The 2011 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship starts for the first time with the Bol d’Or. This 24 hours race, traditionally scheduled in September, will be held on 16th and 17th April in France at Magny Cours (Nièvre). The 24 Hours of Le Mans, which usually opens the season, will take place on 24th and 25th September.
53 teams are entered for this 75th Bol d’Or. Some are serious for the 2011 title. The 2010 Champion and holder of ten world titles, the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Freddy Foray, Daisaku Sakai, Anthony Delhalle) will compete against the Yamaha Monster YART (Igor Jerman, Steve Martin, Gwen Giabbani), the 2009 Qtel FIM Endurance World Champion, and the Yamaha Racing France GMT 94 Ipone (David Checa, Kenny Foray, Matthew Lagrive), the 2004 World Champion.
The official team SRC Kawasaki (Julien da Costa, Gregory Leblanc, Olivier Four, Cedric Tangre), Le Mans winner last year and armed with the new ZX-10R, and the BMW Motorrad France 99 (Sébastien Gimbert, Erwan Nigon, Damian Cudlin), efficient but unlucky in 2010, will also be fighting for victory. The surprise could come from the new official team Honda TT Legends which combines Endurance and Road Racing riders, Steve Plater, John McGuinness and Keith Armor.
Competition is also strong in Superstock class. The Qatar Endurance Racing Team (Suzuki), who won the FIM World Cup three years in a row, will have to defend its position against the Motor Events Team Bodyguard (Suzuki), at DG Sport (Yamaha) and the Suzuki Junior Team LMS.
2011 Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship promises to be a great season.