New developments for FIM EWC in 2016
Throughout its first season as promoter of the FIM EWC, Eurosport […]
Throughout its first season as promoter of the FIM EWC, Eurosport Events concentrated its efforts on media coverage of the championship. Every one of the Endurance events was produced in full duration to allow complete multi-screen broadcast on TV and streaming on the Eurosport Player. This meant that all the rounds could be shown live, as well as highlights, throughout Europe in 20 languages. The FIM EWC website was created as well as official social media channels, in English and French. The first season has just come to a spectacular close with a unique prize-giving ceremony for the FIM EWC champions that took place at the Paris Moto Show.
Reinforcing the Endurance DNA
After a first season spent putting in place the structure, Eurosport Events proposed a significant makeover for the championship from 2016 in order to enhance the profile of the series with some ambitious objectives. The calendar is being extended around the key events, which include Le Mans 24 Heures Motos, the Bol d’Or and the Suzuka 8 Hours. Particularly support will be given to private teams to help them contest full season, while the status of the factory teams will be reinforced. The objective is to showcase the unique characteristics and DNA of endurance racing compared to other categories.
Following on from this, the FIM, Eurosport Events, and the key players in endurance racing, will reform the calendar in seasons to come. For 2016, the championship will take in four rounds from April to August. All the rounds will run in both day and night, including the Portimao 12 Hours and Oschersleben
A new format for Endurance from September 2016
The FIM EWC will then launch a new season format, which will run from September to July. The first round will be the Bol d’Or, a French classic taking place over 24 hours at Le Castellet, while the final round of the year will be the biggest and most renowned endurance bike race of them all: the Suzuka 8 Hours. Eurosport Events intends to extend the calendar outside of Europe in winter between November and February. This period, which sits during the MotoGP and World Superbike off-season, will allow more media exposure and audience for major bike events.
More support for the teams
Because of the rapid transition between the 2016 and 2016/2017 championships, the FIM has pledged technical rule stability between these two seasons. It will also allow the introduction of new models during the season as soon as they are homologated by the FIM. The long-haul rounds outside Europe planned for the 2016/2017 season will be organised with complete logistical support for the teams. Eurosport Events and the organisers of each FIM EWC round are working together to create an ‘FIM EWC Independent Trophy’ for the teams that do not rely on manufacturer support. This Trophy will be added to a significant prize fund, as well as promotional campaigns for the best teams.
FIM President Vito Ippolito
“The FIM is happy with this first year of cooperation with Eurosport Events. The FIM Circuit Racing Commission is working closely with the stakeholders of Endurance on the changes in the sporting and technical regulations indispensable to the development of this emblematic competition. I would like to thank Eurosport Events for their commitment, their passion and their desire to offer the fans high-quality international media coverage through Eurosport’s multi-media platforms.”
François Ribeiro, Eurosport Events Director of Operations
“Eurosport Events became the promoter of the FIM EWC just five weeks before the 2015 season started, which meant that we had to select our priorities. Endurance racing was lacking consistent media coverage, so we gave the championship nearly 60 hours of airtime on Eurosport, which went out to 40 million viewers in 2015. During our first season, we also devoted plenty of time to discussing different ways of evolving endurance racing with the FIM, event organisers, teams, manufacturers, tyre companies, and partners. Following our first experience of the Suzuka 8 Hours, it became clear that the final round of the championship should take place on Japanese soil at this legendary event. Reforming a championship is a tough task. It requires a quality of dialogue with all endurance racing stakeholders and we will concentrate our efforts on raising the profile of the FIM EWC, making it bigger, better and more visible all over the world. Endurance racing has a number of key assets: it provides a perfect shop window to demonstrate the reliability of the bikes, a platform for manufacturers to showcase their most emblematic models, a fantastic spectacle for the fans, and a TV product that is rich in stories about the men and machines.”
Provisional FIM EWC 2016 calendar
8-10 April: 24 Heures Motos / Le Mans / France
24-25 June: Portimao 12 Hours / Portugal (race on Saturday)
29-31 July: Suzuka 8 Hours / Japan
26-27 August: Oschersleben 8 Hours / Germany (race on Saturday)