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Endurance, Bol d’Or, September 201719.09.2017

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A podium to start the season

Now organized to straddle two calendar years, the new season of the World Endurance Championship started with the Bol d’Or on the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The Kawasaki SRC team started off well by finishing second.

This season, the Kawasaki SRC team will not race the entire World Endurance Championship. Gilles Stafler has decided to focus on the only two 24-hour races in France, on the Paul Ricard circuit and in Le Mans. The first event went fairly well since the ZX-RR No. 11, driven by an unprecedented trio of de Puniet, Leblanc and Foret took the chequered flag of the 80th Bol d’Or in second place behind the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT). Hampered early in the race by their tyres when the track temperature was highest, and then hindered by an oscillating fulcrum pin, the SRC riders had to grin and bear it before giving everything they had to climb back to second place. A performance that Randy de Puniet understood only too well. When he finished second in the Suzuka Eight Hours two years ago, the Parisian enjoyed the exercise much less.

 I’d only been riding for two hours. In addition, we could have won the race but the team preferred to ride for Waters to secure second place. I’d spent two weeks in Japan preparing for the meeting; I was there to win, not to finish second.

Randy de Puniet

At the Bol d’Or, the Parisian was there to have fun and everything went well:

It was a great experience. I really enjoyed myself and I was one of the fastest riders, both day and night.

Randy de Puniet

Enough to beg for more.

If the team wants me in Le Mans, I think I’d say yes.

Randy de Puniet

If Gilles Stafler is to be believed, it’s difficult to see too how it could be otherwise:

I’m delighted with Randy, delighted both by his work and by his attitude.

19.09.2017