News 12 Aug 2020

Travel restrictions force cancellation of Suzuka 8 Hours

International riders and teams unable to enter Japan in November.

Image: Supplied.

One of the biggest races on the international calendar, the Suzuka 8 Hours, has been cancelled for 2020 due to travel restrictions that won’t enable overseas riders to enter Japan.

The FIM, Eurosport Events – promoter of the Endurance World Championship (EWC) and Suzuka race organiser Mobilityland have agreed to call the event off for this year.

Initially rescheduled to the beginning of November as the EWC final, instead the Suzuka 8 Hours will be cancelled for the first time since its creation in 1978.

“With anguish, we find no alternative but to make the decision to cancel it in consideration of the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Kaoru Tanaka, president representative director of Mobilityland Corporation.

“And the fact that there is no prospect of deregulation of immigration restrictions on visitors from abroad at this stage in Japan. Once again, we extend our apologies and regrets to all the fans who were looking forward to attending the Suzuka 8 Hours.

“In closing, let us say that we are determined to make preparations so that the 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours event will be even more enjoyable for the fans than ever before.”

François Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, added: “We have been working hard with Mobilityland to reschedule the race from July to November – a first since 1978 – and then to organise entry into Japan for international teams and riders with a special business visa.

“Our hopes have evaporated with immigration restrictions for foreigners. The decision was made not to run this iconic race as a domestic event. The Suzuka 8 Hours, the most prestigious endurance race in the world over the last 40 years, shall not run without top international riders.”