Honda Racing EWC squad set for Suzuka 8 Hours
The Honda Racing endurance team resumes its 2014 Endurance World Championship campaign next week with arguably the toughest race of the season – the 37th edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan.
Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastien Gimbert will battle the incredibly hot and humid conditions at the Honda-owned circuit aboard the 2014 CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in a highly competitive field of 70 teams – including their regular EWC rivals and a host of specialist Japanese outfits. The Honda Racing crew and riders will of course be aiming for the podium, but with the wider objective to finish the race as the highest-placed EWC team, scoring as many all-important championship points as possible.
Da Costa and Gimbert have competed in the Suzuka 8 Hours three times apiece, with both placing fourth on their most successful outings in 2013 and 2011 respectively. Foray will be making his Suzuka debut this year, although he took part in a successful pre-race test with the Honda Racing crew last week.
The Suzuka 8-hour race will begin at 11.30am Japanese Standard Time (GMT+9) on Sunday 27 July. For real-time updates follow @HondaRacingCBR
The whole team is highly motivated and really looking forward to Suzuka, particularly after our strong showing at the Bol d’Or 24-hour. Even though we didn’t finish that race, we were leading by five laps when we were forced to retire so that shows the strength of the team. Our objective in Japan is to finish the race as the top European team and hopefully on the podium.
Julien Da Costa
I have raced at Suzuka three times now. It’s an amazing track with a great atmosphere and I really like to see all the Japanese fans who come to support the race. I’m certain that we can finish inside the top five with our fast Fireblade, but of course my aim is the podium.
This will be my first time racing at Suzuka and I’m sure it will be a great challenge. I worked really hard during the test to try and prepare for the race. Being honest, I can’t say I enjoy the track yet. I’m used to learning new tracks but this one is very technical. It was important to have the extra time during the test. Our aim for this race is to finish ahead of the other permanent EWC teams to make up some points in the championship.
This will be my third time competing in the Suzuka 8 Hours and it’s always a race that I enjoy. There are so many riders, teams and manufacturers of all different nationalities and that makes for a great atmosphere. The circuit is superb and very technical in parts. Our objective is to focus on the championship as a whole and score as many points as possible over our EWC rivals.