"Coca-Cola" Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race
The Coca-Cola Company produces concentrate, which is then sold to licensed Coca-Cola bottlers throughout the world. The bottlers, who hold exclusive territory contracts with the company, produce the finished product in cans and bottles from the concentrate, in combination with filtered water and sweeteners. A typical 12-US-fluid-ounce (350 ml) can contains 38 grams (1.3 oz) of sugar (usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup). The bottlers then sell, distribute, and merchandise Coca-Cola to retail stores, restaurants, and vending machines throughout the world. The Coca-Cola Company also sells concentrate for soda fountains of major restaurants and foodservice distributors.
The Coca-Cola Company has on occasion introduced other cola drinks under the Coke name. The most common of these is Diet Coke, along with others including Caffeine-Free Coca-Cola, Diet Coke Caffeine-Free, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, and special versions with lemon, lime, and coffee. Based on Interbrand's "best global brand" study of 2015, Coca-Cola was the world's third most valuable brand, after Apple and Google. In 2013, Coke products were sold in over 200 countries worldwide, with consumers drinking more than 1.8 billion company beverage servings each day. Coca-Cola ranked No. 87 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC) is the premier worldwide endurance motorcycle racing championship. The championship season consists of a series of endurance races (with a duration of eight, twelve or twenty-four hours) held on permanent racing facilities. The results of each race are combined to determine three World Championships, riders, teams and manufacturers. Until 2016, the championship is held on a yearly basis, but in order to take advantage of the winter break in MotoGP and Superbikes season, since September 2016 it runs from September to July, with the European races held in September, and then spring and summer of the next year.
The long distance races appeared almost at the same time of the invention of the internal combustion engine at the end of the 19th century, with races being held between major cities such as Paris-Rouen in 1894, Paris-Bordeaux, Paris-Madrid and others. In those years cars and motos raced together, competing for speed (fastest time) or regularity (achieving a certain objective time). These races on open roads where very dangerous, and the successive fatal tragedies (such as 1903 Paris-Madrid) move the race to roads closed to normal traffic (before the creation of real racing circuits) led to the separation of cars and motos, and the long distance races turning into rallies
The Bol d’Or (most famous and prestigious Endurance race) was held for the first time in 1922 on the circuit of Vaujours, near Paris (a beaten-earth road circuit used since 1888 for 24-hour competitions for bicycles). Other endurance races were created after World War II, such as 24 Hour Race in Warsage (Belgium) in 1951, the 500 Miles of Thruxton in 1955, the 24 Hours of Montjuich in Barcelona in 1957, and the 24 hours of Monza (Italy) in 1959.. At the beginning, most races were held over 24 Hours, but soon shorter races were introduced, defined in terms either of distance (500 Miles, 1000 Miles, and much later even 200 Miles) or of time (12 Hours, 8 Hours or 6 Hours).
The series was founded in 1960 as the FIM Endurance Cup. Initially it was made up of four races: Thruxton 500, 24 hours of Montjuïc, 24 hours of Warsage and the Bol d'Or.
The Bol d’Or was not held between 1961 and 1968, while the 1000 km of Paris, was held twice on the circuit of Monthléry. In the first decade, the FIM EC races were held essentially in Great Britain, Italy and Spain – the three countries with more riders
In 1976 the FIM Endurance Cup became the European Championship and in 1980 a World Championship. During the 1980s the Endurance World Championship calendar numbered up to ten events. The championship's popularity gradually declined and the calendar was gradually reduced to just the four so-called “classics”: 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Liège (held in Spa-Francorchamps), 8 Hours Of Suzuka, and the Bol d'Or (held mostly on Paul Ricard or Magny-Cours).
In 1989 and 1990 the Championship went back to a World Cup status, as the number of events required by the FIM Sporting Code was not reached.
The 4 events championship (with 24 Hours of Liège being replaced by other races) in the same year was maintained until 2016. In 2015 FIM and the pan-European television sports network, Eurosport signed a deal for the promotion and coverage of the competition. With this, the organization re-ordered the events, in order to the new championship starting in September and finishing in July, with the European races being held during the winter avoiding the MotoGP and Superbikes schedules.
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Motorsport or motorsports is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.
Four- (or more) wheeled motorsport competition is globally governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA); and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) governs two-wheeled competition.
In 1894, a French newspaper organised a race from Paris to Rouen and back, starting city to city racing. In 1900, the Gordon Bennett Cup was established. Closed circuit racing arose as open road racing, on public roads, was banned. Brooklands was the first dedicated motor racing track in the United Kingdom.
Following World War I, European countries organised Grand Prix races over closed courses. In the United States, dirt track racing became popular.
After World War II, the Grand Prix circuit became more formally organised. In the United States, stock car racing and drag racing became firmly established.
Motorsports ultimately became divided by types of motor vehicles into racing events, and their appropriate organisations.
The Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 hours (Suzuka 8 hours Endurance Road Race) is a motorcycle endurance race held at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan each year. The race runs for eight hours consecutively and entrants are composed of two or more riders who alternate during pitstops.
The race began in 1978 as a race for prototype Tourist Trophy Formula One (TT-F1) motorcycles which meant the big four Japanese companies (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha), who had unlimited engineering resources, could use them on the track.
Throughout the years, the race had gone through several rule changes in accordance to the FIM, including the restriction to 750cc for F1 bikes.
One major change for the race came in 1993. Due to the high popularity of Superbike racing, which had been a support class in previous 8 Hours races, the race now centered on superbikes. The Formula One class, which at the time was the pinnacle of the race, would be removed altogether. Another category included in the race is the Naked class (for motorcycles without fairings - similar to the streetfighter bikes).
At the event's peak during the 1980s, the race attracted in excess of 130,000 spectators while presently it attracts a crowd around 85,000. The record attendance figure is 160,000 in 1990. The race is part of the FIM Endurance World Championship for motorcycles and with the exception of 2005, due to the high importance the big four Japanese manufacturers place on the race, the governing bodies set a race date that avoids conflict with any of the other major championship races.
A main attraction of the Suzuka 8 hours race is that it normally features star riders from MotoGP and Superbike racing factions from around the world. It is not uncommon for a rider to have the 8 Hours race written into their contracts when they acquire a factory ride in MotoGP or Superbike. If the rider has notable success in their respective class during the season, they will usually negotiate to have the requirement of racing future 8 Hours races removed from their contract. Most high-level riders don't like racing it because it breaks up their mid-season momentum and because it is physically draining. Michael Doohan is an example of one such rider who raced the 8 Hours early in his career but had his contractual obligations to the race removed following his significant success in 500cc (now MotoGP).
On the other hand, high-level Japanese riders return for the race annually as it is regarded by the Japanese as one of the biggest motorsport events on the calendar. As the Suzuka 8 hours is part of the FIM World Endurance Racing Championship, its priority on the international calendar, along with the off-weeks in the FIM calendar, makes this race one of the most crucial on the schedule.
Until the removal of the Laguna Seca round in MotoGP, from 2003 until 2014, race winners had almost been exclusively Japanese, with only an occasional international-level star in the race, primarily since the Laguna Seca round either conflicted with the 8 Hours or was days after the event. From 2002-2014, only World Superbike stars have participated in the event, and four European riders have won, with the 2013 three-rider team consisting mostly of European riders.
Since Laguna Seca was removed, MotoGP stars have once again participated in the race, as Yamaha has won with Bradley Smith in 2015, along with Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who was a MotoGP rider at the time, and MotoGP rider Pol Espargaró, the 2013 Moto2 champion. Double MotoGP champion Casey Stoner also came out of retirement that year to race for Honda, alongside Michael van der Mark and Takumi Takahashi. His team was leading the race until Stoner crashed out when his throttle stuck open, resulting in a fractured tibia and shoulder for the Australian. Espargaró and Nakasuga (now just a Yamaha test driver in addition to domestic racing in Japan) repeated the feat in 2016 with Alex Lowes as the third rider. Nakasuga won the race third time in a row in 2017 with Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark, marking him the second driver to win three consecutive endurance races, after Aaron Slight achieved the feat in the 1990s.