2021 – 12h Estoril: ERC Endurance Ducati celebrates a strong seventh in the race
Mathieu Gines, Louis Rossi and Etienne Masson took a strong seventh place finish onboard the Ducati Panigale V4R EWC bike at the 12 hours of Estoril.
Estoril, Portugal. ERC Endurance took a fine seventh place onboard the Ducati Panigale V4R at the second round of the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship. Mathieu Gines, Louis Rossi and Etienne Masson made 410 laps at the 4.182 kilometres long Circuito do Estoril and got home with 7 laps shy of the winners only. At the end only 30 seconds were missing to P6.
There was a lot of work to do for the Germany based squad. Gines had two minor spills but there was some damage to the bike that had to repaired. Anyways the team had a perfect race pace, matching the times of the leaders so could have fought for the podium and maybe even for the win. Compared to the direct opponents, the team had some 10 minutes more of pit time – which would have been a further 4/5 laps and would have meant the podium. But Endurance racing has some ambiguous laws.
It has been a strong season so far for ERC Endurance Ducati with a finish in both races held – which is one of the basic targets in endurance racing. The squad has collected 49 points and is sixth in the overall World Championship, missing out on the leaders of SRC Kawasaki by only 38 points so far.
The next race of the FIM Endurance World Championship with the 24 hours “Bol d’Or” at Le Castellet will be held on 18./19. September, the legendary Suzuka 8 hours will mark the final race on 07th November this year.
“First of all I want to apologize for my two crashes. It were two minor spills only but we lost quite some time through that. I was able to continue both times but we had to do some extra repairs in the pits. But we had a very strong race pace of 1:40 and 1:41 – which matched the times of all the top teams in this paddock. We could see we could play at the forefront of the field and we are now hoping to continue like that at Le Castellet.”
“It was another strong race by all and everyone of us in our ERC Endurance Ducati team. Crashes can always happen, I know that – but we never gave in and fought hard and did bring our EWC-spec Ducati Panigale V4R to the finish line once more. Of course we could have done better than seventh, but for sure we have arrived amongst the world’s elite in Endurance with this still new project. There is not much missing so we can make it to the podium – I know we have all the ingredients to do so very soon.”
“Overall it was a very positive race for the whole team. We could do extremely strong lap times and where on fire. In this race almost every team had a crash or some bad luck at one point at least – mistakes were easy to make with this hot conditions. But we also never gave up and at the end we could finish in seventh. I think we build a strong base at Le Mans and Estoril and we can be optimistic looking to the future.”