News 18 Sep 2023

Technical issue rules Hook and TSR Honda out of EWC defence

Reigning champions disappointingly forced to retire from Bol d'Or.

Image: Supplied.

Entering the final round of the 2023 Endurance World Championship (EWC) with the points lead, former champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France, including Australia’s Josh Hook, were heartbreakingly ruled out of contention at the Bol d’Or following a technical issue.

The defending champions entered the finale with a 13-point lead in the title-race, and qualified third ahead of the iconic 24-hour endurance event.

Having taken the coveted EWC crown at Circuit Paul Ricard 12 months ago, F.C.C. TSR Honda France hit trouble shortly before 3am when Mike Di Meglio was forced to push the number 1 Honda after it stopped at the entrance to the pitlane. Despite its best efforts, the team was forced to retire with a terminal technical issue.

“Unfortunately, our EWC 2023 season has come to an end,” a statement from F.C.C TSR Honda France general manager, Masakazu Fujii, read. “Due to the malfunction of the machine, it is difficult to do anything more, and we have decided to retire, considering that continuing the race could endanger not only our riders and team, but also many of the management, staff, and team members. I decided.

“Not only have we won consecutive championships, but we have come to the Bol d’Or with the intention of continuing to stand on this stage from next year onwards, and we are determined to make up for it in the future, so we will start from here again. I want to come back stronger.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those involved who have supported us throughout this season, and to all the fans who have cheered us on.”

YART Yamaha was ultimately crowned 2023 EWC champions, while it was Yoshimura SERT who won the final round of this year’s championship.