BREAKING NEWS: 100th anniversary of the Bol d’Or joy for Viltais Racing Igol, heartbreak for ERC Endurance-Ducati
Viltaïs Racing Igol won the 100th anniversary Bol d’Or for its first FIM Endurance World Championship victory after a spectacular 90-minute finale at Circuit Paul Ricard this afternoon.
After long-time ERC Endurance-Ducati leader pitted with a mechanical failure while comfortably ahead, Wójcik Racing Team found themselves leading the field.
But in another late twist, the Polish team’s Yamaha slowed down, forcing Mathieu Gines to push the bike to the pit lane for repair.
When Dan Linfoot finally brought the No. 77 machine back to the track, more than five minutes had been lost along with all hopes of victory as Frenchman Viltaïs Racing Igol, another Yamaha privateer team, took a lead that he would not give up thanks to the performances of riders Florian Alt, Erwan Nigon and Steven Odendaal.
Meanwhile, Wójcik Racing Team’s eventual second place still represents their best result of the season with Webike SRC Kawasaki France third in what was boss Gilles Stafler’s last EWC race before his retirement.
For ERC drivers David Checa and Xavi Forés, however, their latest heartbreak has been extremely difficult to bear after sharing driving duties for much of the race when Chaz Davies injured his back and was unable to Continue. Despite the emotional scenes in the team’s garage, Checa regained his composure to return to action for the final hour following prompt repairs by his German outfit. He took fifth place behind FIM Endurance World Champion FCC TSR Honda France, who also made another unscheduled pit stop in the final two hours. MACO Racing finishes sixth.
RAC41-Chromeburner took Superstock class honors ahead of BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers in a reversal of last season’s finishing positions, Team 18 Sapeurs Pompiers CMS Motostore won the FIM Endurance World Cup title despite a retirement on mechanical failure.