2021 Suzuka 8 Hours cancelled for second successive year

The 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours has been cancelled, marking the second year the endurance classic - which was due to feature Jonathan Rea - has been canned

Kawasaki KRT Suzuka 8 Hours

The 2021 Suzuka 8 Hours has been cancelled for the second consecutive year as a direct result of COVID-19 and the prolonged health crisis in Japan.

The news comes a day after the F1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka - which was due to take place 10 O October, around a month before the endurance classic - was also cancelled.

While the international emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted organisers to act early to cancel the 2020 event, it was hoped this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours would go ahead, especially after the date was re-organised from its traditional July slot to 7 November.

However, the green light was always expected to be dependent on whether Japan could control the spread of the virus in the wake of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Though the sporting extravaganza was closed to spectators, the wave of international arrivals competing and the increased movement across the country was always expected to have an impact.

As a result, organisers have played it safe and cancelled this year’s event, with a provisional 2022 date pencilled in for July 22.

“We had been preparing for the Coca-Cola Suzuka Eight-Hours Endurance Race, which was to be held for the first time in two years, but the difficult decision has been made that we have no choice but to cancel it,” Kaoru Tanaka, President Representative Director of Suzuka owners Mobilityland Corporation.

“It is a very regrettable outcome for us to be forced to cancel the Suzuka 8 Hours for the second consecutive year, because it is a very important race event for everyone. But we will continue to prepare for the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2022 and strive to make it an even more attractive event than ever for the fans and all those concerned.”

The cancellation comes after the Kawasaki Racing Team - winners in 2019 - announced it planned to defend its title with six-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and Lucas Mahias.

With the Oschersleben 8 Hours also cancelled, the Endurance World Championship has added the Most 8 Hours round, which will be a double-header with the four-wheel WTCR series in October.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT Centenario 850 2021 Walkaround | Engine Sound | Visordown.com