FIM and WESS launch FIM Hard Enduro World Championship in 2021
The FIM and WESS have announced they will join forces in 2021 to create a new FIM Hard Enduro World Championship giving extreme enduro equal billing alongside traditional enduro on the world stage and defining the disciplines within our sport.
In a statement released December 23, 2020 the FIM says the “World Enduro Super Series will be leveraged under the FIM umbrella and renamed into the “FIM Hard Enduro World Championship” with an inaugural season in 2021. WESS Promotion GmbH have signed a four-year contract with the FIM as promoters of the new series.
There was a point when this all seemed about as likely as the British government shaking hands and making up with the European Union but the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and WESS Promotion GmbH have brushed their differences aside seemingly for the good of the sport.
The move brings to an end the blurred lines of the previous WESS Championship which mixed enduro disciplines with events like Erzberg and Romaniacs running alongside French Classic or Cross-Country enduros – the logic was there but few people watching Graham Jarvis racing the Trefle Lozerien traditional enduro or Nathan Watson on Erzberg's extreme climbs thought it made much sense.
The FIM statement credits the WESS series for its “success-building nature” over the past years and for “actively integrating amateur riders” into its championship which it vows will very much remain a “defining characteristic of the series”. Amateur riders and indeed the ‘every rider’ status of the events in the new series' calendar (see dates below) looks set to remain unchanged in terms of licences and event status.
As for the Pro riders competing for the new FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, it is expected they will form a Pro class with specific international regulations. The statement says a new Pro-Class will have regulations, “in line with all FIM international standards, offering the highest level of transparency and fairness to professional riders, teams and manufacturers who will compete to win the official world-recognized title of FIM Hard Enduro World Champion.”
Following the signature of the agreement, FIM CEO Tony Skillington says he is satisfied with the progress the two parties have made. “Every once in a while an opportunity comes to do something very interesting and new in motorcycle sport.” Says Skillington.“This championship will become a very important part of the FIM calendar in the future and I am more than pleased that we are finally signing a four-year contract for the promotion of a FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. I also appreciate the energy and dedication that both FIM and WESS have deployed together to work on all of the ways to make this championship a success.”
Winfried Kerschhaggl, WESS Promotion GmbH adds: “This is a very exciting time for us and our sport. Following an incredibly busy time, building and shaping WESS, work is paying off. The past three years helped us to gain the recognition of the FIM. A special thanks from our side goes to Tony Skillington, who has been very supportive since the conversations about a joint project started. We’re ready to take the next step as the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship. Together with the FIM we move into 2021 with confidence and enthusiasm and look forward to ongoing exciting racing.”
FIM Hard Enduro World Championship 2021 calendar:
Round 1: Extreme XL Lagares - Portugal, May 7/8/9
Round 2: Red Bull Erzbergrodeo - Austria, June 3/4/5/6
Round 3: TBC – Italy, July 10/11
Round 4: Red Bull Romaniacs - Romania, July 27/28/29/30/31
Round 5: Red Bull TKO - USA, August 13/14/15
Round 6: TBC – Poland, September 18/19
Round 7: Hixpania Hard Enduro - Spain, October 1/2/3
Round 8: GetzenRodeo - Germany, October 29/30
The new website for information regarding the WESS Hard Enduro Championship: www.iridehardenduro.com