50 teams and nearly 150 riders representing 20 nationalities are expected to be at the start of the first edition. Here is close-up look at the key figures for the forthcoming 8 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia on Saturday 14 December.
Honda Asia Dream Racing.
Among the teams in the starting line-up of the forthcoming 8 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia is Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa, one of the likely favorites to win. A closer look at a team that brings together talents from across Asia.
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team.
Factory squad BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team has announced a new three-rider line-up to shine at Sepang. The S 1000 RR #37 will be entrusted to Ilya Mikhalchik, Kenny Foray and Markus Reiterberger.
YART Yamaha is a familiar figure on the tracks of the FIM World Endurance Championship, but the Austrian team is also an engine tuning and motorcycle race preparation specialist. Mandy Kainz’s outfit has prepared bikes for – among others – Yamaha Sepang Racing, one of their competitors on the track in Sepang.
Team ERC Endurance.
Ducati is the latest manufacturer to enter the FIM Endurance World Championship. At the 8 Hours of Sepang, Team ERC Endurance will field a Ducati Panigale V4R with official backing from the Italian brand. Randy de Puniet is to join Ondřej Ježek and Louis Rossi in the saddle.
After competing for the past several seasons on a BMW, including as the German’s brand’s official team last season, Team ERC Endurance will switch to Ducati starting from the second race of the 2019-2020 FIM EWC season, the 8 Hours of Sepang, to be held in Malaysia on 14 December. The arrival of BMW Motorrad’s new factory team at the Bol d’Or in September spurred the change.
Ducati makes strong commitment
Uwe Reinhardt, ERC Endurance’s team manager, explains why the squad chose the Italian brand. “My passion for the brand and my personal collection of Ducati bikes had little to do with the decision to start up a partnership with Ducati. What really counted was the fast, efficient and substantial commitment they immediately put in place and the support they will be providing throughout the season. It’s obviously been a big challenge getting ready to race at Sepang, but we’re under no pressure. It’ll be a trial run in race conditions. As for Le Mans [round three of the EWC season], our only goal will be to cross the finish line of the 24 Heures.”
Ducati Corse joins the race
Team ERC Endurance will continue to receive financial support from its main sponsor Prokasro, but Ducati will be heavily involved on the technical front. “The factory has developed parts in record time, and set up a special endurance-focused development section working closely with the Superbike team,” according to Team ERC Endurance.
Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti confirms the Italian brand’s involvement. “Team ERC Endurance has support from Ducati, and Ducati Corse electronics engineers will be at each race. The machines use World Superbike technical specifications, and have been prepared at the Ducati Corse workshop by Team ERC’s mechanics with support from our engineers.”
Sepang will see Team ERC Endurance’s Panigale V4R bikes make their first outing on the track.The line-up riding the Ducati #6 will be revealed in the next few days.
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of EWC