Team Suzuki Press Office – August 26.
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is ready to restart the 2019-2020 Endurance World Championship this weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France.
Following several event cancellations and date changes to the series due to the crisis, current championship leaders SERT will take part in the third round of the series under closed doors and no spectators at the Bugatti Circuit.
This is the first time since the event’s inception in 1978 that the race will take place without the thousands of fans who flock to the venue, but plans have been put in place to increase media coverage by the series promoters Eurosport Events during the continued lockdown and changing conditions in the country.
SERT GSX-R1000 riders Etienne Masson, Gregg Black and Xavier Simeon currently lead the series – recently revised from five to four rounds from the cancellation of the Suzuka 8 Hour Race in Japan – by 15 points.
Recent ruling in this area of France sees the start time of the event revised and the race will now be flagged-off at 12 noon (12:00 hrs local time) instead of the usual time of 3pm (15:00 hrs) on Saturday August 29th.
The stakes in this series are also higher following the cancellation of the Bol d’Or and the Suzuka 8 Hours and the season finale will now take place in Portugal on September 26th at the 12 Heures d’Estoril for both the World Championship EWC title and the Superstock World Cup.
At Le Mans, a maximum of 65 points are available for the win, with bonus points for Pole Position and for being in the lead after 8 hours and 12 hours. At the 12 Heures d’Estoril, which as the championship final will now benefit from the bonus of 150% of the points at the finish line, another 67.5 points will be available in total; the points for the win, for pole position and for the leader eight hours into the race.
A total of 40 teams will be on track tomorrow for the initial set-up and practice sessions, with qualifying sessions taking place on Friday.
Endurance racing fans will be able to watch live coverage of the entire race on Eurosport 2 in France and on channels throughout the world. The race will also be shown live on L’Equipe (France), Hulu/Nippon TV (Japan), Astro (Malaysia), Motortrend (USA) and Sky NZ (New Zealand).
Eurosport Events will also have additional programming to give TV viewers a full-on experience of this year’s edition of the race.
EWC 360 FAN TOUR:
Starting Friday August 28th, a new platform will be packed with special 360° programmes and content giving EWC fans a backstage tour of the event. Eurosport Events have developed a cutting-edge virtual reality experience taking fans to the heart of the event.
It gives everyone the means to walk around freely behind the scenes at the race, allowing you enter places that are usually off-limits to the public, and look around from any angle you choose.
The free interactive platform – accessible through computer, tablet, smartphone or VR headset – provides an unforgettable experience, accessing it from all the event-related platforms: FIM EWC, 24 Heures Motos, ACO and Eurosport.
The programme starts at noon on Friday 28 August, with a series of videos uploaded throughout the weekend: A pit box tour, access to the starting grid, a refuelling stop with you as a member of the pit crew, an exploration of Race HQ – the most secret space on the circuit – an on-board tour with commentary by the rider, the thrill of being the winner going past the chequered flag, the podium ceremony, plus a look inside Eurosport’s OB van.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, said: “The EWC 360 Fan Tour makes perfect sense for this edition of the 24 Heures Motos behind closed doors. As usual, fans from around the world will be able to watch the race on their screens. But we had to do something more for the frustrated fans who are unable to attend the race in person. Since they are not allowed access to the circuit, the race will come to them in digital form and free of cost. The EWC 360 Fan Tour will take fans even further than the live TV coverage, into the backstage action at the event, with special content throughout the race, including in places that are usually off-limits to the public.”