By Zuriati Zulmi
LE CASTELLET (FRANCE) -- The Bol d’Or 24H Endurance World Championship race has been suspended due to bad weather conditions at the Paul Ricard Circuit.
Following a heavy thundery shower on the Le Castellet, the race director has decided to suspend the Bol d’Or at 6 pm local time on Saturday (midnight Malaysia time), three hours after the race kicked off, to ensure the safety of the competing riders.
The competing bikes had been parked in the pit lane with no possibility of intervention by the crews while waiting for the race to restart.
On two previous occasions, namely in 1988 and 1996, bad weather conditions and heavy rainfall had caused the Bol d’Or – raced on the old Paul Ricard track then – to be interrupted in one case and prematurely halted in the other.
Meanwhile, Head of Eurosport Events Francois Ribeiro said that the weather was very unexpected because there had been no rain in Le Castellet for almost three months.
“There had been no rain in the region for the past three months, so the land is super dry and the problem is when the land is very dry, the water cannot penetrate. It could be a bit dangerous for the rider.
“During my discussion with team managers, they told me the last time this situation happened was 23 years ago where the race has to be suspended due to bad weather,” he said when met at the Paul Ricard circuit.
The race is expected to resume on Sunday at 6 am local time (noon Malaysia time).
The Bol d’Or 24H is the opening of five series races namely Sepang 8H, 8H Macau, 8H Germany and Suzuka 8H.