PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF HONDA RACING
In its World Endurance Racing debut, Honda Racing will start on pole for tomorrow’s Bol d’Or 24-hour race at Magny Cours. Today’s damp conditions meant that the time set by the Honda team - Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert – during yesterday’s dry session would go unchallenged.
The poor conditions allowed Honda Racing to focus their efforts on race set up. It also allowed Foray to sit out of the session and rest his injured rib.
“Our focus during qualifying was on race set-up rather than securing pole position,” Said team manager Neil Tuxworth. “However we are obviously very pleased with the result and what that means for our progress as a team. The more important thing is the race itself and we will now dedicate ourselves to being well-prepared for the difficult task that lies ahead.”
Behind Honda was the Yamaha GMT94 team of David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines. The reigning World Champions – the Suzuki Endurance Race Team – qualified third.
Privateer teams Honda National Motos and Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland qualified fourth and fifth, respectively, just edging out Monster Energy Yamaha YART of Wayne Maxwell, Patrick Olson and Igor Jerman. Team Motors Events April Moto qualified seventh and Team R2CL in eighth.
The injured Matthieu Lagrive rode with a cracked vertebrae in order to qualify with his teammates Gregory Leblanc and Nicolas Salchaud on the SRC Kawasaki in ninth. And rounding out the top 10 was Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers.
American Jason Pridmore’s team – Penz13.com Franks Autowelt Racing Team – qualified second in the Superstock class with a 1:42.602.
2014 Bol d’Or 24-hour Qualifying Results
1. Honda Racing 1:40.802
2. Yamaha Racing – GMT 94 – Michelin 1:40.919
3. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team 1:41.130
4. National Motos 1:42.014
5. Team Bollinger Switzeralnd #8 1:42.317
6. Monster Energy Yamaha – YART 1:42.370
7. Team Motors Events April Moto 1:43.081
8. Team R2CL 1:43.113
9. SRC Kawasaki 1:43.308
10. Team 18 Sapeurs-Pompiers 1:43.513