Tougher travel restrictions to Japan has forced organisers to cancel the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race this year.
With it looking increasingly unlikely that international riders and teams would be able to travel to Suzuka – the FIM, Eurosport Events and Mobilityland has decided to cancel the 2020 edition of the famous race, which has already been rescheduled to November 1. It is the first-ever cancellation of the race since its introduction in 1978.
Speaking about the news, Kaoru Tanak, Director of Mobilityland Corporation said: “We had been preparing for the “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race to be held on November 1st together with all of the fans and stakeholders involved in this race event but, with anguish, we find no alternative but to make the decision to cancel it in consideration of the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Japan and overseas 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, which had been postponed from the originally scheduled date in July to November. We also extend our sincere regrets to all of the other stakeholders involved in this race event and we ask for everyone’s kind understanding and cooperation going forward. 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 cancellation of the 2020 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours is not a question of spectators’ access. 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.”
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