SUZUKI RETAINS EWC LEAD AFTER LE MANS 24-HOUR2017-04-17 08:04
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team continues to lead in the 2017 Endurance World Championship after finishing fourth in the second round, the 40th Le Mans 24-Race in France.
SERT riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Alex Cudlin crossed the line just-off the podium with a total of 848 laps completed following a difficult and emotional event close-to the team’s headquarters – and hearts - at the Circuit Bugatti.
In memory of Anthony Delhalle, the team’s long-standing rider, who succumbed to injuries during testing last month, the team raced throughout, despite suffering a couple of slip-offs during the night when Masson clipped another rider. Then, following a quick pit-stop, Masson slipped-on oil and the team had to climb back-up the ranks again.
When Cudlin took over the # 1 Suzuki GSX-R1000, SERT was ninth, but then the team made an amazing climb through the field with every rider change throughout the night moving SERT into third place when the sun rose on Sunday morning after a close-fight with the Honda FCC team – and then SRC Kawasaki – who like SERT suffered a slip-off.
To get as much chance as possible to reach the podium, the team decided to double the stints by Philippe and Masson because of their faster pace and also knowledge of the GSX-R1000, but they couldn’t quite make-up the time lost in the pits, finishing just 44 seconds from the podium.
However, the team go into the next round at Oschersleben next month with a three-point advantage over SRC Kawasaki and 24 clear of Le Mans race winners GMT94 Yamaha.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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