F.C.C. TSR Honda France chasing title in Suzuka
F.C.C. TSR Honda France gets to the Suzuka 8 Hours with a 10-point lead over GMT94 Yamaha and the goal of being the first-ever Japanese team to claim the world title at the EWC Grand Finale on 29 July.
After winning the 24 Heures Motos and the 8 Hours of Oschersleben, F.C.C. TSR Honda France is laying claim to the 2017-2018 FIM EWC world championship title. As the 29 July race in Suzuka approaches, the Japanese team has a 10-point lead over reigning champion GMT94 Yamaha. However, the field remains wide open: the winner of the EWC Grand Finale gets 45 points, and many contenders will be jostling to win the Suzuka 8 Hours.
Target: the world title
Masakazu Fujii’s squad are playing at home in Suzuka. Freddy Foray, Alan Techer and Josh Hook will be riding the Honda #5 with a single goal in mind: winning a Japanese team the world title for the first time in Endurance.
F.C.C. TSR Honda France have already notched up three prior Suzuka 8 Hours wins and finished 3rd last year in Japan. But there’s more at stake this year, says team manager Masakazu Fujii, team manager.
“This season, our most important target was clear. Our ultimate goal is to win the world championship. If there is any chance we can win at Suzuka, we will obviously go for it, but our main objective is to win the championship.
The Suzuka circuit is our home ground. Our factory is only 500 metres from the circuit. So we don’t ever want to lose at Suzuka. We will only be able to win the FIM EWC championship title if we finish before GMT94, and that’s our goal. But, of course, we’ll also try to win the race: that’s just what you do in Endurance. So we’ll do our utmost to finish in the best possible position.”
Multiple clashes on the cards at the Grand Finale
The EWC Grand Finale at Suzuka looks set to be a thrilling clash between title contenders F.C.C. TSR Honda France and GMT94 Yamaha. And Honda Endurance Racing, currently 3rd in the 2017-2018 FIM EWC provisional standings, has a real chance to shine. The Suzuka 8 Hours will also see an all-out battle involving the Japanese manufacturers on the entry list. Yamaha Racing, the winner of the last three editions, will be on the grid, but HRC Honda is back in the competition with a factory team to try and wrest away control. Last year’s runner-up Kawasaki Team Green is targeting top spot on the podium, as is Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing, whose last win dates back to 2009.