First world title for Team SRC Kawasaki France
After an epic race at Suzuka with Jérémy Guarnoni, Erwan Nigon and David Checa, the Team SRC Kawasaki France claimed its first FIM Endurance World Championship crown.
Starting the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale with a small advantage in the standings, the Team SRC Kawasaki France prevailed to win the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) for the 2018-2019 season. It’s the first world title for the outfit formed by Gilles Stafler in 2009 and a mainstay of the EWC ever since.
Supported by Kawasaki Motor France, the Team SRC Kawasaki France has focused its efforts on two major events in its homeland, the 24 Heures Motos and the Bol d’Or. It has built its reputation as an Endurance racing specialist with six wins in the 24 Heures Motos and four triumphs in the Bol d’Or.
Before taking the reins of the Team SRC Kawasaki France, Stafler was, since 1993, part of the technical staff of the official Team Kawasaki France, which won six world titles between 1981 and 1996.
Despite his team’s title success, Stafler admits he’s not been entirely satisfied: “It’s a really great reward for the whole team. We have won a lot of 24-hour races, but this is our first world title. After our mechanical issue at the Bol d’Or, we worked a lot during the winter and won the 24 Heures Motos. But then we broke the engine in Slovakia so we gave everything in Oschersleben, while the Suzuki Racing Team made a mistake. In Suzuka, our non-attendance at the pre-tests penalised us for the race but the championship ended with a little help of destiny following the Suzuki team’s engine failure. We could have done better.”
With the 2018-2019 EWC title secured, the Team SRC Kawasaki France is already preparing the Bol d’Or, which opens the 2019-2020 season on 21/22 September. “We will be at the start with the same three riders,” said Stafler. “We have solved the electronic failures that affected us last year, so the objective is the win.”