by Toni Börner.
The message of the Single Fuel Supplier for the FIM Endurance World Championship from this year’s Bol d’Or onwards is dividing the minds in the EWC paddock.
Whilst private run teams like #8 Bolliger Kawasaki or #56 GERT56 BMW (Superstock) apprehend an explosion in running costs, some of the factory backed teams are welcoming the decision
Since announcing the Single Fuel Supplier rule last week, the promoters have stepped back in pricing. A litre of the new gas was supposed to cost 3.20 Euros excluding VAT, now it is back to 2.50 per litre for the European rounds and 3.00 for the flyaways.
Steven Casaer, who did run the #111 Honda Endurance Racing team between 2014 and 2016 as a Race Manager, disagrees on the opinion of the opposition. He is now working for the BMW Motorrad WorldEWC team, which is set to debut at the Bol d’Or with riders Ilya Mikhalchik, Julian Puffe and Kenny Foray and managed by former rider Werner Daemen.
“At Le Mans, we might have 50 litres per team directly in the pit box, but those are attached to the wall in metal containers,” Casaer states speaking to ewc-mag.com.
“On Other tracks, most people have those amounts in standalone rigs on the ground – not to mention the quantities in metal and plastic containers in the trucks or pits themselves.”
Leaving behind the safety issues and concerns, Casaer expects the single fuel rule to really make an impact in the racing “much more than people realise”.
“The fuel used by the top teams today gives them 8 to 10 per cent economy at a cost of more than 8 Euros per litre. That is five to six minutes in the tank and that is the differe3nce between passing or not passing the hour’s stint distance,” Casaer explains.
“And this makes the difference between doing 8 hours in seven or in eight stops and 24 hour in 23 or 26 stops.”
“So the fact that this advantage purely based on financial means disappears is a very good thing for the non-factory teams. And a disadvantage for us as factory teams.”
Casaer clearly states he hopes the rule will be in place in Japan for the Suzuka race as well.
“The real factory teams there run tailor made fuel for their engines,” the Belgian outlines. “If they have to use the same fuel as all of us – that will turn the paddock upside down.”
Casaer further sums up: “We use about 900 litres during a 24 hours event and 450 at a 8 hours. That totals to 2250 litres per season, since Le Mans must not go into this particular calculation.”
“With a difference of about 1 Euro per litre compared to the high octane normal fuel of a gas station and the 1000 Euro support of Eurosport, it comes to about 1.250 Euro per season or 300 Euro per race more than before.”
“Of course this is not the cheapest solution”, Casaer continues. “But there are a lot of other things that we have to comply with and that do cost more with bringing less extra safety or performance-balancing to the paddock.”