Round 03 Slovakia

  • F.C.C. TSR Honda France Third, Maintains Championship Lead at 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring

    F.C.C. TSR Honda France started from pole, and persevered fierce competition to cross the finish line 3rd, in Round 3 of the FIM Endurance World Championship, the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring.


Report

F.C.C. TSR Honda France Third, Maintains Championship Lead at 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring

Slovakia May 14, 2018

Freddy Foray (F.C.C. TSR Honda France), starting from pole in Round 3 of the FIM Endurance World Championship, the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, was immediately pushed out at the get-go, but managed to regain his place at the front of the long race. Amidst fierce competition, the three F.C.C. TSR Honda France riders rode their stints according to plan: Nine stints, eight pits, with the rider order being Freddy Foray, Alan Techer, and Joshua Hook.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France

F.C.C. TSR Honda France

Mid-race, Joshua Hook had trouble controlling his front tire due to the high track temperature, unable to find a comfortable rhythm. F.C.C. TSR Honda France, Honda Endurance Racing and two Yamaha teams battled for victory, their positions changing with each pit stop.

As the race entered its latter half two safety cars entered the track, dividing YART Yamaha in the lead, and F.C.C. TSR Honda France in chase, widening the gap and sending the Honda back to 4th. Undeterred, F.C.C. TSR Honda France managed to claw back to 3rd, and after Freddy Foray’s third stint, Joshua Hook took over the bike in place of Alan Techer. Hook, who had set the track record of 2 min 4.7s last year, lapped consistently in the 2 min 4s range, once again setting the fastest lap at 2 min 4.421s.

Freddy Foray, taking over for F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s final stint, also lapped in the 2 in 4s range as the air started to cool. On Lap 211, Foray set the fastest lap, and new lap record, of 2 min 4.185s with 2nd place within reach, but ran out of time to finish 3rd, completing 224 laps.

Gregory LeBlanc (Honda Endurance Racing) started the race from 7th on the grid, and was soon in the fight for the lead. The three Honda Endurance Racing riders Gregory LeBlanc, Sébastien Gimbert and Erwan Nigon were consistently in the top 5, completed the 8 hour race a respectable 4th place.

F.C.C. TSR Honda France head into Round 4, the 8 Hours of Oschersleben (June 7 - 9) maintaining a one point lead in the championship.

Honda Endurance Racing’s 3rd place finish gives them 19 points, enough to maintain 3rd place in the championship. Their gap with F.C.C. TSR Honda France is 15 points.

Honda Endurance Racing

Honda Endurance Racing

Comments

Masakazu Fujii | #5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France Team Manager (3rd)

“Our results were not the best, but they were better than what could have happened. We managed to maintain our championship lead, and we’re gaining in confidence. At Le Mans, luck gave us some help. This race was different. Our new bike is improving by the day, and it’s now fast enough to compete with our rivals.This is a big matter. It will get better in the next round. I’m looking forward to Oschersleben.”

Sébastien Gimbert | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (4th)

“For me personally to finish fourth is not so good, as a rider I always want to win or be on the podium, but the result today for the team and also the championship is very good. We remain third in the standings, which I am very happy about and I feel I have the best team and everyone works so well together, with Greg and Erwan I feel we are as one and we all work very well together with one bike. We have good pace on the circuit and in the box we are very fast, so thank you to my team and my teammates. I am confident for the future and for Oschersleben, we need to push on there and I think we can have a very good result.”

Gregory LeBlanc | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (4th)

“I prefer to finish on the podium, but honestly for us today it was difficult to get on the podium. The first three teams were very fast and we lost some time on track, which we couldn’t get back. The result today for the championship isn’t too bad and we didn’t lose too many points, so we’re still focused on the title. For sure when you finish two races on the podium it is very difficult to then not be on the podium, but I prefer to finish fourth than anywhere else in this situation. Thank you to my teammates and to my team for this race, everyone tried their best for the podium but today it wasn’t our day. Now we focus on the next round at Oschersleben and being on the podium again!”

Erwan Nigon | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (4th)

“I am a little bit sad to finish the race fourth, it’s the position just after the podium so you feel a little sad and have a little cry! No, honestly we had a good race today, we push to our maximum with the package and I am really happy with this. All week the team have worked very good and the Honda, the engine is so fast! But today wasn’t our race, we are not so far away as we know from the last two rounds and I think we can go to the next round stronger. It is very good for Honda as F.C.C finish third, so it’s two Honda’s in the top-four, but next time we’re going for the win!”

Jonny Twelvetrees | #111 Honda Endurance Racing Team Manager (4th)

“It’s a bit of a mixed result for us really today, on one hand we’re pleased to have finished with no problems and in fourth collecting good points towards the championship. But on the other hand we’re disappointed not to be on the podium – after the last two races you almost get into a habit of being up there. We did a great race though and the pit crew were fantastic, we were one of the fastest out there, the fuel worked well, the riders pushed hard and everyone just did a great job. We were just beaten today though, perhaps we could have won some time with a different strategy, but ultimately the other teams were a little bit faster. So, we’ll regroup and work on that to see where we can improve and go to Oschersleben to finish on the steps or take that win!”

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Results

FIM Endurance World Championship 2017-2018
Round 3:Slovakia Ring – Slovakia

Rank Team(Rider)
1 YART - YAMAHA / Yamaha
(PARKES Broc/FRITZ Marvin/NEUKIRCHNER Max)
2 GMT94 YAMAHA / Yamaha
(DI MEGLIO Mike/CANEPA Niccolò/CHECA David)
3 F.C.C. TSR Honda France / Honda
(HOOK Josh/FORAY Freddy/TECHER Alan)
4 Honda Endurance Racing / Honda
(LEBLANC Grégory/GIMBERT Sébastien/NIGON Erwan)
5 NRT48 / BMW
(FORAY Kenny/KERSCHBAUMER Stefan/HICKMAN Peter)
6 MERCURY RACING / BMW
(HANIKA Karel/SMRZ Jakub/SMRŽ Matej)
31 Rac 41 / Honda
(PONS Gabriel/AYER Alexandre/CORNUT Billy)

Photos