Endurance racing is always a game of twists and turns, especially when the theater is the most beautiful circuit in the world and the race takes place partly in the rain. The 11th edition of the 4 Hours of Spa Classic has not failed the tradition.
The Friday practice was dry, but it was quite different the next day with rain all day long making the track slippery. However, it was a mechanical problem that would redistribute the cards before the start. Qualified in pole position, Team Force of Grégory Fastré and Bruno Le Bihan suffered a small ignition problem just before the departure procedure. Greg Fastre was forced to start from the last position, from the pitlane. Far from admitting their defeat, the two teammates of the Belgian team hoped to return quickly to the outposts.They already pointed in 15th position after eight laps, in fourth after one hour of race, then heading to the second position! Before them, the first place was occupied briefly by the Italians of Team Taurus (author of the holeshot; Giorgio Cantalupo / Sandro Caprara) and by the team Alfs (Michael Godfrey / Mike Edwards / John Barton), respectively fourth and fifth at mid-race, while Neate Racing (John, Steven and Sam Neate) was second before the Suzuki No. 4 of Sweatshop Phase One (Peter Linden / Ian Simpson).
"Our bike has occupied all positions during the race, from the last to the first," says Team Force. "Our Suzuki # 56 started last, stopped for a minute in the first round, crashed, suffered a Stop & Go ... At 20 minutes from the finish, the victory was still playable as Greg sprinted for his last stint at less than 5 seconds from the leader. Unfortunately, at that moment, the race was interrupted ... "So much disappointment for the team Fastre / Le Bihan, but the presence of oil on the track made it necessary for the race director to wave the red flag and to stop the race prematurely. It was then 11:37 pm ...
At the head of the race, the Englischmen from Neate Racing on their Honda Magnum did not ask so much, they had realized a fast and regular race staying in the lead at all times. They finally won with a lap ahead of the Suzuki XR 69 Replica from Taurus team. The No. 4 Sweatshop Phase One by Peter Linden and Ian Simpson completed the podium, with No. 3 (Mike Dickinson / Hugh Brasher) being forced to retire after two falls.
The Force team finish at the foot of the podium after an eventful race. They finish ahead of two Kawasaki, one from Kaiser Classic Endurance Team (Oliver Sach / Manfred Kaiser) and one from Alfs team. Guy Martin, star guest of the 4 Hours of Spa Classic 2017, takes the Katana of Team Classic Suzuki in 7th position with Peter Boast, just ahead of the GSX 1100 of Roadrunner Team (Henk Van der Mark / Dirk Brand / Rafael Sinke) . Following are Team SCERT (Steve Boam / Steve Clarke / Jonathan Lodge), ACR1 team (Ralf Wobker / Ronald Matthies / Niels Paulsen) and Classic Racer Nice (Patrick Banfield / Cormac Conroy).
The Scuderia Officine Toscane n ° 333 (Emiliano Bellucci / Samuele Sardi) was leading quite some time in the Classic 1000 class, but unfortunately crashed at one hour prior to the finish and had to settle for sixth place. As for the Wild Hogs of New Zealand, they finish fifth in the Classic 1000, just behind the Belgians of Team Vulcanet Daem's (Marc Detournay / Arnaud Repair). In this category, it is Team Extreme Mecanic (Hadrien Demierbe / Alain Vandriessche) who wins before Scuderia ACR II (Jörg Dreisörner / Reinhard Korfmacher / Fritz Finke) and Van Dijk Lavera Endurance Team Martin Van Ruitenbeek, Peter Jansen and George Hogton / Rusling.
Next meeting in Imola on September 1, where the Neate family will be at the top of the provisional general standings with 50 points and two wins. Full results on: http://raceresults.nu