Phase One win World Endurance title
The British Phase One team overcame a dramatic build-up to the final round of the 2003 World Endurance championship at Vellelunga in Italy, to go on to take the title.
Regular riders Jason Pridmore and Jimmy Lindstrom both ruled themselves out with injury, with Pridmore breaking his leg in an American Superbike race and Lindstrom breaking his collarbone in a Swedish Supersport round. This meant Phase One Junior team rider Andi Notman was drafted in to join brothers James and Dean Ellison on the Phase One Senior bike.
The British trio were up against the Zonghsen Number 1 bike, ridden by the pairing of Warwick Nowland and Piergiorio Bontempi. The Italian was consistently fastest through practice and qualifying for the Zongshen Number 2 team, leading to his switch to the Number 1 bike for the race itself in an attempt to retain their 2002 championship title.
Torrential rain caused problems in the early part of the race, with Stephane Mertens on Zongshen Number 2 and David Checa on GMT94 both pushing their bikes back to the pits after falling. DRE Ducati incurred a stop/go penalty, while a mistimed tyre choice handicapped Phase One.
As the race settled down, the battle for the lead was between Sebastein Scarnato on the GMT96 Yamaha and Gwen Giabbani on the Police Nationale Suzuki. With the circuit safety cars brought out while an oil spill was cleared, the pair were separated from the third place DRE Ducati of Mike Edwards.
Giabanni managed to hold the lead to the chequered flag, giving the Police Nationale team their first win. GMT96 took second with the DRE Ducati team in third.
With Zonghsen Number 1 eventually finishing fifth, the Suzuki GB Phase One team was able to claim the 2003 World Endurance Championship with twelfth place.
Other British results saw the Diablo GB team in eighth, Trackdaze 11 in ninth, the Suzuki GB Phase One Junior team in 16th and Trackdaze 10 in 22.
1) Police Nationale 22. 2) Yamaha GMT96. 3) Ducati DRE 5. 4) KFM Herber Endurance. 5) Zongshen 1. 6) Yamaha Austria Racing Team. 7) Jet Team. 8) Diablo GB. 9) Trackdaze 11. 10) Ducati DRE 101. 11) Yamaha Endurance Moto 38. 12) Suzuki GB Phase One. 13) Team Fagersjo-el.se. 14) Celani Team. 15) PS Schlesinger Endurance. 16) Suzuki Phase One Junior. 17) Team Fagersjo-el.se. 18) Hofmann Racing Team. 19) Hofmann Racing Team. 20) Team Klein 76. 21) Alpi Racing Team. 22) Trackdaze 10. 23) 3B Team. 24) Solandra 2. 25) Speedracing Team. 26) DMG Racing Team 27. 27) Faber Team. 28) Onlybike Racing Team. 29) Scuderia Solomoto Benevento. 30) Maco Moto Racing Team. 31) As Real Bike Racing. 32) Zongshen 2. 33) Alpi Racing Team.
DNFs: Bolliger Team. DMG Racing Team 41. Faccio Racing. X-One. Scuderia Race Riders. Suzuki-No Limits. Solandra 2. TRD Racing. DMG Racing Team 21. Jet Team. Yamaha GMT94.
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