Suzuka to host finale of an incredible season
The 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship has been particularly hard-fought, with three different winners in four races. With the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale just around the corner, Team SRC Kawasaki France are in contention for their first world title ahead of 15-time title winners Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and reigning champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France.
Endurance racing is a spectacular sport packed with suspense, thrills, setbacks and triumphs. All the high-profile teams and machines have had their moments of glory and despair. A look back at an amazing, truly incredible season in the run-up to the grand finale in Japan.
The 2018-2019 FIM EWC got underway at the Bol d’Or last September, with F.C.C. TSR Honda France snatching a last-minute victory a mere 45 seconds ahead of YART Yamaha. The race on the Castellet circuit saw Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Team SRC Kawasaki France falling back because of technical issues and Honda Endurance Racing withdrawing as a result of an engine problem.
In April, at the 24 Heures Motos, Team SRC Kawasaki France took the lead in the championship, claiming a stunning win after a lengthy battle with Honda Endurance Racing, who finished ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team. YART Yamaha had to throw in the towel at Le Mans after suffering engine failure and F.C.C. TSR Honda France finished outside the points due to technical problems.
At the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring in May, YART Yamaha came roaring back to win the race ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who took over the lead in the provisional standings, and F.C.C. TSR Honda France, while Team SRC Kawasaki France retired with engine failure.
At the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in June, F.C.C. TSR Honda France chalked up another victory, finishing ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki France, who returned to the top of the championship standings with a 5-point lead over Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
A few accomplished challengers occasionally interrupted the factory teams’ game of musical chairs. Wepol Racing and VRD Igol Pierret Expériences, both Yamaha teams, claimed the third step of the Bol d’Or and Oschersleben podiums respectively. Like Kawasaki-mounted Bolliger Team Switzerland, they regularly featured among the Top 5 in the season’s races.
To find out how this action-packed season ends, tune in to the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale in Japan on Sunday 28 July.