Wayne Tessels - 8 HOURS OF SEPANG 2019
After a good result in France at the Bol d’Or and feeling comfortable in the team, the answer to the question if Wayne wanted to join the RAC41 team for the second time was a no brainer for him.
This time Sepang, Malaysia was the scenery for the 8 hours endurance race. Well, it should have been 8 hours, were it not that the race was delayed due to heavy rainfall. So the Race Direction decided to shorten up the race to a maximum of 3 hours of racing time.
Not only during the race thunderstorms and heavy rainfall were throwing a spanner in the works. All weekend long sessions were canceled due to the weather. Wayne: “The rain isn’t so much the problem, the problem is that the track doesn’t dry up that quick. So choosing the right tire setup is difficult. Some parts of the track are dry and some are still soaking wet”
In the end there riders could finally commence practise and qualifying. Practise went well in the few laps they could ride and the combined times of Wayne and his teammates after qualifying resulted in a 9th place in their class. Not too shabby!
Raceday then: Rain was pouring from the skies and after the warm-up laps behind the safety car the riders came into the pits again. The riders stated that it was too dangerous to ride in such weather conditions at all and the decision to delay the race was made. Two hours later it was still raining but the riders did another attempt to race again, yet still behind the safety car. In formation behind the safety car for almost half an hour, the riders were trying to communicate with each other to stop riding and eventually the red flag was waved.
Meanwhile 5 hours(!) had passed by after the initial start of the endurance race. But finally the restart was there! Wayne’s teammate Guillaume Antiga did the first two hours of the race. He was comfortable with the conditions of the track and with the bike, resulting in a fifth position in the Superstock class. Wayne took over and raced the last hour of the race. The track was drying, but the Honda CBR was still on rain tyres. Despite the tricky tire setup, Wayne was putting in some good lap times. But then a rider in front of him crashed and Wayne couldn't avoid him anymore and rode into his bike. He got back on the Honda and despite almost losing his little finger in that crash, he managed to finish and bring the bike home! End result: a visit to the first aid station and a 6th place in the Superstock Class!
Wayne’s opinion of the race: “It was a strange race of course due to the weather. It was a bummer for us that we could race for only three hours, but is was just too dangerous to race really. So the officials made a good decision to delay the race. We did the best we could and we managed to achieve the best result possible. It was a shame that I couldn’t avoid the crashed rider in front of me, but I was glad that I could finish at all. My hand wasn’t looking so well when I took off my gloves, but I have enough time to let it heal”.
Wayne brought two awesome Sepang T-shirts back home from Malaysia that you can win! Visit this blog to see whats up!