May 24th, 2023
Team Kawasaki Webike Trickstar has recruited Grégory Leblanc for its FIM Endurance World Championship attack because he represents “a big force” for the Japanese squad, according to its Team Manager Ryuji Tsuruta.
The multiple EWC race-winning Frenchman replaces Christophe Ponsson for the remainder of the season having switched over from TATI Team Beringer Racing.
His first event with the France-based outfit, restructured for 2023, will be next month’s 24H SPA EWC Motos, in which he was a podium finisher last season riding a TATI-run Kawasaki.
“We are pleased to announce Grégory Leblanc joins our team,” Tsuruta said. “He participated in the Suzuka 8 Hours with our team in the past and is a very much experienced rider in EWC with high potential. We are all happy and excited to welcome him to Team KWT from round two at Spa-Francorchamps. His high potential and knowledge of EWC will be a big force for the team, and he will be a great asset for our aim of winning the EWC championship title.”
Leblanc, 37, is set to partner Randy de Puniet and Kazuki Watanabe on the #11 Kawasaki ZX10RR. He said: “It’s a real pleasure to have this [#11] machine back with which I have a long history and many victories in the past. A big thank you to the whole team of KWT as well as Kawasaki Japan, Europe and France for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank the Tati team for these races spent together and I also wish them a good season for the rest of the championship. For me, the story continues at #11. When you don't give up anything you work hard you are always rewarded.”
TATI Team Beringer Racing has yet to announce who will replace Leblanc alongside new-for-2023 signings Baptiste Guittet and Hugo Clere.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium hosts the second running of the 24H SPA EWC Motos from 16-18 June. Ticket information is available here: https://www.24hspamotos.com/en/ticketing/
April 22nd, 2023
The FIM Endurance World Championship’s EWC Cares corporate and social responsibility programme made a very positive impact on young fans and local community groups during last weekend’s 24 Heures Motos.
From Wednesday through to Sunday of the EWC season-opening event in Le Mans, France, several activities were arranged as part of the EWC Cares initiative, which was launched last year as a key element of the global CSR roadmap developed by EWC promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports and is being highlighted during today’s Earth Day celebrations.
EWC Cares is fully aligned with KiSS (Keep it Shiny & Sustainable), the environmental and social sustainability programme from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, the worldwide governing body of two-wheel motorsport.
Involving teams, riders, fans, partners, local communities and non-profit organisations, the goal of KiSS is to increase the collective awareness about the importance of implementing sustainability-oriented behaviour at major sporting events as well as in everyday life.
The following activities were arranged in partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organiser of the 24 Heures Motos, during the first event of the EWC season and gave exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to local children and community groups:
Wednesday 12 April: 32 young people from the Municipality of Gesnois Biluien visited the Race Control, the Media Centre, and the iconic Dunlop footbridge to learn about the inner workings of the 24 Heures Motos day and night race.
Thursday 13 April: Pupils aged nine to 10 from the Jean Mermoz School in Le Mans Sud attended a press conference where they had the opportunity to put questions to TATI Team Beringer Racing rider Hugo Clere, Yoshimura SERT Motul Team Manager Damien Saulnier and Thomas Baudry, Team Kawasaki Webike Trickstar’s Technical Manager. They also visited the Yoshimura SERT Motul pit box and enjoyed a tour of the pitlane.
Friday 14 April: Twenty members of Comité Handisport 72 were invited to Le Mans to watch Second Qualifying for the 24 Heures Motos and the PMR Bridgestone Cup races.
Guests from the Handy Dreams Association, which strives to make dreams come true for people with severe disabilities, were also in attendance. Jean-François, who was left a quadriplegic following a traffic accident at the age of 19, always dreamed of attending a motorcycle race and the EWC helped to make his dream came true at the Circuit Bugatti.
There was also a group of children and young people aged between four and 20 years old who had been invited by the Institut d’Éducation Motrice (IEM). Many of them are living with cerebral paralysis or severe psychomotor challenges.
Saturday 15 April: Year two of the partnership between EWC Cares and AESPHOR, a non-profit organisation committed to improving hospital stays and social adaptation of children with autism, gave the chance for 34 guests to meet riders Randy de Puniet and Étienne Masson.
Travel solutions for fans
Spectators attending the 24 Heures Moto were invited to share cars with other fans in order to reduce emissions by leaving more cars at home. This service was provided through the StadiumGo app. A regular tram service from the Le Mans train station also provided an excellent transport link.
Gautier de Stoppani, CSR Director, FIM Endurance World Championship, said: “Engaging with local communities and young fans is a key part of our sustainability strategy, and we were proud to be able to embrace this to the full during the 24 Heures Motos with support of EWC teams, riders, FIM and ACO, the race organiser. Providing opportunities for young people to learn about the inner workings of the race and meet some of the riders helps to inspire the next generation of motorsport enthusiasts and participants and promotes the sport’s values.”
Caroline Deshoulières, General Secretary, AESPHOR, said: “We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the FIM EWC for the opportunity to meet leading riders and attend the 24 Heures Motos. The EWC’s dedication in engaging with the community and providing inspiring experiences for young people is truly appreciated. Thank you for contributing to the improvement of the lives of children in need and promoting social adaptation. We look forward to continued collaboration and making a positive impact together.”
Race is on to win the EWC Cares Trophy
The race is on to win the inaugural EWC Cares Trophy, which encourages teams contesting the FIM Endurance World Championship to showcase their commitment to sustainability through the launch of this brand-new award. Created by championship promoter Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, the EWC Cares Trophy recognises the sustainable efforts of registered teams in all activities directly associated with their EWC participation.
One week prior to each EWC event, EWC Cares Trophy entrants are required to submit their applications. Following each event, their submissions are assessed, and their sustainability pledges examined. Submissions from teams could include a social or environmental action and participants will be required to detail these in their application dossiers, which will serve as a roadmap of their sustainability commitment.
Each team’s endeavours will be assessed again by a jury at the end of the season with the winner formally invited to the 2023 FIM Awards in Liverpool, UK on 2 December. A member of the FIM Sustainability Commission, a journalist and a representative of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports will form the three-person jury.
Details of key steps undertaken during last season’s FIM Endurance World Championship are highlighted in the 2022 CSR Report, which was published on 6 April to coincide with the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSPD). Developed with the support of two reputed environmental consulting firms (Utopies and Ipama Consulting), the report also explains the EWC’s three pillars of environmental and sustainable action.
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