Countdown to Sensational Suzuka EWC race is go
The countdown to round three of the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship season is well and truly under way as preparations for the 44th Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race shift up another gear this week.
Selected teams will be testing at the famous Japanese track on Wednesday and Thursday (5-6 July), while ticket sales for the race weekend (4-6 August) are also continuing with more details available at this link: https://www.suzukacircuit.jp/eng/8tai/ticket/.
When the race takes place next month, several leading EWC teams are set to take on top Japan-based squads for Suzuka 8 Hours glory. They are BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, Honda Viltaïs Racing, Kawasaki Webike Trickstar, KM99, Motobox Kremer Racing, Yamalube YART Yamaha EWC Official Team and Suzuki-powered Yoshimura SERT Motul.
With the event not counting as a round of the FIM Endurance World Cup, the Dunlop Superstock Trophy teams are already switching their focus to the season-deciding Bol d’Or, which takes place at Circuit Paul Ricard in France from 14-17 September.
PROVISIONAL EVENT TIMETABLE:
Key FIM EWC timings are as follows:
Friday 4 August:
08h30-10h00: Test Session
11h20-13h20: Free Practice
13h35-14h25: Pit Walk
14h45-15h05: First Qualifying (Blue Rider)
15h20-15h40: First Qualifying (Yellow Rider)
15h55-16h15: First Qualifying (Red Rider)
18h30-19h30: Night Free Practice
Saturday 5 August
09h50-10h10: Second Qualifying (Blue Rider)
10h25-10h45: Second Qualifying (Yellow Rider)
11h00-11h20: Second Qualifying (Red Rider)
13h45-14h20: Pit Walk
14h45-15h30: Free Practice
16h00-17h30: Top 10 Trial
17h40-18h10: Pole-sitter interview, post-qualifying press conference
Sunday 6 August:
09h30-10h10: Pit Walk
11h30: Start of 44th Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race
19h30: Finish of 44th Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race
20h00: Post-race press conference
WHERE: Suzuka Circuit, Japan
LOCATION: 7992 Ino-Cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie-ken 510-0295, Japan
WHEN: 4-6 August 2023
TRACK LENGTH: 5.821 kilometres
RACE DISTANCE: 8 hours
QUALIFYING LAP RECORD:
Team HRC – Tetsuta Nagashima, 2m04.934s, 2022
RACE LAP RECORD:
Kawasaki Racing Team – Jonathan Rea, 2m06.805s, 2019
IN 100 WORDS: Operated by Honda Mobilityland Corporation, Suzuka offers a unique figure-of-eight layout and considerable challenge thanks to its wide variety of corners, while the Suzuka 8 Hours’ summer date means hot and humid conditions and packed grandstands. Opened as a Honda test track in 1962, the venue hosted the first edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours in 1978. Since then, the day and night event has been a popular feature of the EWC schedule and a key fixture on the international calendar with leading MotoGP and World Superbike racers taking part – and winning – over the years. Team HRC triumphed in 2022.
*The Suzuka 8 Hours retuned to the EWC calendar in 2022 having not taken place since 2019 due to the global health crisis.
*Americans Mike Baldwin and Wes Cooley won the inaugural Suzuka 8 Hours on 30 July 1978 on a Yoshimura Racing Suzuki.
*Japanese fans had to wait until 1982 for the first home victory when Shigeo Iijima and Shinji Hagiwara won for Honda.
*Although it was billed as an eight-hour race, the onset of a typhoon meant there were only six hours of racing.
*Other winners of the Suzuka 8 Hours include Wayne Rainey (1988), Eddie Lawson (1990) Mick Doohan (1991) and Valentino Rossi (2001).
2022: Team HRC
(Tetsuta Nagashima, Takumi Takahashi, Iker Lecuona) 214 laps
2019: Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H
(Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Toprak Razgatlioğlu) 216 laps
2018: Yamaha Factory Racing Team
(Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark) 199 laps
2017: Yamaha Factory Racing Team
(Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Michael van der Mark) 216 laps
2016: Yamaha Factory Racing Team
(Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes, Pol Espargaró) 218 laps
For more info check out our dedicated Endurance World Championship News page Endurance World Championship
or visit the official Endurance World Championship website fimewc.com