The SRC came close
In trouble on an overheated track, the Kawasaki SRC riders had to settle for a ninth place at the finish of the Eight Hours of Slovakia, the third round of the 2017/2018 World Endurance Championship.
After their first outing on the Slovakia Ring, the Kawasaki SRC team had no reason to celebrate. «We discovered a fast circuit, physically and technically, » said Gilles Stafler, «but above all an extremely abrasive and demanding track for the tires. » With an allowance limited to twenty tires, the riders of the Kawasaki SRC team had to limit their test riding as much as possible. «And we did the qualifying sessions with two new tires, » added the team manager. «Hence our fifth position on the starting grid. » That did not stop Randy de Puniet from taking his first stint in the leading group, and even taking first place ahead of the GMT Yamaha and the FCC team’s Honda. Unfortunately, trying to stand up to machines with better tires, the former Grand Prix rider crashed just before passing the handlebars over to Jeremy Guarnoni. The minor fall without any injury to man or machine made the Kawasaki no.11 fall back in the rankings. «Anyway, » adds Stafler, «it was too hot for our tires early in the race. And we just weren’t good enough on our first three stints. » Coming back to fifth place, the Kawasaki SRC team once again dropped out of the top ten because of a fuel outage after the fifth hour. In the end, Randy de Puniet, Jeremy Guarnoni and Julien Da Costa, Gines’s replacement after he was injured at Le Mans, managed to cross the finish line of the Slovakia Ring in ninth position. A place that is now also theirs in the World Endurance Championship.t du monde d’Endurance.