24H OF ZUERA: VESPA THE RESISTANCE!
There is Le Mans, and there is Zuera. The spanish track is the very place of the most incredible endurance race, each year, exclusively dedicated to Vespa bikes. Obviously, KENNOL had to know more about this slightly fun event, but also very demanding for the drivers, and for the engines. While some of our teams are preparing for the 24H of Le Mans, let’s focus on these guys who managed the 24H race, on a Vespa.
You need a perfect lube if you want to maintain such a rev for 24 hours!
Pascal GARCIA, team manager
▌ FROM MAGNY-COURS TO ZUERA
The Deluxe Rocket Klub and the 8Ball-Racing Team are 2 KENNOL-sponsored teams since last 2015. These 2 French and amateur crews reunite true lovers of engines, challenges, who share a common love for the Vespa. The mythical 2-wheelers doesn’t need any introduction, but the Italian bike has never been dedicated to competition… And this is the very point of this whole thing: finding ways to turn into a performance and endurance machine, an old vehicule initially designed for cruising in the streets of Roma!
The figures might be slightly off if you want to compare them with those you usually find in our News, nonetheless they keep a special something, if you think about it. The 2 Vespa 125cc develop more than 20HP, and can fly up to 140km/h in straight lines. Equiped with a manual gearbox, those small 75kg rockets don’t need to be worked to much to take-off!
This season, the team comes back with 2 Vespas, which also means 2 crews… No less than 16 people work together to achieve the best performances during these mechanical marathons. And even if the atmosphere is far from the tension you can feel in a Formula 1 paddock, everyone is here for the competition, and you meet only real riders, touching the tarmac with the knees and the elbows in the turns. And everything runs pretty smoothly for them, since the 2 teams made good appearances in prestigious races, such as their very good results at the 10H of Magny-Cours in october.
Pascal GARCIA, team manager : “Originally, our Vespas have 5 to 6HP and high-rev around 6000RPM. Once prepared for the race, the engines are continuously pushed above 10000rpm… And within our 2-stroke engines, the motor oil for the piston is mixed with the fuel, which means there is a massive impact on the performances, but also on the endurance. And please keep in mind that even if the riders take stints during the 24 hours, the scooter stays on track…”
Whatever your ride is, a 24-hour endurance race is a major challenge. And even if the preparation and the good results at the 10H of Magny-Cours were efficient, it is a totally different matter when you are awaiting in the line, on the track, that the lights turn green… Here, in Zuera, riders take the start like in Le Mans or at the Bol d’Or: they run and cross the track, to take their bike and fly away! And May 28th, no less than 62 teams were taking the start, for this 9th edition. On the International Circuit of Zuera, 1700m long, the teams pushed day and night, the mechanics healed the tired engines, the logistics crews found solutions to provide the best possible rest for the riders between 2 stints… And after 24 hours, and 936 laps covered, the checkered flag ended it all.
Due to a major mechanic failure (crank shaft) after 15 hours in the race, the #8 Vespa lost more than 2 hours repairing in the pit, but crossed the finish line, while the other machine takes a great 7th place in category! But memories will keep the intensity, the physical challenge, and the achievement. And no doubt that these guys are already thinking on the little details that should make them earn a few places next season..!