Hatch proving that both he and his 1.8 turbocharged Bora were serious championship contenders. After an epic effort and some simply stunning driving, Joe took 4th overall at the end of the season.
Le Mans 24 Bike RaceAfter the most gruelling race in Motorsport’s calendar, the three talented riders from French Outfit Team Metisse gunned their Suzuki GSX1000 to outright victory in the Open class. Scorpion had taken the design from their best-selling system and recreated it entirely in lightweight titanium for optimum performance - a fact duly noted by the team in their post-race speeches.
Triumph Triple ChallengeIt’s fair to say that the Scorpion engineers were confident of a good result in this series, with every single example of the iconic British marque sporting a Scorpion system as part of the series regulations. In a field of twenty incredibly close combatants, it was Luke Jones that emerged as the victor, with a clear 102 point lead over his nearest rival, Peter Ward, having been at the front of the pack for the vast majority of the season.
British and Scottish Quad ChampionshipsJohn Mitchell was very much the man to watch – and catch – this season as he hustled his Yamaha YZF450R to victory after victory. His stats were simply amazing, with 37 races netting him no less than 24 outright wins, 9 seconds and 2 third places.. A worthy champion indeed!
BSB Junior SuperstockThe two rising stars of Johnny Blackshaw and Alex Olsen have impressed throughout 2011 on their Scorpion-piped Triumph 675R. Both bikes have full Scorpion race systems, helping the talented duo to a plethora of podium and point finishes under the Team Haribo Starmix banner. Improving constantly throughout the year, many have tipped them as ones to watch for 2012.
Supermoto14 year-old Ben Stafford isn’t so much of a rising star, as one that’s already fully risen! An impeccable performance throughout the Norasport British Supersport Championship saw Ben’s masterful control and skill behind the bars of his KTM 250 take him to the top spot.Commenting on the eclectic mix of titles and results that Scorpion has enjoyed with its technical partners this year, Managing Director Shaun Leonard said. ‘We are immensely proud to be involved with such engineering, riding and driving talent. We have always believed that British is best and this is one small way that we can put something back into UK motorsport. Not only do we find our involvement in this arena hugely rewarding on a personal level, but it also acts as the ultimate proving ground for our road ranges. If our craftsmanship can withstand a full season with any of these teams, at the absolute edge of performance that can be extracted from these machines, it totally justifies our decision to make things the way we do - by hand and with exceptional quality control.’