Round 04 Germany

  • F.C.C. TSR Honda France Wins in Germany, Ranks Top Into Suzuka

    F.C.C. TSR Honda France won the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in Germany, extending the team's championship points lead into the final round at Suzuka, Japan.


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F.C.C. TSR Honda France Wins in Germany, Ranks Top Into Suzuka

Honda Endurance Racing Averts Disaster

Germany Jun 11, 2018

F.C.C. TSR Honda France won the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in Germany, starting 2nd on the grid. The team maintains its championship points lead into the final round at Suzuka, Japan.

#5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France

#5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France

In the early stages, F.C.C. TSR Honda France’s Freddy Foray was up with the leaders, fighting to get ahead. Although the safety car was deployed in laps 11 and 30, team riders were kept up to date with team strategy in the pits, and taking full advantage of their experience, maximized their stints under the circumstances.

Foray, 4th in his first stint, was the latest leading rider into the pits, sending Josh Hook out to take the lead. No one team at this stage had a solid grasp of the race lead. Mid-race, Foray on his second stint contended the top spot with two Yamahas, and once he handed  the F.C.C. TSR Honda France bike to Hook, they were back in the lead again. From there on, the team gradually extends its lead.

In the closing stages, the team strategy was to stay out of the pits for as long as possible, and by the time Foray was on the track for the final hour, the team had pitted six times, one less than their competitors.With 20 minutes left and the safety car back on the track due to a crash, Foray’s CBR1000RR crossed the finish line in the lead for the team’s second victory of the season. F.C.C. TSR Honda France rode a chaotic 8 hour race to perfection, for a well deserved win.

The win in Germany extends the team’s championship lead to 10 points, with their home race and season finale in Suzuka remaining.

Honda Endurance Racing’s moment of truth in the race with only 21 minutes remaining: Gregory Leblanc, running 4th, crashed.

Leblanc had already completed 131 laps, and was pushing hard to secure 4th place. With less than half an hour to go, he lost balance at the Bauer curve and veered off the track. He was fortunately uninjured, and managed to return to the pits. The mechanics worked furiously on the bike, replacing the front end, fuel tank, radiator and fairing in 12 minutes. They were back on the track with 9 minutes to go. Honda Endurance Racing rode hard until the end, and crossed the finish line 13th.

Honda Endurance Racing will overcome this disappointing result at the Suzuka 8hours held on July 27 - 29.

#111 Honda Endurance Racing

#111 Honda Endurance Racing

Comments

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

“We made our preparations and worked hard to win, to claim victory, to become the world’s best. I know every team feels the same, but that alone doesn’t win championships. Still, you can’t win without the passion and conviction either. So under these circumstances, winning, everybody cheering, hearing the Japanese anthem, is deeply moving. Since our victory at Le Mans, we’re on a new bike that finished 3rd, and won here, which is gaining potential with every race, so we were finally able to outperform the competition. We’re ready to fight to become the world’s best at our home race in Suzuka.”

Freddy Foray | #5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Winners)

“The safety car allowed us to avoid the last pit stop. I hope the rider in the crash was not harmed. The whole race was perfect. I was happy with a 1 point lead in the championship, but we were able to extend that to 10 points. The bike improves with every race, and is already nearly perfect. I thank the team for their great work. It was a perfect weekend. We’l push even harder at Suzuka.”

Josh Hook | #5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Winners)

“It was a great weekend for the team. I don’t know what to say, because we won! I’m grateful to the team, and my teammates. The team, and my teammates, put in an unbelievable effort. We were fast in qualifying, and I could do my best throughout the race. It was a perfect weekend.”

Alan Techer | #5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Winners)

“As a rider, deciding not to race was extremely hard. But, that’s life. I made that decision with the whole team. My teammates and the team did a great job in the race, so I’m happy with the results. I’m looking forward to the Suzuka 8hours, and winning the championship. I understand the circumstances are difficult, but it’s a track I’m accustomed to, so we’ll be able to fight for the championship.”

Jonny Twelvetrees | #111 Honda Endurance Racing Team Manager (13th)

“That was really a remarkable achievement from the team to dig deep, at the end of an already challenging 8 hour endurance race, to absolutely work their magic to repair the bike in incredible time and ensure we could take the checkered flag. It’s this never-give-up attitude which defines endurance racing and the team, and I’m so proud of the whole team in the determination and professionalism they demonstrated today. Even though of course the result isn’t what we wanted, and what we were capable of on the Fireblace, we can hold our heads high that we didn’t give up and kept pushing to the maximum right until the end – you can see that too with the focus Greg had on attacking for fourth position. Sebastien struggled with his knee today so Greg and Erwan stepped in and delivered 131 and 132 laps respectively which in itself is also a huge achievement, so we leave Oschersleben not satisfied results-wise but absolutely proud of our team spirit.”

Erwan Nigon | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (13th)

“I can’t find the words for today – it’s been tough but sometimes racing happens like this. We had good pace and fourth was possible because we all pushed hard to climb from seventh at the start and never gave up. At the end of course the crash with Greg was a big shame but I’m glad he’s ok, and the team did a fantastic job to allow us to finish the race. It wasn’t in the position we wanted, but after the crash it was an achievement to give us something to take the checkered flag on.”

Gregory LeBlanc | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (13th)

“I’m just so sorry for the whole team for the crash at the end – I came out in my last session and in my first two laps I made up two seconds and was fastest on track, and I could see that fourth was possible. Before I went out we had the target of fourth so that’s what I wanted, but then going into Bauer I just touched the brake and lost the front. It wasn’t easy today with the extra laps but we were still fast and could see that we had front-runner pace. Normally we should have finished 4th or 5th which would have been ok given the circumstances, but of course not if you look at the results sheets so it’s disappointing.”

Sébastien Gimbert | #111 Honda Endurance Racing (13th)

“For me it’s been a very hard and frustrating weekend – I’ve never been in this situation before where I can’t equal my teammates in their laps and laptimes because of my knee, but the pain after my first session was just too much. I either risked crashing or making the injury worse which I didn’t want to do before Suzuka. I’m glad Greg is ok after his crash – I understand his position as we had the chance for fourth so he absolutely had to push, and I know it’s not been so easy on he and Erwan today with having to do more laps each, but it’s in these situations where team spirit really shows and I’m thankful to them and the team.”

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Results

FIM Endurance World Championship 2017-2018
Round 4:Oschersleben – Germany

Rank Team(Rider)
1 F.C.C. TSR Honda France / Honda
(HOOK Josh/FORAY Freddy/TECHER Alan)
2 TEAM SRC KAWASAKI / Kawasaki
(GINES Mathieu/DE PUNIET Randy/GUARNONI Jérémy)
3 GMT94 Yamaha / Yamaha
(DI MEGLIO Mike/CANEPA Niccolò/CHECA David)
4 NRT48 / BMW
(FORAY Kenny/KERSCHBAUMER Stefan/GLÖCKNER Lucy)
5 MACO RACING Team / Yamaha
(DOS SANTOS Anthony/BULLE Louis/PLANCASSAGNE Alex)
6 MOTO AIN / Yamaha
(ROLFO Roberto/MASBOU Alexis/BERGMAN Christoffer)
13 Honda Endurance Racing/ Honda
(LEBLANC Grégory/GIMBERT Sébastien/NIGON Erwan)
19 Rac 41/ Honda
(PAGANI Stéphane/AYER Alexandre)
RT Zuff Racing Team/ Honda
(ZUFFEREY Kévin/PITTET Adrien/RAEMY Damien)

Photos