The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team produced a dominant display to take victory in the 75th Bol D'or 24 hour race at Magny Cours.
The reigning World Endurance champions led from the outset, and completed 814 laps, putting them six ahead of SRC Kawasaki, with BMW Motorrad France 11 laps back in third.
As night fell, the team of Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray and Anthony Delhalle had a narrow advantage of just one lap, but a trouble free night stint saw them extend that to three before further increasing it the following morning.
BMW Motorrad France recovered from a broken chain during the night to beat Bolliger Team Switzerland to third, with the Kawasaki outfit just one lap further back in fourth.
Honda TT Legends took an excellent fifth after technical problems forced the Yamaha Endurance Racing Team into retirement, with Keith Amor bringing the Honda Fireblade home.
The Scotsman was particularly pleased to complete a trouble-free race, and believes the team has proven its' potential for the endurance season to come.
“Right now I'm feeling relief, just massive relief. That was a tough race for me, it was really, really hard. The most important thing for me at the end there was to bring the bike over the finish line. We didn't have any major problems at all during the race, no stop and goes, no unplanned pit stops – it all ran very smoothly and I think that's why we got fifth. It just shows what the guys can do. Roll on the next one!”
Team manager Neil Tuxworth admitted the team had surpassed their own expectations and praised the efforts of the Honda TT Legends team.
“I'm so happy for everybody in the team. Endurance racing more than any other event is a team effort and everyone has played their part tremendously. Our main objective was to finish and the second was to place in the top six and we've achieved both of those things so as a new team we are very pleased.”
The reigning champions SERT lead the championship at this very early stage with a maximum 35 points, seven ahead of SRC Kawasaki. The second round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship will be the 8 Hours of Albacete in Spain on May 21st.