59 teams on the track at the Bol d’Or
The first official free practice session of the Bol d’Or, the opening round of the 2017-2018 FIM EWC, gets underway at 9.30am tomorrow (Thursday) on Castellet’s Paul Ricard circuit.
The 81st edition of the Bol d’Or will see 59 teams on the track. This opening 24-hour race will be the first face-off between reigning world champion GMT94 Yamaha and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, back in the fray with the new GSX-R 1000. But they will have to reckon with YART Yamaha, second runner-up of the 2016-2017 FIM EWC after turning in a strong performance towards the end of the season. Two Honda squads – F.C.C. TSR Honda France and Honda Endurance Racing – are also serious contenders for the Formula EWC win.
Team SRC remains the top-billed Kawasaki, but the new-look Bolliger Team Switzerland is also in with a chance. Five teams will be flying the BMW flag, among them Völpker NRT48 Schubert Motors by ERC, which has moved up into Formula EWC and will have to battle tough rivals like Team Tecmas and Wepol BMW by Penz13.
The Bol d’Or will see new teams competing in the FIM EWC championship from start to finish.
In the Superstock category, Moto Ain CRT will launch into a renewed struggle with Tati Team Beaujolais Racing and AM Moto Racing Compétition, while Junior Team LMS Suzuki will also be vying for a win. Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences, winner of the 2016-2017 FIM EWC World Cup, will be racing one last time in the Superstock class before moving up into Formula EWC at the 24 Heures Motos in April. The new entries in this class too will be looking for their place in the sun.