The SRC Kawasaki squad of Gregory Leblanc, Matthieu Lagrive and Fabien Foret have dominated the opening round of the 2016 Endurance World Championship at the Le Mans 24 Hours, taking maximum championship points from the gruelling race by leading from an early stage.
They took the win from the unlikely second placed April Moto Motors Events team, who held off EWC newcomers but Suzuka 8 Hour masters FCC TSR Honda in their debut 24-hour performance.
With no control tyres in the championship, the final podium also saw something unheard of in world championship racing not only three different bike manufacturers, but also three tyre companies, with Pirelli, Dunlop and Bridgestone all represented.
World champions SERT finished the race in fifth, behind satellite team R2CL to give the Hamamatsu manufacturer strong representation.
However, it was disappointment for both British-based Honda teams, with the Honda Racing squad of Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert finishing a distant 19th despite running second for much of the early hours, after another mechanical issue.
The team, consistently among the fastest over the past two seasons, have nonetheless been plagued with technical problems that have seen them out of contention more than in it.
The Jackson Racing team of John McGuinness, Conor Cummins and Steve Mercer also suffered from technical issues, retiring during the night despite running in the top ten of the superstock class.
- SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 819 laps
- Team April Moto Motors Events (Suzuki) 810
- FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 808
- Team R2CL (Suzuki) 804
- Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Suzuki) 802
- Team 3ART YAM’AVENUE (Yamaha) 800
- AM Moto Racing Competition (Kawasaki) 792
- Voelpker NRT48 by Schuberth-Motos (BMW) 790
- Racing Team Sarazin (Kawasaki) 789
- MACO RACING Team (Yamaha) 786.