SEPANG 8 HOURS, a new flagship race on the FIM EWC calendar
A major new race has just been added to the 2019-2020 FIM EWC calendar. The Sepang 8 Hours will be the first-ever winter race in the championship’s history, and its second race in Asia. It will serve as a qualifying event for the Suzuka Grand finale. The new round is the result of calendar restructuring by Eurosport Events, the FIM EWC promoter since 2015.
An exciting new era for the FIM Endurance World Championship will begin when Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit hosts the Sepang 8 Hours, a newcomer on the 2019-2020 FIM EWC calendar.
Qualifying race for Suzuka
The race will have the same format as the Suzuka 8 Hours, with a Superpole Top10 Trial and a finish after nightfall. The Sepang 8 Hours will also be the first qualifying round for all the Southeast Asian and Japanese teams wishing to take part in the Suzuka 8 Hours. It means the finest Asian teams hoping to qualify for Suzuka will be on track in Malaysia together with the permanent FIM EWC teams, who will be invited to Sepang. Eurosport Events will cover the costs of European and Japanese teams competing at Sepang.
The Sepang International Circuit is a world-standard circuit that has hosted major international car and motorcycle races for the past 20 years. The combination of Sepang and Suzuka, two iconic venues in Asia, will offer the FIM EWC bright new horizons.
Substantial media coverage
The Sepang 8 Hours will be given substantial media coverage on all five continents with the support of the Discovery Group.
Razlan Razali, Sepang CEO
Based on a public survey that SIC conducted for 3 months last year, we are pleased that this race series FIMEWC was voted as events that Malaysians would like to see at Sepang Circuit as a replacement to Formula One. We are also pleased that the Sepang round will be the qualification round for Japanese and Asian Teams for the grand finale to participate in the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours. The finest teams competing in the full FIM EWC season will also be there honing their weapons ahead of Suzuka. Interests for 2 wheels event have grown in Malaysia for the last 8 years and we are excited for this event after all the major events are completed and we hope to attract top riders to race in the Sepang 8 Hours.
Susumu Yamashita, Mobilityland President
I am very pleased to know that the EWC has created a new race in Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit.
As you may know, the first Suzuka 8hours Endurance Race was held back in 1978 and has, last year, celebrated its 40th anniversary. The unique atmosphere and excitement the 8hour creates and the passion it has delivered over the years, has made our Suzuka 8hours event – one of a kind.
I believe that since last year, the fact that “Coca Cola” Suzuka 8hours became the final of the EWC, also contributed to the further awareness of this event world widely and great interest from Asia and from all around the world.
And as the popularity of the Suzuka 8hours further increases in the entire of Asia, we have been witnessing more and more interest in participating in this event. In order to create a proper platform, I too believe that it is crucial to nurture this close and long-term relationship between Suzuka circuit, Sepang International Circuit and Eurosports Events.
Regarding regulation details of this future Try Out, further discussions will continue in order to meet requirements and bring together the best teams from Europe, Japan and Asia.
Vito Ippolito, FIM President
When we signed our promotion contract with Eurosport, in 2015, we had great hopes for our FIM Endurance World championship to progress in terms of team participation, in term of new events, and especially in terms of media coverage. I must recognise that we have not been disappointed. Many of our hopes have been filled.
For the next 2019-2020 season, a new event in Asia, at Sepang, will take place. We are very pleased that the smart cooperation between the FIM, Eurosport, the famous circuits of Suzuka and Sepang allows us to consider an eight-hour round in Malaysia. The format of the qualifications as well as the selection of such race for the Suzuka 8Hours 2020 already promise a success for this new round.
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events
It’s a great honour to be here alongside the chairmen of Suzuka and Sepang, two Asian circuits that have forged an international reputation for themselves by organizing some of the finest 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler races. It is therefore a pleasure for me to announce here at Suzuka, on the eve of the FIM EWC Grand Finale, that the endurance world championship will be making a key move in the direction of Southeast Asia with the creation of a new winter race, the Sepang 8 Hours, which will take place between the Bol d’Or in September 2019 and the 24 Heures Motos in April 2020.