After 24 hours of racing around a tiny historic track in France, the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorcycle endurance race, and final round of the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship has finally come to an end. A race of attrition, SRC Kawasaki claimed the top podium step, followed by Suzuki France’s Team R2CL (which was blessed with the addition of Guy Martin for the event), with Yamaha France – GMT 94 – Michelin Yamalube rounding out the final position.
The conclusion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans also means that the 2013 FIM Endurance World Championship rankings have been settled, with the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) clinching the Championship, yet again, despite the team’s disappointing 26th place finish overall in Le Mans. Second in the Championship is the Yamaha France – GMT 94 – Michelin Yamalube squad, with SRC Kawasaki closing out the top three spot, for the four-round championship.
With anything possible in the 24-hour event, Le Mans saw many fan-favorites fall by the wayside as the hours ticked by on the countdown clock. Most prominently was the Honda TT Legends squad, which saw Simon Andrews get into a massive four-bike crash while racing in third position.
Scuttling the team’s chances for a positive result in Le Mans, Andrews is currently recovering from surgery for his two broken legs, a broken forearm, broken shoulder, broken ribs, which caused a punctured lung, and three broken vertebrae in his lower back. Latest news from the team is that Simon is doing well post-op.
However noticeably absent from the Honda TT Legends squad, John McGuinness was unable to qualify for the race team, and did not race with the Honda TT Legends team, which was comprised of Andrews, Michael Rutter, and Michael Dunlop. The famous TT racer took to twitter to say he was “gutted” by not making the team.
Josh Hayes’ EWC bid with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) was cut-short, as the Austrian team had to retire mid-race, which also scuttled the team’s hopes for winning the 2013 Endurance World Championship. YART is unlikely to race the full 2014 championship, and is only confirmed for the Suzuka 8-Hour for next year’s season.
Other disappointments included the retirement of two very strong BMW squads: BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent and Penz13.com BMW squad (for which American Jason Pridmore was racing for).
Team Thevent retired 14hrs into the race, with a terminal gearbox problem on their BMW S1000RR race bike, while Penz13.com BMW suffered a mechanical retirement as well, bowing out of the Superstock class after completing 192 laps on the course.
While the BMW boys languished at Le Mans, the Suzuki contingents thrived. Guy Martin’s endurance racing debut ended well, with the team’s podium finish in the race and fourth in the championship.
Meanwhile, SERT salvaged a minor crash and that damaged the team’s coolant system, which lead to a complete rebuild of the engine to the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 race bike (as well as a drop to 54th in the standings), to finish in the points and clinch the World Championship.
The unsung heroes were again the SRC Kawasaki team, which raced a very strong race at Le Mans, and have been a formidable opponent all season in the EWC series. The team’s result in France clinched SRC Kawasaki third in the Championship, narrowly beating out the Suzuki R2CL team.
|1||SRC Kawasaki||LEBLANC G. / FORET F. / SALCHAUD N.||Kawasaki||EWC|
|2||TEAM R2CL||GIABBANI G. / MARTIN G. / BUISSON D.||Suzuki||EWC|
|3||YAMAHA France GMT 94||CHECA D. / FORAY K. / LAGRIVE M.||Yamaha||EWC|
|4||TEAM 18 SAPEURS-POMPIERS||MOLINIER S. / BRIERE D. / TANGRE C.||Kawasaki||EWC|
|5||TEAM MOTORS EVENTS||FASTRE G. / LUCAS C. / SAVARY M.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|6||JUNOR TEAM LMS Suzuki||GUITTET B. / MASSON E. / DIETRICH G.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|7||MACO RACING TEAM||BALDONI A. / LUIS RITA J. / ROCCOLI M.||Yamaha||EWC|
|8||NATIONAL-MOTOS||FOUR O. / JUNOD G. / TIZON IBANEZ A.||Honda¨||EWC|
|9||SYNERGIE FORCE TRICKSTAR||DEGUCHI O. / IZUTSU H. / SERIZAWA T.||Kawasaki||EWC|
|10||TEAM LOUIT MOTO 33||MARINO F. / SAVADORI L. / JONCHIERE E.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|11||ATOMIC MOTOSPORT||YANNICK P. / CHOLVIN N. / JOND F.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|12||NO LIMITS MOTOR TEAM||BUSSEI G. / BOSCOSCURO A. / CASAS V.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|13||YAMAHA VILTAIS EXPERIENCES||BARDET L. / CARILLO C. / BERTHOME D.||Yamaha||SSTK|
|14||BOLLIGER TEAM SWITZERLAND||SAIGER H. / MORILLON D. / ENJOLRAS J.||Kawasaki||EWC|
|15||RESEAUHonda||BERCOT P. / DUPOND S. / GERARD S.||Honda||SSTK|
|16||VOLPKER SCHUBERT-MOTORS||GANTNER H. / HAYATO T. / STUPPI B.||BMW||SSTK|
|17||TEAM DUNLOP MOTORS EVENTS||PUTIN J. / PEPIN E. / DEHAYE G.||Suzuki||EWC|
|18||RS SPEEDBIKESRACING||ALBRECHT L. / ALTENDORFER F. / LOWE R.||BMW||OPEN|
|19||PROBIKE TEAM GP MOTO||BOIZART S. / LANZIANI F. / LE ROYER A.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|20||DGSPORT HEROCK||VAN KEYMEULEN D. / McFADDEN D. / MAHIAS L.||Yamaha||SSTK|
|21||TEAM SPACE MOTO 37||GALLERAND J. / NOUVELLON Y. / ROCHE C.||Suzuki||EWC|
|22||EQUIPMOTO50 TRT27||CHEVRIER C. / CICQUEL / A. CICQUEL A.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|23||MOTOBOX KREMER RACING||GAZIELLO F. / PAAVILAINEN T. / SCHERRER M.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|24||TEAM RACING 85||GAUFRETEAU S. / LANDREAU R. / PERRIN F.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|25||AZ MOTOS||MEZARD S. / DUMAIN D. / LAVILLENIE R.||Suzuki||SSTK|
|26||SERT||PHILIPPE V. / DA COSTA / J. CUDLIN A.||Suzuki||EWC|
|27||MOTOS ACTIVES SPORT 14||PIGEON F. / PIGEON F. / ROSA P.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|28||ZX MOTO LE MANS||BOUE M. / DELEGUE B. / MACCIO J.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|29||RACING TEAM 87||HAMARD G. / GUYOT T. / VIAUD N.||Yamaha||SSTK|
|30||RAFAEL RACING||BONNET A. / COVENA T. / SINKE R.||Kawasaki||EWC|
|31||TMC 35||AYNIE A. / BELLIGA J. / DIARD M.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|32||TEAM RACING+ _ OUI FM||BRILLANTE J. / DEBROISE K. / VIGNEAU R.||Kawasaki||SSTK|
|33||TEAM SCUDERIA DEUX ROUES||TEISSIER P. / ANCELIN L. / ROYER H.||Ducati||OPEN|
|34||TEAM ESPERANZA||PASCAL V. / SERRAFIN J. / TORCHAUSS V.||BMW||SSTK|
Source: FIM; Photos: © 2013 Kevin Warren / Digital Press Images — All Rights Reserved