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10th June 2024

SERT second at Spa to retain EWC series lead


Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team [SERT] finished second at the 8-Hours of Spa at the weekend, and in doing so retained their Endurance World Championship [EWC] series lead.


After winning at the opening round of the season at Le Mans, the team picked up valuable points in Belgium.


Gregg Black was again fast starting and led into turn one and battled for the lead throughout his first stint.

Etienne Masson and Dan Linfoot kept the team battling for the lead, though they did so while struggling in the low grip conditions in the hot temperatures.


After fighting for the win all race, the team eventually took second place and picked up 27 championship points for their efforts.


Black said after the race, "We've finished fourth here, twice. Our goal this year was clearly to finish on the podium. Of course, a win is always what we want, but the championship remains our priority, so we didn't want to give everything and then take too many risks.


"We made a good start, but the track conditions weren't particularly favourable. The bike worked really well, and the team did a great job in the pits. We didn't miss much. We finished just 40 seconds behind the winners, which really isn't much over an 8-hour race."

Linfoot commented, "We had a good race and took another 27 points in the championship, so we're still in the lead. That's the good point. Of course, we came here to win but the gap between us and the winning team was quite small and so we should be proud of this podium position.


"Consistency was key and we're going to keep on working to improve our performance. I feel good in the team and on the bike. Now we're focusing on the next tests and the race at Suzuka."


Masson added, "To be honest, I'm a bit frustrated because second place on the podium isn't a bad place, but it's not the first. We showed our performance during qualifying.


"In the race, the hot conditions didn't allow us to get a good feeling on the bike, but we kept hanging on. And at the end of the race, we were faster and very consistent. We didn't need much to win. We still put in a good performance, and I think we'll show our strength at the next race in Suzuka."

Yohei Kato, team director, said, "I'm happy with the result, but frustrated nonetheless, because we gave everything, we had to win knowing that YART had one more pit stop to make.


"We did everything we could to maintain a gap of less than 40 seconds, but we were struggling because of the heat, and we were losing time. Apart from that, we rode a solid race and that's the most important thing."

Damien Saulnier, team manager, summarised, "It was an intense week. We were aiming for victory, however, in this fast race, where our main rivals were very competitive, we set ourselves the target of a podium finish: mission accomplished.


"Our riders were fast, and we made the most of the pitstops. We're building our season around winning the title. It's a great result and I'm very satisfied. This result means we can go to Suzuka still leading the championship. It's important for the team and for Yoshimura."