GMT94 kicked off the 2017/18 Endurance World Championship in style with a stunning win at this year’s Bol d’Or 24 hour at France’s Paul Ricard circuit.
The official Yamaha squad’s riders of David Checa, Mike Di Meglio and Niccolo Canepa crossed the line nine laps ahead of their closest rivals after 24 hours of racing, but it wasn’t easy for the reigning EWC champions with numerous safety car periods as well as a stop and go penalty handed to Di Meglio for speeding in pit-lane.
The GMT94 squad spent most of the race being hassled by FCC TSR Honda riders Josh Hook, Alan Techer and Freddy Foray, who took the lead by 0.5 seconds with just five hours to go, but a crash shortly after dashed their victory hopes.
This promoted the Honda Endurance Racing team to second place, but drama would then strike for the Louth-based squad, running Sebastian Gimbert, Gregory LeBlanc and former MotoGP rider Yonny Hernandez. Electrical problems forced the Fireblade into the pits from second place, with Gimbert returning to the field in fourth for the final stint, behind the Wepol BMW Motorrad by Penz13.com of Danny Webb, Alessandro Polita and Markus Reiterberger and Voelpker NRT48 Schubert-motors by ERC BMW.
Gimbert would be able to get past the second BMW squad to prevent a historic podium for German Lucy Glockner alongside team-mate’s Stefan Kerschbaumer and Jan Buhn, crossing the line just a second ahead of the BMW.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team finished seventh as they debuted the all-new GSX-R1000 in a 24-hour endurance race for the first time. The former world champions had been in the mix for a podium until mechanical issues held them back.
FCC TSR managed to remount after their crash to finish sixth, behind IV Racing BMW.
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