British Superbike rider, Christian Iddon, took third place at the 24h Motos, held at the famous Le Mans circuit. The Stockport racer making his debut at the French track, aboard the Wepol Racing by penz13.com team’s BMW S1000RR.
Iddon joined regular BSB teammate Michael Laverty, and Daniel Webb for his second go at endurance racing and the first of a trio of outings planned for 2018. Despite having very little running at the Le Mans circuit, Christian having never ridden the Le Mans track before his visit for the epic 24 hour enduro, the team lined up ninth on the grid.
“I’d ridden roughly thirty laps of the circuit [going in to qualifying]” explained Christian, “obviously in a 24hr race qualifying wherever you qualify isn’t the end of the world but gives you a good indication of how you’re fairing up”.
Laverty would start for the Wepol Racing by penz13.com team, but had a small off during his first stint, though he managed to
get back on. Helped by a safety-car period Michael would complete his opening spell in quite far up the order considering his off.As Christian climbed aboard for his first outing, the handlebar snapped on his out-lap, Iddon nursing the BMW back for repairs.
“It was absolute pure luck that I didn’t fall off” admitted Iddon, “I managed to ride it back, and they switched that over pretty quickly, but it dropped us down to forty-eighth at the time”.
The team plugged away as the hours clocked by, but a crash for Danny led to him dislocating his shoulder, and while the bike didn’t require any work, Christian volunteered to double stint as night-time fell on the famous French track.
“I actually set my fastest lap of the race during the night” Iddon added, “It was the first time I’d ever ridden in the dark, it took me a long time to get my flow and get any rhythm, after an hour and a half of my stint I set my fastest lap of the whole race. I got off the bike and felt absolutely wrecked, I was walking like a cowboy!”
As the race unfolded, and Danny’s extra rest helped him recover, they continued to climb the order, their strong rider line-up helping them continuing at a good pace, picking off places as the rode.
As the flag fell, some 86,400 seconds after the red lights went out, it was left to TYCO teammate Laverty to bring home the squad’s BMW in third place overall.
Christian beamed; “It’s probably one of the biggest achievements in my career. The stand on the Le Mans 24hr podium is hard to describe, it’s crazy to think that I only met the team for the first time on Tuesday this week, and they gave us their all, we gave them our all, as a group, just unreal. To get that trophy at the end of it is something spectacular.
“Thanks to TYCO BMW for letting me, and Michael, go and race this series, and to the Wepol Racing by penz13.com team for putting on a fantastic race for us. Nobody ever lost sight of the fact that we could keep on going, and in the end the hard work paid off”.