Honda Racing celebrates debut EWC victory at Oschersleben 8 Hours
The Honda Racing team is celebrating its debut Endurance World Championship victory after leading today’s Oschersleben 8 Hours race from the first lap to the chequered flag. The team picks up 35 points to climb to fourth in the EWC standings.
Julien Da Costa started the race for the team and claimed the top spot by the end of the first lap, during which both SERT and YART crashed and SRC Kawasaki pitted with a bike issue. The next few hours passed without incident and with Honda Racing holding on to a one-lap lead ahead of Yamaha Racing GMT94.
At 17.00, while Sebastien Gimbert was on the bike, heavy rain began to fall, forcing all teams to pit early and change to full wet tyres. Freddy Foray took over and remained on board while many other teams succumbed to the wet conditions and the safety car was deployed. An oil spill resulted in the race continuing under these conditions for 45 minutes as the track was cleaned, eventually resuming at 18.45 with just over an hour remaining.
Having carried out an impressive race strategy to pit just six times during the eight-hour battle, Honda Racing held a three-lap lead as Da Costa headed out on cut slicks for the final stint. He held steady on the drying track to bring home the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in first place, securing the team’s first-ever EWC victory. Yamaha Racing GMT94 placed second with Team Bolliger Switzerland in third.
The final round of the 2014 Endurance World Championship – the Le Mans 24-hour – will take place on 21/22 September.
Neil Tuxworth – team manager – “I’m so pleased for everyone in the team – not just the riders but for the entire crew. We’ve had a lot of heartbreak this year with our results and we should have had a win before now, so it’s great to get this victory, which the team well deserves. Let’s hope we can move forward with the momentum of this result and it will be one of many wins that the team will get in the future.”
Defending World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team heroically fought from the back of the pack to sixth position. The 13-time series winners crashed on the opening lap when Anthony Delhalle slid-off the GSX-R1000 and was forced to pit for repairs immediately; restarting five laps behind; and right at the back of the field.
However, Delhalle and team mates Vincent Philippe and Erwan Nigon clawed-back throughout the remaining seven-and-a-half hours to finish on 287 laps – four laps behind the race winners- and fourth overall in the EWC class which has moved the team from 10th to fifth in the series with one round remaining.
The race was won by Honda Racing ahead of series leaders Yamaha GMT 94 and Team Bolliger Switzerland third.
Broc Parkes talks about crashing out of second place
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Race Results – EWC class – Oschersleben 8 Hour
- Honda Endurance Racing 291 laps JPN HONDA Honda Endurance Racing
- Yamaha Racing – GMT94 – Michelin 289 laps NA YAMAHA Yamaha Racing – GMT94 – Michelin
- Bolliger Team Switzerland 288 laps NA KAWASAKI Bolliger Team Switzerland
- Suzuki Endurance Racing Team 287 laps FRA SUZUKI Suzuki Endurance Racing Team
- Team 18 Sapours Pompiers 285 laps NA KAWASAKI Team 18 Sapours Pompiers
- Monster Energy Yamaha-YART 284 laps FRA YAMAHA Monster Energy Yamaha-YART
- SRC Kawasaki 282 laps FRA KAWASAKI SRC Kawasaki
- Flembbo Leader team 279 laps NA KAWASAKI Flembbo Leader team
- National Motos 278 laps NA HONDA National Motos
- Motobox Kremer Racing by Shell Advance 277 laps NA SUZUKI Motobox Kremer Racing by Shell Advance
EWC Points Standings after round three
- Yamaha GMT 94 Yamaha 91
- Bolliger Switzerland Kawasaki 70
- SRC Kawasaki Kawasaki 69
- Honda Racing Honda 54
- SERT Suzuki 44
- Team Motors Events Suzuki 44
- National Motos Honda 44
- Musasashi Harc Pro Honda 35
- Yoshimura Suzuki 29