With the 2021 FIM Endurance World Championship season at the halfway mark, organizers announced on August 19 that the 8 Hours of Suzuka is officially canceled. Unfortunately, as also happened in 2020, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is to blame.
Since the 2021 EWC season was already down to four races, a new event in October has now been added to the calendar. This event replaces the previously canceled 8 Hours of Oschersleben, which was to originally have taken place in May. Suzuka had been scheduled for November, so the 8 Hours of Most on October 9 will cap the season a month earlier than previously planned.
Due to the circumstances, points awards for the 8 Hours of Most will be increased by 150 percent, as allowed by the current sporting regulations. That means each class winner can take home 45 points for this race and this race alone. Fans of both motorcycle and car racing in Czechia will get to see the Most EWC round take place as part of a double-header weekend with the World Touring Car Championship at the same circuit.
“Unfortunately, what we feared the most has now happened. An exponential increase in the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Japan after the Olympic Games means that the Japanese Government will now not permit the Suzuka 8 Hours to go ahead as planned, despite the enormous efforts made by Mobilityland and Eurosport Events,” FIM president Jorge Viegas said in a statement.
“On behalf of the FIM I would like to offer a word of optimism for the future, since I am confident that this flagship event will come back stronger than ever. And when it does, we will be there together with the MFJ, Mobilityland and Eurosport Events. In order to maintain the number of events, we will activate plan B with a race at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic on 9 October. It will be a mixed car and motorcycle event as it was in Slovakia and Malaysia two years ago,” he concluded.
The 2022 8 Hours of Suzuka is tentatively scheduled to take place in July. As ever with the ongoing pandemic, plans may change multiple times between now and then.