Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, will flag off the Suzuka 8 Hours, the grand finale of the FIM EWC. This honour is a reciprocal gesture for the invitation extended to Susumu Yamashita, President of Mobilityland, to flag off the 24 Heures Motos earlier this year.
The green flag signalling the start of the 2016-2017 FIM EWC Grand finale, the 40th anniversary of the Suzuka 8 Hours, will be entrusted to Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO. The invitation is a renewed symbol of the historical ties between two sporting entities: Mobilityland, the organiser of the Suzuka 8 Hours, and the ACO, the organiser of the 24 Heures Motos.
In April, Mobilityland’s President Susumu Yamashita was invited to flag off the 40th edition of the 24 Heures Motos. Mobilityland has extended the same honour to Pierre Fillon by inviting the ACO President to green flag the grand finale of the FIM EWC at Suzuka on Sunday 30 July.
Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO
“It is a great honour for me to flag off the Suzuka 8 Hours, Japan’s most emblematic endurance race and the final of the 2016/17 FIM endurance world championship. This past April, at Le Mans, Yamashita San accepted our invitation to be the official starter of the 24 Heures Motos. In this year marking the celebration of the 40th edition of our respective races, which are two of the FIM EWC’s key events, this reciprocal invitation sends a strong message to the motorcycle endurance world: that we are sealing our long friendship and looking to the future together.”
Susumu Yamashita, President of Mobilityland
“In April this year, I visited Le Mans to present the Suzuka Mayor’s Prize on behalf of the mayor of Suzuka city. On this occasion, I was given the honour of waving the green flag to start a legendary race, the 24 Heures Motos, and it was a great opportunity to let the world know that both Le Mans and Suzuka are celebrating their 40th anniversary events this year. Mr. Fillon, the president of the ACO, kindly accepted our request to wave the green flag at the Suzuka 8 Hours as a reciprocal gesture. This will be a strong message, demonstrating our deepening friendship and ever-stronger partnership.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events
“Mobilityland and ACO are true bastions of the EWC. Over the past 40 years, these two organisers have forged a substantial part of the Endurance legend. France and Japan are pre-eminent nations in the history of motorcycle endurance racing, and these two great race structures have worked in close collaboration with Eurosport Events to take endurance to a very high level. The invitation issued to President Yamashita to green flag the 24 Heures Motos sent a strong message, and the sight of ACO President Fillon flagging off the bikes at the EWC grand finale in Suzuka will be an equally strong symbol.”
Photo : from left to right : Susumu Yamashita, President of Mobilityland ansd Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO at the last 24 Heures Motos.