SERT set to defend World Endurance title

Reigning World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team will start its title defence this weekend at the 2014 World Endurance Championship opening round at the Bol d’Or 24-Hour race at Magny-Cours in France.

Team regulars Vincent Philippe and Anthony Delhalle are joined by Erwan Nigon and reserve rider Damian Cudlin aboard the GSX-R1000 at the 78th edition of the historic race as SERT chases its 14th world title.

The team takes to the track tomorrow (Thursday) for the two free practices and the first qualifying session; aiming to set provisional pole-position ahead of arch-rivals and winners of the last five Bol d’Or and Le Mans 24-Hour events; SRC Kawasaki’s Gregory Leblanc and Matthieu Lagrive.

Last season’s series runners-up, Yamaha Racing GMT 94 Michelin, has recruited French Supersport riders Mathieu Gines and Lucas Mahias to ride alongside team regulars David Checa and Kenny Foray, while Monster Energy Yamaha YART will field Igor Jerman, 2013 Australian Superbike champion Wayne Maxwell and fellow countryman Rick Olson.

Suzuki’s Team R2CL has confirmed its line-up of Guy Martin, Gwen Giabbani and Gareth Jones, while the new Honda Racing factory team will run Endurance specialists Sébastien Gimbert, Julien da Costa and Freddy Foray.

Bol d’Or practice and race schedule:

Thursday 24 April:

11.30 – 12.30 Free practice. 17.10 – 19.00 Qualifying 1 (30 minutes per rider). 21.00 – 22.00 Night practice.

Friday 25 April:

12.20 – 14.10 Qualifying 2 (30 minutes per rider). 18.50 – 21.00 Pit walk.

Saturday 26 April:

10.30 – 11.15 Warm up. 12.35 – 14.15 Pit walk. 15.00 Race begins.