Gregory Fastré, who took a magnificent second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be at Castellet on April 15th and 16th to participate at the first round of the European Classic Series 2016.
A completely different scente for the rider from Verviers who will join forces with Richard Hubin and with machines from another era. «Honestly the major differences are not the performance of the bike or the brakes. The first time I was quite taken by surprise by the performances of our Team Force Suzuki. The major difference is situated on the level of the tyres. On the bike we use during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, our rear tyre is a 205. On the Classic this is only a 150! So we can take considerably less angle in the corners and we can basically not accelerate when under angle... For me that will require the most adjustment. I'm going to have to hang beside the bike a lot more.»
As to the competition, Fast Greg is one of the habitués of the ECS, as are the Englishmen from team Sweatshop Phase One, Peter Linden and Ian Simpson, also on a Suzuki, just like the Italians from the Taurus team. And let's not forget the French teams with their Kawasaki. «We often see the same teams in the front», explains the 35 year old rider. «On a performance level, these 5-6 bikes are equal. They are basically new bikes disguised as old ones. For Le Castellet we have the advantage of disposing of a good engine, which is very important for the famous Mistral straight line. The n°1 from team Phase One also has a good engine, but it makes less revs, so that should work in our favour.»
So the victory is the objective for the two riders from Verviers, Hubin-Fastré, who are really determined to take back the title they won in 2014. «We want a rematch after having lost last year. Our team may not be that experienced, but everyone gives it all they've got and I know that Richard is in better shape than ever., especially for taking those corners even faster.»
«Last year we had a lot of troubles during the tests at Le Castellet », says the 1983 world champion, everything had been repaired for the race. Let's hope that this year we don't have an inversed scenario !»
Merely a few hours prior to the start of the fourth season of the European Classic Series, Richard and Grégory look forward to get back to that ever so convivial atmosphere of this Endurance championship, which joins some elite riders (the Legend category) and many passionate amateur riders (Classic category). Saturday at 19 hours, 40 teams will take the start of the first race of the year. Four hours later, the winners will be know. Make your bets !
Livetiming : www.afcmicro.com/2016/ENDU/SRC/live.htm