For its first season as Promoter of the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC), Eurosport Events focused mainly on the media coverage of the Championship. A full TV production was made of each Endurance race so that the event could be broadcast in its entirety and live-streamed on Eurosport Player. The events could therefore be broadcast live and in the form of highlights all across Europe in 20 languages. A new visual identity and an FIM EWC website were set up as well as official social networks in English and French. This first season recently came to a close with an outstanding Prize Giving for the FIM EWC Champions at the Salon de la Moto in Paris.
Reinforcing the Endurance DNA
After putting our teams in place this season, Eurosport Events proposed to the FIM a major reorganization of the Championship in 2016 with ambitious objectives to raise its level. The Calendar will be broadened around the flagship events, the 24 Heures Motos, the Bol d’Or and the Suzuka 8 Hours. Special support will be given to the private teams to help them compete over the full season and the status of the factory teams will be reinforced. The aim is to take Endurance back to its roots and focus on what makes it different from the other disciplines. With this in mind, the FIM, Eurosport Events and the main actors in Endurance have agreed to reshape the calendars for the coming season. The 2016 season will have four events from April to August. All will take place during day and night including the 12 Hours of Portimao and the 8 Hours of Oschersleben.
A new format for Endurance from September 2016
The FIM EWC will start with a new season format from September to July, opening with the Bol d’Or, the French classic 24 hour race at Le Castellet, and closing with a grand finale in Japan in the form of the mythic motorcycle Endurance race: the Suzuka 8 Hours. Eurosport Events also intends to extend the FIM EWC events calendar outside Europe in the winter between November and February. This period, which sits during the MotoGP and World Superbike off-season, will provide more media exposure and audience for these high-profile motorcycle events.
More support for the teams
Because of the very quick transition between the two Championships 2016 and 2016/2017, the FIM has committed to keeping the technical rules stable between the two seasons. It should also authorise the introduction of a new model during the season once its FIM homologation is complete. The events outside Europe envisaged for the 2016/2017 season will be organised with full logistical support for the teams. Eurosport Events and each organiser of a FIM EWC race will also work on the creation of a « FIM EWC Private Teams’ Trophy » for teams without factory support. This Trophy will be accompanied by significant prizes and promotion 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.”
2016 FIM EWC Provisional calendar
8-10 April: 24 Heures Motos / Le Mans / France
24-25 June: 12 Hours of Portimao / Portugal (race on Saturday)
29-31 July: Suzuka 8 Hours / Japan
26-27 August: 8 Hours of Oschersleben / Germany (race on Saturday)
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