Kawasaki SRC saw off the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team to win the 2012 Bol D'or at Magny Cours. The team of Julien Da Costa, GrÃ©gory Leblanc and Olivier Four beat the defending World Endurance Champions by just 1m41.055s after 24 hours of racing in difficult conditions.
SERT's hopes took a knock when Vincent Phillippe crashed at the five hour mark, breaking his collarbone, and Kawasaki SRC team manager Gilles Stafler felt his team's error free display ultimately gave them the edge.
“We fought with an incredible pace during most of the race, despite the really poor conditions. I would like to thank all the team for this fantastic result, not only the riders, because today it's the victory of the whole team. Of course Julien Da Costa, GrÃ©gory Leblanc and Olivier Four have done an incredible job. It was a really tough race and we were ready for the difficult conditions, but I think that the biggest contributor to our success has been that we didn't make any mistake during the race.”
Monster Yamaha – YART claimed the final podium place ahead of Yamaha GMT 94 and Yamalube Folch Endurance with Honda TT Legends finishing sixth. The British team were set back by a crash for Cameron Donald but teammate John McGuinness still described it as one of the best collective performances since the team joined the WEC.
“Not the result we came for but it was one of our strongest rides yet. We were holding fifth and looking good in very difficult conditions. It was a gruelling race with temperatures as low as 2 or 3 degrees through the night. I got caught up in some of the bad weather and had to pit for tyres changes which meant I then had to do double stints with 50 or 60 laps at a time and that is hard work. After Cameron slipping off at probably 150mph and the bike cart wheeling its way through the gravel, luckily Cam was alright and the team did amazing job at getting the bike back out there. We wanted to be a bit further up but at least we've picked up some world championship points.”