BREAKING NEWS: 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or joy for Viltais Racing Igol, heartbreak for ERC Endurance-Ducati
Viltaïs Racing Igol has won the 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or for its first FIM Endurance World Championship victory following a dramatic final 90 minutes at Circuit Paul Ricard this afternoon.
After long-term leader ERC Endurance-Ducati stopped with a mechanical failure while comfortably in front, Wójcik Racing Team was left at the head of the pack.
But in another late twist, the Polish squad’s Yamaha slowed, forcing Mathieu Gines to push the bike to the pitlane for repairs.
When Dan Linfoot eventually returned the #77 machine to the track, more than five minutes had been lost along with all hopes of victory as France-based Viltaïs Racing Igol, another privateer Yamaha squad, swept into a lead it wouldn’t relinquish thanks to the performances of riders Florian Alt, Erwan Nigon and Steven Odendaal.
Meanwhile, Wójcik Racing Team’s eventual second place still represents its best finish of the season with Webike SRC Kawasaki France third in what was boss Gilles Stafler’s final EWC race before he retires.
For ERC riders David Checa and Xavi Forés, however, their late heartbreak was extremely tough to take after they’d shared riding duties for a large part of the race when Chaz Davies hurt his back and couldn’t continue. Despite the highly emotional scenes in the team garage, Checa regained his composure to return to the action for the last hour following rapid repairs by his German outfit. He took fifth behind the FIM Endurance World Championship title-winning F.C.C. TSR Honda France team, which also made another unscheduled pitstop in the closing two hours. MACO Racing finished a strong sixth.
RAC41-Chromeburner claimed Superstock category honours ahead of BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers in a reversal of last season’s finishing positions, Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore took the FIM Endurance World Cup title despite dropping out with a mechanical failure.