Team Suzuki Press Office – August 14.
The historic Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship race in Japan has been cancelled due to the crisis.
The 43rd edition of the event – due to be staged as the finale of the 2020 EWC Championship at the Suzuka Circuit on November 1st – has now been cancelled due to stronger restrictions on entry from foreigners into Japan; which means international teams and riders are unable to travel to the country.
The recently-revised series will now take place over just four rounds instead of four: Round 3 will take place at the Le Mans 24 Hour on August 29-30th in France, with the series final round being the Bol d’Or 24 Hour on September 19-20th in France.
An agreement with the FIM and Eurosport Events, the promoter of the FIM Endurance World Championship and the Suzuka 8 Hours organiser Mobilityland has taken the decision this week to cancel the 2020 edition of the race as the crisis prevails in various levels across the world.
It is the first-ever cancellation since the creation of the race in 1978.
The Crisis remains a source of concern in Japan, and the government has decided not to lift its entry ban on international arrivals, even for business travellers. International riders and permanent teams have always been an integral part of the action at the Suzuka 8 Hours, which has become the grand finale of the FIM Endurance World Championship. In their absence, the grand finale would be a domestic race. And as a result, Mobilityland has decided to cancel the 2020 edition.
Kaoru Tanaka, President Representative Director of Mobilityland Corporation:
“We had been preparing for the “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race to be held on November 1st together with all of the fans and stakeholders involved in this race event but, with anguish, we find no alternative but to make the decision to cancel it in consideration of the continued spread in Japan and overseas and the fact that there is no prospect of deregulation of immigration restrictions on visitors from abroad at this stage in Japan.
“Once again, we extend our apologies and regrets to all the fans who were looking forward to attending the Suzuka 8 Hours, which had been postponed from the originally scheduled date in July to November. We also extend our sincere regrets to all of the other stakeholders involved in this race event and we ask for everyone’s kind understanding and cooperation going forward.
“In closing, let us say that we are determined to make preparations so that the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours event will be even more enjoyable for the fans than ever before.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events:
“We have been working hard with Mobilityland to reschedule the race from July to November – a first since 1978 – and then to organise entry into Japan for international teams and riders with a special business visa. Our hopes have evaporated with immigration restrictions for foreigners. The cancellation of the 2020 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours is not a question of spectators’ access. The decision was made not to run this iconic race as a domestic event. The Suzuka 8 Hours, the most prestigious endurance race in the world over the last 40 years, shall not run without top international riders.”
Jorge Viegas, President of the International Motorcycling Federation:
“The cancellation of the iconic race of the Suzuka 8 Hours is really very sad news, but we must accept the Japanese government’s decision that takes into account the safety measures for the health of the population. In these difficult times, I want to thank all the efforts made by our promoter Eurosport Events, the organiser Mobilityland and MFJ. All the fans can be sure we will come back in 2021 with the best race ever!”
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and new team member Xavier Simeon (SERT) currently hold a 15-point advantage in the series.