Sunday, September 21, 2014

Honda's Endurance World Championship Season Comes to Early End at 24 Hours of Le Mans

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24 Hours of Le Mans - Le Mans 21.09.2014
Honda Racing forced to retire from the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 2014 Endurance World Championship season drew to a disappointing close for the Honda Racing team as it was forced to retire from the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the early hours of this morning.

The retirement came after 14 hours of eventful racing in which the team and its riders, Julien Da Costa, Sebastien Gimbert and Freddy Foray, had fought back from 19th to second place following a minor early-race crash.

Having collected nine bonus championship points for lying second at the eight-hour stage, the team lapped comfortably until 3.30am when Da Costa was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop after feeling vibrations on the bike.

A two-hour period followed in which the Honda Racing crew located the problem, which was caused by a gear tightening on the gear shaft, and worked tirelessly to repair the machine and get it back on track. Da Costa re-joined the race and returned to the pits several times, but despite the team’s hard work, they eventually made the decision to retire from the race on safety grounds. The final EWC standings will be decided when the race ends at 3pm this afternoon.

It’s has been a year of highs and lows for Honda Racing, but the team ends the season with its debut EWC win under its belt and a determination to come back fighting in 2015. 
Neil Tuxworth
Neil Tuxworth    team manager
This is an incredibly disappointing and frustrating end to a very eventful season for us. The riders and the crew have worked so hard for the whole season and we didn’t deserve to end it like this, but on the positive side, we have achieved our first-ever EWC victory this year and we know that we have the ability to lead and win races. Endurance is tough and you have to take the lows with the highs. I’m proud of the team and I think we can still hold our heads high. 
Julien Da Costa
Julien Da Costa
It is very disappointing to suffer with problems at four of the three races this year. We are a strong team and we know we can win, but we have suffered a lot of bad luck with the bike. 
Freddy Foray
Freddy Foray
This is not how we wanted to end the season and I am disappointed. It’s been a difficult year for the team, who have worked so hard, and after the win in Germany we hoped we could end the year with another one. It was not meant to be but that is endurance. 
Sebastien Gimbert
Sebastien Gimbert
I would obviously prefer to win the last race at Le Mans but I would also have preferred to finish and win the Bol d’Or without a technical problem – that goes without saying. The whole team has worked really hard and given so much and I can’t fault them. There is always next year and we will come back stronger.
© 2014 Honda Racing

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