Honda Racing Team’s Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert celebrated the team’s first Endurance World Championship win after taking the checkers in the 2014 Oschersleben 8 Hours race. Yamaha France GMT94 Michelin’s David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines finished in second-place, two laps behind the leaders while Bollinger Team Switzerland’s Horst Saiger, Roman Stamm and Daniel Sutter rounded out the podium.
Da Costa led the Honda squad at the opening of the race, running to the head of the pack after some of the top teams came into trouble. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s Anthony Delhalle lost the GSX-R1000 on the opening lap, forcing SERT to the pits and setting the team five laps behind at the outset. Monster Energy YART went down early as well and faced a similar hill to climb as SERT after the incident. SRC Kawasaki was forced back to the garage during the initial stages as well to address a bike issue. All three teams were able to return to action and finish within the top-10 overall, but their absence aided the Honda squad in bringing home victory.
Honda maintained a single lap lead over Yamaha GMT94 for much of the race after the early incidents. Later on, rains began to pelt the track and teams were forced in for a tire change. Foray managed the bike through much of the water-soaked portion of the race and when Da Costa took over as the track began to dry, the team had grown its lead to three laps.
“This is such a good thing for everyone, not just us riders but for the whole team,” said Foray. “We have worked very hard since the start of the year and it hasn’t paid off until now. We led the race and we won the race and I am very happy for everyone. We needed this win. The race was difficult because of the rain, and that came while I was on the bike so that wasn’t very good for me! But that doesn’t matter now – this is a great thing for the team going into the Le Mans 24-hour.”
In the overall rankings, 4 Penz13.com Autowelt Racing finished fourth with 288 completed laps, followed by 5 Qatar Endurance Racing Team in fifth. SERT clawed back to sixth followed by Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers in seventh and Junior Team LMS in eighth. Monster Energy YART rebounded to finish ninth while SRC Kawasaki rounded out the top-10.
Yamaha GMT94 maintains the series lead followed by Bollinger Switzerland in second and SRC Kawasaki in third. Honda Racing jumps up to fourth with SERT rounding out the top-five.
Oschersleben 8-Hour Results 2014
1. Honda Racing (Honda) 291 laps
2. Yamaha Racing GMT 94 (Yamaha) 289
3. Team Bolliger Switzerland (Kawasaki) 288
4. Penz13.com Autowelt Racing (BMW) 288
5. Qatar Endurance Racing Team (Kawasaki) 288
6. SERT (Suzuki) 287
7. Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers (Kawasaki) 285
8. Junior Team LMS (Suzuki) 285
9. Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) 284
10. SRC Kawasaki (Kawasaki) 282
Endurance World Championship Points 2014
1. Yamaha GMT94, 91
2. Bollinger Switzerland, 70
3. SRC Kawasaki, 69
4. Honda Racing, 54
5. SERT, 44
6. Team Motors Events, 44
7. National Motos, 44
8. Musashi HARC PRO, 35
9. Yoshimura Suzuki, 29
10. Team R2CL, 26