FIM President Jorge Viegas has signed a new agreement on the eve of the 24 Heures Motos, renewing the FIM’s trust in promoter Eurosport Events for the next 10 years. A close partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme will enable Eurosport Events to take Endurance racing to new heights from here to 2029.
In 2015, Eurosport Events and the FIM set themselves five years to kick-start the Endurance World Championship when they signed their first partnership deal. The positive results obtained across the board thanks to the past few years of work have led FIM and Eurosport Events to extend their partnership.
Joint action by the FIM and EEL has made the sport far more competitive and reawakened public interest in the championship. The number of contracted teams has doubled, from 20 in 2015 to nearly 40 this season. As of the last two seasons, the rise in the number of competitors has made selection committees a necessity.
Key reforms jointly implemented by the FIM and Eurosport Events have shaped the current face of the FIM EWC. Among a range of significant accomplishments, the revised calendar stands out as a landmark achievement of the past few seasons. Introduced in 2016, it has the Bol d’Or as the championship’s opening round in September, with the Suzuka 8 Hours enjoying the status of grand finale in July.
Thanks to this reform, a major new international endurance race will be added to the 2019-2020 calendar: the 8 Hours of Sepang, to be held on 14 December 2019 in Malaysia.
Other substantial changes include supporting private teams with the EWC Dunlop Independent Trophy, making all the day-night races permanent fixtures, and setting up a dedicated and permanent FIM/Eurosport Events team, who are present at every race.
A more international championship
Eurosport Events has also focused on enhancing the championship’s global visibility by showing both live and delayed coverage on television and digital networks across the world. The FIM EWC has gone from airtime on four channels in 2015 to coverage in more than 111 countries today. The wide-ranging international broadcast and the new excitement of FIM EWC races have served to extend the championship’s international slant, from the 7 countries represented in 2015 to 13 this season, with a Japanese team crowned world champions for the first time in the history of the series.
The new 10-year contract will make it possible to undertake key future developments, driven by the desire to attract fresh international teams and riders, turn the 8 Hours of Sepang into a cornerstone event, expand international media coverage (digital, print and TV), and deliver a unique and even more immersive fan experience.
Jorge Viegas, FIM President
‘It is a pleasure and an honour for me to sign the new contract on behalf of the FIM with Eurosport Events at the 24 Hours Motos, an event that is especially close to my heart because I participated in the first edition back in 1978.
Eurosport Events has really done a great job as a promoter, always respecting the FIM’s sporting authority, with this in mind we renew their contract for the next ten years. The FIM and Eurosport Events will continue their close collaboration and jointly we will soon introduce new features to further develop the FIM Endurance World Championship.’
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events
‘Eurosport Events made very humble first steps into the world of motorcycle endurance racing in 2015. The FIM has proved to be a great partner, guiding us through the early stages and supporting the reform plan we began to roll out in 2016. The excellent relationship between Eurosport Events and the FIM under the leadership of its new President Jorge Viegas means we can confidently undertake long-term plans to continue enhancing the championship’s standard of racing and boosting its popularity.’
Grid Girls Gallery by Grid Girls UK