Circuit transformation: Iconic venue revving up for FIM EWC comeback with 24H SPA EWC Motos
A track as legendary as it is demanding is revving up to host high-speed day and night action from the FIM Endurance World Championship from 2-5 June with the return of international-level motorbike racing to the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Reviving the spirit of the famous 24 Heures de Liège, which last ran as a round of the EWC in 2001, the 24H SPA EWC Motos will be an endurance race like no other.
Some of the world’s best riders, teams, bike manufacturers and tyre companies will chase success on the seven-kilometre Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which has undergone extensive safety upgrades specifically for the second round of the 2022 EWC season but remains international motorbike racing’s answer to an adrenalin-filled rollercoaster ride.
A circuit fit for the EWC
The 24H SPA EWC Motos will take place on a significantly modified Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the result of changes mandated by both the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Fédération Motocycliste de Belgique (FMB).
Central to the changes, which have been ratified by the Fédération Internationale de l’Autombile (FIA) in line with car racing requirements, are expanded run-off areas at several corners, the repositioning of safety barriers in some sections, plus the realignment of the Speaker’s Corner left-hander, albeit for bike use only. Additional infrastructure work and the construction of a purpose-built grandstand at the top of Raidillon has also been undertaken for a total cost of €25 million.
A video explaining the changes is available here: https://youtu.be/KpKu0Ai5Fws
François Ribeiro said: “The two- and four-wheel motorsport community will soon be very
impressed with the high level of safety work ongoing at Spa-Francorchamps right now. Once completed and homologated by the FIA and FIM this April, Spa will be even more special and appealing as a track to all drivers and riders than ever before. The 24H SPA EWC Motos has all the ingredients to become a true classic of the FIM EWC calendar, on par with 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans, the Suzuka 8 Hours and the 24 hours of Bol d’Or in terms of prestige and importance but probably greater in terms of the sporting and technical challenge facing our riders and teams. The team at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Discovery Sports Events and PHA Claude Michy are working flat out together to deliver an excellent event for fans to experience and remember forever. It’s a great honour to welcome Spa-Francorchamps into the FIM EWC family and to see the sporting level of the championship rising year on year. We cannot wait for more endurance racing history to be made at Spa on 4-5 June.”
Melchior Wathelet said: “We are delighted to welcome the FIM EWC, an internationally renowned championship, to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. I would like to thank our partner François Ribeiro from Discovery Sports Events of course, but also FIM and FMB for their confidence and finally the teams and riders who can’t wait to take part in this great event. Our teams are working tirelessly and hand in hand with event coordinator Claude Michy and his team. We are also happy to offer an exceptional weekend of entertainment. On track with the 24H SPA EWC Motos but also the three support series that will complete the programme: the 4 Hours of Spa Classic, the FIM Sidecar World Championship and finally the International Bridgestone Handy Race. Around the track there will be many animations and experiences to ensure we can welcome fans in the best conditions.”
The world will be watching
Full live coverage of the 24H SPA EWC Motos is planned on the Eurosport digital and linear platforms, RTBF Auvio in Belgium and L’Equipe TV in France. Details of other broadcast partnerships will be announced in due course.
First ticket sold as sales begin
Tickets are now on sale for the 24h SPA EWC Motos and François Ribeiro wasted no time in ensuring he’ll be trackside when the FIM Endurance World Championship returns to the Ardennes in June after he purchased the first ticket to go on sale.
Event coordination agency PHA Claude Michy has worked with Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to develop a range of ticket packages and price options with a discounted general admission rate available until 15 March inclusive. Access to the event will be free for accompanied children under 16 and those with reduced mobility. More ticket information is available at www.24hspamotos.com.
Packed timetable in store
The 24H SPA EWC Motos is due to begin at 14h00 CET on Saturday 4 June, marking the first time since 2001 that a round of the FIM Endurance World Championship takes place on the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Track activity is scheduled to begin on Thursday 2 June with the EWC riders taking to the legendary circuit from 10h00-12h00 CET for Free Practice ahead of First Qualifying from 16h00-17h50. That will be followed by Night Practice from 21h40-24h00 when riders take on the challenge of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps under the cover of darkness.
Second Qualifying is scheduled from 09h00-10h50 on Friday 3 June. Saturday 4 June starts with the Warm-up from 09h00-09h45 ahead of the 24H SPA EWC Motos getting underway at 14h00.
There’s also a packed timetable of support races including the FIM Sidecar World Championship, the 4 Hours Spa Classic and the International Bridgestone Handy Race. Full details of the various fan experiences will be announced in the coming months.