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A very ambitious Tecmas for the Mans’24 Hours


The best chrono achieved by Kenny Foray during the “Pré-Le Mans” tests comfort the Bourges team Tecmas-MRP-BMW at the number 1 favorite rank of the next 24 hours Moto Race at the Mans in the “Superstock” category. Perhaps the beginning of a fantastic adventure…

The genesis of the new choice of Tecmas in the Endurance field started in spring 2022.

When, after a 24 Hours Le Mans disappointing and very expensive to the point of almost endanger the team’s life,Arnaud Sassone, the new owner, announced the complete retirement of Tecmas from the EWC category: “too expensive for a private racing team like us”.

But, no way to renounce to the Endurance and its mythic races: the Golden Bowl (Bol d’Or) and the Mans’24 Hours.

‘’As a matter of fact, said at that time Arnaud Sassone, we have a “B” plan for 2023 where we hope to restart the Superstock, a category more in adequation with our financial means and the possibility of being a permanent team during the whole season”

At time went on, the project began concrete. BMW in Germany, who had some view on this Superstock category, had suggested to Werner Deamen the MRP boss and “angular stone” of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team (present in EWC with the official n°37) to have a second Superstock moto. Daemen politely refused: “because it would be too much work”. But he did not close the door to BMW. Although, it was important to go back to them with serious proposal. 

Endurance having been an ADN category for Tecmas, Arnaud Sassone explain: “We met in July at Magny-Cours for the WSKB and the idea arose of a cohabitation with the two teams.” The Germans were interested by Werner Daemen proposal to entrust the Tecmas Superstock moto to Tecmas because with the support of its team, the French Champion Superbike title for Kenny Foray and the official support of BMW France which re-enforced the legitimacy of this proposal.

With factory engines

Christian ragot

Then, it all happened fast. At the beginning of the year, Tecmas began officially associated with Team MRP (Motorcycle Racing Parts) of Werner Darmen to become Tecmas MRP-BMW Racing Team in Mondial Endurance.

Arnaud Sassone explains : “Practically, we were engaged for the world cup totality, at the same time with the official n°37 of the MRP in EWC, with the Superstock n°9 with a large support from the German BMW factory. Having factory engines give us more ambitious. At the moment, we have no contract as an official team, but with Werner Daemen, we have are looking to establish a collaboration which lasts the target being to have two official moots in 2024. As far as Tecmas is concerned, I am well aware that this should result with a very good 2023 season.”

As far as the collaboration with MRP is concerned, things are clear: Werner Daemen and Arnaud Sassone are the respective managers of their respective companies: “Everyone is at his place and that’s fine with us. Of course, we have a big pression, but we are ready. Tecmas, in EWC, had no means, either financial nor humans, to look for a podium and even less to win! But in Stock, we are there to have the first parts!” insists Arnaud Sassone, precising: “Keeping in mind the high technology of the new M1000 RR, I am sure that with a Superstock well anticipated: a good crew and a performing technical staff, we can even hope a good place at scratch…”

Favourite for the 24 Hours?

During March 28 and 29, with a changing forecast, at the Pré-Le Mans tests, Tecmas gave openly the direction of its ambitions: Kenny Foray signing regularly the best chrono of it’s category during the four trials at the program (10e  scratch time).

Even if it may not be the time to say that the Bourges team is the big favorite for the 24 Mans Hours of April 15 and 16th, it’s going a bit fast because such a long and hard race, for the men and the machines, can involve many risks. Nevertheless, these tests are more than an encouragement, a warning for the competitors! And the proof that Werner Daemen did well when betting on the Bourges team.

The other good deal that Arnaud Sassone did is to succeed in convincing Kenny Foray to double Superbike-Endurance. Arnaud Sassone said: “I presented the Endurance project to Kenny Foray middle of last year. Kenny took the time to think of it, the time to see how things would match and if I was not too much of a dreamer, even an eccentric, with the risk of putting through a project badly controlled. But as months passed, he realized that everything was taking its place, that it was all was right, that we had the support of the factory and that, especially, we had also had the agreement of BMW France so that Tecmas would pursue the Endurance. To start off with, our official partner in Superbike, was not too inclined as the Endurance is very energy taking, fearing that we scattered. But I have been very square in my answers, precising that there was a training and development program and specific tests days for each of the two categories. With, at each time, human forces matching with each program. With, in particular, the reinforcement on each training program, each race as well las for the preparation of the moto, at Bourges, of two french speaking technicians which used to work up to now on the n°37 in EWC, a super plus!”

Record for Kenny Foray

Shall we be surprised with the best chrono (1’36’’831) of Kenny Foray for this “Pré-Le Mans?

Of course, no. “I really enjoyed it. The moto was ultra-performant, the team well organized. We had all we need to do some very good thing” said Kenny, apparently enthusiastic and at ease in his leader part. Never a Superstock had been so speedy on the Bugatti circuit, the previous record dating 2017 and done on a Yamaha of the Viltaïs team in 1’37”298..

For the 24 Hours, amongst this new-look team, Maxime Bonnot will still be a little low. The Nivernais took advantage of these official tests to climb for the first time on a racing moto since his last July accident (about 10 fractures, tibia and fibula, and malleoli), “but I rediscover some good sensations. It’s still a little hard. I wanted to accelerate things but I will be too short physically, especially on a 24 hours race where it’s necessary to be at 100% of it’s form. I shall be patient and wait…”

“Proud of our team” (Arnaud Sassone)…

« I am proud and happy with our crew” said the boss. “Loïc Arbel is a gifted French pilot in 600 super sport. I contacted him few months ago but, like Kenny, he waited to see if our project was valid before giving his agreement at the end of the year. He did not participated to the official Mans’ tests because he felt the previous Sunday on the same circuit on the FSBK weekend. Nothing serious, but it was more prudent to let him have some rest. I know that we will be able to do with him. He already showed what he could do in Endurance. Last year, he was on the Tati Team EWC MOTO WITH Alan Techer, moto which finished second at the scratch of the 24 Hours of Spa. That means something, no? And as far as Jan Bühn, a German pilot, is concerned and has been recommended to me by Werner Daemen, Jan drive in IDM. He also had participated to various seasons in Endurance with the Bolliger Swiss team. He is someone humble, very serious, rapid, who stick well to the Endurance spirit”. So, obviously, in a challenging context with 34 motos only engaged in Superstock, the ambitions are high. “The podium, and, if possible, on the higher step! Without having the pression, we worked on that. We have the technical staff, the screw, the moto (the new M1000 RR23 which is the same one used in FSBK by Kenny Foray NfD) and the mental to win! We are all very motivated. Being permanent changes a lot in the heads…One does not come for the 24Hours or for “one shot” but to be competitive, especially on a championship, with the hop, and the desire, to obtain the title…” 

said Arnaud Sassone.

Texte : Christian Ragot
Translation : Josette Borne
Photos : Stéphane Valembois

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