The world is still busy with the corona pandemic, after more than ten months since its outbreak at the start of this year. It turned the motorsport business of 2020 upside down and brought major restrictions with it. And yet the organizers of the FIM Endurance World Championship managed to find a replacement for the planned season finale, which was to take place at the legendary Paul Richard Circuit in Le Castellet, in a very short time. Without hesitation, they set up an alternative 12-hour appointment in Estoril, Portugal. Relocating a championship, consisting of 23 teams and 65 riders, to a completely new country in less than a month is already a masterpiece, and the participating teams were able to say goodbye to their already very turbulent 2019/2020 season in style.
For the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team it was an assignment with a substitute rider, as regular rider Ilya Mikhalchik was needed for the season finale of the International German Championship at the Hockenheimring in Germany. Mikhalchik clinched the runner-up title in the championship the same weekend, and a very familiar face in road racing stood in for the Ukrainian. Peter Hickman had already supported the BMW team on the practice days of the 24-hour race in Le Mans and was able to get to know the team and bike. The 33-year-old Brit competed alongside regular riders Kenny Foray (FRA) and Markus Reiterberger (GER) on the Portuguese race track. After a terrific race of catch up in the 12-hour race in Estoril, the team clinched seventh place and ended its first season as a BMW factory team in the World Endurance Championship in fifth position.
This event also had to take place behind closed doors due to COVID-19 restrictions, and viewers could only participate at home via their TVs or via the live-streams. The reporting was therefore also extended by FIM to all available social media and transmission platforms. 5.6 million people have used the television offer and followed the 12 h Estoril live on Eurosport. 6.7 million people watched the videos on social networks and the digital articles published on the “World Wide Web” reached a total of over 970 million people. So it was a successful end to a turbulent season in which – despite numerous restrictions – four of the five planned events could still take place. For this a big thank you to the organizers of the FIM.
All of the impressive facts and figures about the Estoril 12 Hours can be found here: https://www.ee-cloudbox.com/3cad6d47d11ee4544653e418836ae887/FIM_EWC_12_HOURS_OF_ESTORIL_2020_EVENT_REPORT.pdf
There is currently no calendar for the next season available, but we will report when the time comes.