The newly-formed Honda TT Legends team will kick off its 2011 racing campaign with the opener to the Endurance World Championship at Magny-Cours.
John McGuinness, Steve Plater and Keith Amor will embark on a season of circuit racing in 2011, as well as competing in the Isle of Man TT, the trio tasked with winning Honda's first EWC title for a decade.
Starting off with the legendary Bol d'Or, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, McGuinnes is looking forward to what will be a brand new challenge.
“I've done a lot of things in my racing career but I've never done a full world endurance season, so it's all completely new to me,” said 15-time TT winner McGuinness. “Pre-season testing has gone very well, we've put in a lot of laps and we've all stayed in one piece with no crashes, but to be honest I'm nervous and apprehensive about the first race.
“There's certainly pressure competing against so many accomplished teams on the world stage, but we have a competitive package with a great history so I want to step up my game and ride well.”
Of the three riders, Plater is the most experience short circuit racing rider having competed in several WEC rounds, as well as in British Superbike, Supersport and Superstock. However, unlike McGuinness and Amor, he will not compete in any road races this year.
“It's going to be steep learning curve for the team going into the championship with a 24-hour race – we could have done with an 8-hour first off. Having said that, there is a vast amount of experience in the team.
“Some of the key members have over 25 years experience in EWC and I've been endurance racing professionally since 1999. In the past I have mixed road racing and one-off endurance events throughout the season, but this year my focus is solely on the EWC.
“Testing has been good, the bike has been working well, the team has come together and hopefully when it matters next week we can bring it home and score some points.”
The 2011 EWC will include a British round to be held at Donington Park.