The first year was disapointing with a DNF at Oschersleben, only 2 points at Suzuka after a crash and early crashes in the two 24 hour races costing us lots of the bizarre bonus points that were introduced for 2014. It seems quite bizarre to me to reward failure to finish two 24hour races with up to 40 points (more than you can get for winning an 8 hour race!) - not to mention being competely contrary to the spirit of Endurance. 2015 was even worse with DNFs in both 24 hour races, a poor race at Oschersleben due to Vladimir Leonov not turning up and just outside the points at Suzuka. But for 2016 things improved on track and despite being totally financially shafted by the organisation shake up to the extent that we were unable to contest 25% of the races we still finished 9th in the championship due to a fabulous 4th place at Le Mans and 2nd of the EWC teams at Suzuka!
For those wondering what R2CL means errdersayel does not cunningly make up a French word, it is just the initials of the first names of the 4 most important people involved in founding the team, the R being for Raph, the team manager. One of the two C's is Cyril. Or is it 2 R's? L=Louis.
For more direct news from the team see the R2CL website.
This site is about an insiders perspective from a technical viewpoint so if you want to find out more about the series, tracks, riders, results etc please go to www.fim-live.com. If you want to find out what it's like to dive straight in at the deep end and do something completely different then the Phase One part of Mike's Endurance may be more helpful, if you want to read a blog telling what it is like to be in the pit for the top private team in the World Championship taking on the factory teams then please read on and explore the site. Be careful though - you may be tempted to give it a go yourself and end up spending lots of money. I accept no responsibility if that happens!
The 2016/17 season was one where we, along with other mid-ranking teams, were never going to be able to replace the funding that was removed by the championship organisers that is required to continue at that level. Therefore the plan was to use what money there was to make a decent effort at the 3 big races at least, develop the new Suzuki GSXR1000 and not properly contest the championship, hoping to form a base from which it would be possible to mount a decent challenge to the championship in 2017/18. Unfortunately we had rider problems at the Bol d'Or and development problems at Le Mans, followed by the tragic death of Team Manager Raph in a road accident just before Suzuka.
Raph was the driving force behind R2CL and did almost all the work that is required for a team to arrive at the track with competitive bikes, riders, equipment and funding so unfortunately there is no real prospect of the team continuing long term without him. However, the legacy he has left is 2 fully prepared motorcycles and a spare engine, all the kit required to race them and a group of guys who know what they are doing and have a strong desire to honour his memory by using those bikes to gain one last great result at Le Mans, scene of his best results (2nd & 4th).
This mission started with a 'test' race at the Bol d'Or where the team used up one of the remaining engines, using the experience to rebuild the knowledge that was lost with Raph's passing. Despite another reasonable finish and many minor success points, particularly around reliability of the base Suzuki, the team came away with a massive list of problems to be overcome and produced a bike with top 10 potential at Le Mans in April 2018. Unfortunately a crash early in the race meant that we were only able to get to 12th place. Currently the team is preparing to race again at Suzuka.
Page updated on 17 November 2017