News 18 Apr 2017

GMT94 Yamaha inches to Le Mans 24 Hours victory

Australians flood top five results to remain in title contention.

Source: Supplied.

GMT94 Yamaha has won the ’24 Heures Motos’ after a relentless battle against the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team of Australia’s Broc Parkes.

The GMT94 Yamaha squad of David Checa, Niccolò Canepa and Mike Di Meglio pulled off an exceptional performance after wresting the lead in the final hours.

Checa, Canepa and Di Meglio completed 860 laps, finishing with a lead of less than 20s over Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Kohta Nozane for the YART Yamaha outfit. Yamaha last won at Le Mans in 2009 with YART.

This 40th edition of the 24 Heures Motos will be remembered for the amazing performance and endurance of the two factory-backed Yamaha squads, who dominated the proceedings for nearly the entire duration of the race.

After a lengthy spell in the lead, YART Yamaha Official EWC Team gave in to insistent pressure from GMT94 Yamaha in the late stages of the race.

Their unstinting battle enabled the two teams to finish 12 laps ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki, which placed third at this edition, with Randy de Puniet, Fabien Foret and Mathieu Gines in the saddle.

After being slowed down by a crash and a few technical issues, SRC Kawasaki finished with a narrow 45-second lead over the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team of Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Alex Cudlin, also slowed by crashes. SERT still tops the world championship standings ahead of Team SRC Kawasaki and GMT94 Yamaha.

F.C.C. TSR Honda ran a flawless race and finished fifth. Though the excellent performance of riders Gregg Black, Damian Cudlin and Arturo Tizon was somewhat overshadowed by the front-running duels, it enables the squad to remain in the running for the title as current fourth-place holder in the overall standings.

Round three of the 2016-2017 Endurance World Championship (EWC) series is scheduled for the 8 Hours of Oschersleben on 18-20 May.