Joint Test Day 2
EWC 2023
Round 3

Team HRC Conducts Long Run Test in Race-hot Conditions at Suzuka 8 Hours Joint Tests Day 2

jp Suzuka Circuit

On July 6, Day 2 of joint tests for the 44th edition of the Endurance World Championship (EWC) "Coca-Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race 44th Tournament (Suzuka 8 Hours) was held at the Suzuka Circuit.

Team HRC Conducts Long Run Test in Race-hot Conditions at Suzuka 8 Hours Joint Tests Day 2

The participating bikes were divided into groups A and B. A 70-minute Session 5 for each group was held in the morning, followed by a similar 70-minute Session 6 in the afternoon. Unlike the previous day, conditions were hot in the morning with strong sunshine and soaring temperatures. 33℃ highs were forecast, but at Suzuka Circuit, heat reflected from the track surface and generated from the engines added to the scorching environment. Track temperature reached 55°C in the morning, and rose to 60°C in the afternoon, creating test conditions similar to the race itself.

In Session 5, Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing (Kosuke Sakumoto / Ryo Mizuno / Kazuma Watanabe) was third-fastest with 2 min 7.958s, F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook / Mike Di Meglio / Alan Techer) was fourth with 2 min 7.891s, and Team HRC (Takumi Takahashi / Iker Lecuona / Xavi Vierge / Tetsuta Nagashima) was fifth-fastest with 2 min 7.791s. SDG Honda Racing (Teppei Nagoe / Naomichi Uramoto / Yuki Kunii) was sixth with 2 min 7.940s. Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA (Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi / Andi Farid Izdihar / Nakarin Atiratphuvapat) was eleventh-fastest with 2 min 8.499s.

In Session 6, Team HRC's Nagashima led the way with a 2 min 6.077s lap, followed by Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing with 2 min 6.638s, and F.C.C. TSR Honda France with 2 min 6.811s. SDG Honda Racing was fourth-fastest with 2 min 7.254s, Honda Dream RT SAKURAI Honda (Kazuki Ito / Daijiro Hiura / Kota Arakawa) was seventh with 2 min 7.895s, and Team ATJ (Satoru Iwata / Yuki Takahashi / Tomoyoshi Koyama) was tenth with 2 min 8.271s. Honda had six teams in the top 10 for the session.

Team HRC focused on long run tests, giving its riders a good feel for the bike. With ambient and track temperatures rising, the test was held in conditions similar to the actual race, allowing the team to accumulate valuable data. The team also performed race-condition pit work, preparing the crew for the race.

Honda aims for back-to-back wins in the Suzuka 8 Hours following last year, and if successful, Takahashi will tie Toru Ukawa's five Suzuka 8 Hours victories.

Takumi Takahashi
Takumi Takahashi 33
Team HRC
I rode in the previous session, so the other three riders went on long runs. I didn't have as much time on track as I thought I would, so I wanted more for today’s sessions as the conditions were closer to the race, but the other team riders did a great job, so I am positive for the race. I get many questions about winning my fifth Suzuka 8 Hours this year, but for me, I would rather concentrate on winning each and every race rather than focusing on my record. I will give it all I have so we can win again this year.

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona 33
Team HRC
I did a long run in the morning, but my feeling wasn’t as good compared to last year, and I could not reach the average time I wanted. Compared to yesterday, today we are close to where we were last year, so I am not that worried. I will make adjustments for the race weekend and make sure I reach my target times. I still remember the thrill of last year's victory, and I will do my best to experience that joy once again.

Xavi Vierge
Xavi Vierge 33
Team HRC
I had the impression that the bike was a bit difficult to ride because the seat position was different from the previous test. I could not reach my target time and could not keep my average at a consistent level. The large number of bikes on track and the heat did not help, but I think that the experience of this run was important for the race. I was not a rider in last year’s race but supported everyone in the pits, so I have a strong desire to race. This year, I want to celebrate winning with everyone, and I am proud to be on a team that can do that. I look forward to the race and I’ll be back.

Tetsuta Nagashima
Tetsuta Nagashima 33
Team HRC
For me, the main purpose of the test was to check my physical condition. I think today was fulfilling as I was able to do long runs and record the fastest time. I think I was able to do all the things a rider is expected to do. There is about a month between now and the race, so I will keep focused and continue to improve my physical condition. This Suzuka 8 Hours is the only race I have a chance to compete in this year, so I want to do whatever it takes to race. I did my best to get selected by the team. I hope to make solid contributions to the team like last year and win the race.

Teppei Nagoe
Teppei Nagoe 73
SDG Honda Racing
Today, all three of our team riders completed many laps in near-race conditions. We were able to gather a lot of data necessary for the race, so it was a positive test. Last year, I was plagued by injuries, and our results were very frustrating as I was rear-ended in the early stages. This year, all three of us will show our speed and strength, and do our best to fight for victory.

Yuki Kunii
Yuki Kunii 73
SDG Honda Racing
This is my first time to race the Suzuka 8 Hours with this team, so I was worried about how well I could do since this team is one of the favorites to win. I went on a long run in the afternoon, and managed to adjust to the bike and conditions, and ride consistently, so I’m a bit more confident now. The atmosphere in the team is good, and from what I saw in the tests, I feel that we have the momentum to aim for the podium. I will do my best with the support of a lot of people. I will ride as hard as my two teammates, and aim to finish in the top spots.

Naomichi Uramoto
Naomichi Uramoto 73
SDG Honda Racing
I was not able to participate in the previous test, but everyone on the team did a great job setting up the bike, so I was able to get into a good rhythm right from the start. I was able to set a good time during the long run, and I think I’m prepared for the race. I’m glad to be a part of this team again this year. Last year’s results were disappointing, so I will do my best to make up for that, and hope everyone will support me.

Josh Hook
Josh Hook 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
I had a pretty good feeling today. We were able to test a lot of things. We tried a lot of things, especially to improve rear grip. The bike felt good on used tires, and we were able to confirm that we are moving in the right direction. We made some progress today and the team did a great job. So I think we can go into the race feeling comfortable and confident.

Mike Di Meglio
Mike Di Meglio 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
The bike is getting better with each run and I think we improved a lot in today's test. Our pace is getting better each time and the track temperature was high, so we had a good test. I have a good feeling about this test in general. It will be perfect if we can improve our pace a little more, so that’s what we will work on during race weekend.

Alan Techer
Alan Techer 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
I finally got rid of all the stress that had been building up, and the feeling was better. I enjoyed the bike and was able to close the gap to my teammates. The team crew is working very well and I think we have fixed some problems, so I can go into the race with a lot of confidence.

Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi
Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi 88
Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA
Both days of testing were positive and better than last year. I would like to thank all the team who worked very hard. My goal this year is to achieve a top 5 finish, but of course I would like to aim for the podium if I get the chance.

Andi Farid Izdihar
Andi Farid Izdihar 88
Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA
I am very positive that we were able to do some long runs, and set good average times, in this test. We were able to find some ideas for further improvement, which we will try out during race weekend. My goal is to finish in the top 5. But you never know what will happen in the Suzuka 8 Hours, so if there is a chance of a podium finish, I will take it.

Nakarin Atiratphuvapat
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat 88
Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA
During this test, we were able to experience both dry and wet conditions. I think we made some progress, but I am planning to change my riding style for race weekend to improve more. I will train hard during race week to improve my times, and I will be ready to take on the race.

Published on