The FIM World Endurance Championship: Production based motorcycles from as many as twelve different manufacturers, riders from twenty different nations, four different race formats, one FIM World Championship-- What is Endurance? * The World...
The FIM World Endurance Championship: Production based motorcycles from as many as twelve different manufacturers, riders from twenty different nations, four different race formats, one FIM World Championship--
What is Endurance?
* The World Endurance Championship is a unique and grueling test of motorcycle and rider power and endurance - a worldwide phenomenon that's a massive hit with race fans, riders and teams alike
* World Endurance race weekends are hugely popular festivals with music and all kinds of entertainment for spectators
* The World Endurance Championship is 1 of only 3 world road racing championship officially sanctioned by the FIM
* World Endurance races are known for their spectacular starts, which see the riders sprint across the track to their waiting motorcycles
What is Different about Endurance?
Endurance is unique in being a real team based motorsport with two or three riders taking turns piloting the same bike around the circuit in shifts. Races vary in length from 500 kilometers to six, eight and twenty four hour formats. R aces can be won or lost in the pitlane with teams seperated by only seconds after hours of racing. During a pitstop many of the teams save vital seconds by using special fuel rigs that deliver a full tank of fuel in only seconds, and quick change wheels that allow tires to be changed without removing the chain or brake calipers. A team's ability to deal with accidents or mechanical problems can be crucial as well. Accident damage can be repaired and many parts replaced as long as the original frame and crankcase are retained from start to finish, but spending valuable time in the pits often leads to a loss of many laps to more consistent teams.
The Endurance Experience is also an unforgettable part of every race with spectators turning the race weekend into one long party. Live rock bands, bikes shows, fun fairs, food and drink accompanying the spectacular on-track action.
Three categories of machines can compete in the World Endurance Championship: Superbike, SuperProduction and Superstock. All three categories compete for a single FIM Endurance World Championship title; uniquely, the three categories compete against each other for the same prize.
The return to the World Endurance Championship of the classic Le Mans 24 Hour and Bol d'Or 24 Hour races marks 2006 as the start of a new golden age of motorcycle endurance racing, with t he Zolder 6 Hour race also marking the return of the championship to Belgium for the first time in five years. The series begins Easter Monday at the infamous Assen circuit in the Netherlands with the World Endurance Championship the first world championship series to race at the newly renovated track.
Almost 100 hours of racing, four different race formats at seven different circuits, and an entry representing both experience and youth will make this season a year to remember. Fans may see a review of the 2005 season, as well as a preview of 2006 and the opening round at Assen by visiting www.MotorTV.it or by visiting the series' official website at www.worldendurance.co.uk.
Greg Sampson is a writer (High Velocity Journalism) and a crew member who will bring to our readers an new insight into World Endurance bike racing.