Sunday, 28 October 2007

Weston Beach Race

This years' Weston Beach Race was a great event held in perfect weather conditions. The Saturday race featured 500 quads and sidecars, and myself and my team-mate Andy Ellis shared a Yamaha 660 raptor to compete in the Quad class. Andy did the first hour-and-a-half stint before I took over for the last half of the race. Knocking noises from the axle told me all was not well, and sure enought the axle bearings were breaking up. Luckily everything held together and the chain finally snapped just as I crossed the finishing line in 157th place!
The Sunday race for solo MX bikes (pictured) featured 1,400 starters for the biggest line-up ever seen at Weston. The start is always chaotic and after getting seriously stuck in a dune last year, I took the decision to hold back at the start and (hopefully) miss the worst of the traffic jams. This was working well until my fuel stop dead-on halfway through the race. The fuel cap got cross-threaded in the pitstop, and the next few laps were spent having petrol splashed onto my err.. most tender parts! I carried on though, and by the finish had moved up from last, or 1,400th, to 321st.
A great weekend, 2 good results, no injuries, and back to work on the Monday in one piece!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Robbie Kerr - A1 GP helmet

This is the latest helmet we've painted for Robbie Kerr, who is the driver for the British A1 GP team. Robbie has been using our paintwork for over 10 years, and it's been great to see him progress from a Junior Kart racer, through to British F3 champion, and now a leading A1 GP driver.

Robbie's design has hardly changed since the early days, apart from some small updates and of course; the team GB Union Jack.

Friday, 12 October 2007

End of a busy week

Friday night, and the end of a particularly busy week. The pre-season rush seems to start earlier every year! The finishing touches are being applied to a helmet for IRL driver Alex Lloyd which features chrome and candy colours. Chrome is very popular at the moment and we're currently working on 11 seperate helmets featuring chrome in their designs.

Here's a helmet we painted for Vaughn Williams. We last painted this design on his motocross helmet in 1994 when Vaughn was a top schoolboy MX racer. He retired from racing in 1996 but recently bought a road bike, and asked us to replicate his old design onto his new helmet. A lot has happened at JLF Designs since we painted the original helmet, but I can still remember doing the first one. A lot of our work is repeat orders from customers, but Vaughn wins the award for the longest gap between helmets!

We've just sent off a Lewis Hamilton replica to Arai in Japan for their display at the Tokyo show at the end of October. Lewis was unlucky at the Chinese round but we're keeping our fingers crossed for Brazil next week. He's had an amazing year and fully deserves to be the first rookie F1 champ.

As well as all the paintwork, I'm busy getting my bike prepared for the famous Weston Beach Race next week, where I'll be one of 1,000 riders taking part in a mad 3 hour race in the Weston Dunes. The big tank has been fitted, and the dayglo vinyl stuck onto the bodywork so my mates can see me, and help when I get stuck... I've been going to Weston every year since I was 15, and it's like an end of year chance to blow off some steam with friends - although a weekend of partying followed by the race always means a hard week at work afterwards!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Dan Wheldon/Art Rotondo helmets

Dan Wheldons' two helmets for the last Indy round were a collaboration with Canadian motorsport artist, Art Rotondo ( is a big fan of Dans, supplying him with high-quality racing paintings, and approached Dan and myself with some cool designs for his race helmets. We were more than happy to work with Art and used his unique style for two helmets that Dan used at the last IRL round.