Fourth Race of FIM 2002 World Endurance Championship Series Coca Cola 8-hour Endurance Road Race in Suzuka
Honda Works Team Ready to Compete
| On August 4, Honda will send two Honda Works teams to compete at the Coca Cola 8-hour Endurance Road Race in Suzuka (located in Japan's Mie Prefecture), the fourth and final race of the FIM 2002 World Endurance Championship Series. The name of both teams is Team Cabin Honda, both of which are using the Honda VTR1000SPW, also used in the Superbike World Championships and the All Japan Road Race Championships.
The riders will be decided from those who have competed in the Superbike World Championships and All Japan Road Race Championships, with a focus on those who competed in the MotoGP class of the World Road Race Championships, based on the results of a test to be held in Suzuka in June. The final rider decision and announcement are planned for July 9 (Tue.).
Seeking Sixth Straight Victory at Suzuka 8-hour Endurance Road Race
This year, Honda is going after the first-ever 6th striaght win of the Suzuka 8-hour endurance road race. This string of victories: (1) began in 1997 with the Honda RVF/RC45, won by the team of #33 Shin-ichi Ito and Toru Ukawa; (2) was won in the following year (1998) by the same team; (3) although in the following year (1999), the same team of Shin-ichi Ito and Tohru Ukawa just missed winning their 3rd straight, the team of #4 Tadayuki Okada and Alex Barros took the victory, giving Honda its 3rd straight; (4) in 2000, the team of #4 Toru Ukawa and Daijiro Kato won the race with a new machine, the Honda VTR1000SPW, breaking the old record of 214 laps with 215, and giving Honda its 4th straight victory; (5) last year, the race was won by the team of #11 Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards, and Manabu Kamata, giving Honda its 5th straight victory, and further upping the record number of laps to 217 in the process.
Honda Records in Suzuka 8-hour to Date
The Honda rider who has won the Suzuka 8-hour Endurance Road Race the most times is Wayne Gardner, who won in 1985, 1986, 1991, and 1992. Two other Honda riders have won the tittle twice: Aaron Slight (1993, 1994, and 1995) and Tohru Ukawa (1997, 1998, and 2000).
Additionally, three Honda riders have won the race twice: Colin Edwards (1996 and 2001), Shin-ichi Ito (1997 and 1998), and Tadayuki Okada (1995 and 1999). In the 25 years of the Suzuka 8-hour Endurance Road Race, Honda has competed 24 times, and won 16 times.