The 2019-2020 FIM EWC season will get underway with the Bol d’Or on 21 September on France’s Le Castellet circuit.
The second round of the championship is a new winter race in South-east Asia, initiated as part of a calendar reform by championship promoter Eurosport Events.
The inaugural edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang, which results from a strong collaboration between FIM, Eurosport Events, Sepang International Circuit and Mobilityland, will be a qualifying round for the 2020 Suzuka 8 Hours. Its innovative format lays the foundation for the first-ever double-header event in Asian motorsport, with two major car and motorcycle races taking place over a single weekend: the 8 Hours of Sepang on Saturday 14 December 2019 and the season finale of the FIA WTCR/OSCARO on Sunday 15 December.
The 43rd edition of the 24 Heures Motos, traditionally held at Le Mans in mid-April, and the 8 Hours of Oschersleben on the first weekend of June will take place mid-way through the FIM EWC calendar.
The Suzuka 8 Hours round, the grand finale of the FIM Endurance World Championship, will be brought forward to mid-July, on a one-off basis, for the first time in its history.
“The Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race has a long 42-year history,” explains Kaoru Tanaka, the new President of Mobilityland. “It has recently been established as the final round of the FIM Endurance World Championship, and is traditionally held on the last Sunday of July. For 2020, we decided to bring the event forward so it precedes the fanfare of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Now scheduled for July 19th, the Suzuka 8 Hours race will have the eyes of the world on Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Come join us for a sizzling season final in July 2020.”
Provisional 2019-2020 FIM EWC calendar
21/22 September 2019 – Bol d’Or (24h-race) / Le Castellet – France
14 December 2019 * – 8 Hours of Sepang / Malaysia
18/19 April 2020 – 24 Heures Motos / Le Mans – France
76,000 spectators watched a spectacular Le Mans 24 Hour on the weekend, the second round of the 2018-2019 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Video – 2019 Le Mans 24 Hour Start
ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance Team started the race from pole position but a poor start put them behind the eight-ball from which they never really recovered.
Heartbreak too for YART Yamaha. A machine failure cost them any chances of a good result while reigning World Endurance Champions F.C.C. TSR witnessed Mike DiMeglio crash their Fireblade SP2.
Broc Parkes – YART Yamaha EWC Team
“I had really good pace in all my stints and I felt really strong, but our race was done after just 10 hours. Endurance can be cruel sometimes! Now we need to put the disappointment of Le Mans behind us and focus on the next race at the Slovakia Ring, as it’s a good circuit for us and one at which we won last year.”
Video – YART Engine Failure
Onboard with Marvin Fritz
F.C.C. TSR Honda fought back to eighth in the race’s ranking before encountering another issue in which the complete brake system had to be changed and replaced. The squad went back out on track just for Freddy Foray to collide with another rider in a racing incident. The bike slid along the track and that made damage to the engine’s cover’s where oil was lost. The team still kept on working hard to not only fix the hole, but to replace some engine internals also, which meant another loss of two hours in the pits.
The team even then never gave up and sent the bike back out with no chance of having a shot for world championship points but to “fulfil” the spirit of endurance by finishing the race.
Other high qualifiers VRD Igol Pierret Experiences and GERT56 by GS Yuasa also suffered similar fates.
That notwithstanding the 42nd edition of the 24 heures Motos will be remembered as a 24-hour edge-of-seat duel on the track.
Honda Endurance Racing’s Randy from Puniet and Team SRC Kawasaki France’s Jérémy Guarnoni rocketed away from the grid, and the race to the same fast-paced finish featuring the same two teams, this time with Yonny Hernandez and Jérémy Guarnoni in the saddle.
Team SRC Kawasaki France with Jérémy Guarnoni, David Checa and Erwan Nigon ‘s determination to shake off Honda’ s Endurance Racing ‘s Randy de Puniet, Yonny Hernández and Sébastien Gimbert.
Team SRC Kawasaki France’s victory will be one of the closest-fought and most gripping one in Endurance history to date. Kawasaki has a memorable duel with Honda Endurance Racing.
Le Mans 24 Hour Video – Closing Stages
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team finished third in a thriller of a race.
Their amazing duel overshadowed a third-place finish by Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, who got back on the podium for their team manager Dominique Meliand’s last-ever 24 Hours Motorcycles. The Suzuki’s riders Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black finished in practice the same lap as the duo in the lead.
Wepol Racing (Yamaha), Bolliger Team Switzerland (Kawasaki), 3ART-Moto Team 95 (Yamaha) and National Motos (Honda) also pulled off praiseworthy performances to finish 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th respectively, more than 10 laps behind the three squads leading the race at a scorching pace.
Motors Events seventh place finish gave them victory in the Superstock class. Their strong comeback and determination to chase the win at Le Mans have earned them the Anthony Delhalle EWC Spirit Trophy. Motors Events also won the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy.
James Westmoreland, Johan Nigon and Adrien Ganfornina rode the Suzuki # 50, finishing ahead of Yamaha Ain Moto (Robin Mulhauser, Roberto Rolfo and Stefan Hill) and Kawasaki-mounted Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto (Enzo Boulom, Chris Leesch and Kevin Manfredi).
Thanks to their win, Team SRC Kawasaki France has gone to the forefront of the provisional standings of the 2018-2019 FIM EWC, ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team.
2019 Le Mans 24 Hours Results
TEAM SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE – EWC 839 laps – 24:00:54.139
Honda Endurance Racing Honda – EWC 839 laps – 24:01:54.689
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Suzuki – EWC 838 laps – 24:01:08.610
WEPOL Racing Yamaha – EWC 828 laps – 24:00:56.861
Bolliger Team Switzerland Kawasaki – EWC 827 laps – 24:02:19.550
3ART- MOTO TEAM 95 Yamaha – EWC 822 laps – 24:02:36.039
MOTORS EVENTS Suzuki – SST DIT 821 laps – 24:01:11.430
National Motos Honda – EWC 821 laps – 24:02:05.048
MOTO AIN Yamaha – SST DIT 818 laps – 24:01:17.039
Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto Kawasaki – SST 816 laps – 24:01:15.537
FANY GASTRO BMW MOTORRAD- by ME… BMW – EWC 812 laps – 24:01:09.587
Wójcik Racing Team Yamaha – EWC DIT 808 laps – 24:01:12.871
Junior Team LMS Suzuki Suzuki – SST 808 laps – 24:01:36.144
OG MOTORSPORT BY SARAZIN Yamaha – SST DIT 807 laps – 24:02:23.814
Motobox Kremer Racing #65 Yamaha – EWC 806 laps – 24:02:23.008
AM Moto Racing Competition Kawasaki – SST DIT 804 laps – 24:02:15.823
BMRT 3D MACCIO RACING Kawasaki – SST DIT 802 laps – 24:02:12.350
PITLANE ENDURANCE Yamaha – SST DIT 801 laps – 24:01:14.322
The final qualifying session of the 24 Heures Motos on the Bugatti circuit was a ripper and when the times were tallied at the end of the day it was Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance that were the big improvers.
All three riders of the team in the 1m36s, Kenny Foray the quickest on 1m36.232, Julien Da Costa on 1m36.652 and Mathieu Gines on 1m36.909 saw the trio’s combined qualifying marker set at 1m36.597.
YART Yamaha are right behind them in second place on the starting grid. Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa also substantially improved their lap time and remain very serious contenders for the win
VRD Igol Pierret Expériences continue to amaze. Third on the starting grid, the Viltaïs team, who have moved up into EWC this season with big ambitions, stood up to the favourites with a trio of riders straight from speed championships. While Florian Alt is a long-time rider with the Yamaha-mounted endurance team, Florian Marino comes from Superbike and Xavier Simeon from MotoGP.
The leading trio on the starting grid presages an all-out battle of the manufacturers. Team ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance are Pirelli-shod, while YART Yamaha are using Bridgestone tyres and VRD Igol Pierret Expériences have Dunlop’s support.
Team SRC Kawasaki France are in 4th place on the starting grid ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team. Honda Endurance Racing, who gave it their all in Thursday afternoon’s qualifying, ended up in 6th place ahead of reigning World Champions F.C.C. TSR Honda France, who opted to focus on preparing their new 2019 CBR 1000 RR SP2 for the race.
BMW also took the top spot in Superstock. GERT56 by GS Yuasa, once again the best-in-class, will start from 10th place on the grid with riders Julian Puffe, Pepijn Bijsterbosch and Lucy Glöckner.
The other teams are right behind the German squad (winners of the Superstock class at the Bol d’Or) on the grid: Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, Motors Events, SC Project Paton Reparto Corse (who have hired Nico Terrol, 125cc world champion) and Junior Team Le Mans Sud Suzuki, in that order.
2019 Le Mans 24 Hours Qualifying Results
ERC-BMW Motorrad Endurance – Foray-Da Costa-Gines / BMW 1m36.597