GSR Kawasaki took the lead early in the first round of the FIM Endurance World Championship, and never looked back. They celebrate their first win of this series in over a decade.
Team GSR Kawasaki has won the first round of the 2010 Qtel FIM World Endurance Championship. With 11 laps of separation from the former champion Yamaha Austria Racing Team, Kawasaki’s Da Costa, Olivier Four and Gregory Leblanc set the pace the entire weekend by leading all the qualifying sessions and taking the race lead after only a few laps. This win represents the first 24 Hour Le Mans victory for Kawasaki since 1999.
The 33rd edition of Le Mans came with a tri-color podium in terms of manufacturers – Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki. The Yamaha team of Gwen Giabbani, Igor Jerman and Steve Plater put in an incredible performance during the early stages of the race, and after leading the race for several laps it appeared the Yamaha team was having a repeat performance of the 2009 season. Unfortunately a mechanical issue with the rear wheel forced a stop, and the team was hampered further by overheating problems late into the night. Despite repeated pit stops and interruptions, they were able to successfully fight back and hold onto a second-place podium finish.
Yamaha Austria Racing Team was able to hold off RAC 41 City Bike of Gregory Junod, Greg Black and Olivier Depoorter towards the end, and finished four laps ahead of Suzuki.
Trailing four laps behind Yamaha was the RAC 41 City Bike of Gregory Junod, Greg Black and Olivier Depoorter. The Suzuki team rode a flawless race, capitalizing on problems plaguing their competitors and taking a surprising yet well acquired podium finish.
This 33rd edition of Le Mans was a race full of mechanical problems which hardly spared anyone. The Michelin Power Research Team bike was sidelined due to serious engine trouble, and the BMW-Michelin was severely slowed due to problems with its electronics. Honda’s 99 BMP Elf was also slowed by electrical issues early in the morning, with over 75 minutes spent in the pits attempting to correct it.
2010 Le Mans 24 Hour Results:
1. GSR – Kawasaki – Da Costa J, Four O, Leblanc G – 24:00:47.253, 828 Laps
2. Yamaha Austria Racing Team – Jerman I, Martin St, Giabbani G – 24:02:22.100, 817 Laps
3. Rac 41 City Bike – Junod G, Black G, Depoorter O – 24:00:52.743, 813 Laps
4. Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone – Checa D, Lavilla G, Foray K – 24:01:17.063,808 Laps
5. R.T. Motovirus Racing – Jond F, Mizera E, Grarre W – 24:01:10.368, 803 Laps
6. Bolliger Team – Saiger H, Stamm F, Chabosseau F – 24:02:21.683, 802 Laps
7. Infini Power Bike Troyes – Dupuis E, Holub F, Hiernaux K – 24:00:55.661, 793 Laps
8. BMP Elf 99 Racing Team – Daemen W, Cudlin D, Lagrive M – 24:01:59.630, 780 Laps
9. Motobox Kremer – Sherrer M, Gaziellollo F, Paavilainen T – 24:00:57.085, 775 Laps
10. Team Flembbo – Jardin T, Guyot T, Barbancon X – 24:01:05.513, 773 Laps