Upon arrival at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday 10thAugust, Grégory Fastré not only discovered a new motorbike but a new team also. Called upon to replace one of the riders of the Mototech EWC (Bram Lambrechts) team, Fast Greg slowly became acquainted with the new Yamaha R1 entered by the Belgian team in the World Endurance Championship. In his characteristic serious manner, he improved the feeling, the set-up and his lap times, allowing him to clock up the second best time in qualifying on Sunday morning with his teammates Marc Buchner et Nigel Walraven.
Pole position almost logically went to the French Yamaha Viltaïs Experience n°333 team, also regulars in the world championship, with a time of 2:26.220. But just like their manager Mario Kupper, Vincent Lonbois, Florian Alt and Alan Techer knew that the 6 Heures de Spa-Francorchamps always holds its surprises and unforeseen developments. ”We are aiming at victory, but this is endurance racing and anything can happen. We’ll do our sums at the finish”, Vincent Lonbois commented before the start, fully aware that his team is not often spared bad luck at Spa.
Bram Lambrecht and Wim Van Den Broeck of Vigenon Racing claimed third best time, ahead of Gian Mertens-Wim Van Den Bossche-Pascal David of the Alteco - 3D-Drawing team. The 5 étoiles Ducati Luxembourg team (with Stéphane Mertens, Didier Jadoul and Marc Fissette) grabbed eighth spot on the grid, just in front of the 600cc of Loris Cresson (teamed up with Tom Kohnen of DDB Racing - RPM84).
On Sunday 12thAugust, on the dot of midday, the start of the 6 Heures Moto 2018 was given and promptly saw Greg Fastré take the lead, followed as his shadow by Vincent Lonbois, prior to a first Safety Car procedure. Once hostilities got going again Greg retook the lead during several laps before handing over to Vincent Lonbois, who shortly after made a small braking error at the ‘pif-paf'. Contract fulfilled for Greg, who finished his first stint in the lead. Just behind the Viltaïs team put in a faster refuelling, allowing Florian Alt to take first spot. Unfortunately, the latter was to fall without any serious injuries. Somewhat later a second fall, obliging the Yamaha Viltaïs Expériences team to put in a «remontada» which saw them grab third place overall, and second in the Trophy category.
The misadventures of the n°333 did the trick for the Mototech EWC team of Grégory Fastré and his teammates, who regained the lead and allowed them to ‘manage’ through to the finish. Another victory for Fast Greg on home ground… “In all honesty I don’t know how many times I have won this race”, the endurance champion confided. “I won with Campus, with Herpigny, with Marc (Fissette)… I could well be the record holder when it comes to victories! It’s always a pleasure to win here, even if some consider the 6 Heures to be a race for amateurs, because the grid is always of a high level, and there are always lots of surprises”His advantage, the Mototech EWC team especially needed to manage it over the n°25 of Vigenon Racing, quickly in the lead of the Inters 1000 category and also equally as quick in the second place of the scratch rankings, as such confirming their excellent performance during qualifying.
Fourth and second in Inters 1000, the Seton Tuning team of the British riders Jess Trailer and Phil Seton were in front of the astonishing 600 of the DDB Racing - RPM 54 team with Loris Cresson and Tom Kohnen (1stin Inter 600 and 5thoverall). On the podium’s third tread of the 1000 Inters, we find the Aprilia Turnhout team of Sander Claessen and Kenny Meersman.
The second 600 Inter was ranked 15thoverall. This of the British Edge Racing II Team (Laurence Edgeley-Luke Verwey-Kade Verwey). Third, the Polpettes (Thomas Houbert-Jérôme Morelli-Anthony Verona) registered in 21stplace in scratch.
Among the Juniors 1000, the Moto 80 team was eyeing for victory, but had to be satisfied with a 5thplace (13thoverall). It was the Trax Racing Team (Denis Vermoesen-Niels Hattas-Kenny Tournel) who got the better in front of Paca Rapid-Moto Racing (Carl Cheret-Patrice Paulis) and the MAK Racing Team (Jérémy Ulens-Olivier Lefèvre). These teams respectively finished ninth, tenth and eleventh overall, closely followed by the Phénix Racing (Fabian François-Jean-Paul Plumier-Olivier Poire – fourth in Juniors 1000).
The first Junior 600 finished in 20thplace. This was the Apple RT-JS Products-MotoMode team (Arnaud Bojmistruk-Arnaud Mulders) who offered themselves a further category victory. Jamoto Racing finished second (Jimmy Ovaere-Cédric Dejeux-Jimmy Lafineur), with VDB-JL-J-Racing Team third (Jean-Luc Van Den Broeck-Jerry Dupont-Alexis Surjus).
“What with dream weather and a new more than successful qualifying formula, this was another great edition of the 6 Heures Moto de Spa-Francorchamps», a delighted Florian Jupsin of DG Sport commented. “Throughout the entire day right through to the finish I saw numerous smiles on the faces of riders, as also the crews and the general public, who were more numerous than in previous years. This reassures us in our organisation and our will to retain the ‘amateur’ character of the 6 Heures. The best proof of this edition is to be seen on the final podium: an amateur team on the second tread next to two entered in the World Championship. One was registered in Inters 1000 and the two others in Trophy, proof that all formulas are ideal to compete in the 6 Heures!”