SERT takes stranglehold on race
SERT is still the front-runner 16 hours into the Bol d’Or. The amazing Japanese team Trick Star Racing’s Kawasaki is running 2nd ahead of Team Kawasaki SRC, which has managed a great catch-up after a wheel axle problem.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson have unremittingly increased their lead. At 7am, SERT is 9 laps ahead of Trick Star Racing, which has made a sensational Bol d’Or debut. A Suzuka 8 Hours regular, the Japanese team is racing its very first Bol D’Or with riders Erwan Nigon, Osamu Deguchi and Hitoyasu Izutsu. The Japanese Kawasaki is still holding off Team SRC Kawasaki after the latter’s climb back up. Held back in the early stages of the race by a defective wheel axle, Gregory Leblanc, Randy de Puniet and Fabien Foret got their heads down and caught up with the leading pack, and were back on Trick Star Racing’s tail early this morning.
In 4th and 5th place 16 hours into the race, Maco Racing (Greg Junod, Anthony dos Santos and Marko Jerman) and F.C.C. TSR Honda (Shinichi Ito, Damian Cudlin and Kazuma Watanabe) were unable to stave off Team Kawasaki SRC’s overtake.
Team Bolliger Switzerland is sitting firmly in 6th ahead of a Superstock trio led by Yamaha Moto Ain (Alexis Masbou, Johann Nigon and Hugo Clere), Tati Team Beaujolais Racing (Julien Enjolras, Dylan Buisson and Anthony Violland) and Team 3Art Yam’Avenue (Louis Bulle, Alex Plancassagne and Luca Marconi). Yamaha Viltaïs Experiences, a strong performer in the Superstock class, has lost ground because of a mechanical issue.
But dawn’s real drama involved YART Yamaha Official EWC Team. Broc Parkes, Josh Hayes and Sheridan Morais were lapping comfortably in 2nd place, but an engine problem has forced them to withdraw.
Honda Endurance Racing and GMT94 Yamaha were slowed by crashes earlier in the race but are climbing steadily back up and are now 11th and 18th respectively, though unfortunately they missed out on the bonus points awarded to the 10 teams in the lead at the 16-hour mark.