The Suzuka 8 Hours race has become the latest event to be postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic with the endurance classic now scheduled to take place on November 1st.

The event – the centrepiece of the Endurance World Championship – was originally scheduled to take place on July 19th but with Japan enforcing strict border restrictions in the run up to that date, the decision has instead been taken to push it to the end of the year.

The new date signals a departure for the Suzuka 8 Hours, which has been held in the height of summer since 1978. However, by becoming the new season finale of the 2020 calendar, it will benefit from being offered with a 150% points’ structure.

Though the blue riband round of the EWC schedule, the Suzuka 8 Hours also attracts a number of high-profile WorldSBK riders with Kawasaki having already confirmed Jonathan Rea, Alex Lowes and Xavi Fores will team up to defend its title from 2019.

For now, the new date doesn’t clash with any WorldSBK round – coming in a week before its current finale in Misano – though this could be subject to change as Dorna adapts its calendar around the coronavirus restrictions.

“Who would have ever imagined that the 8 Hours of Suzuka would have to be postponed just a few weeks ago?” said FIM President Jorge Viegas. “However, we must keep strong and do whatever is in our power to return to racing, as soon as possible, without taking any unnecessary risks. I am sure that the faithful spectators of Suzuka will enjoy a great show again and that this iconic race will retain its special place in the FIM Endurance World Championship.”