On September 15-17, 2016, Miguel Duhamel will return to the famed Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, France, to compete in the BOL D’OR CLASSIC road race. He will be accompanied by Didier Constant, editor of Motoplus.ca.
Retired since 2009, Miguel Duhamel will once again slip into his leathers to take part in the Bol d’Or Classic (BOC). For the occasion, he will team up with Didier Constant, who helped Miguel, his brother Mario, and his father, the legendary Yvon Duhamel, compete in the Bol d’Or in 1988 on a Team Honda/Winners/Ipone Honda RC30. They finished 7th.
The Bol d’Or Classic is a four-hour endurance race run in two legs; one on Friday night, the other on Saturday morning. It is reserved for racing motorcycles built before 1991, with two-rider teams consisting of one professional rider, and one amateur. The format emulates the classic endurance, but with the amateur rider providing a slight handicap, thus assuring no one runs away with an easy win.
Returning to the track, feeling the familiar sensations, and having fun are all motivating factors for Duhamel.
“I like the idea of racing at Paul Ricard in September a lot,” says the former racing champion, “It’s a circuit I love. And to ride the Bol D’or with Didier is doubly interesting. It is a return to the past—28 years ago to be exact. It’s going to be awesome; it’s a great project.”
“My goal is not to get on the podium, even if I intend to do my best,” admits Constant, “I don’t want to be an anchor for Miguel. I’ll be satisfied with an honorable performance. My goal is to give life to a dream, an achievement of which I can brag to my future grandchildren.”
The two Canadians will ride a DCT Racing Team Honda RC30. Top Moto Honda, a leading Honda dealership located in Tarbes, in the Hautes-Pyrenees, will prepare the “Dreams Come True” Honda. The dealer, under the leadership of its owner Philippe Puyo, has participated in the Bol d’Or and Le Mans 24 Hours several times, fielding bikes like the Honda RC30, RC45, VTR1000, SP2, and recently a CBR1000RR.
Technical support at the track will be provided by First On Track, the brainchild of Ludovic et Yvan Genestier specialized in organizing track days and advanced rider-training courses at prestigious MotoGP circuits throughout Europe.
However, this exceptional project also has a more charitable objective: To raise funds for Riders for Health. This humanitarian organization, founded in the late 1980s by Barry and Andrea Coleman in collaboration with Randy Mamola, provides motorcycles and ambulances to doctors so they can deliver medical care and first aid to rural populations in Sub-Saharan Africa, including countries like Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Gambia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
“All I have to do is to train myself and to learn to ride a little faster,” quips Constant. “I have six months to get there, that should be enough, I hope. Otherwise Miguel will have to ride twice as hard to make up lost ground.”
“Being fast on a motorcycle isn’t enough to win,” Duhamel said in 1999, at the Daytona 200, where while on crutches he took a memorable victory ahead of Mat Mladin by a tiny margin of 0.014 seconds. “It takes the determination!”