EWC: 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans to take place behind closed doors
The prestigious 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans will take place behind closed doors for a second year running as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the motorsport world.
Race organizer Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the FIM and Eurosport Events have announced that the 44th edition of the 24 Heures Motos in Le Mans will take place behind closed doors for the second year running.
The aim is to ensure that all five Endurance World Championship events are completed after a shortened calendar in 2020, a season which saw the SERT Suzuki team crowned champions.
Last years Le Mans 24 hours lived up to its expectation, with rain causing chaos before more late drama cost the BMW team a shot at the podium. Early leaders, YART Yamaha, suffered a crash followed by mechanical failures to drop out of the top 20, but fought back to fourth and kept their title hopes alive up until the final race at Estoril, which will return to the calendar in 2021.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest“Regrettably, we shall have to organise the 24 Hours Motos behind closed doors for the second year running. Firstly, my thoughts go out to the fans of the race who will again miss out on the trackside experience. Despite the absence of spectators, the race will go ahead for the sake of the competitors and their sponsors. We sincerely hope that we shall be able to share these great moments in sport together again very soon.”
Jorge Viegas, President of the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation)“Despite a second year without spectators, I am sure that the edition of the 24 Hours Motos 2021 will be breathtaking. I would like to thank the ACO, the FFM and Eurosport Events for their efforts to offer once again a fantastic show on TV and Digital platforms to the many viewers.”
Sébastien Poirier, President of the FFM (French Motorcycling Federation)“It’s obviously heart-breaking to have to stage the 24 Hours Motos once again behind closed doors and deprive the many fans of an event that is a mecca for the biker community. For organisational reasons, the decision had to be taken now by the ACO and it is one that we share. I wish to pay tribute to the work done by the ACO, the promoter Eurosport Events, and the FIM to ensure that the race has not disappeared from the calendar altogether. Like many fans, we shall follow and share our passion for the race on the various TV and digital media outlets.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events“It was painful to take the closed doors decision together with the ACO, but we took it quickly for the good of the championship and the teams. The ACO was the first circuit to organize a race behind closed doors in 2020 and, together with the ACO, we decided it was better to keep the April date for the 24 Hours Motos so as not to disrupt the rest of the calendar, which will also be held behind closed doors if the Covid-19 situation calls for it.”
Latest 2021 EWC Calendar
April 17-18 – 24 Heures Motos, Le Mans
May 23 – 8 Hours of Oschersleben, Germany
July 18 – Suzuka 8 Hours, Japan
September 18-19 – Bol D’or, France
October 16 – 12H of Estoril, Portugal
The 2021 EWC season will commence in April with the closed doors event held in Le Mans for the 24 Heures Moto.
Featured image: Yamaha-Racing