F.C.C. TSR Honda France have kicked off the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship in fine style today, winning the prestigious Bol d’Or after 24 hours on track and completing 698 laps of the 5.673km circuit.
With riders Freddy Foray, Mike Di Meglio and Josh Hook, the team fought hard aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade having dropped back into 15th place at one point, after a small issue that caused them to pit for longer than usual.
Digging deep and pushing hard lap by lap, the Honda trio continued to make up places and scored extra championship points at the eight and 16-hour stages in 10th and sixth places. Towards the end of the race they had the podium in their sights moving into third and then into second.
Victory was the next step and the riders took this challenge in their stride taking the lead with three hours to go. With a careful pit stop strategy and having created a safe distance from the team behind, F.C.C. TSR Honda France crossed the finish line victorious.
Meanwhile the Honda Endurance Racing team with riders Sébastien Gimbert, Gregory LeBlanc and Erwan Nigon showed the utmost levels of teamwork, grit and determination taking the lead of the 24-hour test of man and machine at just after midnight before experiencing heartbreak.
At 01.08am Gimbert returned to the pits and the team discovered that a cylinder head bolt had broken. The Honda squad quickly got to work stripping the engine and working to repair the damage. At 07.27am they returned to the track, but after experiencing a loss of power and at just before 09.00am this morning, the heart-breaking decision was made to retire from the race.
Fellow Honda teams in the 24-hour battle included National Motos who finished 18th after completing 660 laps and the Zuff Racing Team finished overall in 16th, but placed sixth overall in the Superstock classification. The RAC41 team sadly retired from the race shortly before midnight.
The next round of the FIM Endurance World Championship takes place at the 24 Heures Motos on 20-21 April 2019.