The Honda Racing have made their targets for the Suzuka 8hr race perfectly clear, as the Lincolnshire based team look to get their Endurance World Championship into top gear after a disappointing DNF at the opening round of the series in Magny Cours back in April.
Team boss Neil Tuxworth says despite challenging the might of the factory supported teams, the goal is to secure maximum championship points for the squad.
“The whole team is highly motivated and really looking forward to Suzuka, particularly after our strong showing at the Bol d’Or 24-hour. Even though we didn’t finish that race, we were leading by five laps when we were forced to retire so that shows the strength of the team. Our objective in Japan is to finish the race as the top European team and hopefully on the podium.”
Freddy Foray, fresh from the National Superstock 1000 round at Brands Hatch last weekend, admits that the challenge will be difficult as he struggles to learn the Suzuka circuit.
“This will be my first time racing at Suzuka and I’m sure it will be a great challenge. I worked really hard during the test to try and prepare for the race. Being honest, I can’t say I enjoy the track yet. I’m used to learning new tracks but this one is very technical. It was important to have the extra time during the test. Our aim for this race is to finish ahead of the other permanent EWC teams to make up some points in the championship.”
However, teammates Sebastian Gimbert and Julien da Costa are fired up for the race, with the pair of world champions bringing combined experience to the event.
Gimbert said: “This will be my third time competing in the Suzuka 8 Hours and it’s always a race that I enjoy. There are so many riders, teams and manufacturers of all different nationalities and that makes for a great atmosphere. The circuit is superb and very technical in parts. Our objective is to focus on the championship as a whole and score as many points as possible over our EWC rivals.”
Da Costa concluded: “I have raced at Suzuka three times now. It’s an amazing track with a great atmosphere and I really like to see all the Japanese fans that come to support the race. I’m certain that we can finish inside the top five with our fast Fireblade, but really my aim is the podium.”